Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Sunday Reflections: That Time I Tried to Talk About Being an Ally and the Book That Can Help Us All Have Those Conversations

Last summer, during the height of Black Lives Matter, I took 3 masked 12 year olds to the grocery store. All of us are white. As we were walking in, a Black man was walking out.

“Let’s raise our fists and yell Black Lives Matter,” one of them said.

And that started one of the most important conversations I have had in a long time with these girls.

I told them no, you shouldn’t do that and when they asked me why, I explained to them that this man was a stranger and he did not know owe us his time or attention. I told them that they were a group of giggling 12-year-old girls and he would not know if they were being sincere or mocking him and the movement. I told them that it would be wrong from them to assume that just because this man was Black that he agreed with Black Lives Matter or the current protests that were happening. I told them that they were not being helpful and would be centering themselves in this moment and possibly causing problems for this man, who as far as we know was just a man trying to go grab a gallon of milk or whatever.

And then they started talking about the Black Lives Matter events happening on social media. They talked about turning their avatars into black squares and when of them mentioned the black square with a raised fist one of the girls corrected the others and said, no you can’t use that one, it’s not for us. And I stood back and watched them all process and talk about what they were seeing and hearing on social media, jumping in every once and a while to correct some factual errors or add nuance along the way.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were having a conversation about being an ally and – there’s a book for that.

Allies is a nonfiction book that presents a variety of individual essays that talk about what it means to be an ally. It starts from the premise that there are no perfects allies and then asks you to sit and think about what it means to be one. From the very first introduction, you just get profound thoughts on top of more profound thoughts to think about. And it starts by asking us as allies to de-center ourselves, to listen, and to let the voices of those who we claim to be allies for to speak and amplify them whenever possible.

As a white woman raising white teenage daughters, the idea of raising allies is very important to me. We are a family of deep, abiding faith and we believe that it is important to love our neighbors as ourselves and to make the world a more just place in whatever ways we can. I also know that we benefit from our white privilege and, like those around us, we struggle with our own internalized misogyny and racism and all the other isms that we are indoctrinated with from birth in both overt and covert ways. Learning how to be a good human, a good Christian, and a good ally are life long processes. It’s a constant state of undoing, relearning, trying, failing, and then trying again.

I appreciated this book. It was a challenging read. It is a thoughtful read. It is an encouraging read. I’m getting each of those girls that walked with me through the grocery store that day their own copies. I know that they, like a lot of teens in today’s generation, are very much wanting to change the world for good. But even people with the best of intentions make huge mistakes along the way. Allies won’t make it so they become the most perfect allies, but it will help them to become more thoughtful and better ones on their journey.

Publisher’s Book Description:

This book is for everyone. Because we can all be allies.

As an ally, you use your power—no matter how big or small—to support others. You learn, and try, and mess up, and try harder. In this collection of true stories, 17 critically acclaimed and bestselling YA authors get real about being an ally, needing an ally, and showing up for friends and strangers. 

From raw stories of racism and invisible disability to powerful moments of passing the mic, these authors share their truths. They invite you to think about your own experiences and choices and how to be a better ally.

There are no easy answers, but this book helps you ask better questions. Self-reflection prompts, resources, journaling ideas, and further reading suggestions help you find out what you can do. Because we’re all in this together. And we all need allies. (From Penguin Randomhouse)

Allies comes out on Tuesday, September 14th and I highly recommend it for everyone. It’s a thoughtful, challenging, and inspiring read for any of us who want to try and do our better to make a world a better and more just world but don’t know how to start. It starts with listening, and these authors have some powerful thoughts to share.

The #Resistance and Social Justice for Teens (#SJYALit: The Social Justic and YA Lit Project)

Today’s teens are very politically active, from the March for Our Lives to Pride and everything in between, teens are finding ways to be active, be engaged and be heard, even before they can vote. The Teen has participated in 3 political marches in the last two years, making her own signs for each. I had a group of teens visit the Teen MakerSpace in June who made a variety of flags, signs and buttons that they wanted to take to Pride. I am constantly hearing teenagers talk about the same issues that adults are talking about; they are informed, engaged and just as passionate as the adults around them.


