2021 Rise: A Feminist Book Project List
2020 challenged all of us. A pandemic physically separated us. In the midst of loss, isolation, and injustice, we forged new paths of togetherness. We created new models of community. We developed new tools. We connected with our loved ones virtually. We took to the streets in protest.
We are not finished. There is still work to be done.
“We are a generation called to action.” (Khan-Cullors/bandele, When They Call You a Terrorist)
As we take stock of what we have lost, we must continue to fight. We must hold both in our hearts: the past and the future.
“The struggle for rights didn’t start yesterday and has to continue until it is won” (Baker, Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker)
We must continue to reckon with the white supremacy on which this country was built and continue to voice the truth that Black Lives Matter. The work continues.
“I begin to wonder if white is the color of things to be worshipped in this world. If it’s the only color to be worshipped in this world.” (Brown, Black Girl Unlimited)
We require agency. In order to succeed, we must have ownership over our lives, our bodies, and our decisions. In order to do the work, we must have control over our actions.
“…we will struggle. At home. At school. Inside our own heads and bodies. […] What if […] you saw us as people and you learned our names? And our talents? And you pushed us to be who we were meant to be?” (Firestone, Dress Coded)
We are inspired by women who have used their voices for change, lifting the voices of other women. Women like Shirley Chisholm, Ella Baker, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jennifer Keelan, Harriet Tubman, and Ethel L. Payne chose to lead with more than just words; they led with action.
“Learn. Negotiate. Listen. Stand. Campaign. Invite. Debate. Inspire. Speak. Represent. It’s your turn now. What verbs will you choose?” (Chambers, Shirley Chisholm is a Verb)
“What do you hope to accomplish?” (Powell, Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker)
Members of the 2021 Rise: A Feminist Book Project committee are: Melissa Nemitz (co-chair), Mercer County Library System, NJ; Silvia Lin Hanick (co-chair), LaGuardia Community College (CUNY), NY; Ally Watkins, First Regional Library, MS; Ariana Hussain, The Blake School, MN; Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library (AK); Jean-Louise Zancanella, College of Western Idaho, ID; Mallory Caise, Lisle Library District, IL; April Moyo, Central Piedmont Community College, NC; Allison Staley, Lake Oswego Public Library, OR and Vicki Pietrus, Naperville North High School, IL.
2021 Rise : A Feminist Book Project List
An asterisk (*) indicates that a book is one of our Top Ten Titles.
A PDF version of the entire list is available here.
Early Readers – Fiction
Beaty, Andrea. Sofia Valdez, Future Prez. Illus. by David Roberts. 2019. 40p. Abrams, $18.99 (9781419737046). PreS-Gr. 3.
When her abuelo is injured on a trash pile in her neighborhood, young Sofia decides to replace it with a park. And with persistence and hard work, she succeeds.
Gilbert, Frances. Go, Girls, Go! Illus. by Allison Black. 2019. 40p. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781534424821). Birth-Gr. 1.
Women take the wheel in this colorful picture book featuring female operators of all kinds of things that go.
Johnson, Angela. A Girl Like Me. Illus. by Nina Crews. 2020. 32p. Lerner/Millbrook Press, $19.99 (9781541557772). PreS-Gr. 4.
In Johnson’s profound but simple poem and Crews’ accompanying collage illustrations, girls are encouraged to reject societal limitations and naysayers and embrace their own power and agency.
Lindstrom, Carole. We Are Water Protectors. Illus. by Michaela Goade. 2020. 40p. Macmillan/Roaring Brook, $17.99 (9781250203557). PreS-Gr. 4.
Traditional protectors of the water in Ojibwe culture, women are standing up, rallying their allies, and defending those who cannot fight for themselves.
Llanos, Mariana. Eunice and Kate. Illus. by Elena Napoli. 2020. 44p. Penny Candy Books, $16.95 (9780999658475). PreS-Gr. 2.
Best friends Eunice and Kate have very different dreams for the future, and come into conflict as a result. With help from their mothers, they find a way to accept each other.
Marroquin, M.L. My Hair is Magic! Illus. by Tonya Engel. 2020. 32p. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (9781624149818). PreS-Gr. 3.
A confident Black child loves and defends her natural hair, even as others question why it’s so big, messy, frizzy, kinky, wild, and complicated.
