While we were squeeing over our new books at the start of the year, we noticed a trend–graffiti. Magical murals that change before your eyes; street art as a means of self-expression or rebellion; graffiti as a mutual interest that forms the basis of a friendship–or more.
Graffiti and other forms of street art have gotten a lot of attention recently online and in the news, especially with the opening of Banksy’s Dismaland, and the public art coming out of social movements such as Black Lives Matter. Considering that, it’s not surprising that graffiti artists are showing up more in our new books. Below, we’ve rounded up some novels to get you started in this new trend, as well as a nonfiction book on street artists to get you up to speed with graffiti in the real world.
Into the Dangerous World stars Ror, who was raised in a commune by her father. When Ror’s father burns the commune down with himself inside, she ends up in Manhattan and falls in love with Trey, the leader of graffiti crew Noise Ink. Ror’s loyalties are divided between her love of street art and Trey, the wishes of her deceased father, who wanted her to study classic art, and a teacher who encourages her to go to college.
In Shadowshaper, Sierra Santiago’s summer plans involved friends, art, and hanging out in Brooklyn. But when a zombie shows up at a party, and murals start moving before her eyes, Sierra’s plans inevitably change. She discovers that her family have powers, and they can connect with the spirit world through their art. These powers, like all power, are coveted by others, and Sierra is drawn into a battle for her family, her heritage, and her life.
For Now That You’re Here‘s Danny, the job was simple: get the directions, pick up the stencils and paint, and tag the walls. But just when he realizes the directions come from an extremist group and gets in trouble with the cops, he falls into an alternate universe. In this world, his parents are dead, his friends hate him, and Eevee, the beautiful girl he remembers kissing once, is in love with quantum physics and might be his only chance of getting home.
The Street Art Book collects the words and artwork of sixty different street artists. These artists work in a variety of media, from posters to spray paint to charcoal and soot, and their reasons for creating stem from political statements and protests, to neighborhood beautification, to self-expression. This book is a great introduction into today’s street art scene.