We made buttons to hand out at the march

We made buttons to hand out at the march

Knowing that today’s teens are engaged, a lot of authors are working to put social justice themed books into the hands of teens. They’re sharing their personal stories or writing manuals that help highlight just what teens can do to help change the world. The books are out there, and they should be in our libraries.

Teaching Tolerance | Diversity, Equity And Justice

Many teens today are also choosing to join what is being referred to as “the resistance” or adopting the theme of resist. Teens may be choosing to join for their own personal reasons, but the theme is often the same: they want to resist fascism, racism, sexism, homophobia, or the growing rise in white nationalism that they see in the news. It would be too easy to express the resistance as being anti-Trump or anti-GOP, because for many teens, is framed more as being pro: Pro Equal Rights, Pro Gay Rights, Pro Democracy. It’s just as much that they are fighting for something as they are fighting against something.

I have taught The Teen and some friends how to use Canva to make postcards to send to representatives

I have taught The Teen and some friends how to use Canva to make postcards to send to representatives

Using Canva to Make Postcards

The Teen, for example, has grown up in a home where we talk openly and frequently about feminism and sexual violence. We talk about consent. We talk about healthy relationships. We talk about equality. So we choose to march in the Women’s March because we were personally appalled at the lack of concern that Donald Trump’s statements regarding his own admitted sexism and sexually predatory behavior garnered in the media. And on the one year anniversary of that march, we marched again. And having grown up in a system where she was taught armed intruder drills before she was taught her ABCs, The Teen also choose to march in the March for Our Lives march for more reasonable gun laws.

Teens resist. – Home

Teens Resist (@teensresist) • Instagram photos and videos

Teens started March for Our Lives, but all ages participated – Vox

In the same vein, many of my LGBTQAI+ teens and their ally friends marched in Pride to not only celebrate themselves, but to keep fighting for LGBTQAI+ rights and equality. They came into the Teen MakerSpace and found creative ways to use the supplies provided to share their message of love and equality. We didn’t host or advertise a program, they just knew we were there and used the resources provided in their own creative ways. That’s exactly what we like to see happen in a Teen MakerSpace, spontaneous creativity and self expression that is teen inspired and teen led.


Today, I am sharing with you a Take 5 list of books for teens like these who desire to be active in social justice. Although fiction books like The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas and All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely take a realistic look at social justice in action via the narrative, this list looks specifically at nonfiction titles with inspiring true stories, real life tips, and everything a teen might need to be inspired and engaged in social justice.


From Amy Reed, Ellen Hopkins, Amber Smith, Sandhya Menon, and more of your favorite YA authors comes an anthology of essays that explore the diverse experiences of injustice, empowerment, and growing up female in America.

This collection of twenty-one essays from major YA authors—including award-winning and bestselling writers—touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today’s America, and the intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity to anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman’s shelf.

This anthology features essays from Martha Brockenbrough, Jaye Robin Brown, Sona Charaipotra, Brandy Colbert, Somaiya Daud, Christine Day, Alexandra Duncan, Ilene Wong (I.W.) Gregorio, Maurene Goo. Ellen Hopkins, Stephanie Kuehnert, Nina LaCour, Anna-Marie McLemore, Sandhya Menon, Hannah Moskowitz, Julie Murphy, Aisha Saeed, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Amber Smith, and Tracy Walker.

This title releases on August 14th 2018 by Simon Pulse.

Other titles on this list include:

resistbook1 resistance3 resistance2 resist5 resist4 resist3 resist2resistance6resist10ihavetherightto

There are a lot of things libraries can do to promote teens and civic engagement. Hold mock elections. Have a button maker? Allow teens to make buttons that express themselves. Have a postcard or sign making party, or just make supplies available. Put up displays that feature both fiction and nonfiction titles about teens and civic engagement. If your library is worried about being seen as taking a side on a controversial issue like gun control, remember you can encourage teen engagement as a concept without taking a position one way or another on an issue. Empowering teens is about teaching them how to use their voice for the issues that they care about. Democracy survives only if citizens are engaged, and that engagement begins long before you can press a button in a voting booth.

