Urban Literature

by Salamah Mullen
Are you looking for a book filled with plenty of drama? Then look no further than the genre urban literature. Urban literature is filled with memorable characters, authentic language, discusses the latest fashion and music trends and has loads of dramatic problems. The character’s attitude and personality may be similar to someone you know such as a close friend or adult. The problems are usually cautionary tales of how to deal with some of the issues teens go through. It is interesting to read how someone else handles a specific conflict. And of course there are always consequences if a character does the wrong thing. Never read a book all the way through? I bet you will read an urban lit novel from start to end. There is always plenty of action in this genre which makes you keep turning the pages. Some of the titles are actually part of a series so you have to read the next book to find out what happens to your favorite character. Go to your school or public library to find some of the great titles listed below.

Joseph by Sheila P. Moses
Fifteen-year-old Joseph Flood is a smart, talented young man who follows his drug and
alcohol-addicted mother into homelessness because he feels that he must protect her
from herself. Joseph worries that his new friends will discover he's homeless. He also
fears that his drug- and alcohol-addicted mother will embarrass him--again. His father,
serving in Iraq, wants custody so his son can live a stable life, but Joseph feels torn
about abandoning his mother.

You Don’t Even Know Me by Sharon G. Flake
James writes in his diary about his twin brother’s terrible secret, while Taylor explains what
it’s like to be a player with the ladies. In these and twenty-two other short stories and poems,
readers plumb the inner lives of African American teenage boys.

The Brothers Torres by Coert Voorhees
Frankie Towers has always looked up to his older brother, Steve. And with good
reason Steve is a popular senior who gets whatever he wants. Then Frankie gets
into a fistfight with John Dalton longtime nemesis of Steve's, and the
richest, preppiest kid in their New Mexican high school. After the fight, Steve
takes Frankie under his wing, But after another incident with Dalton, Steve is bent
on retaliating. Frankie starts to think that his brother is taking this respect thing
too far. Soon he'll have to make a choice between respecting his brother and
respecting himself.

4. Street Love by Walter Dean Myers
This story told in free verse is set against a background of street gangs and poverty in
Harlem in which seventeen-year-old African American Damien takes a bold step to
ensure that he and his new love will not be separated.

5. D.I.V.A.S. Series by Victoria Christopher Murray
They’re fifteen and they are fine and they want to be the hottest and hippest new girl
group to hit gospel music. First they will have to win the teen talent competition.
However with great looks, energy and voices like theirs why are they not sure they can
make it to the top?

6. Red Ridin in the Hood by Patricia Santos Marcantonio
Transport a batch of familiar stories to the American Southwest, spice them with its
wildlife plus a sprinkle of Spanish, and stir in some contemporary mores and concerns;
add dollops of humor, and season with wisdom and compassion. Yield: eleven tales
distinguished by rich humanity.

7. Teenage Bluez by K Cain
Teenage Blues is a collection of six urban fiction stories made especially for teenagers.

8. Drama High Series by L. Divine
Brimming with a sense of style and magic, Drama High introduces a fun,
brazen new series featuring a young sistah who's learning that life in the `
hood is nothing compared to life in a suburban and wealthy high school.

9. Cool Like That by Nikki Carter
Now that she's been acccepted into a summer enrichment program in New York City,
Gia knows that she's going to have the best summer ever. And best of all? Her best
friend, Ricky, is joining her so they're going to spend the entire summer together. So
when Rashad, a cutie from the summer program, starts to get his flirt on with Gia, she's
got a new crush -- and Ricky's so not cool with that.

10. Emako Blue by Brenda Woods
Monterey, Savannah, Jamal, and Eddie have never had much to do with each other until
Emako Blue shows up at chorus practice, but just as the lives of the five Los Angeles
high school students become intertwined, tragedy tears them apart