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These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists

Voting Rules
Vote up the best novels for a young feminist.

Popular social movements including Free the Nipple and #MeToo highlight the emergence of fourth-wave feminism in public discourse, a discourse that involves and effects all ages.

For young people eager to engage in the conversation, feminist young adult novels provide a great place to develop some talking points. Though they can certainly dive into The Second Sex or The Feminine Mystique, young adults probably want to read material more suited to their age and immediate interests. Thankfully, plenty of authors incorporate feminism and its ideals into their novels' plots, themes, and characters. In doing so, these writers introduce and normalize feminism for a younger audience. Through feminist fiction for young adults, youth are exposed to concepts such as sexual harassment and misogyny in ways they both understand and identify with. If modern TV shows can proudly be feminist, so can your teen's literature.

This collection of texts and novels offers a variety of genre options for young adults and teens. Though not every novel explicitly concerns feminism, books with female-identifying lead characters still embody and present the movement's ideals in a way young folks more easily digest. Fantasy series featuring dynamic women in lead roles appear alongside standalone novels about sexuality, activism, and the cruel politics of high school. Young people, regardless of their gender identity or sex, stand to learn a lot from books like these.

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Ranked by
  • The Diary Of Anne Frank
    Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich
    92 votes
    The Diary of Anne Frank is a stage adaptation of the book The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. It premiered at the Cort Theatre in 1955.
  • A Wrinkle In Time
    Madeleine L'Engle
    71 votes
    • First Published: 1962
    • Subjects: Classics
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Children's literature, Young adult literature, Science Fiction, Fantasy
    • Original Language: English Language
    A Wrinkle in Time is a science fantasy novel by American writer Madeleine L'Engle, first published in 1962. The story revolves around a young girl whose father, a government scientist, has gone ...more
  • Island Of The Blue Dolphins
    63 votes
    • First Published: 1960-09
    • Subjects: Survival skills, Literature, Linguistics, Young adult, Classics
    • Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
    Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 1960 children's novel written by Scott O'Dell. The story of a young girl stranded for years on an island off the California coast. It is based on the true story of ...more
  • The Baby-Sitters Club
    62 votes
    The Baby-Sitters Club is a series of novels written by Ann M. Martin and published by Scholastic between 1986 and 2000, that sold 170 million copies. Many of the novels were ghostwritten, including ...more
  • Speak
    Laurie Halse Anderson
    55 votes
    • First Published: 1999-10
    • Subjects: Education, Young adult, Adolescence, Schools
    • Genres (Book): Children's literature, Fiction, Novel
    • Original Language: English Language
    Speak, published in 1999, is Laurie Halse Anderson's young adult novel that tells the story of high school student Melinda Sordino. After accidentally busting an end-of-summer party due to an unnamed ...more
  • The Hate U Give
    Angie Thomas
    49 votes
    • First Published: 2017
    The Hate U Give is a young adult novel by Angie Thomas, that follows a protagonist drawn to activism after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend. Published February 28, 2017 by ...more