Total Nerd These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists  

Mick Jacobs
1.1k votes 170 voters 3.1k views 27 items

List 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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list ordered by
1
76 21
The Diary of Anne Frank is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich
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.
2
54 23
A Wrinkle in Time is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Madeleine L'Engle
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
3
53 23
Island of the Blue Dolphins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Scott O'Dell
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 ...more
4
47 22
The Baby-Sitters Club is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Ann M. Martin
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, ...more
5
37 27
Speak is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Laurie Halse Anderson
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 ...more
6
32 22
Harriet the Spy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet the Spy is a children's novel written and illustrated by Louise Fitzhugh that was published in 1964. It has been called "a milestone in children's literature" and a
7
26 27
The Hate U Give is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Angie Thomas
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
8
17 21
Forever... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Judy Blume
Forever... is a 1975 novel by Judy Blume dealing with teenage sexuality. Because of the novel's content it has been the frequent target of censorship and appears on the American Library ...more
9
19 28
The House on Mango Street is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Sandra Cisneros
The House on Mango Street is a 1984 coming-of-age novel by Mexican-American writer Sandra Cisneros. It deals with Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl, and her life growing up in Chicago with ...more
10
16 25
A Great and Terrible Beauty is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Libba Bray
A Great and Terrible Beauty is the first novel in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray. It is told from the perspective of Gemma Doyle, a girl in the year 1895. Gemma leaves her home in India ...more
11
15 26
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Louise Rennison
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging is a young adult novel by Louise Rennison. The book is the first of ten books in the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series. It won the Nestlé ...more
12
14 25
The Duff is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Kody Keplinger
The Duff is a young adult novel by Kody Keplinger. Keplinger was 17 when she wrote the novel, which was released on June 7, 2011. A film based on the novel, also entitled The DUFF, was released ...more
13
12 27
Sold is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Patricia McCormick
Sold is a novel by Patricia McCormick, published in 2006. It tells the story of a girl from Nepal named Lakshmi, who is sold into sexual slavery in India. The novel is written in a series of ...more
14
9 28
Code Name Verity is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Elizabeth E. Wein
Code Name Verity is a young-adult historical novel by Elizabeth Wein that was published in 2012. It focuses on the friendship between two young British women in World War II – a spy captured by ...more
15
7 26
Tales from Earthsea is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Ursula K. Le Guin
Tales from Earthsea is a collection of fantasy stories and essays by American author Ursula K. Le Guin, published by Harcourt in 2001. It accompanies five novels set in the fictional archipelago ...more
16
6 24
Sloppy Firsts is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Megan McCafferty
17
6 25
Ash is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Malinda Lo
Ash is a young adult fantasy lesbian novel by Malinda Lo first published in 2009. It is a reworking of the Cinderella fairy tale. The novel is about an abused teenage girl who longs for fairies ...more
18
6 25
How the Garcia Girls Lost Thei... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Julia Alvarez
How the García Girls Lost Their Accents is a 1991 novel written by Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez. Told in reverse chronological order and narrated from ...more
19
4 23
The Female of the Species is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Mindy McGinnis
The Female of the Species is a 2016 novel by Mindy McGinnis. The book is a contemporary YA novel that examines rape culture through alternating perspectives. Three years ago, when her older ...more
20
5 27
The Walls Around Us is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Nova Ren Suma
The Walls Around Us is a 2015 #1 New York Times best selling young adult novel by Nova Ren Suma. It was first published on March 24, 2015 through Algonquin Young Readers and centers upon three ...more
21
4 26
Disreputable History of Franki... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
E. Lockhart
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is a book written by E. Lockhart.
22
3 22
Shadowshaper is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Daniel José Older
Shadowshaper is a 2015 American urban fantasy young adult novel written by Daniel José Older. It follows Sierra Santiago, an Afro-Boricua teenager living in Brooklyn. She is the ...more
23
2 22
Does My Head Look Big in This? is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Randa Abdel-Fattah
Does My Head Look Big In This? is author Randa Abdel-Fattah's first novel. It was released in Australia, by Pan MacMillan Australia, on August 1, 2005. It won the Australian Book Industry Award ...more
24
2 23
The Sweet In-Between is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
Sheri Reynolds
The Sweet In-Between is a 2008 novel by Sheri Reynolds. With her father in prison, her mother dead, and her eighteenth birthday on the horizon, Kenny Lugo is desperate to belong to someone, ...more
25
2 23
None of the Above is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists
I. W. Gregorio
None of the Above is a novel by I. W. Gregorio, published in 2015 about an adolescent intersex girl, Kristin, who discovers she has an intersex condition shortly after becoming Homecoming