The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]

The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]

Before the year is out, we wanted to show even more love to some of our favorite works of Black fiction.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Photo: zEdward_Indy (Shutterstock)

You know how much we love books at The Root. And from historical fiction to stunning sci-fi to colorful picture books for children, 2022 hit us with so many amazing works of fiction from Black authors. So when we were asked to put together a list of our favorites, we had plenty of great books to choose from.

If you’re looking for a good book to curl up with this holiday season, check out our favorite Black fiction from 2022. Do have a favorite you think we missed? Drop it in the comments.

Advertisement

2 / 21

“My Fade is Fresh” by Shauntay Grant

“My Fade is Fresh” by Shauntay Grant

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“My Fade is Fresh” is a new children’s book by former poet laureate for the City of Halifax, Shauntay Grant. The story follows a little girl who goes to the barbershop to have her big, bushy, brown hair cut into “the freshest fade up on the block!” But while everyone else tries to convince her to try a perm, press or cornrows instead, she sticks to the style she wants. This adorable rhyming picture book celebrates everything there is to love about Black hair.

Advertisement

3 / 21

“Who Are Your People?” by Bakari Sellers

“Who Are Your People?” by Bakari Sellers

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Bestselling author Bakari Sellers delivers an amazing love letter to family and community in “Who Are Your People?” This joyful picture book is the perfect reminder to young Black children that they come from greatness.

Advertisement

4 / 21

“Stacey’s Remarkable Books” by Stacey Abrams

“Stacey’s Remarkable Books” by Stacey Abrams

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Political leader and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams is back with another children’s picture book just in time for the holidays. “Stacey’s Remarkable Books” is an inspiring story about a young girl who shares her love of books with a classmate who has trouble reading in English. The beautiful illustrations by Kitt Thomas make this a beautiful addition to your child’s book collection.

Advertisement

5 / 21

“Little Black Boy” and “Little Black Girl” by Kirby Howell-Baptiste

“Little Black Boy” and “Little Black Girl” by Kirby Howell-Baptiste

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

If you’re looking for a great book to gift a special little boy or girl in your life, check out Kirby Howell-Baptiste’s “Little Black Boy” and “Little Black Girl.” Both picture books have a positive, empowering message that encourages young readers to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams.

Advertisement

6 / 21

“Memphis” by Tara M. Stringfellow

“Memphis” by Tara M. Stringfellow

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

The New York Times Book Review called “Memphis” “a rhapsodic hymn to Black women.” The book tells the story of Joan, a young girl who travels with her mother and younger sister to her mother’s hometown of Memphis to escape her father’s rage. While there, Joan finds relief in painting and learns more about the women in her family.

Advertisement

7 / 21

“Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilson

“Black Cake” by Charmaine Wilson

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

When Eleanor Bennett dies, she left behind a traditional Caribbean black cake for her two children. But she also left a voice recording that reveals some shocking secrets about her background that force the estranged siblings to hit the reset button on their relationship. “Black Cake” is Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel and beautiful story about love and family.

Advertisement

8 / 21

“Nightcrawling” by Leila Mottley

“Nightcrawling” by Leila Mottley

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

At 19-years-old, Leila Motley was the youngest author to have her work featured as an Oprah’s Book Club pick. And once you read her debut novel, “Nightcrawling,” you’ll understand why. The book is narrated by Kiara, a teenager who is struggling to get by in East Oakland, CA after she and her brother have dropped out of high school. Without family, she stumbles into nightcrawling to pay the bills. And things get even more complicated when she becomes a key witness in a major scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

Advertisement

9 / 21

“Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?” by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

“Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?” by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Yinka seems to have it all, an Oxford education, a good job and great friends. But at thirtysomething, her mother can’t stop asking “Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?”

Advertisement

10 / 21

“The Attic Child” by Lola Jaye

“The Attic Child” by Lola Jaye

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“The Attic Child” is the emotional story of a young African boy in the early 1900s who is sent off by his mother to be an unpaid servant to an English explorer. Although she had hoped to give him a better life, the boy spends most of his time trapped in a small attic. Decades later, another child who finds herself trapped in the same attic, discovers secrets the boy hid long before.

