Thanks to Heidi Jung and the librarians of YALSA for compiling this list!

Big City Cool
Short stories about urban youth

The Making of Dr. Truelove
Derrick Barnes

Diego is a sixteen-year-old boy with a problem. He loves his girlfriend, Roxy. And when they suddenly break up due to Diego’s own insecurity issues, the boy is crushed. How ever will he win Shorty back?
On the trusty advice of his (crazy) best friend, Diego invents an alter ego known as Dr. Truelove. A sex and relationship e-columnist, Truelove is smooth where Diego is gawky, skilled where Diego is clueless. Truelove is, quite clearly, the way back into Roxy’s heart. Or so it seems. . . .

Noughts & Crosses (first of trilogy)
Malorie Blackman

Sephy is a Cross — a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Naught — a “colorless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Naughts and Crosses simply don’t mix.

Kalisha Buckhanon

“Baby, the first thing I need to know from you is do you believe I killed my father?” So begins Upstate, a powerful story told through letters between seventeen-year-old Antonio and his sixteen-year-old girlfriend, Natasha, set in the 1990′s in New York. Antonio and Natasha’s world is turned upside down, and their young love is put to the test, when Antonio finds himself in jail, accused of a shocking crime. Antonio fights to stay alive on the inside, while on the outside, Natasha faces choices that will change her life. Over the course of a decade, they share a desperate correspondence. Often, they have only each other to turn to as life takes them down separate paths and leaves them wondering if they will ever find their way back together.

Marvelous Effect (book 1: Marvelous World series)
Troy Cle

Louis Proof is an ordinary kid.
He loves listening to hip-hop, racing radio-controlled cars, and hanging out with his best friend, Brandon. Then a mysterious letter invites him to visit the local junkyard. There he finds a secret, underground amusement park like no other in existence. This is the best day of Louis’s life. The park even has the most amazing race course for radio-controlled cars. Louis starts racing right away. It’s a close contest; he’s about to activate his nitro boost to take the lead, when…
This is the worst day of Louis’s life. Without warning or reason, thirteen-year-old Louis Proof falls into a coma due to a virus of a mysterious, celestial origin. When he awakens three months later, the world that he once knew and loved is totally out of control. He will learn that his illness is connected to everything that is wrong, and that it’s not only his responsibility but his destiny to set things right.

Born in Sin
Evelyn Coleman

Despite serious obstacles and setbacks, fourteen-year-old Keisha pursues her dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer and medical doctor.

Jason and Kyra
Dana Davidson

Handsome and popular Jason tries to come to terms with his irascible, often absent father and his growing attraction to the quiet, studious Kyra.

Dana Davidson

Ian Striver is challenged to prove himself worthy of joining his Detroit high school’s elite fraternity. He has two weeks to make plain and unpopular Kylie fall for him and sleep with him. Although he feels uncomfortable, he turns on his charm and asks her out. Does Kylie fall for his lies and deception?

A La Carte
Tanita Davis

Seventeen-year-old Lainey dreams of becoming a world famous chef one day and maybe even having her own cooking show. (Do you know how many African American female chefs there aren’t? And how many vegetarian chefs have their own shows? The field is wide open for stardom!) But when her best friend—and secret crush—suddenly leaves town, Lainey finds herself alone in the kitchen. With a little help from Saint Julia (Child, of course), Lainey finds solace in her cooking as she comes to terms with the past and begins a new recipe for the future.

High Heat
Carl Deuker

When sophomore Shane Hunter’s father is arrested for money laundering at his Lexus dealership, the star pitcher’s life of affluence and private school begins to fall apart.

Drama High (series)
L. Divine

Tension and drama at South Bay High School
(1) The Fight
(2) Second Chance
(3) Frenemies
(4) Jayd’s Legacy
(5) Lady J
(6) Courtin’ Jayd
(7) Hustlin’
(8) Keep It Movin’

Romiette and Julio
Sharon M. Draper

Romiette, an African-American girl, and Julio, a Hispanic boy, discover that they attend the same high school after falling in love on the Internet, but are harrassed by a gang whose members object to their interracial dating.

Sharon G. Flake

A teenage boy must face the harsh realities of inner city life, a disintegrating family, and destructive temptations as he struggles to find his identity as a young man.

Money Hungry
Sharon G. Flake

All thirteen-year-old Raspberry can think of is making money so that she and her mother never have to worry about living on the streets again.

The Skin I’m In
Sharon G. Flake

Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, uncomfortable because her skin is extremely dark, meets a new teacher with a birthmark on her face and makes some discoveries about how to love who she is and what she looks like.

Life is Funny
E.R. Frank

The lives of a number of young people of different races, economic backgrounds, and family situations living in Brooklyn, New York, become intertwined over a seven year period.

Keesha’s House
Helen Frost

Seven teens facing such problems as pregnancy, closeted homosexuality, and abuse each describe in poetic forms what caused them to leave home and where they found home again.

Bronx Masquerade
Nikki Grimes

While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they’ve written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.

Jazmin’s Notebook
Nikki Grimes

Jazmin, an Afro-American teenager who lives with her older sister in a small Harlem apartment in the 1960s, finds strength in writing poetry and keeping a record of the events in her sometimes difficult life.

At Risk
Jacqueline Guest

Insightful glimpse into the dark world of street teens.

Edification of Sonya Crane
J.D. Guilford

Sonya is transferred to a predominantly Black high school where she passes as bi-racial.

