An inspiring collection of stories about activism and social justice for children and teenagers mostly collated by independent bookstore Readings. Have a book to add to this list? Please Contact Us
A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights and everything else that activists believe in and fight for.The alliteration, rhyming and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues depicted resonate with their parents’ values of community, equality and justice. This engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future.
Part of the bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, Gandhi tells the inspiring story of this peaceful protester and father of India.
Young Dark Emu: A Truer History is a children’s version of Bruce Pascoe’s incredibly popular Dark Emu – a book that explains that Australian Aboriginals at the time of British colonisation were not only hunter gatherers, but also people who made agricultural use of their land. They were people who settled and built villages – something the British denied in order to establish their own claim over the land.This book is the perfect jumping board for families to talk about Australia’s historical treatment of our Indigenous peoples. It is full of diary entries of settlers from the time – many of which seem mind-blowingly ignorant. It’s full of ingenious ways Aboriginals worked and sustained the land for thousands and thousands of years. But more than anything, Young Dark Emu is an interesting book. After reading it, your kids will want to know more – about our land, its native fauna and flora, its people and how they fought off the Europeans. (Review by Dani Solomon)
MY FIRST LITTLE BOOK OF INTERSECTIONAL ACTIVISM is a godsend for parents looking to raise respectful, understanding and, of course, woke children. A thought-provoking and vital collection of real-life stories, it will inspire a new generation of young activists. Radical slam poet and queen of social justice Titania McGrath has turned her talents to the realm of children’s non-fiction. Aimed at activists from the age of six months to six years, Titania’s book will help cultivate a new woke generation.
From the distant past to the present moment, Kids Who Did shows kids making their mark on history; and now they’re set to change the world.
From slam poet Solli Raphael to gender equality advocate Caitlin Figueiredo, soccer star Sam Kerr and youth worker Zack Bryers, this is a book about young people, for everyone. Through activism, innovation, giving back and leading by example, these game changers are building a brighter tomorrow. Brought to life by colourful illustrations from local artists, this book showcases emerging Aussie talent and encourages readers to create positive social change.
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter…I have taken a moment to rest, but I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities.” Nelson Mandela
This inspirational book, following We Are All Born Free, contains 17 quotations about many different aspects of freedom, from the freedom to have an education to that not to be hurt or tortured, the freedom to have a home and the freedom to be yourself. All the chosen quotations are in simple words that can be understood by young children. Authors of the quotations include: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Anne Frank, the Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi and Malala Yousafzai. The book is illustrated by internationally acclaimed and award-winning illustrators, including Alexis Deacon, Chris Riddell, Ros Asquith, Jackie Morris and Shirin Adl from the UK, Barroux from France, Roger Mello from Brazil, Birgitta Sif from Iceland, aboriginal artist Sally Morgan from Australia and Mordicai Gerstein from the USA. The cover is illustrated by best-selling author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers.
Meet the little leaders. They’re brave. They’re bold. They changed the world. Featuring the true stories of 40 inspirational women creators – from writers to inventors, artists to scientists – this book is as inspirational as it is educational. Readers will meet trailblazing women such as revolutionary architect, Zaha Hadid, actor/inventor Hedy Lamarr, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, modernist painter and animator Mary Blair and physicist Chien-Shiung Wu. Some names will be familiar, some will not – but all these women had a lasting impact on their fields.
Mel Gordon loves running, and watching Seinfeld, but mostly she loves Cathy Freeman. It’s 2000 and the Olympics are going to be held in Australia. In a year of surprises, Mel finds out that Cathy Freeman is coming to talk to her school. And her family is heading to Sydney! It becomes an unforgettable journey to Corroboree 2000, bringing together all Australians as they march and sing and celebrate Australia’s Indigenous heritage and also acknowledge past wrongs.
Greta’s story is about hope, courage and determination. You are never too young to make a difference. It’s 20 August 2018, late summer in Stockholm, and it feels incredibly hot in the city. The TV news reports rising temperatures, and there have been numerous fires throughout Sweden. Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg decides she can’t wait any longer- politicians have to do something to save the environment. Instead of returning to school, Greta takes a placard and goes on strike in front of Sweden’s parliament building.
Greta’s protest began the Fridays for Future – or School Strike 4 Climate – movement, which millions have now joined around the world. Greta has spoken at COP24, the UN summit on climate change, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is her story, but also that of many other girls and boys around the world willing to fight against the indifference of the powerful for a better future.
