New Teen Guides to Activism

If you haven't seen them already, be sure to check out our new summer books about teen activism!

You Are Mighty is pretty much a how-to manual for becoming an activist. With fabulous illustrations by artist Lauren Tamaki, you might have trouble not laughing out loud at her zany sense of humor (for instance, the introduction features a sign declaring "My Cat for President!") You'll also find yourself surprisingly "hooked" by the inspiring stories Caroline, the author, shares about tweens and teens who have made positive differences, and realistic tactics you can try to do the same. For instance, there are DIY tips on making signs, creating petitions and performing guerrilla theater. And did you know that becoming an ally and changing the world can be as simple as saying no to sexist and homophobic comments? Another cool feature about this book are the workbook pages, which are essentially pages with questions on a colorful, ruled background. There you'll discover some great prompts to think about how you can apply your skills towards issues that matter to you and improve the world.

How I Resist (also available in an e-book format) also has some great illustrations by various artists, however, these are mostly portraits. The content is what varies greatly! There are interviews, essays, letters, comics, and sheet music with lyrics is included. Featured activists include artists, authors, revolutionaries, and performing stars from shows like Glee and Hamilton. Editor Maureen Johnson (the author of more than a dozen YA novels) was inspired to create this guide because, she explained, while teens can't vote, they are in fact "voters-in-training" and constantly learning as well as transforming the world through resistance, otherwise known as "not accepting the way things are."

The Teen Guide to Global Action has an easy-to-follow layout with a wide range of global issues, such as human rights, hunger and homelessness, education, etc. There are also recommended organizations addressing the issues of concern with which teens can get involved or connect around each issues, such as UN-Habitat or Habitat for Humanity, programs working to create housing all over the world. Each issue includes recommendations for local and global action, as well as quick tips for support a cause. Furthermore, the guide includes stories of teens who are currently making a positive difference as stories of activists from the past, entitled "Activist Flashbacks." 

Once you've gotten inspired by the above summer reading, share how you've made or are making a positive difference in your Chicago environment at #CPLTeens #ImagineAtCPL

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