City Beat: Urban Fiction

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  • A Little Piece of Sky
  • by Nicole Bailey-Williams After the murder of her alcoholic mother, Song Byrd must confront her past abuse and the incarceration of her brother.
  • Kendra
  • by Coe Booth High schooler Kendra longs to live with her mother who, unprepared for motherhood at age fourteen, left Kendra in the care of her grandmother.
  • Tyrell
  • by Coe Booth With his family at a homeless shelter and his father in jail, should Tyrell risk going the way his father has gone?
  • Manchild in the Promised Land
  • by Claude Brown This classic novel is a fictional account of the author’s street life in Harlem.
  • Upstate
  • by Kalisha Buckhanon Can Natasha’s love for Antonio survive after he is sent to prison for killing his father?
  • Drama High: The Fight
  • by L. Devine At a predominately white high school, can Jayd get through junior year drama free?
  • Romiette and Julio
  • by Sharon Draper Can Julio’s and Romiette’s inter-racial relationship survive the pressures of their urban neighborhood?
  • Bang!
  • by Sharon Flake Traumatized by the violent killing of her younger brother, Kee-Lee begins a healing process that goes terribly wrong.
  • Money Hungry
  • by Sharon Flake Raspberry knows she can make the money that will keep her from having to return to life on the streets.
  • Who am I Without Him? Short Stories about Girls and the Boys in Their Lives
  • by Sharon Flake Urban teen girls confront the difficulties of relationships with boys.
  • Bronx Masquerade
  • by Nikki Grimes An open-mic poetry slam brings teens together in the Bronx as they share their experiences about growing up in the ghetto.
  • Imani in Young Love and Deception
  • by Jackie Hardrick Imani must deal with the pressures of being “the girl from the hood” at a mostly white suburban high school.
  • The First Part Last
  • by Angela Johnson Bobby must face the challenges of being a single father.
  • Teenage Bluez
  • by A. Jones This book is a collection of stories about urban teens facing challenges of drugs and violence.
  • Bluford Series
  • by Paul Langan Set in urban America, this ten volume series follows the lives of African-American teens at Bluford High School.
  • The Contender
  • by Robert Lipsyte A high school dropout escapes the streets by learning how to box.
  • Chill Wind
  • by Janet McDonald Now that Aisha has received a termination-of-welfare-benefits notice, how can she support herself and her two young children in New York City?
  • Harlem Hustle
  • by Janet McDonald Eric “Hustle” Samson knows how to make it on the streets, but his dream of rap stardom is making him think twice.
  • Too Beautiful for Words
  • by Monique W. Morris Can Peaches break away from life on the streets as a prostitute?


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  • Autobiography of my Dead Brother
  • by Walter Dean Myers After the shooting death of his best friend, Jesse finds an escape from the ghetto in his sketchbook.
  • Monster
  • by Walter Dean Myers Steve writes a film script about his life and his trial for a botched robbery and murder of a store owner.
  • Slam!
  • by Walter Dean Myers Slam is counting on basketball as his ticket out of the ghetto.
  • Street Love
  • by Walter Dean Myers Does first love spell disaster for Damien and Junice? Read this free-verse story and find out.
  • Imani All Mine
  • by Connie Porter Tasha, 15, struggles with school and raising her baby in a neighborhood filled with violence.
  • Push
  • by Sapphire Precious fights to reclaim her life after suffering years of sexual abuse by her parents.
  • Hip-Hop High School
  • by Alan Lawrence Sitomer Theresa finds an escape from the bad times of high school in the sounds of hip-hop.
  • The Hoopster
  • by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
    After being attacked in a hate crime, Andre questions everything he once believed in.
  • The Coldest Winter Ever
  • by Sister Souljah Winter learns a brutal lesson about life after living with her drug dealer father and materialistic mother.
  • The Dying Ground
  • by Nichelle D. Tramble Maceo searches for the killer of his best friend on the drug filled streets of his Oakland neighborhood.
  • Flyy Girl
  • by Omar Tyree Good girl no more, Tracey begins to live life with a sense of adventure.
  • Ballad of a Ghetto Poet
  • by A.J. White Chico finds that poetry is his only escape from the inner-city neighborhood in which he lives.
  • When Kambia Elaine Flew in From Neptune
  • by Lori Aurelia Williams Living in a poor section of Houston, Shayla tries to understand the problems that shape the life of her new neighbor.
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