100 books like Generation Brave

By Kate Alexander,

Here are 100 books that Generation Brave fans have personally recommended if you like Generation Brave. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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

Catherine Thimmesh Author Of Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World

From my list on you’ve-got-this-girl young readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m someone who believes the accomplishments of women have been glossed over for far too long. I'm passionate about sharing the stories of women and girls that the world at large still tends to ignore. It’s critical to share these stores and to give face and voice to women. Social entrepreneurship, the topic of my recent book Girls Solve Everything, has fascinated me for some time:  creative problem solving, tackling problems in our communities and the world, creating a business to find and facilitate the solution. Representation matters. I’m determined to write about and share the stories of strong, innovative, creative women and girls. Our future depends on them.

Catherine's book list on you’ve-got-this-girl young readers

Catherine Thimmesh Why did Catherine love this book?

By now, we all know the Earth needs saving. And most of us try to do our part – recycling, composting, using less plastic, etc. But it’s hardly enough...yet still, what more can we as individuals do? That question didn’t stop the young activists in Girl Warriors. These young women have Stepped Up! Over and over again, I found myself awed at the stories that included speaking at a UN Climate Change Conference (Isabella Fallahi) and organizing a Global Cleanup Day that included 27 countries (Lilly Platt). The young women profiled are not afraid to tackle large, seemingly insurmountable problems if it means saving the Earth. I loved how in-depth the profiles went on the various actions being undertaken. If they can do it, why not me? Or you?

By Rachel Sarah,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Girl Warriors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"It gives me true hope to read about the phenomenal young women of Girl Warriors. Their fierce commitment to the future of our precious planet is as inspiring as it is vital." —Kate Schatz, New York Times bestselling author of Rad American Women A-Z and Rad Women Worldwide 

2021 Skipping Stones Honors Book in Nature and Ecology

Girl Warriors: How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earthtells the stories of 25 climate leaders under age 25.They've led hundreds of thousands of people in climate strikes, founded non-profits, given TED talks, and sued their governments. These young eco-activistspresenta hopeful picture of…


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

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

From my list on anthologies for young activists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I’ve found that learning about other writers and their processes helps me. Over the years, I’ve devoured the memoirs and letters of writers like Madeleine L’Engle, Audre Lorde, and Zora Neal Hurston. In 2006, when I started a writing program for young people in my city, I brought these writers’ words to use as writing prompts. When I researched my book, Mightier Than the Sword, I read dozens of anthologies to find people who used writing to make a difference in their fields—science, art, politics, music, and sports. I will always be grateful for those anthologies—because they broadened my knowledge and introduced me to so many interesting people.

Rochelle's book list on anthologies for young activists

Rochelle Melander Why did Rochelle love 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! 

By Aileen Weintraub, Sarah Green (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Got Game! 35 Female Athletes Who Changed the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Do you play sports? Maybe you dream about scoring a goal on the soccer field or hitting a home run in baseball. Perhaps you're thinking about trying a new sport, but you're still not sure.

In We Got Game you'll meet thirty-five female athletes who played hard, broke records, and inspired girls around the world. Some of these athletes have retired. Others are still competing. But they have one thing in common: they all got game! You'll read about the first woman horse jockey to compete in the Kentucky Derby, the number one tennis player in the world, a surfer…


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

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

From my list on anthologies for young activists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I’ve found that learning about other writers and their processes helps me. Over the years, I’ve devoured the memoirs and letters of writers like Madeleine L’Engle, Audre Lorde, and Zora Neal Hurston. In 2006, when I started a writing program for young people in my city, I brought these writers’ words to use as writing prompts. When I researched my book, Mightier Than the Sword, I read dozens of anthologies to find people who used writing to make a difference in their fields—science, art, politics, music, and sports. I will always be grateful for those anthologies—because they broadened my knowledge and introduced me to so many interesting people.

Rochelle's book list on anthologies for young activists

Rochelle Melander Why did Rochelle love 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.

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

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shaking Things Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

"Each poem and illustration shines with a personality all its own." -Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"This book has definitely made an impact on my life." -Kitt Shapiro, daughter of Eartha Kitt

Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women-each paired with a noteworthy female artist-to the next generation of activists, trailblazers, and rabble-rousers.

