Welcome to our first installment of Black History Month book recommendations! As we mentioned yesterday, 8 ya authors have given us diverse inspirational book recommendations and we’ll be publishing them throughout the month.  Our first guest post is from Brandy Colbert.  From ballet and sexual abuse in Pointe to siblings and bipolar disorder in Little & Lion, Brandy is unafraid to confront contemporary fiction and tough subjects head-on and so eloquently.  Her forthcoming novel, Finding Yvonne, is ya novel about a girl, her violin, love and pregnancy. She recently announced her fourth novel, The Revolution of Birdie Randolph.  Let’s find out a little more about Brandy and her forthcoming novel after the jump.


Brandy Colbert Author Photo

Brandy Colbert is the critically acclaimed author of PointeLittle & Lion, and the forthcoming Finding Yvonne and The Revolution of Birdie Randolph. Her short fiction and essays have been published in several anthologies for young people. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.



Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: August 7th 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert.jpg

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.



Piecing Me Together by Reneé Watson. I love the quiet, controlled way Watson wrote Jade and the supporting characters in this book. I felt Jade’s pain at the stereotypes people placed on her as a young black woman, and her yearning for more in life. I appreciated the frank talks about racism and the way Jade spoke up for herself when confronted with uncomfortable situations. Most of all, I rooted for Jade, because though she was on a tough journey and didn’t get everything she wanted, she rooted for herself from the start.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett. I generally try not to read much about books before I pick them up, and I admittedly bought a copy because it was one of the books of 2016—everyone had already read it, was reading it, or planned to do so. I was quickly drawn into the story of the main character, Nadia, whom we follow after the suicide of her mother. Though our experiences aren’t identical, I found Nadia almost disturbingly relatable. It’s a quiet, gorgeous book that breaks down the ways we judge each other and ourselves, examines the what-ifs that begin appearing in adolescence, and ultimately shows that there are no easy answers in life.


Black History Month author recommendations return on Wednesday, February 7th and continue throughout the month of February–you can find the upcoming schedule here and our 2017 book recommendations from Nic Stone and Imani Josey can be found here. Happy reading!