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Good Books for Young Troublemakers

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Do You Enjoy: Reading fun books? Hanging out with other kids your age? Talking about books? Talking about other stuff, like school and what’s happening in your community and the world? Maybe eating snacks? If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you’re 9 to 14, GBYT is for you!

How It Works: Each month, we’ll read a middle grade title that will help us understand our world (and maybe ourselves?!) a little better.

Every good book includes some sort of conflict, and we’ll use these to practice using our voices in situations like these (and more!): What would you say to someone who misgendered another person? What would you do if you heard a classmate taunting a girl for wearing a hijab? Or telling a Black or brown kid to "go back to where you come from?” Wow! Does that feel like a lot?! Don’t worry, at GBYT we’ll figure it out together!

Purchase the books here:

Dress Coded
by Carrie Firestone
In this debut middle-grade girl-power friendship story, an eighth grader starts a podcast to protest the unfair dress code enforcement at her middle school and sparks a rebellion.


A Duet for Home
by Karina Yan Glaser
Told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger.


Undercover Latina
by Aya De Leon
Teen Spy Andréa Hernández-Baldoquí is on her way to take down a White supremacist terrorist.


Honestly Elliott
by Gillian McDunn
Explores boyhood in a funny, big-hearted story about a kid trying to find the best way to be his best self.


Yusuf Azeem is Not a Hero
by Saadia Faruqi
Twelve-year-old Yusuf Azeem is excited to start sixth grade until he finds hostile and racist notes in his locker.


Code Red
by Joy McCullough
This empowering and heartfelt middle grade novel celebrates finding yourself, making new friends, and standing up for what’s right as a girl becomes involved in menstrual activism.

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