From the award-winning author of Ada's Violin and Lifeboat 12, Susan Hood, this is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history.

In this book of poems, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric…


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

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

From my list on anthologies for young activists.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer, I’ve found that learning about other writers and their processes helps me. Over the years, I’ve devoured the memoirs and letters of writers like Madeleine L’Engle, Audre Lorde, and Zora Neal Hurston. In 2006, when I started a writing program for young people in my city, I brought these writers’ words to use as writing prompts. When I researched my book, Mightier Than the Sword, I read dozens of anthologies to find people who used writing to make a difference in their fields—science, art, politics, music, and sports. I will always be grateful for those anthologies—because they broadened my knowledge and introduced me to so many interesting people.

Rochelle's book list on anthologies for young activists

Rochelle Melander Why did Rochelle love 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.

By Blair Imani, Monique Le (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Modern HERstory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An inspiring and radical celebration of 70 women, girls, and nonbinary people who have changed—and are still changing—the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond.

With a radical and inclusive approach to history, Modern HERstory profiles and celebrates seventy women and nonbinary champions of progressive social change in a bold, colorful, illustrated format for all ages. Despite making huge contributions to the liberation movements of the last century and today, all of these trailblazers come from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally overlooked and under-celebrated: not just women, but people of color,…


Book cover of Malala: Activist for Girls' Education

Anne Broyles Author Of Priscilla and the Hollyhocks

From my list on real-life children who overcame hardships.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since I read Island of the Blue Dolphins in 5th grade I’ve loved historical fiction. I am inspired by amazing humans who lived across centuries and around the globe and left their mark on the world. My 2023 book I’m Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People is about a social activist artist. Future published books include middle grade novels on the 1838 Trail of Tears, a day on Ellis Island in 1907, and a 1935 book about Eleanor Roosevelt and the planned community of Arthurdale, WV. Like I said, I love exploring history! I read in many genres, but still enjoy learning about history through fiction.

Anne's book list on real-life children who overcame hardships

Anne Broyles Why did Anne love this book?

Malala Yousafzai inspires me because she never lost sight of the importance of education and continues to work for justice in the world. Malala was a young student in Pakistan when the Taliban took over her nation and prohibited girls from going to school. Malala spoke out against Taliban actions, advocating for universal education. That was enough to make the Taliban afraid of her. They tried to kill her; she almost died in the attempted assassination. That would have caused many people to retreat in fear, but not Malala. Once she recovered, she became an even more outspoken activist for female education and won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. 

By Raphaële Frier, Aurélia Fronty (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Malala as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

"A realistic and inspiring look at Malala Yousafzai's childhood in Taliban-controlled Pakistan and her struggle to ensure education for girls" — Kirkus Reviews

Malala Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and fought for the right for all girls to receive an education. When she was just fifteen-years old, the Taliban attempted to kill Malala, but even this did not stop her activism. At age eighteen Malala became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ensure the education of all children around the world.

Malala’s courage and conviction will inspire young readers in this…


Book cover of A Spy in the Struggle

Sim Kern Author Of Depart, Depart!

From my list on transforming climate grief into climate action.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been panicking about environmental destruction ever since a fateful day in eighth grade, when I stayed home with the flu binge-watching Animal Planet, realizing that every ecosystem on earth was in decline. In college, unable to hack it as an environmental scientist, I switched majors to writing, and now I tell stories to try and help the planet. I’m an environmental journalist for One Breath Houston, covering the racist, illegal polluting of the petrochemical industry in Houston, Texas. I’m also a climate fiction author, and my debut novella, Depart, Depart! was an Otherwise Award Honor List book. The first installment in my YA cli-fi trilogy Seeds for the Swarm is forthcoming from Stelliform Press in Fall 2022.

Sim's book list on transforming climate grief into climate action

Sim Kern Why did Sim love this book?

At this point in the reading list, hopefully, you’re feeling more grounded in your climate grief and energized to fight for what’s left of the natural world. A Spy in the Struggle is a fast-paced novel about activism at the intersection of racial and environmental justice. Yolanda Vance is a ruthless, capitalist FBI agent who infiltrates a Black activist group organizing against a biotech corporation that’s poisoning their neighborhood. 