Murphy, Frank and Carla Murphy. A Girl Like You. Illus. by Kayla Harren. 2020. 32p. Sleeping Bear, $16.99 (9781534110960). PreS-Gr 3.
This text encourages girls to embrace boldness, braveness, and thoughtfulness and all the qualities that make them unique. A companion to A Boy Like You.
*Narvankar, Ameya. Ritu Weds Chandni. 2020. 36p. Yali, $19.99 (9781949528947). PreS-Gr.3.
Ayesha is thrilled that her cousin, Ritu, is marrying her girlfriend, Chandni. Some, however, do not want to see them together. Can Ayesha find a way to help them celebrate?
Nyong’o, Lupita. Sulwe. Illus. by Vashti Harrison. 2019. 48p. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (9781534425361). PreS-Gr. 3.
Dark-skinned Sulwe wants to be beautiful and bright, like her light-skinned sister. Guided by a shooting star, she discovers she is beautiful already, inside and out.
Pinkney, Jerry. The Little Mermaid. 2020. 48p. Hachette/Little, Brown, $18.99 (9780316440318). PreS-Gr. 3.
In this re-telling of Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, Melody trades her voice for legs so she can be an explorer and makes an important friend.
Sammurtok, Nadia. In My Anaana’s Amautik. Illus. by Lenny Lishchenko. 2019. 24p. Inhabit Media, $16.95 (9781772272529). Birth-Gr. 1.
Experience the safety, warmth, and comfort of the amautik through the eyes of the child anaana carries inside it.
Zaman, Farida. I Want to Be… : A Gutsy Girls’ ABC. 2020. 30p. Second Story, $10.95 (9781772601305). Birth-K.
A diverse group of girls explores an alphabet of job possibilities.
Early Readers – Nonfiction
Anderson, Beth. Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights. Illus. by E. B. Lewis. 2020. 32p. Boyds Mills & Kane/Calkins Creek, $17.99 (9781629799391). K-Gr. 5.
An incident of discrimination on a streetcar in New York City led Lizzie Jennings to win the first legal battle for equal rights on public transportation in the United States.
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. How Women Won the Vote: Alice Paul, Lucy Burns, and Their Big Idea. Illus. by Ziyue Chen. 2020. 80p. HarperCollins, $18.99 (9780062841308). Gr.3-Gr. 6.
This is the remarkable story of the two women who met in a London prison and went on to become key players in the fight for women’s suffrage.
*Brian, Rachel. Consent (For Kids!): Boundaries, Respect, and Being in Charge of You. 2020. 64p. Hachette/Little, Brown, $15.99 (9780316457736). Gr 1-Gr. 5.
A straightforward and easy to follow guide on the concept of consent for children in graphic novel format.
Calkhoven, Laurie. Shirley Chisholm. Illus. by Kaitlyn Shea O’Connor. 2020. 48p. Simon & Schuster/Simon Spotlight, $17.99 (9781534465589). Gr. 1-3.
A biography of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress.
Chambers, Veronica. Shirley Chisholm is a Verb! 2020. 40p. Dial/Penguin, $18.99. (9780803730892). Gr. K-5.
A biography of Shirley Chisholm’s life of action, service, and determination in seeking betterment and empowerment for all and how her legacy paved the way for others to follow.
Cline-Ransome, Lesa. The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne. Illus. by John Parra. 2020. 48p. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, $18.99 (9781481462891). Gr. K-Gr. 5.
Ethel L. Payne fought for equal rights for over fifty years as a journalist and was known as the “First Lady of the Black Press”.
Fleming, Candace. Cubs in the Tub: the True Story of the Bronx Zoo’s First Woman Zookeeper. Illus. By Julie Downing. 2020. 48p. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, $18.99 (9780823443185). PreS-Gr. 3.
Helen Martini begins caring for young lion cubs when no one else can, embarking on a long and valued career in zookeeping.
*Greenfield, Eloise. The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives. Illus. by Daniel Minter. 2019. 32p. Alazar Press, $17.95 (9780997772074). Gr. 2-6.
Poems celebrating African American midwives and their long history through the generations, from pre-slavery Africa to modern day in America.
Hubbard, Rita Lorraine. The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read. Illus. by Oge Mora. 2020. 40p. Penguin Random House/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9781524768287). K-Gr. 4
The incredible story of Mary Walker, formerly enslaved, mother, wife, and working-class woman, who learned to read at age 116.
