We hope these selections serve to educate and encourage a dialogue on human rights, which are needs and freedoms considered essential to human flourishing, such as the right to education and the right to equality before the law without discrimination. These books highlight people and communities working, protesting, and fighting for human rights—some in our communities and others around the globe, in the past and continuing today.

Dark Sky Rising by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

A journey through America’s past and our nation’s attempts at renewal in this look at the Civil War’s conclusion, Reconstruction, and the rise of Jim Crow segregation. This is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, one of history’s most pivotal chapters of emancipation, the struggle for citizenship and national reunion, and the advent of racial segregation.

Available formats: Book, Audibook (Hoopla), Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)





The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin

An account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand), Audiobook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)






March by John Lewis

This graphic novel is Congressman John Lewis’ first-hand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)






Stonewall by Ann Bausum

A dramatic retelling of the Stonewall riots of 1969, introducing teen readers to the decades-long struggle for gay rights.

Available formats: Book






Jane Against the World by Karen Blumenthal

Tracing the path to the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade and the continuing battle for women’s rights, Blumenthal examines, in a straightforward tone, the root causes of the current debate around abortion and repercussions that have affected generations of American women.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (OverDrive by Media On Demand)






Dissenter on the Bench by Victoria Ortiz

The life and career of the fiercely principled Supreme Court Justice, now a popular icon, with dramatic accounts of her landmark cases that moved the needle on legal protection of human rights.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)






Finding a Way Home by Larry Dane Brimner

When Mildred and Richard Loving are arrested, jailed, and exiled from their home simply because of their mixed-race marriage, they must challenge the courts and the country in order to secure their civil rights. In one of the country’s most prominent legal battles, Loving v. Virginia, the Lovings secured their future when the court struck down all state laws prohibiting mixed marriage.

Available formats: Book





Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

Written in blank verse, the story of Mildred Loving, an African American girl, and Richard Loving, a Caucasian boy, who challenge the Viriginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla), Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand), Ebook (cloudLibrary)






Banned Book Club by Hyun Sook Kim

When Kim Hyun Sook started college in 1983 she was ready for her world to open up. This was during South Korea’s Fifth Republic, a military regime that entrenched its power through censorship, torture, and the murder of protestors. When the young editor of the school newspaper invited her to his reading group, she found herself hiding in a basement as the youngest member of an underground banned book club. A dramatic true story of political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading.

Available formats: Book




You Too? by Janet Gurtler

A collection of essays inspired by the #MeToo movement. When #MeToo went viral millions of people began to reflect on past experiences. Janet Gurtler needed teens to know what she had not: that no young person should be subject to sexual assault, or made to feel unsafe, less than or degraded.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)






I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

The numbers are staggering: nearly one in five girls ages fourteen to seventeen have been the victim of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. This is the true story of one of those girls. In 2014, Prout was a freshman when a senior boy sexually assaulted her as part of a ritualized game of conquest. She reported her assault to the police and testified against her attacker in court. In the face of unexpected backlash from her once-trusted community, she shed her anonymity to help other survivors find their voice.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)




My Body My Choice by Robin Stevenson

The long fight for abortion rights is being picked up by a new generation of courageous, creative and passionate activists. This book is about the history, and the future, of that fight.

Available formats: Book






Votes For Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot by Winifred Conkling

The story of the 19th Amendment and the nearly eighty-year fight for voting rights for women, covering not only the suffragists’ achievements and politics, but also the private journeys that led them to become women’s champions.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla), Audiobook (Hoopla)






Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone

An incisive examination of the post-Reconstruction era struggle and the suppression of African American voting rights in the United States.

Available formats: Book, Audiobook (Hoopla)






One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters are Treated Equally by Carol Anderson

Anderson follows the story of government-dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. She explains how voter suppression works, and explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans as the nation gears up for election season.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (OverDrive by Media On Demand)





 Just Mercy: Adapted for Young Adults by Bryan Stevenson

Lawyer and social justice advocate, Bryan Stevenson, offers a glimpse into the lives of the wrongfully imprisoned and his efforts to fight for their freedom.

Available formats: Book






An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza

Going beyond the story of America as a country “discovered” by a few brave men in the “New World,” Indigenous human rights advocate Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz reveals the roles that settler colonialism and policies of American Indian genocide played in forming our national identity. Debbie Reese is tribally enrolled at Namb Owingeh, and grew up on Nambe’s reservation.

Available formats: Book, Ebook (OverDrive by Media on Demand)





The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

Don Brown’s graphic novel tells the collective tale of Syrian refugees’ attempt to escape their country’s civil war in search of a better tomorrow and depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. “Shining a light on the stories of the survivors, The Unwanted is a testament to the courage and resilience of the refugees and a call to action for all those who read.”

Available formats: Book, Ebook (Hoopla)

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