Black History Month 2022

Teens: Celebrate Black History Month from February 1st through March 1st!

Black History Month 2022: honoring the past, inspiring the future.

In celebration of Black History Month, the Stratford Library Teen Department is excited to offer a special month-long art collaboration for teens grades 6-12:

Black History Month Poster Art Collaboration

Stop by the Teen Department and add your own thoughts or words honoring the past and inspiring the future to our Poster Art Collab! All participating teens will be eligible for a prize drawing at the end of the month.

Black History Month Reading List for Grades 6-12

Click the book cover to view the title in the Library catalog.

Rise to the Sun (Johnson, Leah)

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

“Three days. Two girls. One life-changing music festival. Toni is reeling in the wake of the loss of her roadie father and desperate to figure out where her life will go from here — so she’s heading back to the festival that taught her to love music in a last ditch effort to rediscover her passion. Olivia is a hopeless romantic whose heart has just taken a beating (again), and is beginning to believe that someone like her may never find “the one” — but the Farmland Music and Arts Festival is a chance to at least find a place where she fits. When the two collide, it feels like kismet. But when something goes wrong and the festival is sent into a panic, Toni and Olivia find that they need each other, and the music, more than they ever imagined.”

Blackout (Clayton, Dhonielle)

Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton

“Six critically acclaimed, bestselling, and award-winning authors bring the glowing warmth and electricity of Black teen love to this interlinked novel of charming, hilarious, and heartwarming stories that shine a bright light through the dark.”





Witches Steeped in Gold (Smart, Ciannon)

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

“Two enemy witches must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a tyrant who threatens both their worlds–with unpredictable results.”






When You Look Like Us (Harris, Pamela N.)

When You Look Like Us by Pamela N. Harris

“A novel about a boy who must take up the search for his sister when she goes missing from a neighborhood where black girls’ disappearances are too often overlooked.”






Chlorine Sky (Browne, Mahogany L.)

Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

“Picked on at home, criticized for talking trash while beating boys at basketball, and always seen as less than her best friend, a girl struggles to like and accept herself.”






Love is a Revolution (Watson, Renée)

Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson

“Harlem teenager Nala is looking forward to a summer of movies and ice cream until she falls in love with the very woke Tye and pretends to be a social activist.”





March: Books One (Lewis, John)

March: Book One by John Lewis

“A graphic novel trilogy based on the life of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis.”

Also recommended: March: Book Two & March: Book Three.





Yesterday is History (Jackson, Kosoko)

Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson

“After a liver transplant, Andre suddenly becomes a time traveler, but is his soulmate Michael, who lives in 1969, or Blake, his donor’s brother, who is training him in 2021?”






Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (Kendi, Ibram X. & Jason Reynolds)

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi & Jason Reynolds

“A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today.”

Also available as a Playaway. Click here.





The Cost of Knowing (Morris, Brittney)

The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

“Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus’s curse of seeing the future distracts him from being and doing his best, but when he sees his little brother Isaiah’s imminent death, he races against time, death, and circumstances to save him.”





Nubia: Real One (McKinney, L.L.)

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney

“Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.”




Just Mercy (Stevenson, Bryan)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

“The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama recounts his experiences as a lawyer working to assist those desperately in need, reflecting on his pursuit of the ideal of compassion in American justice.”

Also available as a book on CD. Click here.





Martin Luther King Jr.: Fulfilling a Dream (Senter, Jacqueline Conciatore)

Martin Luther King Jr.: Fulfilling a Dream by Jacqueline Conciatore Senter

“An orator, minister, organizer, activist, and leader, King’s focus on effecting change peacefully shaped everything he did. This book outlines the beliefs and influences that guided King as he helped lead the Civil Rights movement, provides information about the prejudice and racism he fought, and demonstrates his continued impact today.”




Off the Record (Garrett, Camryn)

Off the Record by Camryn Garrett

“A teen journalist uncovers the #metoo scandal of the decade: a bigshot Hollywood director is taking advantage of cast members.”






Ace of Spades (Àbíké-Íyímídé, Faridah)

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

“At Niveus Private Academy, Devon and Chiamaka are the only students chosen to be Senior Prefects who are also black, which makes them targets for a series of anonymous texts revealing their secrets to the entire student body. Both students were on track toward valedictorian and bright college futures, but this prank quickly turns into a very dangerous game and they are at more than one disadvantage as it looks like things could turn deadly.”



The Gilded Ones (Forna, Namina)

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

“Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity-and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.”



White Smoke (Jackson, Tiffany D.)

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

“Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its … secrets. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.”



A Sitting in St. James (Williams-Garcia, Rita)

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia

“In 1860 Louisiana, eighty-year-old Madame Sylvie decides to sit for a portrait, as horrific stories that span generations from the big house and the fields are revealed.”





Rise Up! (Fleming, Crystal M.)

Rise Up! by Crystal M. Fleming

“An overview of the roots and legacies of racial bias and white supremacy in the United States.”






Revolution in Our Time (Magoon, Kekla)

Revolution in Our Time by Kekla Magoon

“In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers’ community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizen.”



Run: Book One (Lewis, John)

Run: Book One by John Lewis

“For John Lewis, the Civil Rights Movement as he knew it ended with the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, but his struggle in the following years echo many of the same questions of civil rights and equality that are being asked today. Starting with the tragic death of Martin Luther King Jr., Run tells the story of how John Lewis entered politics, working within the community, and organizing a campaign that has taken him to one of the most important seats in Congress.”


The Life of Frederick Douglass (Walker, David F.)

The Life of Frederick Douglass by David F. Walker

“An honors student at Jefferson Academy, seventeen-year-old Keira enjoys developing and playing Slay, a secret, multiplayer online role-playing game celebrating black culture, until the two worlds collide.”





Black Enough (Zoboi, Ibi)

Black Enough by Ibi Zoboi

“A collection of short stories explore what it is like to be young and black, centering on the experiences of black teenagers and emphasizing that one person’s experiences, reality, and personal identity are different than someone else.”





Ain’t Burned All the Bright (Reynolds, Jason)

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds

“A smash up of art and text that viscerally captures what it means to not be able to breathe, and how the people and things you love most are actually the oxygen you most need.”






Brown Girl Dreaming (Woodson, Jacqueline)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

“Writer Jacqueline Woodson tells the story of her childhood in free verse.”






Loving vs. Virginia (Powell, Patricia Hruby)

Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

“Written in blank verse, this is the story of Mildred Loving, an African American girl, and Richard Loving, a Caucasian boy, who challenge the Viriginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s.”





Questions? Contact Teen Services at 203.385.4167 or email slateen(at)

Hours: Monday - Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm-5pm