The best anthology books for young activists

Rochelle Melander Author Of Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World Through Writing
By Rochelle Melander

The Books I Picked & Why

Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World

By Kate Alexander

Book cover of Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World

Why this book?

The first generation of young people raised on the internet has faced gun violence, climate change, and a pandemic. They also understand diversity, are adept at digital platforms, and want to change the world. The inspiring stories in this book gave me the good kind of chills. These young people are marching for social justice, working to change laws, giving speeches, starting nonprofits, and more. But they need your help. After you read this, you’ll be inspired to make a difference, too.


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Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth

By Rachel Sarah

Book cover of Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth

Why this book?

Young readers will be delighted to open these pages and discover contemporary heroes from six continents across the globe. Each story shows how the young person’s unique childhood experiences—surfing, caring for animals, hiking—sparked their passion for saving the planet. I appreciated hearing about how these young activists tried to make a difference, even when they faced obstacles. I hope the stories will inspire you to look for ways to curb climate change in your community, too. The list of resource organizations will help you get started connecting to people who can help. 


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We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World

By Aileen Weintraub, Sarah Green

Book cover of We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World

Why this book?

Over the years, I’ve met many young people who are more interested in sports than social studies. I was so excited to find this book—because it helps sports-minded kids see the tremendous contribution young women have made to both sports and social change. You’ll read about how these women overcame barriers, competed in challenging circumstances, and still broke records. You will also learn how they are still making a difference in the world. These multidimensional heroes help us want to be more like them! 


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Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

By Susan Hood, Sophie Blackall, Emily Winfield Martin, Shadra Strickland, LeUyen Pham, Melissa Sweet, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Lisa Brown, Selina Alko, Hadley Hooper, Isabel Roxas, Erin Robinson, Sara Palacios

Book cover of Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World

Why this book?

This highly browsable picture book uses poems, quotes, and short bios to tell the stories of young change agents like spies Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, student Ruby Bridges, and scientist Angela Zhang. Fourteen artists illustrated the book, providing readers with an exciting new image on each page. I love this book because it’s for younger children—and they are hungry to learn about history, too.


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Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History

By Blair Imani, Monique Le

Book cover of Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History

Why this book?

This book features 70 stories of women and nonbinary people who are making a difference in the world. I was delighted by the vast array of people covered in the book, which begins with a foreword by Canadian pop duo Tegan and Sara. Teens will be excited to find leaders from every part of society profiled in the book: performers, politicians, professors, and more. I could start name dropping, but I won’t—because it’s much more fun for you to dig into the book and be surprised by how many really famous people are working hard to change the world.


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