In On the Come up by Angie Thomas—who joins us for Speak on It on August 19—Bri is an aspiring rapper following in the footsteps of her late father. When she pens a viral hit, she’s pushed into the limelight and into the narrative of being the angry Black female rapper. As her newfound fame increases, Bri will do anything to make it out of her neighborhood. But when everyone forces their ideas and opinions on Bri, she uses her music to make the ultimate declaration.
On the Come Up teaches us that the power of music is undeniable. With young people more active than ever, check out these books about teens making a difference in the world around them.
When Neo falls for the lead singer of a South African band, things get a bit complicated by the publicity of their same-sex relationship. Fox Benwell composes a beautiful, yet somber story of music and love in Kaleidoscope Song.
Take the Mic is a collection of short stories and poems that reflect on the everyday trials and tribulations of marginalized youth. This gut-wrenching collection is filled with hope, joy and knowing that your voice has an impact, no matter the volume.
When Quadir and Jarrell lose their best friend, Steph, to gun violence, they make it their mission to continue his legacy through his music. Enlisting the help of Steph’s little sister, Jazz, they set out to solve his murder and get him on the radio. Set in 1990s Brooklyn, Let Me Hear A Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson is an unforgettable ode to hip-hop.
Rani Patel in Full Effect tells the story of Rani—an aspiring rapper who’s also the victim of sexual abuse. Rani’s journey is a difficult one, muddled with questionable romantic relationships, estrangements and a stark haircut. But after being introduced to an underground rap group, Rani finds healing and strength through her music.
An anthology series edited by K.M. Walton, Behind the Song is a compilation of stories and essays written by teen fiction authors. Each story is inspired by a different song or musical artist that’s shaped them in some way. This title is sure to resonate with readers who enjoy any genre of music.
Somewhere Only We Know is a fun-filled romance between a K-pop star, Lucky, and a tabloid photographer, Jack. When their paths collide on the streets of Hong Kong, we set in on a whirlwind romance that captures the heart of young love and the journey of self-love.
Inspired by these stories and want to create change in your world? Check out Sound Off: Teen Summer Challenge and use your voice to change the world!