Based on a true story from her childhood, and her inspirational life, Malala Yousafzai’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them.
Anyone – no matter how young-can make a difference! Meet 50 incredible kids who had a positive impact in their communities…and the world. From Picasso, who changed the art world forever, to Malala Yousafzai, the brave teen who was shot for advocating education for girls, the 50 kids profiled in Never Too Young! will inspire and empower young readers. Some, like Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Stevie Wonder, are prominent figures, while others are lesser known though their achievements are just as compelling. They come from a variety of historical periods and backgrounds, and have made an impact in politics, sports, the arts, science, and more. Includes: Louis Armstrong, Louis Braille, Ruby Bridges, Thandiwe Chama, Michael Chang, Nadia Comaneci, Kelvin Doe, Bobby Fisher, Anne Frank, Tavi Gevinson, Om Prakash Gurjar, S.E. Hinton, Askrit Jawal, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pele, Pablo Picasso, Pocahontas, Sacagawea, Shirley Temple, Venus and Serena Williams. Stevie Wonder, Malala Yousafzai, and more!
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 87 pages of original art, prose, essays, letters, poems, and stories, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.
The very first picture book about the remarkable and inspiring story of the Gay Pride Flag! In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride. PRAISE FOR PRIDE! Pride The Story of Harvey Milk and The Rainbow Flag beautifullyatells theahistory of both Uncle Harvey’s dream and his collaboration with Gilbert Baker to create a global symbol of equality and inclusion.
Based on her popular Instagram posts, debut author-illustrator Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African-American women who shaped history and changed the world. Illustrations.
Courage. Persistence. Heart. Soul. Wisdom. Women are changing the world and these beautifully illustrated words not only embody todays woman, but are sure to inspire women of all ages across the world.
Meet 52 icons of colour from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement – a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children’s book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.
“These accessible stories range from historical figures in all fields, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Galileo Galilei, and Nelson Mandela, to contemporary figures with strong values who set positive models of activism, such as Ai Weiwei, Jamie Oliver, or Steve Irwin. There are also individuals whose stories are more personal – dealing with gender decisions, overcoming learning or physical difficulties, or making challenging decisions”. – Janine Larson
Older kids and Teenagers
Climate change activist and Zero Hour founder Jamie Margolin offers the essential guide to changemaking for young people. Climate change activist and Zero Hour cofounder Jamie Margolin offers the essential guide to changemaking for young people. The 1963 Children’s March. The 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline protests. March for Our Lives, and School Strike for Climate. What do all these social justice movements have in common? They were led by passionate, informed, engaged young people. Jamie Margolin has been organizing and protesting since she was fourteen years old. Now the co-leader of a global climate action movement, she knows better than most how powerful a young person can be. You don’t have to be able to vote or hold positions of power to change the world.
In Youth to Power, Jamie presents the essential guide to changemaking, with advice on writing and pitching op-eds, organizing successful events and peaceful protests, time management as a student activist, utilizing social and traditional media to spread a message, and sustaining long-term action. She features interviews with prominent young activists including Tokata Iron Eyes of the #NoDAPL movement and Nupol Kiazolu of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, who give guidance on handling backlash, keeping your mental health a priority, and how to avoid getting taken advantage of. Jamie walks readers through every step of what effective, healthy, intersectional activism looks like. Young people have a lot to say, and Youth to Power will give you the tools to raise your voice.
Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women of color that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out. With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art and writting from Mahogany Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.
This book brings you Greta in her own words. Collecting her speeches that have made history across Europe, from the UN to mass street protests, No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel.
A stirring and unputdownable read about what it means to be a woman today. Perfect for fans of Moxie and The Hate U Give.
Five years on from the publication of her internationally bestselling memoir, We Are Displaced presents true stories of the refugee experience interwoven with Malala’s own story of her displacement.
A smart, contemporary, stylish and practical handbook for aspiring teen girl activists who are mad as hell about the way the world is going and aren’t gonna take it anymore.
When an unlikely teenager stands up to sexism in her high school she unwittingly starts a feminist revolution that shakes her whole town. It’s time to fight like a girl! Perfect for fans of Holly Bourne.
