Early Onset Activism

posted by Gina

Let’s make this month a trifecta of book posts, shall we?

We’re approaching May 1st, and I was remembering the day of protests back in 2006, when I was teaching in San Francisco. My high school students, many first generation, took the protests incredibly seriously, and I remember being impressed at how many of them took the day to do thoughtful work, and how few looked upon the boycott as an excuse to just miss school.

I was lucky enough to be at a school that encouraged discussion with and support of our students, so we spent a lot of time talking that week – in advisory, in class, in the hall. We don’t often give our young people enough credit for their thoughts and ideas, particularly as they think upon the state of the world and the way in which they can make their voices heard.

I stumbled across this post recently. You know how I love lists of book recommendations – well, this one seems timely.


Mashable’s Seven Inspiring Books to Motivate Your Young Activist has a dandypants list of yes, inspiring and motivating picture books that I’m pretty sure are musts in every household. (For those of you with older kids, I’m firmly in the camp that picture books are awesome at any age. I *might* have a huge bookshelf of them myself.)

From A is for Activist to Rad American Women A-Z (my personal favorite), this is an impressively comprehensive short list – and one you should get on ASAP.

rad-american-womenI’ve always considered that whole believing-in-yourself thing as the first step on the road to activism, so I’d like to add the magnificent Jane Yolen’s Not All Princesses Dress in Pink to this list. Ms. Yolen – as we know, one of my favorites –  is delightful as ever, and this book is quite refreshing if you’re tired of being inundated with Disney paraphernalia.

not-all-princesses-dress-in-pinkOf course, thinking of fabulous be-yourself-cause-you’re-awesome books makes me remember one of my own childhood favorites, Leo the Late Bloomer. People, if this isn’t already on your shelf, get cracking. I will confess, on the days I’m feeling discouraged, I give this a read through.

9780064433488Allong with Leo, fall in love with Molly Lou Melon:

Stand-Tall-Molly-Lou-Melon-297x300and Amazing Grace:

0803710402_largeboth of whom will show you that who we are is just dandy and that there’s no reason we can’t have what we want.

So, young readers, get out there and change the world – starting with knowing that you can.


Author: Gina L. Grandi

Moderately well-read. Fairly socially awkward. According to Greg, 'a sentimental cynic with artistic sensibilities.' Somewhat nifty.

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