YOU are the future. No, but like for real, one day you are going to be the one in charge of everything: schools, hospitals, book publishing, and even the government! That’s a lot to take on, but don’t worry, you aren’t the first generation to rise up and fight for what you believe in and you’re already proving that you’re up to the task. However, it is a lot of responsibility to have a voice and use it, so here’s a few books that can help open your eyes to the fights that were fought before and how you can carry that powerful legacy into the future.
Hope Nation edited by Rose Brock
These essays and original stories from some of today’s most influential young adult authors will offer a guiding light in the darkness, and help you realize that hope is more than just a feeling – it’s a decision you make each and every day. Hope is a decision, but it is a hard one to recognize in the face of oppression, belittlement, alienation, and defeat, and these stories will help illuminate the brightness you already possess.
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough
In this beautiful and haunty novel in verse, discover your next girl-crush; Artemisia Gentileschi. This incredibly talented renaissance painter stood up against injustice and abuse from the patriarchal society of her time and went on to paint some of the most gorgeously powerful paintings you could imagine.
Still Here by Rowan Blanchard
At only 16, Rowan Blanchard is not only a TV superstar, but also one of the leading activists of her generation. In this journal, Blanchard shares her hope and aspirations with singular honesty, along with other beautiful artifacts like taped in letters, photos, and poems from her friends who inspire her, like the poet rupi kaur, photographer Gia Coppola, and writer Jenny Zhang, among others.
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
Based on her own family’s experiences as refugees, A Land of Permanent Goodbyes is a heartbreaking novel of modern survival, narrated by Destiny. Tareq and what remains of his family must flee their homes after the war finally becomes too much, and they find that when you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss.
Roses and Radicals by Susan Zimet and Todd Hasak-Lowy
It might be hard to imagine, but American women won the right to vote less than a hundred years ago! The story of women’s suffrage is epic, frustrating, and as complex as the women who fought for it. Illustrated with portraits, period cartoons, and other images, Roses and Radicals celebrates this captivating yet overlooked piece of American history and the women who made it happen.
Getting Away with Murder by Chris Crowe
This updated investigation of the before-and-aftermath of one of the most notorious hate crimes in American history is a tough but important read. Emmett Till’s murder, as well as the dramatic trial and speedy acquittal of his white murderers, is one of the darkest and most important moments in our history, but this tragic event helped to spark the civil rights movement, proving that if you struggle through the darkest days, light can be found.
Boots on the Ground by Elizabeth Partridge
Available April 10th, Boots on the Ground is an unflinching examination of the Vietnam War from all angles, told through the personal stories of eight people—six American soldiers, one American military nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee. These stories, spliced together with profiles of key leaders and events and together these create the heartbeat of Boots on the Ground. Coming Soon!
Looking for more recommendations? Here’s 5 reasons why Blood Water Paint is the feminist read you need in your life!