The Taking of Jake Livingston
Black History Month Book Club: Audio Picks for Kids & Teens

Join in on our Black History Month celebrations with audiobooks that will enchant and educate young listeners! From non-fiction about important moments and figures of Black history to fiction with Black protagonists in worlds of magic, love, and strength, the stories on this list make a lasting impact from the moment you press play.

Jake Livingston sees dead people. But he can’t decide what’s worse: being a medium or the mercy of racist teachers as one of the few Black students at St. Clair Prep. But as things at St. Clair start looking up, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless, Sawyer Doon wants much more from Jake, and high school soon becomes a different kind of survival game in The Taking of Jake Livingston.

Author: Ibi Zoboi
Read By: Robin Miles and Ibi Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi illuminates the young life of Octavia E. Butler in poems and prose in Star Child. Born into the Space Race, the Red Scare, and the dawning Civil Rights Movement, Butler experienced an American childhood that shaped her into a groundbreaking storyteller whose novels continue to challenge and delight fifteen years after her death.

There’s no such thing as magic, especially for Koffi, who is indentured to the notorious Night Zoo. As the son of a decorated hero, Ekon is destined to become an elite warrior. But on the night of his final rite of passage, Ekon encounters a vicious monster and Koffi, who seems to have the power to ward off the beast. In Beasts of Prey, fate binds these two Black teenagers as they journey into a magical jungle.

Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata—a mermaid—collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home. But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable—she saves his life. In Skin of the Sea, danger lurks at every turn, and Simi must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures.

Author: Erica Martin
Read By: Erica Martin

In stunning verse, Erica Martin’s debut poetry collection And We Rise walks listeners through the Civil Rights Movement from the well-documented events to lesser-known figures and moments that were just as crucial to the Movement and our nation’s centuries-long fight for justice and equality.

Author: Zetta Elliott
Read By: Ron Butler

The dragons may be out of the bag, but Jaxon is ready to hatch some magic of his own in the third audiobook in the critically acclaimed Dragons in a Bag series. Ever since the baby dragons were returned to the magical realm, things have been off. Jax wants to help his friends and learn some new tricks, but so far his lessons as a witch’s apprentice haven’t seemed very useful. Where can he find the strength—and the magic—he needs?

Author: Akwaeke Emezi
Read By: Bahni Turpin

From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed Pet. After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting. But the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip her city. Bitter’s friends aren’t willing to settle for a world that’s so far away from what they deserve. Bitter isn’t sure where she belongs—in the studio or in the streets.

In the late nineteenth century, white lawmakers in the United States created a set of policies, collectively called “Jim Crow,” that created segregated facilities, like schools and parks, for African Americans in the South. But Jim Crow–type policies didn’t just affect the South. The Legacy of Jim Crow explores the details that have far too often been covered up through an anti-racist lens.

Find more audiobooks for kids, tweens, and teens on our Amplify Black Voices page.