Humphreys, Jessica Dee and Ambrose, Rona. The International Day of the Girl: Celebrating Girls Around the World. Illus. by Simone Shin. 2020. 32p. Kids Can Press, $18.99 (9781525300585). Gr. 2-5.
Celebrating the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl on October 11th, nine stories from around the world show the power girls can have to address inequities in their communities.
Kimmel, Allison Crotzer. Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist. Illus. by Joanie Stone. 2020. 40p. Harper Collins, $17.99 (9780062896070). K-Gr. 2.
Betty Robinson, the first female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist, survived a plane crash and crushing leg injury to win a second Gold Medal in 1936.
Kirkfield, Vivian. Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. Illus. by Alleanna Harris. 2020. 40p. Little Bee Books, $17.99 (9781499809152). PreS-Gr. 3.
This historical picture book recounts the friendship, mutual uplifting, and support between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe in the face of racism and sexism in their respective industries.
Lyon, Lea and A. LaFaye. Ready to Fly: How Sylvia Townsend Became the Bookmobile Ballerina. Illus. By Jessica Gibson. 2020. 40p. HarperCollins/Harper, $18.99 (9780062888785). PreS-Gr. 3.
In the 1950s, Sylvia dreams of being a ballerina, but her parents cannot afford lessons. Using books from the bookmobile, she teaches herself and others to dance.
*Maclear, Kyo. It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way. Illus. By Julie Morstad. 2019. 48p. HarperCollins/Harper, $17.99 (9780062447623). K-Gr. 4.
Gyo Fujikawa, an exceptional Japanese American artist, wrote and illustrated children’s books that were inclusive and challenged gender stereotypes.
Marshall, Linda Elovitz. Saving the Countryside: The Story of Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit. Illus. By Ilaria Urbinati. 2020. 40p. Little Bee Books, $17.99 (9781499809602). Gr. 1-Gr. 4.
Beatrix Potter’s passion for the countryside grew into a legacy with her creation of Peter Rabbit.
Moss, Caroline. Michelle Obama. Illus. by Sinem Erkas. 2020. 64p. Quarto/Frances Lincoln Children’s, $15.99 (9780711245181). Gr. 3-6.
Follow the journey of Michelle Obama from lawyer to advocate for social change to First Lady of the United States, and learn to be a leader just like her.
Pimentel, Annette Bay. All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything. Illus. by Nabi H. Ali. 2020. 32p. Sourcebooks eXplore, $17.99 (9781492688976). Gr. K-5.
Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, born with cerebral palsy, joined the fight for disability rights as a child, which led to the game-changing passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Powell, Patricia Hruby. Lift As You Climb: The Story of Ella Baker. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. 2020. 48p. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $17.99 (9781534406230). Gr. K-4.
This biography of civil rights activist Ella Baker details her constant fight against racial injustice and fostering community empowerment through grassroots organization and mentoring of young activists.
*Rappaport, Doreen. Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. 2020. 48p. Disney/Hyperion, $18.99 (9781484747179). Gr. 2-5.
For more than 50 years, lawyer and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led the fight for men and women to be equal in the eyes of the law.
Robeson, Teresa. Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom. Illus. by Rebecca Huang. 2019. 48p. Sterling, $16.95 (9781454932208). Gr. 1-4.
In early 1900s China, when girls were often not sent to school, physicist Wu Chien Shiung pursued her education, made scientific contributions, and stood up to injustice.
Russell-Brown, Katheryn. She was the First! The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm. Illus. by Eric Velasquez. 2020. 40p. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781620143469). Gr. 2-6.
As the first black woman elected to Congress, Shirley Chisholm stood up for women, children, poor people, farmworkers, Native people, and others who were often pushed aside.
Sanders, Jessica. Love Your Body. Illus. by Carol Rossetti. 2020. 40p. Quarto/Frances Lincoln, $17.99 (9780711252424). Gr. 2-6.
Every body is a good body and each one deserves respect, love and care.
Skeers, Linda. Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist. Illus. by Marta Álvarez Miguéns. 2020. 40p. Sourcebooks Explore, $17.99 (9781728209517). PreS-Gr. 3.
Though she was denied entrance into the circles and schools of scientists, Mary Anning became an expert on prehistoric creatures through her own research and discoveries.
Slade, Suzanne. Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks. Illus. by Cozbi A. Cabrera. 2020. 48p. Abrams, $17.99 (9781419734113). K-Gr. 2.
