A good novel can pull a reader out of their own reality and give them time away from daily pressures. From intense psychothrillers to sweeping romance novels, books allow readers to escape into another world. World Book Day is the global holiday that occurs annually on April 23. It celebrates every moment spent reading for pleasure.

Why is World Book Day Celebrated?

World Book Day highlights the enjoyment of reading. The original purpose was to engage younger children by showing them the joy that can come from reading for pleasure.

“We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives,” said Baroness Gail Rebuck, the founder of the global celebration.

Reading for pleasure adds many benefits into people’s lives. Defined as a “cognitively enriching activity,” reading helps enhance general knowledge. A study published in the Psychological Medicine journal revealed that the earlier a child began reading for pleasure showed a positive impact on their cognitive performance scores, speech development, school academic achievement and more.

World Book Day has evolved into a celebration for all. Whether or not you are a bookworm, check out these novels to celebrate the global holiday.


“The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health” by Rheeda Walker

Rheeda Walker’s “The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health” is an exploration into the Black mental health crisis in today’s world. This book serves as a mental health road map for Black people, as they navigate an unequal system. The ultimate goal with this self-help book is to identify the forces that have undermined mental health progress, while helping the community heal from psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization.

Financial Literacy

“Get Good With Money” by Tiffany Aliche

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Tiffany Aliche was a successful pre-school teacher before the recession and a shady financial advisor put her out of a job and in a financial hole. While she worked to get her life back on track, the silver lining to this hard time was taking form. In “Get Good With Money,” Aliche details her 10-step formula to attaining both financial security and peace of mind. The financial literacy book teachers readers how to achieve financial wholeness, complete with helpful checklists, worksheets, a tool kit of resources, and advanced advice from experts.

Adult Romance

“Before I Let Go” by Kennedy Ryan

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Kennedy Ryan is a staple for Black readers, with her thought-provoking, swoon-worthy romance reads. Released in 2022, “Before I Let Go” follows the second-chance love story of Yasmen and Josiah Wade. The recent divorcees are finally finding their new rhythm, as co-parents and business owners. However, it’s hard to ignore the spark between them that never seems to fade away. Soon, one stolen kiss leads to another, forcing them to navigate this new space and redefine their relationship.


“Legendborn” by Tracy Deonn

Tracy Deonn places Black characters at the forefront in fantasy novels with “Legendborn.” The story follows sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews, who is grieving the loss of her mother. Running away from her grief and childhood memories, she uses a residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill as the perfect escape. Everything seems to be going well, until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus. The interaction unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection to the night her mother died.

Young Adult

“On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’ “On The Come Up” is a love letter to hip-hop. Sixteen-year-old Bri has dreams of becoming one of the greatest rappers of all time. Bri carries a lot of pressure on her shoulders. She is the daughter of an underground hip-hop legend who died before he rose to fame. In addition, racism, societal labels and other personal issues causes the younger rapper to pour all her frustrations into her first song. Her first single goes viral for all the wrong reasons. When Bri finds herself at the center of controversy, she has to rediscover her own, true voice.

Speculative Fiction

“Delicious Monsters” by Liselle Sambury

Described by the School Library Journal as “genuinely terrifying,” Liselle Sambury’s psychological thriller follows two teen girls, who are navigating the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart. Daisy can see dead people, which is an unwanted ability that she has learned to manage. After being unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend, she escapes to a mansion in northern Ontario that her mother inherited. She quickly realizes that her experience with the supernatural is no match for her mother’s secrets and what lurks within the walls. A decade later, Brittney investigates the mansion to expose her mother’s lies. As she gets wrapped into the investigation, she has to decide which story should be brought to life — Daisy’s or her own.

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