By making the protagonist start off as an enemy of the climate movement, De León demonstrates the kinds of experiences and messaging that can win over new allies. This book also centers the Black communities that are doing some of the most critical organizing against environmental racism in the U.S. and reveals the interconnectedness between police brutality, racial capitalism, and the climate crisis. In most cities in the U.S., you’ll find communities of color organizing against environmental racism, and I hope…

By Aya de Leon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Spy in the Struggle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Washington Post Featured Thriller That Will Have You On The Edge Of Your Seat
Bustle's Most Anticipated Reads for December
An Amazon Best of the Month Selection
Book Riot Featured Hispanic Heritage Month Book
CrimeReads Most Anticipated Crime Books of Fall 2020
Novel Suspects Featured December New Release

"A passionately felt stand-alone with an affecting personal story at its center." - The Washington Post

Winner of the International Latino Book Award, Aya de Leon, returns with a thrilling and timely story of feminism, climate, and corporate justice--as one successful lawyer must decide whether to put everything on the line…


Book cover of Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok

Shane Strate Author Of The Lost Territories: Thailand's History of National Humiliation

From my list on how states manipulate historical memory.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a teacher and historian, I’m interested in the collision of cultures that resulted from western intervention in Asia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For young Asian nationalists, historical writing was a weapon to be wielded in the fight against imperialism. It is equally important for us to understand the forces that shape our collective memories and to recognize that historians don’t just uncover the past—they produce it. 

Shane's book list on how states manipulate historical memory

Shane Strate Why did Shane love this book?

What happens when a society is unwilling to acknowledge acts of barbarism in its past? In 1976, while leading a student protest at Thammasat University, Thongchai Winichakul watched in horror as government forces and rightist elements stormed the campus, killing over eighty of his fellow students and committing unspeakable acts on the living and the dead. He wrote this book to help process memories of an atrocity that took the lives of his friends and haunted his career as a Thai historian. To this day, the Thammasat massacre is marked only by silence from official sources. As a result, Thongchai observes that Thai society is trapped in a state of ‘unforgetting,’ unable to either remember or forget the trauma.

By Thongchai Winichakul,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moments of Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The massacre on October 6, 1976, in Bangkok was brutal and violent, its savagery unprecedented in modern Thai history. Four decades later there has been no investigation into the atrocity; information remains limited, the truth unknown. There has been no collective coming to terms with what happened or who is responsible. Thai society still refuses to confront this dark page in its history.

Moments of Silence focuses on the silence that surrounds the October 6 massacre. Silence, the book argues, is not forgetting. Rather it signals an inability to forget or remember-or to articulate a socially meaningful memory. It is…


Book cover of Eleanor

Maurine Beasley Author Of Eleanor Roosevelt: Transformative First Lady

From my list on Eleanor Roosevelt and her world.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been intrigued by Eleanor Roosevelt since I was a little girl in Sedalia, Missouri, and my mother read me Eleanor's "My Day" columns in the Kansas City Star. Mother would look up and say, "I'm sure she is better than he is," referring, of course, to Eleanor being better than Franklin. My family was rock-ribbed Republican and disapproved of Franklin's policies. I wondered then—and still do—why my mother and other women of her era had so much reverence for Eleanor. I have been looking for the answer ever since.

Maurine's book list on Eleanor Roosevelt and her world

Maurine Beasley Why did Maurine love this book?

Endeavors to tell in one volume the story of an American icon, integrating her personal and public lives. This work offers an introduction to her many public roles—as a journalist, First Lady from 1933-1945, delegate to the United Nations (1945-1952), political leader, media personality—as well as her multifaceted personal life.

By David Michaelis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eleanor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller from prizewinning author David Michaelis presents a “stunning” (The Wall Street Journal) breakthrough portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt, America’s longest-serving First Lady, an avatar of democracy whose ever-expanding agency as diplomat, activist, and humanitarian made her one of the world’s most widely admired and influential women.