Advertisement

11 / 21

“Last Summer on State Street” by Toya Wolfe

“Last Summer on State Street” by Toya Wolfe

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

In Last Summer on State Street, Felicia “Fe Fe” Stevens lives with her mother and older brother in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. As her building is about to be torn down by the Chicago Housing Authority, she tries to enjoy her last summer on State Street with her best friends. But when a mysterious new friend comes into their fold, everything changes. And Fe Fe must decide who to trust and who to let go.

Advertisement

12 / 21

“Wahala” by Nikki May

“Wahala” by Nikki May

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Wahala” is a fun story about a group of three Anglo-Nigerian friends who are trying to navigate their relationships and their careers. But when a fourth woman, who is just as dangerous as she is glamorous, joins the group, everything changes.

Advertisement

13 / 21

“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Take My Hand” is a touching novel set in 1973 Montgomery, Alabama. It tells the story of Civil Townsend, a young nurse who wants to help women at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic. When she meets two patients who are 11 and 13-years-old, she forms a special connection to them and their family.

Advertisement

14 / 21

“What the Fireflies Knew” by Kai Harris

“What the Fireflies Knew” by Kai Harris

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

In “What the Fireflies Knew,” eleven-year-old KB and her sister are sent to live with their estranged grandfather after the death of their father and the loss of their family home. The siblings try to get used to their new normal and learn more about the secrets their grumpy grandfather is keeping.

Advertisement

15 / 21

“Yonder” by Jabari Asim

“Yonder” by Jabari Asim

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Cato and William are slaves who are struggling to balance the cruel reality of life on the plantation and the promise of finding love. When a visiting minister starts filling their heads with ideas about life as free people, they are forced to decide whether it’s worth following him into the unknown. “Yonder” is a beautiful work of historical fiction.

Advertisement

16 / 21

“Moon Witch, Spider King” by Marlon James

“Moon Witch, Spider King” by Marlon James

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“Moon Witch, Spider King,” the second installment of The Dark Star trilogy, continues the story of Sogolon the Moon Witch. The book delves into her century-long feud with the Aesi, chancellor to the king. If you’re looking for a story with some serious girl power, this is it.

Advertisement

17 / 21

“On Rotation” by Shirlene Obuobi

“On Rotation” by Shirlene Obuobi

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Ghanian-American, Angie Appiah is trying to please her parents by getting into medical school and snagging the perfect, successful partner. But when she fails a med school exam and gets dumped by her boyfriend, everything falls apart. As she feels her parents’ disappointment, Angie begins to question everything. On Rotation explores the struggles and expectations of the immigrant experience.

Advertisement

18 / 21

“By The Book” by Jasmine Guillory

“By The Book” by Jasmine Guillory

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

The New York Times-bestselling author of “The Wedding Date,” Jasmine Guillory, came back with another great romance in 2022. “By the Book” puts a new twist on the classic “Beauty and the Beast.” Isabelle is feeling lost and stuck in her career as an editorial assistant. As the only Black employee at her publishing house, she’s looking for a way to make a name for herself and set herself up for a promotion. When she travels to Santa Barbara to convince a reclusive writer to finish his long-awaited manuscript, something develops that neither of them could have expected.

Advertisement

19 / 21

“The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel” by Brendan Slocumb

“The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel” by Brendan Slocumb

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

Brendan Slocumb’s debut novel “The Violin Conspiracy” was a bestseller and a GMA Book Club pick when it was released in hardcover in February 2022. And this December it will be available in paperback. Slocumb tapped into his own experience as a violinist and music educator for this mystery thriller about a young Black man trying to make his way in the world of classical music.

Advertisement

20 / 21

“A Coastline in an Immeasurable Thing” by Mary-Alice Daniel

“A Coastline in an Immeasurable Thing” by Mary-Alice Daniel

Image for article titled The Best Black Fiction of 2022 for Readers of All Ages [UPDATED]
Screenshot: Amazon.com

“A Coastline is an Immeasurable Thing” is a coming-of-age memoir from Mary-Alice Daniel that tells the story of her family’s journey across three continents searching for belonging. As the story moves from Nigeria to England to the United States, Daniel writes beautifully about race, religion and identity across the Black diaspora.

Advertisement

21 / 21