A Freshman, A Poet, A Father — Three to Read

Our Three to Read picks this week celebrate Black History Month by recognizing Black stories written by Black authors for all readers.

Diversity Fiction New Release Poetry & Drama Recommendations Three To Read Young Adult

Hey, hey book lovers! Welcome back to Three to Read, where we introduce readers to the best new picks on the literary market. This week, we’re celebrating Black History Month by celebrating stories by Black authors. These novels recognize and celebrate Black lives and experiences that are likely different from those of other races. Each of these books comes from a unique perspective that reminds us that the best way we can understand lives different from our own is to learn. The best part? All of these reads are available starting today.

Hot Pick

Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman

by Kristen R. Lee



College at a top university isn’t what Savannah Howard thought it would be. After centering her whole high school life around getting into an excellent university, she can definitely say she didn’t anticipate the racist and elitist microaggressions that greeted her at Wooddale. She slowly but surely uncovers Wooddale’s racist past, feeling the need to stand up for herself and other Black students who were enchanted by the polish of the university’s brochures. But will unearthing Wooddale’s past ruin Savannah’s future?


If you love Dear White People and Grown-ish, you’re going to love this novel. If readers can learn anything from this book, they can understand the ways in which America works hard to disguise its racist past as necessity and heroism and refuse to call it what it is. But on the other end, the nation does nothing to help end racist, elitist, and sexist aggressions that still plague society. And if you’re confused by what we’re talking about because you don’t experience these obvious cracks in society, then you definitely need to pick up this book.

Coffee Shop Read

And We Rise

by Erica Martin



In her debut poetry collection, author Erica Martin explores the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. She focuses both on significant historical moments in history as well as less-known stories from prominent figures of the movement. Through powerful poetry, Martin re-introduces readers to a history they thought they knew, starting a conversation about who determines how stories are told and how we can change history both in the past and the future.


If you are looking for a quick and impactful read, Martin’s book of poetry packs a significant punch. In 160 pages, she covers a history that is significant to the Black lives. This book is recommended for anyone who fell in love with fellow poet Amanda Gorman and her new book, Call Us What We Carry. We hope this is a poetry collection that you include in your classrooms, libraries, and year-round learning.

Dark Horse

Don’t Cry For Me

by Daniel Black



Jacob is dying, and he wants nothing more than the opportunity to tell his son everything he never said. He hasn’t spoken to Isaac in years—not since he came out as gay. In one last effort to connect with his son, Jacob writes a letter that reveals hidden family secrets, history, and shame. Jacob touches on the truth about his relationship with Isaac’s mother and his ancestral line that extends all the way back to the time of slavery. He also tries to make things right with Isaac by confessing his own devastations that resulted in his harsh reaction to Isaac’s coming out, hoping to bridge the gap between father and son once and for all.


Black tells the tragic tale of a separated father and son through moving and poetic prose. He illustrates the lived experiences of Black fathers and what it means to be queer in the Black community. In doing so, he hopes to remind readers that reconciliation is possible between estranged family members and that sometimes we find the deepest, most powerful love in the darkest corners.

To read last week’s Three to Read article, click here.