Marva is all about exercising your right to vote, and this election year she’s finally 18. When she witnesses Duke being turned away at her polling place, Marva makes it her mission to get Duke a ballot, which leads them on a whirlwind day full of polling lines, organized search parties, band gigs and a pinch of family drama. The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert exposes the very real act of voter suppression and how grassroots activism can make a real change, all while Marva and Duke’s connection blossoms over the course of their day together.
If you liked The Voting Booth, here are some other teen titles you might like.
If you’re looking for a history of voting in the United States, pick up Drawing the Vote by Tommy Jenkins. This graphic novel covers the entire history of the United States from how the voting process was formed to voter suppression in the Jim Crow era to the historic 2008 presidential election to our current political climate. Its vivid graphics makes it even more appealing.
When the sons of rival presidential candidates, Dean and Dre, get stuck in a room together because of a security threat at a presidential debate, they somehow form an unlikely friendship. Their friendship eventually turns into a relationship. However, Dean’s mother is on the Republican ticket and Dre’s father is the first Mexican American Democratic nominee—making their relationship complicated. The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson is the story of unrequited love on the political party lines.
Running by Natalia Sylvester follows Mariana, a Cuban American high school student whose father is the GOP presidential nominee. Mari isn’t particularly political until she’s pushed into the limelight because of her father’s campaign. Under the scrutiny of the media, Mari realizes her voice matters, even when it opposes the one she loves.
For more recommendations, check out our Election Fiction for Teens booklist.
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. For information about how to register to vote, voting by mail and early voting, visit the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. If you want to help staff polling places, visit Power the Polls. Make sure your vote counts!