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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.

50 Books Every Black Teen Should Read  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

2. “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

3. “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

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

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

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

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

9. “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

10. “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

11. “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

12. “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

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

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

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

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

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

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

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

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

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

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

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

18. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

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

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

20. “Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

21. “Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

22. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

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

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

24. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

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

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

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

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