Back to top

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

In this book list: 

Non-fiction Titles | Graphic Novels | Fiction Titles

Non-Fiction Titles

Cover of Into the Streets: A Young

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

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

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:
Aurelia Durand

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

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

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?:

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

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 How to Change Everything:
Naomi Klein and adapted by
Rebecca Stefoff

Full of empowering stories of young leaders all over the world, this information-packed book offers readers a comprehensive look at the state of the climate today and how we got here, while also providing the tools they need to join this fight to protect and reshape the planet they will inherit.

Cover of Rise Up!: How You Can Join
Crystal Marie

This explores the roots of racism and its legacy in modern day, all while empowering young people with actionable ways they can help foster a better world and become antiracists.

Cover of Say Her Name
Loveis Wise

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

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…

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.

Cover of Art of Protest: Creating,

Discover the power of words and images in this thought-provoking look at protest art by highly acclaimed artivist De Nichols.

Graphic Novels

Cover of Act

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
A. D’Amico

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

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

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

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

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

Cover of If I Go Missing

Derived from excerpts of a letter that went viral and also the basis of a documentary film. In her letter, Jonnie calls out the authorities for neglecting to immediately investigate missing Indigenous people and urges them to not treat her as the Indigenous person she is proud to be if she were to be reported missing. Through the illustrations, the artist imagines a situation in which a young Indigenous woman does disappear, portraying the reaction of her community, her friends, the police, and media.

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

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
Kevin Pyle, Sabrina Jones, and Susan Willmarth

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.
George O'Connor

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

Cover of What Makes Girls Sick and
de Pesloüan
Geneviève Darling

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

Fiction Titles

Cover of The Assignment

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

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 I Rise

A heartbreaking and powerful novel about racism and social justice as fourteen-year-old Ayo has to decide whether to take on her mother's activist role when her mom is shot by police. 

Cover of Internment

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 Kneel

When his best friend is unfairly arrested and kicked off the football team, Rus faces an impossible choice: speak up or live in fear. This fearless debut novel explores racism, injustice, and self-expression through the story of a promising Black football star in Louisiana.

Cover of Look

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 One of the Good Ones
Maika Moulite and
Maritza Moulite

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

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

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 Survive the Dome

A high school junior teams up with a hacker during a police brutality protest to shut down a device that creates an impenetrable dome around Baltimore that is keeping the residents in and information from going out.

Cover of Take the Mic
Bethany C.
Morrow (editor)

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

Cover of This Time Will Be Differen

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

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 You Truly Assumed

After a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.