Top 10 YA Books by African Authors to Read

Updated: Jul 5

It is refreshing to see the catalogue of available young adult (YA) or middle grade books by independent Black and African authors expand from Accra to Nairobi to London. The books featured below are recent releases with a few yet to hit the bookshelves this year. We have selected authors that put storytelling at the heart of the book. Books should be fun and our list delivers that !


Jummy at the River School


Sabine Adeyinka


A glorious boarding school adventure set in Nigeria - a story of friendship, empathy and fighting for what you believe in.


Jummy has won a place at the River School, the finest girls' boarding school in Nigeria. Nothing can dampen her spirits, not even when she learns that her best friend Caro won't be joining her.








Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun


Tola Okogwu


Black Panther meets Percy Jackson in this action-packed and empowering middle-grade superhero series about a British-Nigerian girl who learns that her Afro hair has psychokinetic powers.


Onyeka is whisked off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari - children with superpowers - are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the Academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves caught up in an epic battle !




The Mysterious Melody


SPK Mushambi


Twins Naniso and Shinga live in England. They find each other annoying, but when it comes to the crunch, they always have each other's back. When they are both awakened in the early hours of the morning by a mysterious melody, they join forces to find the source.


With a little help from some unlikely friends, they find the origin of the sound, open a portal to their Zimbabwean heritage and begin a journey of discovery into what makes them who they are!


Available to buy here.





High-Rise Mystery


Sharna Jackson


The detective duo everyone is dying to meet! Summer in London is hot, the hottest on record, and there's been a murder in THE TRI: the high-rise home to resident-know-it-all, Nik and Norva. Who better to solve the case?


Armed with curiosity, home-turf knowledge and unlimited time - until the end of the summer holidays anyway. The first whodunnit in a new mystery series by Sharna Jackson.


Available to buy here.





Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms


Jamar J. Perry


Cameron Battle grew up reading The Book of Chidani, cherishing stories about the fabled kingdom that cut itself off from the world to save the Igbo people from danger.


The people of Chidani have been waiting for the last Descendant to return and save them. Is Cameron ready to be the hero? Inspired by West African and Igbo history and mythology, this adventure-filled fantasy introduces readers to Cameron Battle as he begins his journey to greatness.


See the review here: natakabooks.co.uk




Blood Scion


Deborah Falaye


Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.


Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.







Akata Woman


Nnedi Okorafor


From the moment Sunny Nwazue discovered she had magic flowing in her blood, she sought to understand and control her powers.


Throughout her adventures in Akata Witch and Akata Warrior, she had to navigate the balance between nearly everything in her life–America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.


Available to buy here.




Ellie and the Cat


Malorie Blackman


Ellie is the rudest, most spoilt child her grandma has ever met. So Grandma decides to teach her a lesson and switches Ellie's body with Jolly the cat's. As she starts to make friends with the other animals in the house, the mice and the spiders, Ellie starts to learn how to be a good friend.












The Merciless Ones


Namina Forna


The second book in an epic fantasy series about a girl who is the key to saving the empire--or its greatest threat.


It's been six months since Deka has freed the goddesses and discovered who she really is. There are now wars waging across the kingdom. Otereans now think jatu are traitors to the nation. Deka is called a monster.


But the real battle has only just begun and Deka must lead the charge. Deka is tasked with freeing the rest of the goddesses. Only as she begins to free them, she begins to see a strange symbol everywhere in places of worship and worn on armor.



Stuntboy in the Meantime


Jason Reynolds


A middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third!


Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!






Planet Omar: Epic Hero Flop


Zanib Mian


Welcome back to Planet Omar! The fourth book in Zanib Mian's laugh-out-loud series, with amazing cartoon-style illustrations. Perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid.


When Omar's best friend Daniel messes up at school, Omar decides to take the blame to save him from getting in trouble - which makes him feel like a hero!
















46 views0 comments