The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes

The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and illustrated by DJ Kirkland

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school’s “Magical Minority Initiative,” begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism (theme)
  • Klu Klux Klan, on-page
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Cults
  • War themes recounted
  • Bullying
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Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour

There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Murder
  • Bullying
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s seven volumes of autobiography are a testament to the talents and resilience of this extraordinary writer. Loving the world, she also knows its cruelty. As a black woman she has known discrimination and extreme poverty, but also hope and joy, achievement and celebration. In this first volume of her autobiography, Maya Angelou beautifully evoker her childhood with her grandmother in the American South of the 1930s. She learns the power of the white folks at the other end of town and suffers the terrible trauma of rape by her mother’s lover. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • White supremacy & mentions of the Klu Klux Klan
  • Sexism
  • Rape of a child
  • Sexual assault
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Dead body
  • Murder
  • Physical assault
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The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D Jackson

The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz & Tiffany D. Jackson

No one can be at peace until he has his freedom.

In Charlestown Prison, Malcolm Little struggles with the weight of his past. Plagued by nightmares, Malcolm drifts through days unsure of his future. Slowly, he befriends other prisoners and writes to his family. He reads all the books in the prison library, joins the debate team and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm grapples with race, politics, religion, and justice in the 1940s. And as his time in jail comes to an end, he begins to awaken — emerging from prison more than just Malcolm Little: Now, he is Malcolm X.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Police brutality
  • Death row executions mentioned
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Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin

Emergency Skin by N.K. Jemisin

What will become of our self-destructed planet

An explorer returns to gather information from a climate-ravaged Earth that his ancestors, and others among the planet’s finest, fled centuries ago. The mission comes with a warning: a graveyard world awaits him. But so do those left behind—hopeless and unbeautiful wastes of humanity who should have died out eons ago. After all this time, there’s no telling how they’ve devolved. Steel yourself, soldier. Get in. Get out. And try not to stare.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Misogyny
  • Eugenics
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Take Down by Jess Anastasi

Take Down by Jess Anastasi

Attraction sizzles when Danny Jones sets eyes on Deputy Jake Perez, despite meeting over the discovery of a mutilated corpse. But being with Jake could cost Danny his family, and being with Danny could cost Jake the very thing that brought him to Everness, Texas—revenge against the man who killed his brother. How much will Jake sacrifice to take down a psychotic criminal and finally see justice served?

After college, Danny thrived as a gay man in Houston. But when his mom’s cancer brings him back to small, conservative Everness, he must go back into the closet or risk the wrath of his abusive father—a choice made even harder when Danny starts to see a future for him and Jake… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy mentioned
  • Homomisia
  • Outing
  • Physical & verbal parental abuse
  • Parent with breast cancer
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Murder
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Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

Also known as Skin Privilege.

Sara Linton–resident medical examiner/pediatrician in Grant County, Georgia, –has plenty of hardship to deal with, including defending herself in a heartbreaking malpractice suit. So when her husband, Police chief Jeffery Tolliver, learns that his friend and coworker detective Lena Adams has been arrested for murder and needs Sara’s help, she is not sure she can handle the pressure of it all.

But soon Sara and Jeffery are sitting through evidence, peeling back the layers of a mystery that grows darker by the day–until an intricate web of betrayal and vengeance begins to unravel. And suddenly the lives of Sara, Lena, and Jeffery are hanging by the slenderest of threads.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Rape recounted
  • Drug abuse
  • Abortion mentioned
  • Death of a child
  • Murder
  • Explosion
  • Car accident
  • Fire & immolation
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The Last Window by Karin Slaughter

The Last Window by Karin Slaughter

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor.

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antisemitism
  • Homomisia
  • Misogyny
  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Rape
  • Paedophilia
  • Child abuse recounted
  • Blood depiction
  • Bioterrorism & terrorism
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a spouse recounted
  • Murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Explosion
  • Mass shooting
  • Suffocation
  • Poisoning
  • Kidnapping
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Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

Adequate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden

Adaquate Yearly Progress by Roxanna Elden book cover

Each new school year brings familiar challenges to Brae Hill Valley, a struggling high school in one the biggest cities in Texas. But the teachers also face plenty of personal challenges and this year, they may finally spill over into the classroom.

English teacher Lena Wright, a spoken-word poet, can never seem to truly connect with her students. Hernan D. Hernandez is confident in front of his biology classes, but tongue-tied around the woman he most wants to impress. Down the hall, math teacher Maybelline Galang focuses on the numbers as she struggles to parent her daughter, while Coach Ray hustles his troubled football team toward another winning season. Recording it all is idealistic second-year history teacher Kaytee Mahoney, whose anonymous blog gains new readers by the day as it drifts ever further from her in-class reality. And this year, a new superintendent is determined to leave his own mark on the school—even if that means shutting the whole place down.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny and sexism
  • Classim
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Slut-shaming
  • Body-shaming
  • Victim blaming
  • Child sexual assault
  • Statutory rape
  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Verbal abuse
  • Workplace harassment
  • Estrangement
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Abortion
  • Physical injuries
  • Poverty themes
  • White supremacy
  • Blackmail
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People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

People Kil People by Ellen Hopkins

A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?

One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy
  • Rape & attempted rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Depression
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Gun violence (theme)
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