A forthright, honest and rousingly triumphant memoir from a woman who has to live with a highly visible different appearance due to a rare skin condition. Say hello to Carly.
Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.
You may only be one person, but you have the power to change the world. Before they were activists, they were just like you and me. From Frederick Douglass to Malala Yousafzai, Joan of Arc to John Lewis, Susan B. Anthony to Janet Mock-these remarkable figures show us what it means to take a stand and say no to injustice, even when it would be far easier to stay quiet.Resist profiles men and women who resisted tyranny, fought the odds, and stood up to bullies that threatened to harm their communities. Along with their portraits and most memorable quotes, their stories will inspire you to speak out and rise up-every single day.
What is feminism? Combining insightful text with graphic illustrations, this engaging book introduces young adult readers to a subject that should matter to everyone. Posed as a series of questions, Feminism is… tackles the most intriguing and relevant topics, such as Are all people equal?, Do boys and girls learn the same things? and Why do women earn less than men? Find out what equality for women really means, get a short history of feminism, and take a look at the issues that affect women at work, in the home, and around sex and identity. Meet, too, some great women, such as Gloria Steinem, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzi, rebel girls who refused to accept the status quo of their day and blazed a trail for others to follow. With more than 50 questions that address key feminist concerns, Feminism is… takes on the issues, is informative, and always thought-provoking.
This first-ever LGBTQ history book of its kind for young adults will appeal to fans of fun, empowering pop-culture books like Rad American Women A-Z and Notorious RBG.
A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of ‘Americanah’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, based on her 2013 TEDx Talk of the same name.
A boy. A girl. Two families. One great divide. When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides. Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values. They want to stop the boats. Mina wants to stop the hate. When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.
After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice.
Joni Seager’s award-winning The Women’s Atlas illustrates the status of women worldwide today. Through cutting-edge infographics, the atlas portrays how women are living across continents and cultures: * Gender Equality * LGBTQIA+ Rights * Literacy and Information Technology * Feminism * Domestic Violence * Work and the Global Economy * Changing Households * Motherhood * Government and Power * The Culture of Beauty, and much more. The result is the most comprehensive and accessible global analysis of key issues facing women: the advances that have been made and the distances still to be travelled.
This guidebook offers instruction and guidance to spark readers’ creativity and inspire action in their local communities. With a lighthearted approach, the authors enlighten readers on great change-makers in history, the structure of community systems, and offer fun and creative project ideas to help budding activists get started making a difference right away.
To respect yourself, to love yourself, should not have to be a radical decision. And yet it remains as challenging for an American girl to make today as it was in 1927 on the steps of the Supreme Court. It’s a decision that must be faced when you’re balancing on the tightrope of neurodivergence, finding your way as a second-generation immigrant, or facing down American racism even while loving America. And it’s the only decision when you’ve weighed society’s expectations and found them wanting. In The Radical Element, twelve of the most talented writers working in young adult literature today tell the stories of girls of all colours and creeds standing up for themselves and their beliefs – whether that means secretly learning Hebrew in early Savannah, using the family magic to pass as white in 1920s Hollywood, or singing in a feminist punk band in 1980s Boston. And they’re asking you to join them.
Acclaimed author Renee Watson offers a powerful story about a girl striving for success in a world that too often seems like it’s trying to break her.
The bestselling memoir of youngest ever NOBEL PRIZE winner, Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl who stood up to the Taliban.
Now, more than ever, young people are motivated to make a difference in a world they’re bound to inherit. They’re ready to stand up and be heard – but with much to shout about, where they do they begin? What can I do? How can I help? How I Resist is the response, and a way to start the conversation. To show readers that they are not helpless, and that anyone can be the change. A collection of essays, songs, illustrations, and interviews about activism and hope, How I Resist features an all-star group of contributors, including, John Paul Brammer, Libba Bray, Lauren Duca, Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and his husband Justin Mikita, Alex Gino, Hebh Jamal, Malinda Lo, Dylan Marron, Hamilton star Javier Munoz, Rosie O’Donnell, Junauda Petrus, Jodi Picoult, Jason Reynolds, Karuna Riazi, Maya Rupert, Dana Schwartz, Dan Sinker, Ali Stroker, Jonny Sun (aka @jonnysun), Sabaa Tahir, Shaina Taub, Daniel Watts, Jennifer Weiner, Jacqueline Woodson, and more, all edited and compiled by New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson and Lambda-winning novelist Tim Federle.
