100 books like Youth to Power

By Jamie Margolin,

Here are 100 books that Youth to Power fans have personally recommended if you like Youth to Power. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Consumed: The Need for Collective Change: Colonialism, Climate Change, and Consumerism

Tanja Hester Author Of Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change

From my list on to equip you to fight for change.

Who am I?

I have spent 20+ years working on the question of how social and environmental change happens, from my long-time career in progressive politics to my current work writing about the most pressing issues of our time through an economic lens, and occasionally talking about them on my podcast, also called Wallet Activism. So I know well how intimidating it can feel to get involved, whether it’s worrying your voice isn’t needed (trust me, it is!) or not knowing the nuts and bolts of where to start. But we have so much power when we act collectively, and I want you to feel personally invited to take action.

Tanja's book list on to equip you to fight for change

Tanja Hester Why did Tanja love this book?

My secret theory (or formerly secret, anyway) is that if books had best friends, my book's BFF would be this book. Aja and I were clearly on the same wavelength when writing our books, and there are many common threads, but Consumed takes a much deeper dive into consumerism broadly and the fashion industry specifically, tying environmental and worker exploitation concerns together seamlessly. You’ll come away with real resolve to consume much less, as well as clarity on how to push producers of goods you buy to do much, much better.

By Aja Barber,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

***

'This powerful, speaking-truth-to-power book is an essential read for everybody who wants to stop feeling clueless and helpless about the impacts of cosumerism, and start doing their part to help create a more sustainable world' - Layla Saad

'A critique on what we buy, how it's made and the systems behind it that make an unfair and broken cycle' - New York Times

'The book is a blueprint for anyone who wants to do better' - VOGUE

'SUCH integrity. Aja is no bullsh*t.' - Florence Given

'Consumed takes us through the hideously complex topic of fashion and sustainability, from…


Book cover of The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change

Monna Wong Author Of Management In a Changing World: How to Manage for Equity, Sustainability, and Results

From my list on helping managers build resilience in challenging times.

Who am I?

I’ve been a manager and leader in social justice nonprofits and campaigns for almost 15 years. A lot of my work has been in fast-paced environments with high stakes and few resources. Consequently, I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to lead effectively under less-than-ideal conditions—whether that’s because of a tough political climate, financial constraints, or supporting staff through personal crises. I know from experience that social justice leaders and managers are often called to show up as our best selves so that we can support our teams to do their best work. In order to do this, we need to build our internal reserves to lead effectively. 

Monna's book list on helping managers build resilience in challenging times

Monna Wong Why did Monna love this book?

Michelle Mijung Kim offers incredible, nuanced insights about what’s missing from many of today’s conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Many of us are well-intentioned but ill-equipped to navigate some of the tricky challenges of making social change. Kim shares concrete and accessible advice to help people tackle these challenges, using personal stories, simple definitions, and clear frameworks.

This book covers topics like the importance of understanding context, getting called out, making sacrifices for DEI, and holding trauma—all of which are crucial topics for managers to build skills around.

By Michelle MiJung Kim,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Wake Up as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As we become more aware of various social injustices in the world, many of us want to be part of the movement toward positive change. But sometimes our best intentions cause unintended harm, and we fumble. We might feel afraid to say the wrong thing and feel guilt for not doing or knowing enough. Sometimes we might engage in performative allyship rather than thoughtful solidarity, leaving those already marginalized further burdened and exhausted. The feelings of fear, insecurity, inadequacy are all too common among a wide spectrum of changemakers, and they put many at a crossroads between feeling stuck and…


Book cover of As Long as Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice, from Colonization to Standing Rock

Tanja Hester Author Of Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change

From my list on to equip you to fight for change.

Who am I?

I have spent 20+ years working on the question of how social and environmental change happens, from my long-time career in progressive politics to my current work writing about the most pressing issues of our time through an economic lens, and occasionally talking about them on my podcast, also called Wallet Activism. So I know well how intimidating it can feel to get involved, whether it’s worrying your voice isn’t needed (trust me, it is!) or not knowing the nuts and bolts of where to start. But we have so much power when we act collectively, and I want you to feel personally invited to take action.

Tanja's book list on to equip you to fight for change

Tanja Hester Why did Tanja love this book?