First Part Last
Angela Johnson

Bobby’s carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

Dymond in the Rough (1st in Platinum teen series)
series by: Juwell, Precious & KaShamba Williams

Fourteen year old Dymond is at a pivotal point in her life… high school. Not only is she faced with the challenges of being a freshman, but also from members in her crew – Kera and Porsha. Both of them have boyfriends however; Dymond has yet to find one. Well, that is until she meets Kyle Banks.

Brother Hood
Janet McDonald

Sixteen-year-old Nate, an academically gifted student who attends an exclusive private boarding school, straddles two cultures as he returns home for occasional visits to see his family and “gangsta crew” in Harlem, New York.

Chill Wind
Janet McDonald

Afraid that she will have no where to go when her welfare checks are stopped, nineteen-year-old high school dropout Aisha tries to figure out how she can support herself and her two young children in New York City.

Janet McDonald

Raven, a teenage mother and high school dropout living in a housing project, decides, with the help and sometime interference of her best friend Aisha, to study for a spelling bee which could lead to a college preparatory program and four-year scholarship.

Twists and Turns
Janet McDonald

With the help of a couple of successful friends, eighteen- and nineteen-year-old Teesha and Keeba try to capitalize on their talents by opening a hair salon in the run-down Brooklyn housing project where they live.

Indigo Summer (Kimani Tru series)
Monica McKayhan

15 year old Indigo’s life finally seems to be going in the right direction.

Hotlanta (series)
Denene Millner and Mitzi Miller

Living a privileged life in Atlanta, wealthy and beautiful African American twin sisters, Sydney and Lauren, must deal with family secrets and scandal when their father is released from prison.

Autobiography of My Dead Brother
Walter Dean Myers

Jesse pours his heart and soul into his sketchbook to make sense of life in his troubled Harlem neighborhood and the loss of a close friend.

145th Street
Walter Dean Myers

Ten stories about life on a Harlem block.

Street Love
Walter Dean Myers

This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

Imani All Mine
Connie Porter

A portrayal of a teenage mother

Bluford High series
Paul Langan and Anne Schraff

Set in urban America, the series features characters that attend the same high school.
(1) Lost and Found
(2) A Matter of Trust
(3) Secrets in the Shadows
(4) Someone to Love Me
(5) The Bully
(6) Payback
(7) Until We Meet Again
(8) Blood is Thicker
(9) Brothers in Arms
(10) Summer of Secrets
(11) The Fallen
(12) Shattered
(13) Search for Safety

Can’t Get There From Here
Todd Strasser

Tired of being hungry, cold, and dirty from living on the streets of New York City with a tribe of other homeless teenagers who are dying, one by one, a girl named Maybe ponders her future and longs for someone to care about her.

Simply Divine
Jacquelin Thomas

After a family catastrophe, glamorous Hollywood teenager Divine goes to live with devout relatives in Georgia, where she learns the importance of family and finds strength by turning to God.

Sweet Thang
Allison Whittenberg

In 1975, life is not fair for fourteen-year-old Charmaine Upshaw, who shares a room with her brother, tries to impress a handsome classmate, and acts as caretaker for a rambunctious six-year-old cousin who has taken over the family.

Broken China
Lori Aurelia Williams

China Cup Cameron, a fourteen-year-old single mother with only her paralyzed Uncle Simon for support, takes on tremendous personal debt in hopes of a beautiful funeral after her daughter dies.

Shayla’s Double Brown Baby Blues
Lori Aurelia Williams

Thirteen-year-old Shayla is upset when her estranged father’s new baby is born on her birthday, but she learns that her problems are nothing compared to those faced by her friends Kambia and Lemm.

It Chicks
Tia Williams

Welcome to Louis B. Armstrong, New York City’s most prestigious performing arts school, where the gifted, wanna-be starlets, and It Chicks are all on the rise. But when rehearsals give way to hot and heavy after-school sessions away from the barre and without the mic, the real drama begins.

Every Time a Rainbow Dies
Rita Williams-Garcia

After seeing a girl raped and becoming obsessed with her, sixteen-year-old Thulani finds motivation to move beyond his interest in his pigeons and his grief over his mother’s death.

Like Sisters on the Homefront
Rita Williams-Garcia

Troubled fourteen-year-old Gayle is sent down South to live with her uncle and aunt, where her life begins to change as she experiences the healing power of the family.

Make Lemonade
Virginia Euwer Wolff

In order to earn money for college, fourteen-year-old LaVaughn babysits for a teenage mother.

True Believer
Virginia Euwer Wolff

Living in the inner city amidst guns and poverty, fifteen-year-old LaVaughn learns from old and new friends, and inspiring mentors, that life is what you make it–an occasion to rise to.

Emako Blue
Brenda Woods

Monterey, Savannah, Jamal, and Eddie have never had much to do with each other until Emako Blue shows up at chorus practice, but just as the lives of the five Los Angeles high school students become intertwined, tragedy tears them apart.

Behind You
Jacqueline Woodson

After fifteen-year-old Jeremiah is mistakenly shot by police, the people who love him struggle to cope with their loss as they recall his life and death, unaware that ‘Miah is watching over them.

Jacqueline Woodson

Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection program.

Miracle’s Boys
Jacqueline Woodson

Twelve-year-old Lafayette’s close relationship with his older brother Charlie changes after Charlie is released from a detention home and blames Lafayette for the death of their mother

Check out more from these authors too:
Reshonda Tate Billingsley (Christian Fiction)
Coe Booth
Sharon Draper
Sharon Flake
Janet McDonald
Stephanie Perry Moore (Christian Fiction)
Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
Alan Lawrence Sitomer
Jacquelin Thomas (Christian Fiction)
Paul Volponi

Check out this blog:
The Brown Bookshelf
it’s a blog by 5 African-American authors that’s devoted to African-American children’s and YA lit