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Activism Books for Teens - Non-fiction, Graphic Novels, and Fiction Titles

“Do it! What are you waiting on? Do it! Stand up for what you believe in. The world needs your voice. Whoever you are, you have something to say. Say it." -Kerry Washington

Non-Fiction Titles

Cover of Into the Streets: A Young
Marke
Bieschke
2020

People can make their voices heard in hundreds of different ways. This is a visual voyage of resistance through American history. Discover the artwork, music, fashion, and creativity of the activists. Meet the leaders of the movements, and learn about the protests that helped to shape the United States from all sides of the political spectrum.

Cover of Pride: The Celebration and
Robin
Stevenson
2020

This revised, updated and expanded edition celebrates the LGBTQ+ community's diversity, the incredible victories of the past fifty years and the voices of young activists.

Cover of We Will Always Be Here: A
Jenny Kalvaitis and
Kristen Whitson
2021

We Will Always Be Here shines a light on powerful and often untold stories from Wisconsin's history, featuring individuals across a wide spectrum of identities and from all corners of the state. Drawing from a rich collection of primary sources--including diary entries, love letters, zines, advertisements, oral histories, and more--the book provides a jumping-off point for readers who are interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ history and activism.

Cover of This Book is Anti-Racist:
Tiffany
Jewell
Aurelia Durand
2020

Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? Learn about social identities, the history of racism and resistance against it, and how you can use your anti-racist lens and voice to move the world toward equity and liberation.

Cover of From a Whisper to a Rallyi
Paula
Yoo
2021

A compelling account of the killing of Vincent Chin, the verdicts that took the Asian American community to the streets in protest, and the groundbreaking civil rights trial that followed.

Cover of Poisoned Water: How the Ci
Candy J. Cooper and
Marc Aronson
2020

Poisoned Water shows not just how the crisis unfolded in 2014, but also the history of racism and segregation that led up to it, the beliefs and attitudes that fueled it, and how the people of Flint fought--and are still fighting--for clean water and healthy lives.

Cover of You Call This Democracy?:
Elizabeth
Rusch
2020

The power to change lies with the citizens of this great country--especially teens! Each chapter breaks down a different problem plaguing American democracy, exploring how it's undemocratic, offering possible solutions (with examples of real-life teens who have already started working toward them), and suggesting ways to effect change.

Cover of Enough is Enough: How Stud
Michelle Roehm
McCann
2019

Enough Is Enough is a call to action for teens ready to lend their voices to the gun violence prevention movement. This handbook deftly explains America's gun violence issues--myths and facts, causes and perpetrators, solutions and change-makers--and provides a road map for effective activism.

Cover of Imaginary Borders
Xiuhtezcatl
Martinez
Ashley Lukashevsky
2020

In this personal, moving essay, environmental activist and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez uses his art and his activism to show that climate change is a human issue that can't be ignored.

Cover of Wolf Girl: Finding Myself
Doniga
Markegard
2020

Doniga's journey began from the wilderness immersion school where she was taught by Indigenous elders and wildlife trackers, to hitchhiking across the Pacific Northwest, to Alaska, where she fell in love with tracking wolves.These experiences shaped and inspired Doniga to become the leader in today’s regenerative agricultural movement.

Cover of Say Her Name
Zetta
Elliott
Loveis Wise
2020

Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as Black Lives Matter activists.

Cover of Shout: A Poetry Memoir
Laurie Halse
Anderson
2019

Inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel "Speak" was first published in 1999, bestselling author Anderson presents a poetic memoir in which she shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she's never written about before.

Cover of Feminism Is…
Alexandra
Black
2019

Today's feminism is more diverse than ever before and asks all kinds of questions. Combining insightful text with graphic illustrations, this tackles topics including intersectionality, the gender pay gap, the male gaze, and mansplaining.

Graphic Novels

Cover of Act
Kayla
Miller
2020

Olive is excited to start sixth grade: new teachers, new experiences, and a field trip to the big city with her best buds! But when Olive finds out that a school policy is keeping some kids from going on the trip, she decides to act. 

