Teen Activism and Advocacy

Petworth Library

Teen Activism and Advocacy

In 2018, teens used their voices to demand change. They advocated for themselves, for their families and for each other by attending protests, participating in campaigns, and contacting representatives in their local and federal governments.

The advocacy of teens has often been overlooked and their power is minimized. These books highlight the issues teens face today, how you can affect change in your community, and introduce the voices of teen activists.

Where to Start: Issues Facing Teens Today and How You Can Help

Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution, written by Bernie Sanders is divided in to chapters, with each chapter focusing on and presenting possible solutions to the issue. The chapters range from climate change to criminal justice reform. The book clearly delineates between the facts of each topic and the opinions of the author, allowing the reader to make their own conclusions.

How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation, edited by Maureen Johnson, is a collection of various mediums including poetry, essays and interviews. These varied mediums are perfect for readers who want to skip around and/ or do not enjoy reading essays (for example), but are interested in reading interviews or poems. The book is refreshingly hopeful in a time where content about current events feels very doom and gloom. The collection inspires the reader to fix the issues they perceive in the world rather than lulling the reader into an attitude of "everything is bad and unfixable.” Each writer offers a unique perspective and the authors don’t speak with a tone of condescension toward their audience. And, it helps that the design of the book is aesthetically pleasing and interesting.

Teen Activists and Advocates: 

Voces Sin Fronteras: Our Stories Our Truth: Nuestras Historias Nuestra Verdad: True Comics from the Latin American Youth Center is a collection of narrative comics that depict the experiences of 16 teens from the Latin American Youth Center who immigrated to the United States. The book highlights the various reasons someone might immigrate and the hardships they faced and continue to face as immigrants to this country. The book implores the reader to think about the immigration debate with empathy.

We Say #Never Again: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists, edited by Marjory Stoneman Douglas teachers Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner, is a series of articles written by the student journalists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School describing the shooting that occurred at their high school, on Feb. 14, 2018 and, in the aftermath of the shooting, the tireless work of Marjory Stoneman Douglass students to advocate for gun control. This book is a reminder of what happens when we forget to use our voices and when our government refuses to listen.