In How I Resist, readers will find hope and support through voices that are at turns personal, funny, irreverent, and instructive. Not just for a young adult audience, this incredibly impactful collection will appeal to readers of all ages who are feeling adrift and looking for guidance. How I Resist is the kind of book people will be discussing for years to come and a staple on bookshelves for generations.
Being a good citizen means standing up for what’s right–and here’s just the way to start. From the author of The Gutsy Girl, this kids’ guide to activism is the perfect book for those with a fierce sense of justice, a good sense of humour, and a big heart. This guide features change-maker tips, tons of DIY activities, and stories about the kids who have paved the way before, from famous activists like Malala Yousafzai and Claudette Colvin to the everyday young people whose habit changes triggered huge ripple effects. So make a sign, write a letter, volunteer, sit-in, or march! There are lots of tactics to choose from, and you’re never too young to change the world.
Meet Me at the Intersection is an anthology of short fiction, memoir and poetry by authors who are First Nations, People of Colour, LGBTIQA+ or living with disability. The focus of the anthology is on Australian life as seen through each author’s unique, and seldom heard, perspective. With works by Ellen van Neerven, Graham Akhurst, Kyle Lynch, Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Olivia Muscat, Mimi Lee, Jessica Walton, Kelly Gardiner, Rafeif Ismail, Yvette Walker, Amra Pajalic, Omar Sakr, Wendy Chen, Jordi Kerr, Rebecca Lim, Michelle Aung Thin and Alice Pung, this anthology is designed to challenge the dominant, homogenous story of privilege and power that rarely admits ‘outsider’ voices.
You might know the stories of Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Jazz Jennings, and Joan of Arc, but have you heard about Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee who swam a sinking boat to shore, saved twenty lives, then went on to compete as an Olympic swimmer; or Trisha Prabhu, who invented an anti-cyberbullying app at age 13; or Mary Beth Tinker, who wore an armband to school to protest the Vietnam War, which led the Supreme Court to uphold free speech rights for students? In Rad Girls Can, you’ll learn about a diverse group of girls who are living rad lives, whether excelling in male-dominated sports like boxing, rock climbing, or skateboarding; speaking out against injustice and discrimination; expressing themselves through dance, writing, and music; or advocating for girls around the world. Each profile is paired with the dynamic paper-cut art that made the authors’ first two books New York Times bestsellers. If you’re looking for ways to inspire the next generation of kids, make Rad Girls Can your new bedtime reader.
Hope is a decision, but it is a hard one to recognize in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat. To help embolden hope, here is a powerhouse collection of essays and personal stories that speak directly to teens and all YA readers. Featuring Angie Thomas, Marie Lu, Nicola Yoon, David Levithan, Libba Bray, Jason Reynolds, Renée Ahdieh, and many more!
“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.”-Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We all experience moments when we struggle to understand the state of the world, when we feel powerless and-in some cases-even hopeless. The teens of today are the caretakers of tomorrow, and yet it’s difficult for many to find joy or comfort in such a turbulent society. But in trying times, words are power. Some of today’s most influential young adult authors come together in this highly personal collection of essays and original stories that offer moments of light in the darkness, and show that hope is a decision we all can make. Like a modern day Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul or Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Teens, Hope Nation acknowledges the pain and offers words of encouragement. Authors include: Atia Abawi, Renee Ahdieh, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, Christina Diaz Gonzales, Gayle Forman, Romina Garber, I. W. Gregario, Kate Hart, Bendan Kiely, David Levithan, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Jeff Zentner, and Nicola Yoon.
An incendiary debut taking the world by storm, Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be.
Rise & Resist takes a wild trip through the new activism sweeping the world. The political march is back in a big way, as communities rally to build movements for environmental and social justice. But today’s context calls for increasingly creative strategies to make our voices heard.Crossing the globe, Clare Press meets passionate change-makers who believe in the power of the positive. From eco warriors and zero wasters to knitting nannas, introvert craftivists to intersectional feminists, they’re all up for a revolution of sorts. Are you? Join Press as she tracks the formation of a new counterculture, united by a grand purpose- to rethink how we live today to build a more sustainable tomorrow.
- Aboriginal Australians
- Activism - Autobiography_Biography
- Children's literature
- Human rights
- Social action
- Social change
- Social justice