Spring is almost in full swing, promising better weather and beautiful flowers heading our way, and the warmer weather brings the best time to revitalize your mind with a good book. For Women's History Month, we've selected five Black female young adult authors who have delved into fantasy and real life to tell their stories, with books like Kai Harris' What the Fireflies Knew.

"It's inspired by my own experiences as a young Black girl from Detroit who would visit her grandfather in Lansing, Michigan, during the summer. When I close my eyes, I can still see those starry night skies, can hear the cricket chirps and feel the bugs collected in my palm," the debut novelist tells EBONY. "I hope that readers will be able to feel and relate to the authenticity of the Black girlhood experience being depicted in its pages, in all its joy and trauma, wonder and pain, excitement and mundanity."

Pick up these young adult reads by African American authors for the favorite teen in your life or—better yet—treat yourself and revisit those youthful notions you felt during the formative years. It's a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon this season.

The Gilded Ones
Namina Forna (Delacorte Press, 2021)
Following the gifted young Deka as she discovers a path in life and leaves her village after it’s revealed that her blood is not red but gold, her journey is filled with challenges she’s never been able to imagine. Giving Black girls a spotlight in the world of modern fantasy, the book is perfect for those who fell in love with "Black Panther" and will leave all holding their breath until the very end.

Price: $16

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We Weren’t Looking to be Found
Stephanie Kuehn (Disney-Hyperion, 2022)
Shedding light on the struggle to recover from harm while living as a minority, Kuehn’s earnest 2022 book focuses on two teens, Dani and Camilla, who come from very different worlds. They join together during a treatment program in Georgia and attempt to solve the mystery of a former resident. The author's honest portrayal of mental health serves young readers with a story of friendship and, most importantly, a sense of hope.

Price: $18

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What the Fireflies Knew
Kai Harris (Tiny Reparations Books, 2022)
Harris’ 2022 debut release sensitively paints a picture of a Black girl growing up and facing the crossroads of family and her own identity. The novel follows preteen Kenyatta Bernice who is left to pick up the pieces of her life after her father’s overdose causes her family to fracture. Her sobering based-on-personal-events story shows the strength and courage that many young Black girls have to find to overcome the harsh realities of life.

Price: $14

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With the Fire on High
Elizabeth Acevedo (Quill Tree Books, 2021)
The award-winning author manages to inspire her young audience with a beautifully crafted story of perseverance. Bringing Afro-Latin culture into the spotlight in this passionate novel, readers follow teen mom Emoni Santiago as she learns to embrace her talent in front of the stove to make a better life for herself and her family.

Price: $12

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Nisi Shawl (Tu Books, 2023)
Teen Winna inherits an old-timey pair of spectacles that belonged to her great-aunt Estelle and discovers they have magical powers. Whatever she speculates to happen, the glasses grant her wish. Through her requests, she embarks on a journey to find out what happened to a family ancestor separated from his parents while enslaved.

Price: $20

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