The weather has reached “once I get in the house I ain’t coming back out” levels and that means you’ll need something to do indoors.
Skip the aimless scrolling on social media, and instead grab your favorite blanket and those fuzzy socks you never wear in front of bae to dive into one of these fall great reads, curated by ESSENCE’s senior entertainment editor Joi-Marie McKenzie.
Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
A brush with death inspires a computer geek to prioritize what happens IRL in this sharp and sexy read. Follow Chloe and her sexy spontaneity tutor on this fun ride.
Amazons, Abolitionists and Activists by Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico
See every side of the women a whitewashed movement left behind in this graphic novel. The work of sovereign queens, labor activists, abolitionists, and other heroes to claim control of their lives is presented through slick drawings.
Parker Looks Up by Parker Curry
The little girl who stole our hearts while staring at Michelle Obama’s official portrait is further immortalized in this children’s book. Find out what drew her to our forever first lady and where she’s shifting her gaze to next in its pages.
The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
A group of young girls trapped in bondage band together to fight against a corrupt government after one of them accidentally commits murder in this fantasy adventure. Using their individual powers to resist capture, they remind readers that freedom is worth risking everything.
The Deep by Rivers Solomon
The concept of collective memory is explored in this gripping novel where a Black woman named Yutu carries a huge burden for a tribe of discarded slave descendants. The past echoes the present as she struggles to break free from generational curses present in her psyche.
The Revisioners by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
The fragility fashioned by the sacrifices of Black bodies is confronted in this smart and spooky novel. Spanning generations, it takes a close look at the dynamics between Black and White women and asks if they can ever really be friends.
Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin
A new mother struggles to find community in this memoir. Highlighting the stark Whiteness of our society’s parenting resources and navigating the Black community’s relationship to adoption, it depicts the author’s fight to give her child the best chance possible.
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
Ten separate blocks depict the different scenes that can take place after the school bell chimes in this quick funny read. Come along on skateboarding adventures, slap boxing sessions, and conspiracy meetings. Just remember to keep an eye out for the crossing guard.
This is Only A Test by Chris-Tia Donaldson
One of the natural hair movements’ most successful entrepreneurs redefines her idea of success in this moving memoir. After battling breast cancer, corporate America, and her own fears, Donaldson is confident that she can pass any test.
Happy Hair by Mechel Renee Roe
This call-and-response style children’s book is a great option for getting kids excited about affirmations. It not only can help build their self-esteem, but it also makes for an empowering bedtime ritual.
God Save The Queens by Kathy Iandoli
A seasoned journalist reminds us that hip-hop was founded with the help of the divine feminine. Dismantling the myth of the “First Lady” requirement, this historical record highlights the women who helped shape the genre.
More Than Pretty by Erica Campbell
The Grammy-Award winning gospel singer advocates for inner beauty over aesthetics in this inspirational book. Follow her journey to doing the work that led her to inner joy.
Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o And Vashti Harrison
The harmful effects of colorism are presented through a child-friendly lens. Let your child follow along as a little girl the color of midnight learns to love herself.
A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy
A sibling rivalry turns murderous in this fantasy thriller. Set in North Africa, it features the struggle between two sisters who have no choice but to go to war with one another for the crown and their lives.
Jackpot by Nic Stone
Two unlikely partners have no choice but to confront their ideas about race, class, and privilege as they work together to claim a lottery prize in this teen novel. See if they can set their differences aside long enough to enjoy the jackpot.