Writing and publishing poetry from the age of eleven, Gwendolyn Brooks went on to become the first Black person to win the Pulitzer Prize.
Tentler-Krylov, Victoria. Building Zaha: The Story of Architect Zaha Hadid. 2020. 48p. Scholastic/Orchard, $18.99 (9781338282832). PreS-Gr. 3.
This picture book biography beautifully reflects the art, the math, and the movement architect Zaha Hadid incorporated into each of her designs.
Turk, Evan. A Thousand Glass Flowers: Marietta Barovier and the Invention of the Rosetta Bead. 2020. 48p. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $17.99 (9781534410343). K-Gr.3.
Despite being told that girls can’t blow glass, Marietta learns the artform of glassblowing from her father and invents the technique of creating rosetta beads in 15th century Italy.
Viña, Rose. Ice Breaker: How Mabel Fairbanks Changed Figure Skating. Illus. by Claire Almon. 2019. 32p. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (9780807534960). PreS-Gr. 3.
Repeatedly turned away from public ice rinks for the color of her skin, Mabel Fairbanks pursued her dream of figure skating and broke barriers for herself and her students.
Middle Grade – Fiction
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. Fighting Words. 2020. 259p. Penguin Random House/Dial, $17.99 (9781984815682). Gr. 5-up.
Shielded from the realities of abuse in her home, 10 year-old Della must come to terms with the fact that nobody did the same for her older sister.
Carter, Caela. How to Be a Girl in the World. 2020. 294p. HarperCollins, $16.99 (9780062672704). Gr. 4-6.
After being sexually harassed by the boys in her sixth grade class, Lydia learns to speak out in school and when her mom’s boyfriend makes her feel uncomfortable.
Day, Christine. I Can Make This Promise. 2019. 266p. HarperCollins, $16.99 (9780062871992). Gr. 3-7.
Searching for clues to her Native American heritage, Edie uncovers a story of separation and loss that changes her whole world.
Firestone, Carrie. Dress Coded. 2020. 303p. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Son, $17.99 (9781984816436). Gr. 4-9.
After witnessing the unfair treatment of girls at her school, Molly Frost starts a podcast and forms a sit-in to protest her school’s dress code.
Harrington, Kim. Revenge of the Red Club. 2019. 247p. Simon & Schuster/Aladdin, $18.99 (9781534435728). Gr. 4-8.
When Riley’s Red Club (a club about periods) is shut down by her school, Riley and her friends fight to prove that there is nothing wrong with getting your period.
Lee, Julie. Brother’s Keeper. 2020. 314p. Holiday House, $17.99 (9780823444946 ). Gr. 3-7.
Sora attempts to lead her brother to safety as they journey from North to South Korea by foot.
Leyh, Kat. Snapdragon. 2020. 223p. Roaring Brook/First Second, $12.99 (9781250171115). Gr. 5-8.
Snapdragon befriends the town witch while caring for animals and cultivating a new magic within.
Messner, Kate. Chirp. 2020. 227p. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (9781547602810). Gr. 4-8.
When Mia moves back to Vermont after quitting gymnastics, she must learn to find her voice in order to confront a part of her past that she wants to forget.
Salazar, Aida. Land of the Cranes. 2020. 256p. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (9781338343809). Gr. 3-6.
Betita unknowingly becomes an activist while detained by the US government for being undocumented.
Williams, Lily and Karen Schneemann. Go With the Flow. 2020. 333p. Roaring Brook/First Second, $14.99 (9781250143174). Gr. 3-8.
When a small group of sophomore girls realize that their school spends more money on football than on providing its students with basic period needs, they’re determined to fight back.
Middle Grade – Nonfiction
Alvitre, Weshoyot, et al. Noisemakers: 25 Women Who Raised Their Voices & Changed the World. 2020. 224p. Kazoo Magazine, Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, $25.99 (9780525580171). Gr. 2-6.
A graphic biography collection of 25 amazing women who created, entertained, and did hard, brave things and changed the world in the process.
Atkins, Jeannine. Grasping Mysteries: Girls Who Loved Math. 2020. 305p. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $17.99 (9781534460683). Gr. 2-8.
This book in verse explores the lives of seven real-life women in history who didn’t let gender discrimination prohibit them from pursuing careers involving math.