#SJYALit, Social Justice in YA Lit – The 2017 TLT Project


Since November 9th, 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center has been keeping track of the tremendous increase in hate crimes in the United States. This news, combined with increasing threats to education, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, attacks on healthcare and more, has left the librarians at TLT worrying about the teens that we have committed ourselves to serving, both now and in the future. So we have decided to respond in the only way we know how – through books and information.

Beginning in 2014, we began our campaign on sexual violence (#SVYALit). In 2015, we focused on faith and spirituality (#FSYALit). This year, we focused on mental health (#MHYALit). All those campaigns will continue.

In 2017, we will focus on social justice. #SJYALit. We want to talk about poverty, racism, sexism and all the other issues which have been more fully brought to the surface in this election. This year, we are working to more fully understand the issues and will share our journey with our readership. It is our hope that we can equip those who work with teens with background and information sources that will grow their understanding of and compassion for our teens. Together, we can teach teens to be knowledgeable, compassionate members of society who understand their value.

Social justice is defined as “… promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity.” It exists when “all people share a common humanity and therefore have a right to equitable treatment, support for their human rights, and a fair allocation of community resources.” In conditions of social justice, people are “not be discriminated against, nor their welfare and well-being constrained or prejudiced on the basis of gender, sexuality, religion, political affiliations, age, race, belief, disability, location, social class, socioeconomic circumstances, or other characteristic of background or group membership” (Toowoomba Catholic Education, 2006). (Robinson,  https://gjs.appstate.edu/social-justice-and-human-rights/what-social-justice)

My daughter is 14. She will be voting in the next presidential election. So will all of her friends. So will many of your children. So will the teens I work with every day here in my library.

“ . . . social justice is about assuring the protection of equal access to liberties, rights, and opportunities, as well as taking care of the least advantaged members of society.” (Rawls, https://gjs.appstate.edu/social-justice-and-human-rights/what-social-justice)

Please help us. Those of us at TLT are all white women. We know there are many issues that we cannot speak to. But not all of us are straight, not all of us are Christians, and many of us struggle with mental health issues. And all of us love many people who don’t love, think, or believe like us. We care and we need your help.

So here’s what we’re going to do and we are asking for your help. Next year, we will read books, recommend books, and talk about books that focus on social justice issues. We will compile lists. We will compile resources. We will raise awareness and do our best to listen and grow and ask others to listen and grow with us.

The topics we will be covering include:

  • Civil Rights
  • Disabilities
  • Dystopian (A look at the role of government)
  • Education
  • Environmental Rights and Protection
  • Feminist YA
  • GLBTQ Issues and Representation
  • Healthcare
  • Homelessness
  • Immigration
  • Incarceration
  • Labor (Jobs, Employment, Wages, etc.)
  • Mental Health
  • Own Voices/Representation
  • Politics (Government, Voter’s Rights)
  • Poverty & Income Inequality
  • Religious Freedom (Faith and Spirituality)
  • Reproductive Freedom and Education
  • Sexual Violence
  • Social Justice 101
  • Teen Activism

Each member of TLT will be responsible for coordinating posts on various topics. It will look something like this:

Karen Jensen – Dystopian Lit, Environmental Rights & Protections, Homelessness, Labor, Politics

Heather Booth – Healthcare, Immigration, Own Voices/Representation

Amanda MacGregror – LGBTQIA+,  Muslim Rep/Own Voices, Reproductive Freedom, Sexual Violence, Disability Representation

Robin Willis – Civil Rights, Education, Incareration, Poverty/Income Inequality

Ally Watkins – Feminist YA, Mental Health, Religious Freedom


 Please Contact Us to Participate

You can contact any of us to participate through Twitter or Email:

Karen Jensen – @tlt16, kjensenmls at yahoo dot com

Heather Booth – @boothheather, teenreadersadvisor at gmail dot com

Amanda MacGregor – @CiteSomething, amanda dot macgregor at gmail dot com

Robin Willis –  @robinreads, robinkwillis at gmail dot com

Ally Watkins – @aswatki1, allison dot watkins at eagles dot usm dot edu

In addition, we will be asking you to join us for a monthly book club read and online Twitter chat. We will kick off January with All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. More information will be coming soon.

