Reading Lists for Budding Student Activists​

In our current political climate, more and more students are asking questions and feeling motivated to become more politically active. In my wanderings on the web I’ve discovered several excellent lists of books for children and teens who are interested in learning more about activism and social justice. Here are a few of the best.


13 Books to Teach Children About Protesting and Activism: created by the blog Geek Mom, this list is for the picture-book set and includes everything from protesting crayons to the story of Rosa Parks.


8 Empowering Middle Grade Novels for Kids Interested in Social Justice: this list comes from Barnes & Noble and covers stories of children living under Taliban rule, going to Black Panther camp, witnessing a KKK rally, and befriending Mexican migrant workers in Vermont, among others.


Social Justice Books for Teens: curated by the Chicago Public Library, this list includes books on bullying, feminism, racial justice, and LGBTQ rights, as well as other topics.


You may have heard about the run on copies of George Orwell’s dystopian classic 1984, which many people want to read or re-read in light of current events. Other novels in this category that would be suitable for older students include Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed.


Do keep in mind that with this last list, the themes are quite disturbing and may cut too close to the bone right now for some students (or adults, for that matter).