Bolden, Tonya. Changing the Equation: 50+ US Black Women in STEM. 2020. 202p. Abrams, $19.99 (9781419707346). Gr. 4-8.
Role models for the next generation of girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Herbert, Kari. We Are Artists: Women Who Made Their Mark on the World. 2019. 143p. Thames & Hudson, $19.95 (9780500651964). Gr. 6-up.
An eye-opening and empowering introduction to modern women artists from around the world.
Ottaviani, Jim. Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier. Illus. by Maris Wicks. 2020. 157p. First Second, $12.99 (9781250760036). Gr. 5-8.
Told through the perspective of astronaut Mary Cleave, this graphic novel describes the many tribulations and achievements of NASA’s first women astronauts.
Simon, Rachel E. The Every Body Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, Gender, Bodies, and Families. Illus. by Noah Grigni. 2020. 94p. Jessica Kingsley Publishing, $19.95 (9781787751736). Gr. 2-6.
A modern LGBTQ+ inclusive guide for children to all things sex, gender, changing bodies, and families meant to provide information and answers to young people learning about themselves and others.
Young Adult – Fiction
*Acevedo, Elizabeth. Clap When You Land. 2020. 417p. HarperCollins / HarperTeen, $18.99 (9780062882769). Gr. 8-up.
Camino and Yahaira discover they share a father in the aftermath of his tragic death, and through their grief across countries, they are able to find healing.
Ahmed, Samira. Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know. 2020. 327p. Soho / Soho Teen, $18.99 (9781616959890). Gr. 9-up.
Visiting Paris for the summer, Khayyam Maquet follows an art-world mystery involving Dumas, Byron, and a mysterious woman who has a story bigger than the rest.
Alender, Katie. The Companion. 2020. 439p. Penguin Random House / G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $18.99 (9780399545917). Gr. 9-up.
After the tragic death of her family, Margot goes to live with the Suttons as a companion for their daughter where things are not as they seem.
*Arnold, Elana K. Red Hood. 2020. 353p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (9780062742353). Gr. 8-up.
On the day she gets her period for the first time, sixteen-year-old Bisou runs into the woods and defends herself against an aggressive wolf.
Bayron, Kalynn. Cinderella Is Dead. 2020. 389p. Bloomsbury, $18.99 (9781547603879). Gr. 6-12.
200 years after Cinderella’s death, Sophia teams up with Cinderella’s ancestor to defeat the Evil King, overthrow the cruel patriarchal society he created, and live happily ever after together.
Brown, Echo. Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard. 2020. 294p. Henry Holt and Company/Christy Ottaviano, $17.99 (9781250309853). Gr. 9-up.
Largely autobiographical and full of magical realism, this is a story about Echo’s high school experience navigating poverty, sexism, depression, and surviving sexual assault.
Caletti, Deb. Girl, Unframed. 2020. 355p. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, $18.99 (9781534426979). Gr. 8-up.
Sydney Reilly is spending the summer with her famous mother, but what should be a few months by the beach is instead full of unwanted attention, new love, and tragedy.
Cho, Nam Joo. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982. Trans. by Jamie Chang. 2020. 163p. W. W. Norton/Liveright, $20.00 (9781631496707). Gr. 8-up.
Set in South Korea, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 documents a young woman’s psychotic break following a lifetime of gender-based discrimination, exclusion, and violence.
Daniel, Suzanne. A Girl in Three Parts. 2020. 316p. Knopf, $17.99 (9781984851079). Gr. 6-up.
Raised in the sheltered triangle of her grandmothers and her father, Allegra searches for clues about her place in the world and the reasons why her mother left it.
Deming, Sarah. Gravity. 2019. 394p. Penguin Random House/Make Me a World, $17.99 (9780525581031). Gr. 9-12.
16-year-old Jewish and Dominican boxer, Gravity Delgado, won’t let a rocky home life or her own burgeoning romance deter her from her dream of winning the Olympic gold.
Hur, June. The Silence of Bones. 2020. 323p. Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends, $17.99 (9781250229557). Gr. 7-12.
Indentured to the police bureau in 1800 Joseon, Seol is determined to solve the murder of a young noblewoman when her superior is implicated in the crime.
*Iloh, Candice. Every Body Looking. 2020. 403p. Penguin Random House/Dutton, $17.99 (9780525556206). Gr. 7-up.