Sure, you can read lots of environmental books by non-Indigenous writers about the climate crisis, and some of them even offer a solution or two! But Dina’s book, which chronicles the intertwined histories of colonization against Indigenous peoples in the Americas and widespread environmental injustice, paints a much fuller picture of the problems we’re facing and their origins and offers a range of helpful models for fighting back against the entities who’ve created the climate crisis and now refuse to act to address it.

By Dina Gilio-Whitaker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked As Long as Grass Grows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The story of Native peoples’ resistance to environmental injustice and land incursions, and a call for environmentalists to learn from the Indigenous community’s rich history of activism

Through the unique lens of “Indigenized environmental justice,” Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism…


Book cover of Anti-Racist Ally: An Introduction to Activism and Action

Tanja Hester Author Of Wallet Activism: How to Use Every Dollar You Spend, Earn, and Save as a Force for Change

From my list on to equip you to fight for change.

Who am I?

I have spent 20+ years working on the question of how social and environmental change happens, from my long-time career in progressive politics to my current work writing about the most pressing issues of our time through an economic lens, and occasionally talking about them on my podcast, also called Wallet Activism. So I know well how intimidating it can feel to get involved, whether it’s worrying your voice isn’t needed (trust me, it is!) or not knowing the nuts and bolts of where to start. But we have so much power when we act collectively, and I want you to feel personally invited to take action.

Tanja's book list on to equip you to fight for change

Tanja Hester Why did Tanja love this book?

There are a bunch of great anti-racism books out there, but few are all about taking action, as Sophie’s book is. Because I’m guessing if you’ve made it this far into my recommendation list, you are already familiar with anti-racism and many of the systemic problems we must address, and just want someone to point you in the right direction to do the work. This is a great book for that! It’s short but packed with practical tips.

By Sophie Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Anti-Racist Ally as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Gives you the information you need to begin, or continue, your understanding of what it means to be a true anti-racist ally' Pippa Vosper

Do you want to be an anti-racist ally?

This punchy, pocket-sized guide shows you how, whether you're using your voice for the first time, or are looking for ways to keep the momentum and make long lasting change.

Sophie Williams' no-holds-barred posts about racism and Black Lives Matter on @officialmillennialblack have taken the online world by storm. Sharp, simple and insightful, they get to the heart of anti-racist principles and show us all how to truly…


Book cover of Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman

Amanda West Lewis Author Of Focus. Click. Wind.

From my list on making you a teenage radical.

Who am I?

I'm fascinated by the potential of teenagers. The teen years are full of passion and energy. It's a time of seeing injustice and recognizing inequality. For some young people, it becomes imperative to make the world a better place. My maternal grandparents joined the Communist Party when they were teenagers. They were deeply committed to making the world a better place, but it was a commitment that affected all of their decisions. They were saving the world—what happened with their children was of little consequence. Therefore the books on my list reflect my interest in teenage radicals, as well as the fate of children who grow up under a system of radical beliefs.

Amanda's book list on making you a teenage radical

Amanda West Lewis Why did Amanda love this book?

Cathy Wilkerson was one of The Weather Underground. She became notorious because The Weather Underground was using her father’s townhouse in Greenwich Village when a bomb was accidentally detonated, killing three people and destroyed the building.

What I love about this book is that it is by a woman in the movement. Most of the people who have written about The Weatherman and the various radical movements of the sixties are men and they are writing from a very different perspective. The women in the movement were dealing not only with their desire to end the war and overturn the government, but with pushing for a feminist revolution amongside their male comrades.

Wilkerson reflects on her radicalization as a teenager, on joining the movement, and on her struggles within the movement. The book makes dynamic reading for anyone interested in social change.

By Cathy Wikerson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Flying Close to the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flying Close to the Sun is the stunning memoir of a white middle-class girl from Connecticut who became a member of the Weather Underground, one of the most notorious groups of the 1960s. Cathy Wilkerson, who famously escaped the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion, here wrestles with the
legacy of the movement, at times finding contradictions that many others have avoided: the absence of women’s voices then, and in the retelling; the incompetence and the egos; the hundreds of bombs detonated in protest which caused little loss of life but which were also ineffective in fomenting revolution. In searching for new…


Book cover of Psychedelic Chile: Youth, Counterculture, and Politics on the Road to Socialism and Dictatorship

Eric Zolov Author Of The Walls of Santiago: Social Revolution and Political Aesthetics in Contemporary Chile

From my list on Latin American culture and politics in the 1960s-70s.

Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by the political aesthetics and political ferment of the 1960s. As someone born in the 1960s but not of the 1960’s generation, this has allowed for a certain “critical distance” in the ways I approach this period. I'm especially fascinated by the global circulation of cultural protest forms from the 1960s, what the historian Jeremy Suri called a “language of dissent.” The term Global Sixties is now used to explore this evident simultaneity of “like responses across disparate contexts,” such as finding jipis in Chile. In our book, The Walls of Santiago, we locate various examples of what we term the “afterlives” of Global Sixties protest signage. 

Eric's book list on Latin American culture and politics in the 1960s-70s

Eric Zolov Why did Eric love this book?

Vibrant countercultural scenes grounded in local rock movements transpired across virtually every country in Latin America during the 1960s-70s. There are now several important books that examine various facets of these countercultural movements, and Barr-Melej’s is one of the best in that respect. Focusing on the brief period of Socialist President Salvador Allende (1970-73), his discussion of Chilean jipis and the political battles waged by the Left to contain this so-called foreign import is fascinating. The book falls short in providing an earlier context to the rise of Chile’s countercultural movement and ends abruptly with the rise of dictatorship—a period that transformed rock music into a site of active political protest. But its merits outweigh its shortcomings, especially the lively narration about the Piedra Roja rock festival, Chile’s equivalent of Woodstock. 

I’ve known Barr-Melej for many years and eagerly awaited the publication of this book, which was one of only…

By Patrick Barr-Melej,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Patrick Barr-Melej here illuminates modern Chilean history with an unprecedented chronicle and reassessment of the sixties and seventies. During a period of tremendous political and social strife that saw the election of a Marxist president followed by the terror of a military coup in 1973, a youth-driven, transnationally connected counterculture smashed onto the scene. Contributing to a surging historiography of the era's Latin American counterculture, Barr-Melej draws on media and firsthand interviews in documenting the intertwining of youth and counterculture with discourses rooted in class and party politics. Focusing on ""hippismo"" and an esoteric movement called Poder Joven, Barr-Melej challenges…


Book cover of The Kurdish Nationalist Movements in Turkey, 1980 to 2011: Oppression, Resistance, War, Education in the Mother Tongue and Relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government

Ceren Sengül Author Of Customized Forms of Kurdishness in Turkey: State Rhetoric, Locality, and Language Use

From my list on the relationship between Turkey and Kurds.

Who am I?

I have always been interested in political and social events around me, and being from Turkey, it was inevitable not to be surrounded by the news of the conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK that has been going on for decades. However, perhaps due to being a member of the non-Muslim minority community of Turkey myself, I have always been interested in the ‘non-mainstream’ explanations of a state-ethnic group conflict. This interest in alternative explanations led me to study an MSc in Nationalism Studies and to a PhD in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, with the focus of my thesis being Kurdishness in Turkey. 

Ceren's book list on the relationship between Turkey and Kurds

Ceren Sengül Why did Ceren love this book?

This book is a very good source to understand the more recent history of the Turkish state and Kurds, up until 2011 when the book was published. 2011 is also the year when I first started my PhD, so this was actually one of the first books I read when I started my PhD, and I also reviewed this book.

The more monumental events in the recent history of Turkey such as the Ergenekon trials are explained here through their relations to the Kurdish nationalist movements.

Soner Çağaptay’s book that I have recommended above and this book can be read back to back to get an up-to-date understanding of why the relations between the Turkish state and Kurds are the way they are. 

Book cover of Darius the Great Deserves Better

Abdi Nazemian Author Of Only This Beautiful Moment

From my list on queer youth to make you laugh, cry, and grow.

Who am I?

I grew up feeling invisible in media, and absent in history. My Iranian history was hidden from me by a culture that believed shielding young people from trauma was the right thing to do, and my queer history was hidden from me by a homophobic time. I’m passionate about the power of seeing yourself represented in storytelling and in history, and have devoted much of my life to telling queer stories, and queer historical stories. As a parent, as a queer Iranian storyteller, as a passionate believer in art as a tool for empathy, these are books I think will both entertain readers and inspire them to love their fellow humans a little more.