Cover of Amazons, Abolitionists, an
Mikki
Kendall
A. D’Amico
2019

This covers the key figures and events that have advanced women's rights from antiquity to the modern era. Stories of notable women throughout history-from queens and freedom fighters to warriors and spies-and the progressive movements led by women that have shaped history. 

Cover of Banned Book Club
Hyun Sook Kim and
Ryan Estrada
Hyung Ko
2020

Hyun Sook Kim shares a dramatic autobiography about political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading.

Cover of Climate Changed: A Persona
Philippe
Squarzoni
2014

What are the causes and consequences of climate change? When the scale is so big, can an individual make any difference? Documentary, diary, and masterwork graphic novel, this looks at our planet and how we live on it and explains what global warming is all about.

Cover of Fault Lines in the Constit
Cythnia Levinson and
Sanford Levinson
Ally Schwed
2020

With colorful art, compelling discourse, and true stories from America's past and present, this sheds light on how today's political struggles have their origins in the decisions of our Founding Fathers.

Cover of Go With the Flow
Karen Schneemann and
Lily Williams
2020

High school students embark on a crash course of friendship, female empowerment, and women's health issues.

Cover of March: Book One
John Lewis and
Andrew Aydin
Nate Powell
2013

Part of the graphic novel trilogy based on the life of civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis.

Cover of The Real Cost of Prisons C
Lois
Ahrens
Kevin Pyle, Sabrina Jones, and Susan Willmarth
2008

This book provides a crash course in what drives mass incarceration, the human and community costs, and how to stop the numbers from going even higher.

Cover of Unrig: How to Fix Our Brok
Daniel G.
Newman
George O'Connor
2020

An intriguing and accessible graphic novel about the role wealth and influence play in American democracy.

Cover of What Makes Girls Sick and
Lucile
de Pesloüan
Geneviève Darling
2019

A feminist manifesto exposing the everyday sexism that teenage girls face.

Fiction Titles

Cover of The Assignment
Liza
Wiemer
2020

Standing in opposition to a class assignment to debate Hitler's Final Solution, seniors Cade and Logan become embroiled in turmoil involving their teacher, principal, Commissioner of Education, white supremacists, and their entire community.

Cover of The Awakening of Malcolm X
Iilysah Shabazz and
Tiffany D. Jackson
2021

A powerful fictionalized account of Malcolm X's adolescent years in jail written by his daughter along with 2019 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe award-winning author.

Cover of Dress Coded
Carrie
Firestone
2020

An eighth grader starts a podcast to protest the unfair dress code enforcement at her middle school and sparks a rebellion.

Cover of Internment
Samira
Ahmed
2019

In a terrifying, futuristic United Sates, Muslim Americans are forced into internment camps, and 17-year-old Layla Amin must lead a revolution against complicit silence.

Cover of Look
Zan
Romanoff
2020

While falling in love with the mysterious Cass, Lulu sheds her carefully crafted social media persona and takes ownership of who she is in this feminist, queer coming-of-age story.

Cover of Moxie
Jennifer
Mathieu
2017

In a small Texas town where high school football reigns supreme, Viv, sixteen, starts a feminist revolution using anonymously-written zines.

Cover of One of the Good Ones
Maika Moulite and
Maritza Moulite
2021

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her sister Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide.

Cover of Punching the Air
Ibi Zoboi and
Yusef Salaam
2020

With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth in a system designed to strip him of both.

Cover of Rise of the Red Hand
Olivia
Chadha
2021

A streetrat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia. A searing portrayal of the future of climate change in South Asia.

Cover of Take the Mic
Bethan C.
Morrow (editor)
2019

An anthology featuring fictional stories of everyday resistance in poems, prose, and art.

Cover of This Time Will Be Differen
Misa
Suguira
2019

CJ Katsuyama is perfectly happy helping her aunt at their family's flower shop. Then her mom decides to sell the shop to the family who swindled CJ's grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. A rift threatens to splinter CJ's family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.

Cover of Watch Us Rise
Reneé Watson and
Ellen Hagan
2020

Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission--they're sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. They post their work online--poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine's response to the racial microaggressions she experiences--and soon they go viral.

Cover of Yes No Maybe So
Becky Albertalli and
Aisha Saeed
2020

Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural crush of the century is another thing entirely.