At NewsOne, we believe that the child who reads is the child who leads. In keeping with that idea, we decided this summer to take a look at the state of reading for black youth.

Research has found that the proportion of young people who are daily readers drops has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to some studies, since 1984, the percentage of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers dropped from 70% to 53%. Even worse, the percentage of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers fell from 64% to a startling 40%. And the percentage of 17-year-olds who never or hardly readtripled during the same period, from 9% to 27%. It’s jarring news.

We tapped our brother and sister sites: Hello Beautiful and The Urban Daily to get the staff’s summer reading recommendations. Here are a few titles they said had an impact on them and that every black youth should read.

50 Books Every Black Teen Should Read was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

2. “Good To Great” by Jim Collins

“Good To Great” by Jim Collins

“Good To Great” by Jim Collins

3. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

4. “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

5. “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

6. “Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

7. “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

8. “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

“A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

“A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

9. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

10. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

11. “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

12. “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

13. “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

14. “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

15. “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

16. “Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

“Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

“Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

17. “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

18. “Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

19. “I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

20. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

21. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

22. “Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

23. “Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

24. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

25. “Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

26. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

27. “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

“Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

“Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

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