Ada fumbles through freshman year of college under the weight of her dysfunctional family’s expectations. She explores her sexuality and finds her voice upon discovering a talent for dance.
Jackson, Tiffany D. Grown. 2020. 371p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99 (9780062840356). Gr. 9-up.
Enchanted Jones is accused of murdering the famous R&B star with whom she was entangled.
Johnson, Kim. This is My America. 2020. 406p. Penguin Random House/Random House Books for Young Readers, $17.99 (9780593118764). Gr. 9-up.
Tracy Beaumont seeks to exonerate her innocent father who’s in prison while also working to save her brother from a similar fate.
Johnson, Leah. You Should See Me in a Crown. 2020. 324p. Scholastic, $17.99 (9781338503265). Gr. 7-up
Liz Lighty enters her high school’s prom race in order to earn a scholarship to her dream college.
Kenwood, Nina. It Sounded Better In My Head. 2020. 262p. Flatiron, $18.99 (9781250219268). Gr. 7-up.
Natalie comes to terms with her parents’ divorce with the help of her coupled-up best friends, humor, and a new romance found in the least likely person.
Kisner, Adrienne. Six Angry Girls. 2020. 272p. Feiwel & Friends, $17.99 (9781250253422). Gr. 6-12.
Six Girls form a Mock Trial team, fight sexist judges via yarn bombing, and find a little love and acceptance along the way.
Krischer, Hayley. Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf. 2020. 328p. Penguin Random House/Razorbill, $18.99 (9780593114117). Gr. 9-12.
Ali Greenleaf is raped by a soccer player who she always had a crush on, and Blythe Jensen attempts to befriend Ali to assuage her concerns over her sexual assault.
Lee, Lyla. I’ll Be the One. 2020. 323p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $17.99 (9780062936929). Gr. 6-12.
Skye Shin is determined to win a competition to become the next big K-Pop star, and she won’t let anyone tell her she needs to lose weight to do it.
McWilliams, Kelly. Agnes at the End of the World. 2020. 417p. Hachette/Little, Brown, $17.99 (9780316487337). Gr. 9 and up.
Agnes must decide to leave the cult she grew up in to save the world in the middle of a pandemic.
Malle, Mirion. The League of Super Feminist. 2020. 54p. Drawn and Quarterly, $16.95 (9781770464025). Gr 6-up.
A graphic novel primer on feminism that addresses and breaks down many different aspects and issues from representation and tropes, intersectionality, consent, privilege, body image.
Mejia, Tehlor Kay & Anna-Marie McLemore. Miss Meteor. 2020. 392p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen, $17.99 (9780062869913). Gr. 6-12.
Lita has one chance to win the Miss Meteor contest before she turns back into stardust. Can she overcome racist beauty standards and tradition to win? She might need help.
Morrow, Bethany C. A Song Below Water. 2020. 288p. Macmillan/Tor Teen, $17.99 (9781250315328). Gr. 8-up.
Raised as sisters, Tavia hides her status as a siren as Effie navigates family secrets. Together, they stand up to injustice and cope with their individual struggles.
Pink, Randi. Girls Like Us. 2019. 310p. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (9781250155856). Gr. 9-12.
Four teenage girls from different backgrounds get pregnant during a time before abortion was legal in the U.S. and navigate the vast challenges this presents.
Rossi, Veronica. Rebel Spy. 2020. 356p. Penguin Random House/Delacorte, $18.99 (9781524771225). Gr. 7 and up.
Forced into life under an alias as a wealthy Loyalist, a young woman exercises her position of power by feeding secrets to George Washington’s network of spies.
Saied Méndez Yamile. Furia. 2020. 357p. Algonquin/Algonquin Young Readers, $17.95 (9781616209919). Gr. 7-up.
Set in Argentina, Camila Hassan dreams of playing professional fútbol, but will society and her love for Diego stop her from pursuing her passion?
Spears, Rick. My Riot. Illus. by Emmett Helen. 2020. 184p. Oni, paperback, $17.99 (9781620107768). Gr. 9-up.
Valerie’s life changes when she meets new friends, forms a band, and jumps into the Riot Grrrl movement.
Sylvester, Natalia. Running. 2020. 328p. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion, $17.99 (9780358124351). Gr. 8-up.
Mari deals with her conservative father’s run for president and realizes she has more power than she thought.
Tate, Meredith. The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly. 2020. 343p. Penguin Random House/G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $17.99 (9781984813497). Gr. 9-up.