Abdi's book list on queer youth to make you laugh, cry, and grow

Abdi Nazemian Why did Abdi love this book?

When I was growing up, there was zero queer Iranian representation to inspire me or guide me.

I felt quite literally invisible in the world, and my own mission has been to flood the world with queer Iranian stories to fill this void. Thankfully, a number of other authors are now doing the same, including Sara Farizan, Arvin Ahmadi, and Adib Khorram.

I chose the sequel to Adib’s masterful Darius the Great Deserves Better because I love how it leans into intergenerational family dynamics, which are a particular passion of mine (and of most immigrants who must work to unite the disparate parts of our histories).

By Adib Khorram,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Darius the Great Deserves Better as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Darius Kellner is having a bit of a year. Since his trip to Iran this past spring, a lot has changed. He's getting along with his dad, and his best friend Sohrab is only a Skype call away. Between his first boyfriend, Landon, his varsity soccer practices, and his internship at his favourite tea shop, Darius is feeling pretty okay. Like he finally knows what it means to be Darius Kellner. Then, of course, everything changes. Darius's grandmothers are in town for a long visit while his dad is gone on business, and Darius isn't sure whether they even like…


Book cover of Subculture: The Meaning of Style

Katherine Giuffre Author Of Outrage: The Arts and the Creation of Modernity

From my list on maverick creativity.

Who am I?

I’ve spent my career as a sociologist studying how creative people work, what social settings are most conducive to creativity, and how to foster creativity for everyone in our daily lives. I know that creativity is often not easy and can even be met with hostility much more frequently than we might think. Creativity is, after all, a type of deviance and creative people can face real obstacles in finding and following their vision. But a richer understanding of how and why creativity happens – and of its obstacles – can be a tool for making a more vibrant, creative, inclusive, and just world.

Katherine's book list on maverick creativity

Katherine Giuffre Why did Katherine love this book?

When I first read this book (almost 40 years ago), it became the foundation for how I think about culture, creativity, and their connection to revolution.

Hebdige shows how little things like the cut of a pair of trousers or a hairstyle can make important social critiques that are understood and reverberate far beyond the youth subcultures that spawn them. And he provides a theoretical framework for thinking about possibilities for revolution in everyday life. Plus, it’s the most insightful book about punk ever written.

By Dick Hebdige,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Hebdige's Subculture: The Meaning of Style is so important: complex and remarkably lucid, it's the first book dealing with punk to offer intellectual content. Hebdige [...] is concerned with the UK's postwar, music-centred, white working-class subcultures, from teddy boys to mods and rockers to skinheads and punks.' - Rolling Stone

With enviable precision and wit Hebdige has addressed himself to a complex topic - the meanings behind the fashionable exteriors of working-class youth subcultures - approaching them with a sophisticated theoretical apparatus that combines semiotics, the sociology of devience and Marxism and come up with a very stimulating short book…


Book cover of Lost Souls

Katie Marie Author Of A Man in Winter

From my list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids.

Who am I?

Horror is my passion and most things I read and everything I write fits neatly into the genre. But I am also passionate about telling stories from a unique perspective, or if not entirely unique then at least one that is underused. My novella A Man in Winter is told from the perspective of an elderly chap with dementia for instance. I have also found that many people think books with child protagonists must be children’s books and it makes me sad to think of all the wonderful work is being missed out on, I hope that my list has convinced you to try one of the above books.

Katie's book list on horror with child protagonists that are not for kids

Katie Marie Why did Katie love this book?

Another vampire one I’m afraid. But trust me this is so worth your time. 

I read this for the first time when I was in college and well into my Goth phase, this book became my aesthetic afterwards. It’s a different take on vampires, explored through a few different groups of vampires. The characters are wonderfully portrayed and unique but what really hooked me into this book was the setting. It's got depth and feels like you could walk through the book and be in Missing Mile. 

This was the book that made me try Chartreuse.

By Poppy Brite,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Abandoned as an infant, Nothing reads his true name on the handwritten note that was pinned to his baby blanket eighteen years earlier, and discovers that he is the son of a vampire


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