It's March, which means that it's Women's History Month once again. And while I firmly believe that the time is always right to lift up the voices of women — and especially women of color — it only makes sense to make them and their stories a priority on our reading list this month in particular. This list of 17 March book releases are all written by WOC and cross a wide array of genres in both adult and young adult fiction and nonfiction, so there is sure to be something for every reader out there.
Whether you're into tales of teenage assassins, motorcycle gangs, alien invasions, magical gingerbread bakers, or Beyoncé, the books below all have one major thing in common: They're written by a diverse group of women, with many centering the crucial stories of women, too. From, The Everlasting Rose, the highly anticipated sequel to Dhonielle Clayton's YA fantasy The Belles, to T Kira Madden's stunning memoir debut The Tribe of Fatherless Girls, these books are sure to be some of the year's most-talked-about releases far beyond March. Get a jump on some of 2019's best books and prioritize diverse stories? Yeah, that sounds like the ideal March reading list to me:
'A Woman Is No Man' by Etaf Rum (March 5)
Eighteen-year-old Deya does not want to get married, but her grandparents insist she start to meet with suitors. History is repeating itself: Deya’s late mother, Isra, also had no choice but to marry when she left Palestine as a teenager. As the narrative alternates between Deya and Isra, dark secrets are revealed.
'The Shadow Glass' by Rin Chupeco (March 5)
In this finale to The Bone Witch trilogy, Tea's quest to conjure a shadowglass — to achieve immortality for the one person she loves most in the world — threatens to consume her heart.
'Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls' by T Kira Madden (March 5)
T Kira Madden makes her debut with this raw coming-of-age memoir that follows her years as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the cult-like privilege and racial disparities of Boca Raton, Florida.
'The Everlasting Rose' by Dhonielle Clayton (March 5)
In this sequel to The Belles, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte.
'Mahimata' by Rati Mehrotra (March 5)
Kyra, a young female assassin, must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this sequel to Markswoman.
'Gingerbread' by Helen Oyeyemi (March 5)
Inspired by the mystical place that gingerbread holds in classic children's fairytales, this book follows the Lee family, and mixes magic with the very mortal themes of mothers and daughters, legacy and ambition.
'Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter' by Veronica Chambers (March 5)
In this anthology edited by Veronica Chambers, the woman behind The Meaning of Michelle, various writers and creators including Lena Waithe and Brittney Cooper examine the impact of the pop culture phenomenon that is Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.
'Dealing in Dreams' by Lilliam Rivera (March 5)
Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City, but when she begins to wish for a different life she must prove her loyalty to the city's benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang called the Ashé Ryders.
'The Last 8' by Laura Pohl (March 5)
Clover Martinez has just survived an alien invasion when she learns that there are other survivors — and that they're all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she's greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth. Only they aren't the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting.
'The True Queen' by Zen Cho (March 12)
When sisters Muna and Sakti wake up on the island of Janda Baik, they don't remember that they have been cursed. But as Sakti slowly starts to fade away, Muna must travel to distant Britain, where the Sorceress Royal has established an academy to train women in magic.
'Internment' by Samira Ahmed (March 19)
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, Internment follows Layla Amin and her parents after they are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of others also trapped within the internment camp, Layla leads a revolution for freedom.
'Queenie' by Candice Carty-Williams (March 19)
Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places, forcing her to reckon with her past, present and future.
'The Weight of the Stars' by K. Ancrum (March 19)
Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl like her. But when she meets Alexandria, a loner whose mother is an astronaut on a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system, they form an unexpected connection that could help Ryann achieve her dreams.
'The Universal Laws of Marco' by Carmen Rodrigues (March 19)
In the summer before eighth grade, Marco Suarez kissed his best friend Sally Blake. Since then, whenever he thinks about that moment, he travels through a wormhole — of sorts — to relive those brief seconds. As Marco navigates the final days of high school, he learns that a first spark is hard to ignore.
'The Other Americans' by Laila Lalami (March 26)
Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui was killed by a speeding car while walking across the street. His death brings together a cast of characters, that includes Guerraoui’s daughter Nora, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward, and the murdered man himself.
'The Old Drift' by Namwali Serpell (March 26)
On the banks of the Zambezi River, a few miles from the majestic Victoria Falls, there was once a colonial settlement called The Old Drift. That is the setting of this epic story of a small African nation and its generations of people.
'Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations' by Mira Jacob (March 26)
Her six-year-old son's questions about race, sexuality, and the 2016 U.S. presidential elections flummoxed Mira Jacob — so she wrote a memoir about the conversations they had in search of answers.