Activism Books For Teens

In honor of a commemorative week of social and political events, check out these activism books for teens!

Over the summer, millions of people marched and protested in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Among various social justice and activist groups, youth have been at the forefront of these efforts to march against systematic racism and inequality. Many Bay Area youth groups led and organized these protests themselves and  expressed their voices on various media channels and publications, as well as on the streets

Martin Luther King Jr Day, the presidential inauguration and the Women’s March mark a week of change and hope for a progressive new chapter. You might have voted in this last presidential election but if you weren’t old enough to participate, it doesn’t mean you cannot use your voice and enact change. Here is a list of books on social political justice to read if you have just started your activism journey, as well as books on youth-led movements.

“Youth is not an embodiment of age but of attitude—a willingness to risk for what’s right” (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)  

Say Her Name: Poems to Empower by Zetta Elliott

A collection of 49 poems written for victims of police brutality and prominent activists of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.

Steal this Country: A Handbook For Resistance, Persistence, and Fixing Almost Anything by Alexandra Styron

A step-by-step guide for teens wishing to organize, march and rally to create change.

How I Resist: Activism and Hope For A New Generation by Maureen Johnson

Essays about activism and hope contributed by top artists in their fields.

Stonewall Riots: Coming Out in the Streets by Gayle E. Pitman

Details the historical events leading up to the historic riots, which ignited a movement and paved the way for equality for the LGBTQI community.


From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation By Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

An introduction to the movement and its interrogation of structural inequalities in the forms of police and mass incarceration.

When We Fight We Win by Greg Jobin-Leeds

#BlackLiveMatter, Same-Sex Marriage, The DREAM Act and Occupy Wall-Street are some of the movements detailed in this narrative, complete with interviews from prominent leaders shown alongside art work and color photos.

Why I March: Images From the Women’s March by Samantha Weiner

Pictures from the Women’s March which brought together activists groups from all over the nation to march in solidarity against the 2016 presidential election results and inauguration.

Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement by The March For Our Lives Founders

Details the creation of The March For Our Lives Foundation after the Parkland, Florida school shooting. Essays and oral histories from the teens who sparked a movement.

Enough is Enough: How Students Can Join the Fight For Gun Safety by Michelle Roehm McCann

A young activists’ handbook for teens wanting to join the fight for gun safety.

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleischman

Examines different environmental conflicts and how to approach headlines and information provided by media in order to be informed.


Rad American History A-Z : Movements That Demonstrate The Power of the People by Kate Schatz

This refreshing alphabet book highlights social/progressive movements that aren’t taught in the general history class. Each letter in alphabet focuses on a specific movement in history.

What Are My Rights: Q&A About Teens and the Law by Thomas A. Jacobs

100 legal questions and answers for teens with detailed explanations on legal rights.

Take the Mic: Fictional Stories of Every Day Resistance by Bethany C. Morrow

An anthology of short stories showing teens resisting power in different ways.