On the YALSA-BK Listserv on February 8, Ann Tobin from Union County Public Library in Liberty, Indiana said “Is there a list of books for SRP that deals more with standing up to authority for a just cause? I thought I remembered someone else mentioning this angle on “Making Waves.” These are the books recommended there, and any other suggestions are welcome! Just put them in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. – Linda Williams
Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here (Putnam 2000)
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner’s political campaign to oust the town’s corrupt mayor.
Bennett, Cherie. Heart Divided (Delacorte 2004)
When sixteen-year-old Kate, an aspiring playright, moves from New Jersey to attend high school in the South, she becomes embroiled in a controversy to remove the school’s Confederate flag symbol.
Brande, Robin. Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature (Knopf 2007)
ollowing her conscience leads high school freshman Mena to clash with her parents and former friends from their conservative Christian church, but might result in better things when she stands up for a teacher who refuses to include “Intelligent Design” in lessons on evolution.
Cashore, Kristin. Graceling (Harcourt 2008)
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
Clare, Cassandra. The Mortal Instrument series (Margaret McElderry) – City of Bones (2007), City of Ashes (2008) and City of Glass (2009)
1. Suddenly able to see demons and the Shadowhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
2. Sixteen-year-old Clary continues trying to make sense of the swiftly changing events and relationships in her life as she becomes further involved with the Shadowhunters and their pursuit of demons and discovers some terrifying truths about her parents, her brother Jace, and her boyfriend Simon.
3. Still pursuing a cure for her mother’s enchantment, Clary uses all her powers and ingenuity to get into Idris, the forbidden country of the secretive Shadowhunters, and to its capital, the City of Glass, where with the help of a newfound friend, Sebastian, she uncovers important truths about her family’s past that will not only help save her mother but all those that she holds most dear.
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games (Scholastic 2008)
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss’s skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place.
Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War (Pantheon 1974)
A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school’s annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies.
Crutcher, Chris. The Sledding Hill (Greenwillow 2005)
“Billy, recently deceased, keeps an eye on his best friend, fourteen-year-old Eddie, who has added to his home and school problems by becoming mute, and helps him stand up to a conservative minister and English teacher who is orchestrating a censorship challenge.” ~ Brandi Kenyon
Crutcher, Chris. Whale Talk (Greenwillow 2001)
“You could count just about anything Chris Crutcher has written, but I’m thinking especially of Whale Talk with the misfits taking on the athletic institution in their high school. ” ~ Kat Kan
Cushman, Karen. The Loud Silence of Francine Green (Clarion 2006)
“In 1949, thirteen-year-old Francine goes to Catholic school in Los Angeles where she becomes best friends with a girl who questions authority and is frequently punished by the nuns, causing Francine to question her own values.” ~ Brandi Kenyon
Doctorow, Cory. Little Brother (Tor Teen 2008)
After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.
Garden, Nancy. The Year They Burned the Books (Farrar, Straus, Giroux 1999)
While trying to come to terms with her own lesbian feelings, Jamie, a high-school senior and editor of the school newspaper, finds herself in the middle of a battle with a group of townspeople over the new health education curriculum.
Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot (Knopf 2002)
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Hiaasen, Carl. Flush (Knopf 2005)
With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.
Hiaasen, Carl. Scat (Knopf 2009)
Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.
Howe, James. The Misfits (Atheneum 2001)
Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.
Konigsburg, E. L. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place (Atheneum 2004)
Upon leaving an oppressive summer camp, twelve-year-old Margaret Rose Kane spearheads a campaign to preserve three unique towers her great-uncles have been building in their backyard for more than forty years.
Lockhart, E. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Hyperion 2008)
Sophomore Frankie starts dating senior Matthew Livingston, but when he refuses to talk about the all-male secret society that he and his friends belong to, Frankie infiltrates the society in order to enliven their mediocre pranks.
Lyga, Barry. Hero Type (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008)
Feeling awkward and ugly is only one reason sixteen-year-old Kevin is uncomfortable with the publicity surrounding his act of accidental heroism, but when a reporter photographs him apparently being unpatriotic, he steps into the limelight to encourage people to think about what the symbols of freedom really mean.
Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief (Hyperion 2005)
After learning that he is the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea, twelve-year-old Percy is sent to a summer camp for demigods like himself, and joins his new friends on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.
Tashjian, Janet. The Larry series (Henry Holt) – The Gospel According to Larry (2001), Vote for Larry (2004) and Larry and the Meaning of Life (2008)
1. Seventeen-year-old Josh, a loner-philosopher who wants to make a difference in the world, tries to maintain his secret identity as the author of a web site that is receiving national attention.
2. Not yet eighteen years old, Josh, a.k.a. Larry, comes out of hiding and returns to public life, this time to run for President as an advocate for issues of concern to youth and to encourage voter turnout.
3. Larry (otherwise known as Josh) is in the doldrums, but after meeting a spiritual guru at Walden Pond who convinces him to join his study group, he starts to question his grasp of reality.
Vaught, Susan. Big Fat Manifesto (Bloomsbury 2008)
Overweight, self-assured, high school senior Jamie Carcaterra writes in the school newspaper about her own attitude to being fat, her boyfriend’s bariatric surgery, and her struggles to be taken seriously in a very thin world.
Westerfeld, Scott. The Uglies series (Simon & Schuster) – Uglies (2005), Pretties (2005) and Extras (2007)
1. Just before their sixteenth birthdays, when they will will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have a great time, Tally’s best friend runs away and Tally must find her and turn her in, or never become pretty at all.
2. Finally surgically transformed into a “pretty,” sixteen-year-old Tally, now gorgeous and programmed to think only happy thoughts, is plagued by tangled memories of living in the Smoke, a rebel colony of “ugly” runaways hiding from the Special Circumstances authorities.
3. After rebel Tally Youngblood brings down the uglies/pretties/specials regime, fame, instead of beauty, becomes the new world order, and fifteen-year-old Aya Fuse embarks on a dangerous plan to boost her popularity ranking.
Remember the Titans