After a shocking act of violence, Autumn leaves her body and seeks out her estranged younger sister, Ivy, unearthing deeper wounds as she tries to survive.
Templer, Hannah. Cosmoknights (Book One). 2019. 216p. Top Shelf, $19.99 (9781603094542). Gr. 9-up.
Pan lives in a neo-medieval world where princesses are given to competition winners. She hates it. But what happens when she meets people who are bucking the system?
Watson, Sarah. Most Likely. 2020. 377p. Little, Brown/Poppy, $17.99 (9780316454834). Gr. 6-12.
Four life-long best friends navigate the big changes of senior year, not knowing that one of them will become the first female president of the United States.
Weatherford, Carole Boston. Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe. 2020. 183p. Candlewick, $19.99. (9781536206296). Gr. 8-12.
Weatherford’s novel in verse pays tribute to the often misunderstood and underestimated life, career, and legacy of Marilyn Monroe.
Zimmerman, Laura. My Eyes Are Up Here. 2020. 340pp. Penguin Random House/Dutton, $17.99 (9781984815248). Gr. 7-12.
Fifteen-year-old Greer’s anxiety about her breasts, self-deprecatingly nicknamed Maude and Mavis, force her into hiding her body in sweatshirts and living more in her head than in the real world.
Young Adult – Nonfiction
Chambers, Veronica and the Staff of the New York Times. Finish the Fight!: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote. 2020. 132pp. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Versify, $18.99 (9780358408307). Gr. 4-up.
An introduction to some of the many BIPOC and queer women whose fight for universal suffrage did not end with the ratification of the 19th amendment.
Dionne, Evette. Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box. 2020. 170p. Penguin Random House/Viking, $19.99 (9780451481542). Gr. 4-8.
Lifting As We Climb chronicles the racism and discrimination Black women in America faced when fighting for women’s suffrage.
Dunbar, Erica Armstrong. She Came to Slay: the Life and Times of Harriet Tubman. 2019. 159p. Simon & Schuster/37 INK, $23.99 (9781982139599). Gr. 7-up
This Harriet Tubman biography chronicles Tubman’s birth through death, highlighting her extensive list of brave risks and service for others as well as her abolitionist and feminist activism.
*Elliott, Zetta. Say Her Name. Illus. by Loveis Wise. 2020. 83p. Disney/Jump at the Sun, $18.99 (9781368045247). Gr. 7-up.
A powerful collection of poems celebrating and empowering Black girls and women.
Ha, Robin. Almost American Girl. 2020. 228p. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $22.99 (9780062685100). Gr. 6-up.
Graphic memoir tells the story of Ha unexpectedly immigrating to Huntsville, Alabama from Seoul, Korea with her single mother and her struggle to adjust to life in America.
Jensen, Kelly, ed. Body Talk: 37 Voices Explore Our Radical Anatomy. 2020. 241p. Algonquin/Algonquin Young Readers, paperback, $16.95 (9781616209674). Gr. 7-up.
Bodies are complex, and so is our relationship to them. A diverse lineup of celebrities, authors, athletes, and artists discuss their journeys to self-acceptance in this compellingly relatable anthology.
Kendall, Mikki. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights. Illus. by A. D’Amico. 2019. 195p. Penguin Random House/Ten Speed, Paper, $19.99 (9780399581793). Gr. 9-up.
Spanning thousands of years, many cultures, and many movements, this graphic history highlights a diverse range of women activists who’ve made an impact on their community.
Kendall, Mikki. Hood Feminism: Notes From The Women That a Movement Forgot. 2020. 288p. Viking, $26.00 (9780525560548). Gr. 9-up.
Collected essays address the inequity of modern feminism as defined by White women. Personal stories and cultural critiques challenge feminists to inspect the intersection of race, class, and gender.
Khan-Cullors, Patrisse & bandele, asha. When They Call You a Terrorist: Young Adult Edition. 2020. 245p. St. Martin’s/Wednesday $18.99 (9781250194985). Gr. 8-up.
Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors shares life stories that have influenced and built the international movement.
*Miller, Chanel. Know My Name. 2019. 363p. Penguin Random House, Paper, $18.00 (9780735223707). Gr. 9-up.
In a seering, lyrical memoir, Chanel Miller recounts her journey as an artist, a writer, and a rape survivor.