Intro to Civic Engagement Starter Set for Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults by Amanda Young, Library Teens Specialist

Amanda Young, library teens specialist, has put together an intro to civic engagement starter set for tweens, teens, and young adults!


Voting Rights

 

One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters are Treated Equally by Carol Anderson, with Tonya Bolden

YA 324.6 AND

Ages 12 – 14

In her New York Times bestseller White Rage, Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With One Person, No Vote, she chronicles a related history- the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice. Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance- the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for the 2018 midterm elections.

 

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

YA COL

Also available as an ebook on Libby! And as an audiobook and ebook on Hoopla!

Grades 7+

Marva was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election? Duke is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can’t vote. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change… but some things are just meant to be.


Environmentalism

 

Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth by Christy Peterson.

YA 333.72 PET

Also available as an ebook on Hoopla!

Ages 11-18 Grades 6+

On April 22, 1970, an estimated twenty million people held a teach-in to show their support for environmental protections. This new celebration, Earth Day, brought together previously fragmented issues under the same banner. It was the largest nationwide event ever, and lawmakers took notice. But one day didn’t change everything. Fifty years after the first Earth Day, climate change remains a dire concern. The divide between political parties continues to widen, and environmental policy has become an increasingly partisan issue. The spread of disinformation has also made climate change a debatable idea, rather than scientific fact. A new generation of advocates continue the fight to make environmental policy a top priority for the United States and for nations around the globe.

 

We are All Greta: Be Inspired to Save the World by Valentina Giannella

YA 363.738

We Are All Greta sets out the basic ideas required to understand climate change, explained in a scientific and accessible way and drawn from the most authoritative sources. With a chapter on key words and sites to help you understand the climate challenge and a list of websites to visit for further information, this is a book for young people, for parents, for grandparents and anyone having to answer direct and urgent questions about what must be done to protect our world.


Social Justice and Race Relations

 

This is My America by Kim Johnson

YA JOH

Also available as an ebook on Libby!

Ages 12+ Grades 7+

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time–her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

 

In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis

YA 920 DAV

Also available as an audiobook on Libby!

Ages 10-14

Did you know that many of America’s Founding Fathers–who fought for liberty and justice for all–were slave owners? Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy–that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles. These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books. Their stories are true–and they should be heard.

 

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

YA STO

Also available as an ebook on Libby!

Ages 14+ Grades 9+

In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system.Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce–the protagonist of Dear Martin–Quan’s story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there’s a dead cop and a weapon with Quan’s prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.


Political Participation, Activism and Persistence

 

How to Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics by Lauren Duca

YA 320.0835 DUC

Duca investigates and explains the issues at the root of our ailing political system and reimagines what an equitable democracy would look like. It begins with young people getting involved. People like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress; David and Lauren Hogg, two survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting who went on to become advocates for gun control; Amanda Litman, who founded the nonprofit organization Run For Something, to assist progressive young people in down ballot elections; and many more.

 

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

YA 363.33 MCC

Ages 12+ Grades 7+

Young people are suffering the most from the epidemic of gun violence–as early as kindergarten students are crouching behind locked doors during active shooter drills. Teens are galvanizing to speak up and fight for their right to be safe. They don’t just want to get involved, they want to change the world. Enough Is Enough is a call to action for teens ready to lend their voices to the gun violence prevention movement. This handbook deftly explains America’s gun violence issues–myths and facts, causes and perpetrators, solutions and change-makers–and provides a road map for effective activism. Told in three parts, Enough Is Enough also explores how America got to this point and the obstacles we must overcome, including historical information about the Second Amendment, the history of guns in America, and an overview of the NRA. Informative chapters include interviews with teens who have survived gun violence and student activists who are launching their own movements across the country. Additionally, the book includes a Q&A with gun owners who support increased gun safety laws.

 

Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage foreword by Senator Amy Klobuchar

YA 170.44 NEV

Also available as an ebook on Libby! And as an audiobook on Hoopla!

Ages 12+ Grades 7+

A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity– but persisted. Among others: actress Alia Shawkat was told she was too “ethnic” for parts. Former NFL player Wade Davis bullied other gay classmates in an attempt to hide his own sexuality. Holocaust survivor Fanny Starr tells of her harrowing time in Auschwitz, where she watched her family disappear, one by one. They tell how they rose through the hate, overcoming the obstacles of their childhood to the hard-won lives they live today.


LGBTQIA+

 

The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson

YA HUT

Also available as an ebook on Libby!

Ages 13+ Grades 8+

When Dean Arnault’s mother decided to run for president, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone, least of all her son. But still that doesn’t mean Dean wants to be part of the public spectacle that is the race for the White House–at least not until he meets Dre. The only problem is that Dre Rosario’s on the opposition; he’s the son of the Democratic nominee. But as Dean and Dre’s meet-ups on the campaign trail become less left to chance, their friendship quickly becomes a romantic connection unlike any either of the boys have ever known. If it wasn’t hard enough falling in love across the aisle, the political scheming of a shady third-party candidate could cause Dean and Dre’s world to explode around them.

 

Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World by Sarah Prager

YA 920 PRA

Also available as an ebook on Libby! And as an ebook on Hoopla!

Ages 13+ Grades 8+

World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals–and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.


Feminism

 

The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton

YA 920.72.CLI

Also available as an audiobook and ebook on Libby!

Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book. So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic–they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right. To us, they are all gutsy women–leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.


Immigration

 

This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne

YA 304.873

Also available as an ebook on Libby! And as an ebook on Hoopla!

Ages 13+ Grades 8+

American attitudes toward immigrants are paradoxical. On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, depending on prevailing economic conditions, fluctuating feelings about race and ethnicity, and fear of foreign political and labor agitation, we set boundaries and restrictions on who may come to this country and whether they may stay as citizens. This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965. The book concludes with a summary of events up to contemporary times, as immigration again becomes a hot-button issue.

 

Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt

YA MAR

Also available as an audiobook on Hoopla!

Ages 13+

Evan, the nephew of a conservative southern senator, and Alma, who lives with her large, warm Mexican family, fall in love, but when Immigration and Customs Enforcement begins raids on their town, Alma knows she needs to tell Evan her secrets, but how can she tell her country-club boyfriend that she is an undocumented immigrant?

 

Running by Natalia Sylvester

YA SYL

Ages 12+ Grades 7+

When fifteen-year-old Cuban American Mariana Ruiz’s father runs for president, Mari starts to see him with new eyes. A novel about waking up and standing up, and what happens when you stop seeing your dad as your hero-while the whole country is watching.