At NewsOne, we believe that the child who reads is the child who leads. In keeping with that idea, we decided this summer to take a look at the state of reading for black youth.

Research has found that the proportion of young people who are daily readers drops has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to some studies, since 1984, the percentage of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers dropped from 70% to 53%. Even worse, the percentage of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers fell from 64% to a startling 40%. And the percentage of 17-year-olds who never or hardly readtripled during the same period, from 9% to 27%. It’s jarring news.

We tapped our brother and sister sites: Hello Beautiful and The Urban Daily to get the staff’s summer reading recommendations. Here are a few titles they said had an impact on them and that every black youth should read.

50 Books Every Black Teen Should Read  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

“Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

“Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

2. “Moonwalk” by Michael Jackson

“Moonwalk” by Michael Jackson

“Moonwalk” by Michael Jackson

3. “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

“Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

“Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

4. “Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar

“Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar

“Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar

5. “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

“The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

“The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

6. “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

“Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

“Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

7. “Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead

“Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead

“Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead

8. “Monster” by Walter Dean Myers

“Monster” by Walter Dean Myers

“Monster” by Walter Dean Myers

9. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

10. “Good To Great” by Jim Collins

“Good To Great” by Jim Collins

“Good To Great” by Jim Collins

11. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

“Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

12. “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

“Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

13. “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

“Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

14. “Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

“Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

15. “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

“A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

16. “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

“A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

“A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

17. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

18. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

“Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

19. “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

“Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

20. “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

“Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

21. “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

“Kindred” by Octavia Butler

22. “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

“Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

23. “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

“Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

24. “Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

“Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

“Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

25. “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

“If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

26. “Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

“Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

27. “I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

“I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

28. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

29. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

30. “Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

“Roots” by Alex Haley

31. “Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

“Sula” by Toni Morrison

32. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

33. “Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

“Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

34. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

“Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

35. “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

“Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

“Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell