My Top 2 Favorite Books with Black Protagonists​ | Happy Martin Luther King Junior Day!

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There are so many great books out there!

Today I am going to be sharing with you some of my favorite featuring black protaganists. There are way more than two good books with black protgaonists, but these are simply my two favorites! One of them is a more recent read and another is a long time favorite.

Although MLK Day was yesterday, I nonetheless decided to post this because I think this is a super important topic to discuss. And, there are two of my favorite books on this list, one that I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet! Today I will be sharing with you my top three favorite books with a black protagonist in celebration of Martin Luther King Junior Day. I hope you enjoy!

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

-Martin Luther King Junior

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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There are not many books out there as daring, bold, and unapologetic as The Hate U Give. Following the life of a black teenager named Starr Carter whose childhood best friend died this book has a humorous but brutally honest writing style. Although the book gets criticized by some for being too hypothetical to be realistic, I think it is shedding light upon an issue that needs to be discussed nonetheless.

Starr Carter herself is someone to look up to because even though she was hesitant at first to expose herself as the victim of a hotly debated crime, she eventually found the courage to stand up for what she knew was right. Furthermore, she stands up for racial equality in general even in her home life. When her father ridicules her for having a white boyfriend (Chris) and says “Why don’t you just bring a black boy home?” she stays grounded in her beliefs and continues to date him.

I think it deserves all the hype. I could continue to rant about how much I love this book, but I want to keep this post short. I think I got my message across. 😉

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

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The Hate U Give conquers racism through a more audacious manner, but Brown Girl Dreaming is more about being inspiring and discussing racial topics and issues rather than fighting it.

This work of poetry is told in a dactylic fashion with smooth, flowing language. It is a story about the author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood, split between two polar opposite places. Growing up in both Brooklyn and South Carolina, Jacqueline always felt half at home in each place. In the South, children teased her and her siblings about their Northern way of talking, and in Brooklyn, being a Jehovah’s witness meant that they had to follow rules they didn’t understand.

The revolution is when Shirley Chisholm ran for president

and the rest of the world tried to imagine

a Black Woman in the White House.

-Jacqueline Woodson, page 308.

As you can see, in Brown Girl Dreaming, racism is overthrown using a different approach. Quietly, with a hint of a brave whisper, Brown Girl Dreaming conquers racism. Not just for being a lovely work of poetry, but through empowerment.

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Thank you for reading this post. Please follow my blog to receive email updates whenever I post.

What are your favorite books featuring black protagonists? Have you read The Hate U Give or Brown Girl Dreaming? How was your Martin Luther King Junior Day? Let me know in the comments.

Keep On Booking,

⭐︎ Katie K ⭐︎

What I’m Reading Wednesday #1 // The Hate U Give, Carry On, and Starfish

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Greetings bookish friends! If any of you have noticed, I never did a September monthly recap post. This is because I disliked writing these kinds of posts and I want to change things up a bit. You know, add a little spice to that pumpkin! 😉 *October is spooky season and I’m obsessed*

I know I haven’t been posting a lot lately, but I am trying to break that habit and get back to blogging. Olivia nominated me for the 7 Favorite Things Tag and I plan to post about it this weekend.

So without further ado, I present to you what I finished reading recently, what I’m currently reading, and what I plan to read sometime this month.

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Recent Reads

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.10.59 PMI really enjoyed this book and think it deserves all the hype! The plot was engaging and interesting. The best part about the book was by far the characters. Kiko was so complicated and in-depth and real. This is really refreshing because many YA books have characters that are simple and surface level, but this was not true for anyone in Starfish. Even Kiko’s mother, who is intentionally narcissistic and superficial had some complexity to her.

Overall, this is a beautiful tale of hardship, ambition, and imperfection. This book was very enjoyable to read and I was hooked the whole time. Highly recommended, and an easy 5-star rating!

Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.13.33 PMAlthough it didn’t enjoy The Sun Is Also a Star as much as I liked Everything, Everything, this book was not bad! It was very engaging and had decent pacing. I really enjoyed the smooth, flowy writing style. The only problem I had with it was the “cheese” factor. Although Daniel and Natalie’s relationship was cute, at times it was unrealistic and a little bit over the top. But the ending makes up for everything that was wrong with it; it was perfect!

Although there were some patchy plot holes in the middle of the book, both the beginning and the end were excellent.

Rating: 💖💖💖💖

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Current Reads

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.12.04 PMSo far, I am really enjoying this book!

Like any Rainbow Rowell novel, it is honest and romantic, but Carry On also has elements of a fantasy novel rather than a contemporary. This is really refreshing and unique because most fantasy novels are set in the dark ages, where there were no cellphones or advanced technologies. This sets Carry On apart and makes it more relatable in general.

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Future Reads

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.10.20 PMI just received a beautiful hardcover edition of this book and I am so excited to read it!

There is also a movie that came out recently and after I finish the book I plan on seeing it.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

From Goodreads

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 9.12.40 PMI have been wanting to read this series for the longest time, but haven’t been able to find it.

I was lucky one-day scrolling through the shelves of my school library and found the first two installments, Cinder, and Scarlet. I have heard lots of great things about The Lunar Chronicles and can’t wait to finally be reading them.

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

From Goodreads

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Thank you so much for reading this post!

Have you read The Hate U Give or watched the movie? How about the Lunar Chronicles? Are you a bookworm too? Let me know in the comments.

Keep On Booking,

🌸Katie K🌸