In the first single-volume cradle-to-grave portrait in six decades, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis delivers a stunning account of Eleanor Roosevelt’s remarkable life of transformation. An orphaned niece of President Theodore Roosevelt, she converted her Gilded Age childhood of denial and secrecy into an irreconcilable marriage with her ambitious fifth cousin…


Book cover of A Lie Too Big to Fail: The Real History of the Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

Sondra London Author Of The Making of a Serial Killer

From my list on recent true crime books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a  true-crime author. Most recently, I have released a pair of related books: The Making of a Serial Killer: 2d Ed, by Danny Rolling as told to myself; and Danny Rolling Serial Killer: Interviews. Before that, I published Good Little Soldiers: A Memoir of True Horror. Coauthored with Dianne Fitzpatrick, it relates her tale of murder & mind control under the US Army MK Ultra program. Earlier, I wrote True Vampires, an encyclopedic compendium of bloody crimes, and Knockin' on Joe: Voices from Death Row. I also collaborated with serial killer GJ Schaefer on Killer Fiction, a volume of psychopathic musings he wrote for me.

Sondra's book list on recent true crime books

Sondra London Why did Sondra love this book?

In A Lie Too Big to Fail, longtime Kennedy researcher (of both JFK and RFK) Lisa Pease lays out, in meticulous detail, how witnesses with evidence of conspiracy were silenced by the Los Angeles Police Department; how evidence was deliberately altered and, in some instances, destroyed; and how the justice system and the media failed to present the truth of the case to the public. Pease reveals how the trial was essentially a sham, and how the prosecution did not dare to follow where the evidence led.

A Lie Too Big to Fail asserts the idea that a government can never investigate itself in a crime of this magnitude. Was the convicted Sirhan Sirhan a willing participant? Or was he a mind-controlled assassin? It has fallen to independent researchers like Pease to lay out the evidence in a clear and concise manner, allowing readers to form their theories about…

By Lisa Pease,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Lie Too Big to Fail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In A Lie Too Big to Fail, longtime Kennedy researcher (of both JFK and RFK) Lisa Pease lays out, in meticulous detail, how witnesses with evidence of conspiracy were silenced by the Los Angeles Police Department; how evidence was deliberately altered and, in some instances, destroyed; and how the justice system and the media failed to present the truth of the case to the public. Pease reveals how the trial was essentially a sham, and how the prosecution did not dare to follow where the evidence led.
A Lie Too Big to Fail asserts the idea that a government can…


Book cover of Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era

Alexander Sedlmaier Author Of Protest in the Vietnam War Era

From my list on the international dimensions of the Vietnam War.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a historian and someone who grew up in Cold War Berlin, I am constantly inspired by efforts to curb the devastating effects of industrialised warfare. I love learning about people who had the courage to speak up, and how their historical understanding of the military abuse of power enables us to think differently about present-day warfare. So much of my research has been inspired by social movements and their difficult efforts to improve the world. While I am no expert on Vietnamese history, I have been fortunate to have learned a lot about how ingenious the Vietnamese revolutionaries were in actively pedalling the global emergence of Vietnam War protest. 

Alexander's book list on the international dimensions of the Vietnam War

Alexander Sedlmaier Why did Alexander love this book?

What happened when US activists travelled to Asia during the Vietnam War?

This is the question Wu seeks to answer in one of the most important books on internationalism and Vietnam War protest. She looks at how they sympathised and identified with anti-imperialist struggles in Asia, inverting an orientalist dichotomy between imperial America and decolonising Asia “whereby the decolonizing East helped to define the identities and goals of activists in the West.”

This was one of the books that first got me interested in understanding why ethnically diverse protesters responded to the Vietnam War the way they did, and how activists’ travel fostered the imagination of new political possibilities and alternative means of political articulation as they transcended ethnic and racial backgrounds.

By Judy Tzu-Chun Wu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Radicals on the Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traveling to Hanoi during the U.S. war in Vietnam was a long and dangerous undertaking. Even though a neutral commission operated the flights, the possibility of being shot down by bombers in the air and antiaircraft guns on the ground was very real. American travelers recalled landing in blackout conditions, without lights even for the runway, and upon their arrival seeking refuge immediately in bomb shelters. Despite these dangers, they felt compelled to journey to a land at war with their own country, believing that these efforts could change the political imaginaries of other members of the American citizenry and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in activists, global warming, and climate fiction?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about activists, global warming, and climate fiction.

Activists Explore 26 books about activists
Global Warming Explore 64 books about global warming
Climate Fiction Explore 45 books about climate fiction