Books By Teens

Young readers of color need to see themselves in books. Our teen tutors didn’t see enough of these books, so they created their own.

These books show what teens can do when their creative powers are unleashed. Each author is a trained and experienced literacy tutor, and they set out to create books their students would love. Ages 5 – 8.

Winner of the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize.

Every purchase supports our after-school literacy programs. For information about bulk ordering,

Airplane CoverThe Airplane Effect

Marc Gaskins, Sasha Johnson, Angelo Porter, Sean Ross

Stuck in a hospital, Vincent just wants to be able to play like a regular kid. Frustrated, he writes a note, folds it into a paper airplane, and throws it out the window. What happens when Sally finds it? Find out in The Airplane Effect. Order Now.

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 10.17.15 AMA to Z: The Real DC

Ricardo Harrell, Arveone Harris, Marques Knight, Napresha Parham, Sean Ross, Fatimah Sumpter, Neehma Wallace, Shamya Whitehead

From Anacostia to The National Zoo, eight teens give you an alphabetical tour of The District. Learn your letters and discover some of DC’s hidden gems in this photographic guide to our city. Order Now.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 2.54.57 PMThe Blue Spark

Aderemi Abosede, Taijah Evans, Makayla Sutton

Max comes from a supervillain family and enjoys causing trouble with his parents. Ronnie, who is in Max’s class at school, is a superhero who helps his parents keep the world safe. Ronnie sees something special in Max, though Max doesn’t see it himself. Will he be able to save the city and his classmate? Order Now.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 2.57.00 PMFlutterbugs: The Story of Spice & Cabbage

Artrise Edwards, Darrin Gladman, Litzi Valdivia-Cazzol

Growing up, Spice and Cabbage went to caterpillar school like the rest of their friends, but they soon learn that they might be separated when they become moths or butterflies. Though the adults tell them they’re different, Spice and Cabbage teach us that we are all the same on the inside. Order Now.

Gloomy CoverThe Gloomy Light

Joshua Alexander, Za’Metria Froneberger, Dana Jones, Kyare Turner

Ernie is a llama, and his best friend Sal, a color-changing frog. When aliens kidnap Ernie – he does, after all, have the ability to speak all animal languages – what will Sal do? Our froggy friend searches the animal kingdom for his lost best friend. But, will this story have a happy ending? Order Now.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 12.41.05 PMThe Hoodie Hero

Ashley Cooper, Daequan Golden, Rico McCard

Da’Monte walks home deflated after watching a friend get bullied. Afraid, he did nothing. Wishing he was braver, he confided in his grandmother, who provided a powerful surprise. With a magical hoodie provided by the family matriarch, Da’Monte becomes brave and bold. The bullies better watch out. Order Now.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 12.39.03 PMKhalil’s Swagtown Adventure

Za’Metria Froneberger, Kyare Turner, Litzi Valdivia-Cazzol

Khalil is tired of hearing his parents fight. As they scream, he retreats to his closet and begins writing. Beckoned by Khalil’s writing, Khalil’s future self – called Bruh – shows up to provide support. Together, they visit Swagtown and learn how families can communicate better. Order Now.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 2.59.04 PMA Little Girl in a Big, Big World

Daijha Cain, Ashley Cooper, Makayla Harris

Jasmine is frustrated by all the things she sees happening in her community. She’s just a little girl – she can’t do anything about it, right? Wrong! Jasmine, an aspiring rapper, uses her voice to shows us all that a little girl can make a big difference. Order Now.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 12.38.26 PMMariah Finds a Way

Marc Gaskins, Darrin Gladman, Makayla Sutton

Mariah really wants to take over her parents’ fruit shop one day, but they don’t think she can do it. Why? Because she’s blind. When her parents leave town, Mariah gets her hands on the keys to the store. With the help of her parrot sidekick, Blue, Mariah finds a way to get the job done. Order Now.

Lonely CamelOne Lonely Camel

Rashaan Edwards, Sejal Mobley, Daquan Smith, Zorita Workman

Swept away from his home in Egypt, and left without his family for the first time, Larry finds himself living in a zoo. Tunechi, a friendly hippo, welcomes Larry to the zoo family. A rapper, Larry overcomes his stage fright to share his story. But, how will the other zoo animals receive him? Find out in One Lonely Camel. Order Now.

Princess CoverThe Princess of Fort Hill Shelter

Karta Morris, Darne’sha Walker, Zorita Workman

Meet Princess McKenzie as she shows you around her castle (Fort Hill Shelter). McKenzie shows the power of imagination in overcoming difficult circumstances. Missing her mom, Princess McKenzie leaves the shelter in search of the queen and finds something far more important. Order Now.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 3.01.22 PMTaking Down Ms. Moody

Rochelle Jones, Destiney Mayhew, Naseem Roach

Naseem, Danny, and Lexie are forced to relocate from DC to a new planet, because their world is under construction. Even worse, they get assigned to Ms. Moody’s class. They develop a plan to take Ms. Moody down, but in the process, everyone ends up learning about how we can treat each other better. Order Now. 

Trio Plus OneTrio + 1

Jordan Campbell, Rico McCard, Brandon Smith

In this incredible story of frustration and friendship, Jordan, Rico, and Brandon share the silly things we do when feeling bad about ourselves. Bobby, the editor of the school newspaper at REACH Middle School, is jealous of a popular threesome. His plan: break up the trio. Does it work? Order Now.