At NewsOne, we believe that the child who reads is the child who leads. In keeping with that idea, we decided this summer to take a look at the state of reading for black youth.

Research has found that the proportion of young people who are daily readers drops has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to some studies, since 1984, the percentage of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers dropped from 70% to 53%. Even worse, the percentage of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers fell from 64% to a startling 40%. And the percentage of 17-year-olds who never or hardly readtripled during the same period, from 9% to 27%. It’s jarring news.

We tapped our brother and sister sites: Hello Beautiful and The Urban Daily to get the staff’s summer reading recommendations. Here are a few titles they said had an impact on them and that every black youth should read.

1. “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

“Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

2. “Moonwalk” by Michael Jackson

“Moonwalk” by Michael Jackson

3. “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

“Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

4. “Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar

“Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar

5. “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

“The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

6. “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

“Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

7. “Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead

“Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead

8. “Monster” by Walter Dean Myers

“Monster” by Walter Dean Myers

9. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

10. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

11. “When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost” by Joan Morgan

“When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost” by Joan Morgan

12. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley

13. “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

“Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

14. “Interiors: A Black Woman’s Healing…in Progress” by Iyanla Vanzant

“Interiors: A Black Woman’s Healing…in Progress” by Iyanla Vanzant

15. “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison

“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison

16. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

17. “Blues People” by Amiri Baraka

“Blues People” by Amiri Baraka

18. “Our Kind of People” by Lawrence Otis Graham

“Our Kind of People” by Lawrence Otis Graham

19. “Picking Cotton” by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

“Picking Cotton” by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

20. “What is the What” by Dave Eggers

“What is the What” by Dave Eggers

21. “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” by bell hooks

“Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” by bell hooks

22. “Soledad Brother” by George Jackson

“Soledad Brother” by George Jackson

23. “Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America” by Nathan McCall

“Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America” by Nathan McCall

24. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

25. “Good To Great” by Jim Collins

“Good To Great” by Jim Collins

26. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

27. “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

28. “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

29. “Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

30. “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

31. “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

“A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

32. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

33. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

34. “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

35. “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

36. “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

37. “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

38. “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

39. “Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

“Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

40. “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

41. “Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

42. “I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

43. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

44. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

45. “Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

46. “Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

47. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

48. “Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

49. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

50. “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

“Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

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