 #SJYALit Post Index

Book Discussions and Book Lists

Take 5: Using YA Lit to Talk Government, Power, Politics, Corruption and More

Talking ALL AMERICAN BOYS with Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely for the Social Justice in YA Lit (#SJYALit) Project

#SJYALit Reading Lists: Disability in YA Lit, a guest post by Natalie Korsavidis


#SJYALit Booklist: Environmental Dystopia, aka Cli-Fi

#SJYALit: Government Dystopia Booklist

#SJYALit: A Bibliography of MG and YA Lit Featuring Homeless Youth

Civil Rights

Preserving the Right to Peaceful Protest in 2017 America, a guest post by Sabrina Fedel


#SJYALit Reading Lists: Disability in YA Lit, a guest post by Natalie Korsavidis

Dystopian and Authoritarian Governments

#SJYALit Booklist: Environmental Dystopia, aka Cli-Fi

#SJYALit: Government Dystopia Booklist

Engaging Teens

#SJYALit: Making a Social Justice Book Display that Engages Teens

Screening The 13th: Questions to ask yourself #SJYALit

For National Poetry Month: A Social Justice Poetry Project for Teens, a guest post by Laura Shovan

#SJYALit: Social Justice Reading in Schools, a guest post by Alex B.

#SJYALit: More Social Justice Reading in Schools, a guest post by Alex B.

Environmental Rights and Protection

#SJYALit Booklist: Environmental Dystopia, aka Cli-Fi

Feminism, Including Sexual Assault Awareness and Reproductive Rights

#SJYALit: Ten Young Adult Novels for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a guest post by Clara Kensie

#SJYALit: Rape Culture–Twenty-five years ago and today, a guest post by Clara Kensie

#SJYALit: Good Girls Don’t Wear That! a guest post by Kim Baccellia

#SJYALit: How to be Female, a conversation between Mindy McGinnis and Amber J. Keyser

#SJYALit: Breaking Taboos, Telling Secrets, a conversation between Isabel Quintero and Elana K. Arnold


“Nevertheless, She Persisted” A Take 5 List, plus 1

Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World – Kelly Jensen talks with contributor Alida Nugent about social justice, feminism & finding and using your voice

My Voice is Louder Now: HERE WE ARE editor Kelly Jensen talks with Brandy Colbert about Feminism

Feminism is for Everyone: HERE WE ARE editor Kelly Jensen interviews contributor Daniel Jose Older

Still Learning Every Day: HERE WE ARE editor Kelly Jensen interviews contributor Sarah McCarry

From Aberrant Girl to Nasty Woman, a conversation between Elana K. Arnold and Amber J. Keyser

How to be Female, a conversation between Mindy McGinnis and Amber J. Keyser

Breaking Taboos, Telling Secrets, a conversation between Isabel Quintero and Elana K. Arnold

GLBTQA+ Rights

National School Climate Survey results about LGBTQ students’ experiences in school

#SJYALit: If You Don’t Get It, You Won’t Get It Right, a guest post by Shaun David Hutchinson

#SJYALit: LGBTQ+ YA lit in the 90s/00s versus now, a guest post by Alex B.

“Not for Everyone”: The continuing marginalization of LGBTQ literature for kids, a guest post by M.G. Hennessey

Dr. Bully, a guest post by M.G. Hennessey

#SJYALit: How does real life and research fit with LGBT young adult lit? A guest post by Alex B

LGBTQ+ YA lit in the 90s/00s versus now, a guest post by Alex B.

If You Don’t Get It, You Won’t Get It Right, a guest post by Shaun David Hutchinson

Government and Politics

#SJYALit: The Lunar Chronicles as a Reflection of Current U.S. Political Climate, a guest post by Emily Keyes

Take 5: Using YA Lit to Talk Government, Power, Politics, Corruption and More (An #SJYALit Book List)

#MHYALit: How books and being a librarian help me cope with anxiety, a guest post by Erin

Own Voices/Representation

Spotlight on Salaam Reads

Life-enhancing things that matter to young Muslim women, a guest post by Khadija

If You Don’t Get It, You Won’t Get It Right, a guest post by Shaun David Hutchinson

Time For Confrontation: Moving Forward in the Diversity Conversation, a guest post by S. K. Ali


May 4, 1970: The Day the Vietnam War Came Home, a guest post by Sabrina Fedel

The Lunar Chronicles as a Reflection of Current U.S. Political Climate, a guest post by Emily Keyes

Talking About the Right to Die with Dignity, a guest post by author Kelley York

#SJYALit: Government Dystopia Booklist

Poverty and Income Inequality

Socio-Economic Diversity in YA Lit

Can We All Just Stop Saying the Internet Is Free Now Please?

Rich Teen, Poor Teen: Books that depict teens living in poverty

Working with youth who live in poverty

Sunday Reflections: This is what losing everything looks like

Sunday Reflections: Going to bed hungry

Sunday Reflections: A tale of two libraries

Sunday Reflections: Are schools disriminating against the poor?

Sunday Reflections: Poverty doesn’t always look the way you think it does

Sunday Reflections: All I Want for Christmas is the Chance to Go to College

Feeding Teens at the Library: Summer and Afterschool Meals

The Economy as Villain in The Year of Shadows by Claire LeGrand

Book Review: PANIC by Lauren Oliver

Book Review: HUNGRY by H. A. Swain

Not All Educations Are Created Equal

Teens and Poverty: PBS Newshour Discusses Being Homeless and Trying to Graduate High School

Sunday Reflections: Dasani, Poverty, and Education (by Robin)

Sunday Reflections: Torchwood Children of Earth, a reflection on how we think about children in poverty among us

Teens and Poverty: An updated book list

Teen Homelessness and NO PARKING AT THE END TIME by Bryan Bliss

Impoverished Youth: Over Half of Public School Students Now Live in Low Income Homes

Sunday Reflections: Becoming a Statistic

Boom, Crash, the Sound of the Economy

You Are Now Approved to Read, Poverty in MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera

Sexual Violence

#SVYALit: Sexual Violence and Young Adult Literature Discussion/Project

Rape Culture–Twenty-five years ago and today, a guest post by Clara Kensie

Good Girls Don’t Wear That! a guest post by Kim Baccellia

Ten Young Adult Novels for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a guest post by Clara Kensie

Social Justice

#SJYALit Preserving the Right to Peaceful Protest in 2017 America, a guest post by Sabrina Fedel

Love and Justice: What I’ve learned from those seeking refuge in the U.S., a guest post by author Marie Marquardt

Making a Social Justice Book Display that Engages Teens

Hello, I’m Your Social Justice Librarian, a guest post by Perlita Payne

Social Justice Reading in Schools, a guest post by Alex B.

More Social Justice Reading in Schools, a guest post by Alex B.

Author Victoria Scott Talks About Social Justice and YA Lit

The X-Men and the social justice of diverse brains (Or, Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not a hero), a guest post by Rachel Gold

Walk A Mile In Their Shoes, a guest post by Christina June

Teen Activism

#SJYALit: Teens Taking Action in YA Fiction, a guest post by Robin Talley

Get active, change the world: Social campaigns for teens

Be a Changemaker Workshops

Additional Resources

#SVYALit (2014) – Sexual Violence in YA Lit

#FSYALit (2015) – Faith and Spiritiuality in YA Lit

#MHYALit (2016) – Mental Health in YA Lit

#Poverty in YA Lit

Disability in Kidlit

The Brown Bookshelf

We Need Diverse Books

Beyond Walls: Libraries and Incarcerated Youth | School Library Journal

How To Foster Teen Activism | School Library Journal

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters by Laurie Ann Thompson (Blog Tour)

“And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.” – author Libba Bray, quoted on page 161 (always quote Libba Bray, always.)

Teenagers often get a bad rap. They’re loud, they’re obnoxious, their selfish, they’re lazy – that’s what you’ll hear a lot in the press. And from adults: When I was a kid, if we didn’t show respect my parents would have kicked my butt, when I was a kid . . . Well, the truth is, kids today are a lot like kids have always been. And in some ways, they’re better: they have more information about the world they live in and are doing things to make it better. They don’t just sit back and say, “I wish someone would find a way to do something about pollution” – they find a way to make it happen. Sometimes they are local things, sometimes they are global things. But teens today are signing up to be real Changemakers.

What is a changemaker? They are the people around us who take the initiative to create positive social change. They are the teens who start a school garden. They are the teens that start a local recylcing project. They are the teens that see a need and work to find a way to solve it. They want to make their world a better place by starting a movement, creating a new tool, or putting new practices into place.

But being a changemaker isn’t always easy. First comes the idea, but then what do you do with it? Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters by Laurie Ann Thompson is the perfect tool for the changemakers among us. From brainstorming to team building to marketing, Be a Changemaker is a step by step resource guide that can help changemakers go from having an idea to being a force to be reckoned with. An idea in and of itself isn’t enough, changemakers need a variety of tools to take that idea and make it a reality. Some of the chapters cover topics such as running a meeting, developing a business plan, dealing with money matters, working with the media, writing speeches that spark and planning an event. Having read through the book, I have to say this is a really good tool and I like that it highlights and motivates while giving teens the tools they need to be successful changemakers. I definitely recommend it.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to bet better. It’s not.”
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Check out these 5 teen changemakers who are doing things like helping sick kids, joining the fight against bullying, and recycling to help others while saving the planet: 

Everyday Hero: Teen creates backup emergency communications system for local fire station 

This Kid Rocks: Chapel Hill teen creates nonprofit to encourage sick kids 

Arizona teen creates middle school program to combat bullying 

Chicago Teen Creates Change Through Living Gift Markets 

DC teen creates organization to collect discarded crayons from restaurants 

And if you have an aspiring changemaker in your life, here are some organizations you can help them get in touch with to address the things they are passionate about. And if they don’t see something here, they can always pick up a copy of Be a Changemaker and start their own movement. 

To Write Love on Her Arms 
Their mission statement: To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. 

It Gets Better Project 
The message of the It Gets Better Project is simple: everyone deserves to be loved for who they are and it does get better.  They ask everyone to take this pledge: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that it gets better. 

The Big Help 
The Big Help is an initiative of the Nickelodeon channel that encourages tweens and teens to get involved in local projects to help their communities.  The audience definitely skews younger tween, but the way it is designed encourages local action, which is great.

Donate My Dress.org 
Donate My Dress is an initiative sponsored by Seventeen Magazine that encourages teens to donate their special occasion dresses to others in need.  The 2012 spokesperson is Victoria Justice. 

Do Something.org 
Do Something is all about encouraging teens to, well – do something positive for their world.  This is what it says under their Who We Are page: e love teens. They are creative, active, wired…and frustrated that our world is so messed up. DoSomething.org harnesses that awesome energy and unleashes it on causes teens care about. Almost every week, we launch a new national campaign. The call to action is always something that has a real impact and doesn’t require money, an adult, or a car. With a goal of 5 million active members by 2015, DoSomething.org is one of the largest organizations in the US for teens and social change. 

VolunTEEN Nation.org 
I am a huge advocate of teen volunteers, and many libraries have been using teen volunteers for years in the form of Teen Advisory Groups (TAGs).  But not all libraries have the staffing or funds to successfully incorporate TAGs into their programs.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage teen volunteering by providing teens access to volunteer information.  Volunteen Nation is here to help.  Volunteen Nation encourages organizations to add volunteer opportunities to their programming and they also help teens find volunteer opportunities through their website. 

Stop Cyberbullying.org 
With the explosion of technology comes the explosion of cyberbullying, find information and take the pledge to step in and speak up here.

As part of their ongoing campaign to promote tolerance, Tolerance.org sponsors Mix It Up at Lunch Day in November (this year it is November 13th).  On this day teens are encouraged to sit with new people at lunch.  I have gone to schools on this day with displays and just went and interacted with the teens at lunch.  Most teens like to sit in the same place with the same people, but it can really open up dialogue. 

Teens for Planet Earth 
T4PE is a social network by teens, for teens to learn more about conservation efforts and to share information about local projects. 

Greening Forward 
Profiled in Be a Changemaker, Greening Forward was started by a 12-year-old boy to address environment concerns. It is not one of the largest youth-led not-for-profit organizations. 

Project Girl 
From their about page: “PROJECT GIRL combines art, media literacy, and youth led activism. PROJECT GIRL is a ground-breaking girl-led, arts-based initiative created to enable girls to become better informed critical consumers of mass media advertising and entertainment. In other words, to become more media literate. PROJECT GIRL’s unique approach uses art as the means to educate, inspire, and create social change. . The Project Girl gives girls the structure to be the producers of their own culture, not just passive receivers of a culture that is trying to sell them something.”

Stay Teen 
Stay Teen provides information on sex, dating and birth control. 

Love is Respect 
Love is Respect talks about the positive things that love is, and highlights the negative things that it is not – including sexting and abuse. There is some good discussion under the Is This Abuse? tab. 

Break the Cycle 
Break the Cycle is also committed to helping to end dating violence and promoting healthy relationships. 

Day of the Girl 
International Day of the Girl is a movement…

to speak out against gender bias and advocate for girls’ rights everywhere. 

Teens on Trafficking 
Human Trafficking is a form of modern day slavery that is bigger than we realize.  Teens on Trafficking gives teens facts and tools to help end it. 

Love 146 
This is another resource aimed at ending human trafficking and sex crimes against children. 

Free the Children 
Profiled in Be a Changemaker, this is a group founded by a 12-year-old boy. They are an “international charity and educational partner, working both domestically and internationally to empower and enable youth to be agents of change.” 

Here ya author John Green and is Bro join with teens to fight suck using their brains. 

Book Description:

Empower yourself in today’s highly connected, socially conscious world as you learn how to wield your passions, digital tools, and the principles of social entrepreneurship to affect real change in your schools, communities, and beyond.

At age eleven, Jessica Markowitz learned that girls in Rwanda are often not allowed to attend school, and Richards Rwanda took shape.

During his sophomore year of high school, Zach Steinfeld put his love of baking to good use and started the Baking for Breast Cancer Club.

Do you wish you could make a difference in your community or even the world? Are you one of the millions of high school teens with a service-learning requirement? Either way, Be a Changemaker will empower you with the confidence and knowledge you need to affect real change. You’ll find all the tools you need right here—through engaging youth profiles, step-by-step exercises, and practical tips, you can start making a difference today.

This inspiring guide will teach you how to research ideas, build a team, recruit supportive adults, fundraise, host events, work the media, and, most importantly, create lasting positive change. Apply lessons from the business world to problems that need solving and become a savvy activist with valuable skills that will benefit you for a lifetime! (Simon Pulse/Beyond Words, September 2014. ISBN: 9781582704647)


Laurie Ann Thompson comes from a family of entrepreneurs and small business owners. She has worked at IBM, Intel, and Microsoft, and she co-founded a successful internet startup. In addition, she has led a regional nonprofit professional organization and volunteered with Ashoka’s Youth Venture, which supports teens with big ideas. This is her first book. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her at LaurieThompson.com. You can learn more about author Laurie Ann Thompson at her webpage. You can also find answers to Be a Changemaker questions at the Be a Changemaker Q & A page.

And Please visit the rest of the stops on Be a Changemaker blog tour

Tues, Sept 9 ~ at Girl Scout Leader 101 

Wed, Sept 10 ~ at Unleashing Readers 

Thurs, Sept 11 ~ at Teen Librarian Toolbox

Fri, Sept 12 ~ at The Nonfiction Detectives

   and Kirby’s Lane   

Sat, Sept 13 ~ at The Styling Librarian  

Mon, Sept 15 ~ at NC Teacher Stuff   

Tues, Sept 16 ~ at The Hiding Spot 

Wed, Sept 17 ~ at Kid Lit Frenzy   

Thurs, Sept 18 ~ at GreenBeanTeenQueen   

Fri, Sept 19 ~ at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust

A free copy of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.