Rise: A Feminist Book Project, which is part of the Feminist Task Force and the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association, compiles a list every year of recommended titles for ages 0-18 that contain significant feminist content. Rise celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2022 and the committee continues to push for a robust, inclusive, and relevant list. Library staff have represented Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh by serving as Rise committee members throughout the project’s 20 years.
The 2023 Top Ten titles highlight issues of labor rights, bodily autonomy, activism, community building, and more, while pushing against prevalent censorship plaguing young readers and their caregivers. We encourage you to pick up one of the Top Ten titles or peruse the full list of honorees on the Rise website.
A Seed in the Sun by Aida Salazar – In this verse novel set during the 1965 farm workers’ labor protests, 12-year-old Lula defies the expectations of her gender and age to fight alongside her family and community.
Child of the Flower-Song People by Gloria Amescua and Duncan Tonatiuh – A picture-book biography of Jiménez, an Indigenous Nahua woman from Mexico who preserved her culture through craft and instruction. She modeled for numerous artists of the 19th century. This title is also available on Hoopla as an eBook or on Libby/OverDrive as an eBook.
Confessions of an Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney – Monique, the daughter of a Black Baptist preacher in Texas, grapples with faith, shame, and purity culture; her boyfriend’s demands for sex; and finding a cure for her vaginismus. This title is also available on Libby/OverDrive as an eBook or an eAudio.
El cuarto turquesa/The Turquoise Room by Monica Brown, Adriana M. Garcia, and Cinthya Miranda-McIntosh – Written as a gift to her daughters, this is a story of how women in the author’s family passed down the confidence to dream, explore, and create.
The Billboard by Natalie Y. Moore – Black women activists on the South Side of Chicago work to combat toxic public messaging about abortion during a local election. This title is available on Hoopla as an eBook.
TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo – When TJ and her cousin become the targets of sexist memes, she fights back by growing her body hair. This title is also available on Libby/OverDrive as an eBook or as an eAudio.
Toufah: The Woman Who Inspired an African #MeToo Movement by Toufah Jallow with Kim Pittaway – The true story of Jallow’s journey from fleeing the Gambia to becoming a fierce advocate for victims of sexual violence. This title is also available on Libby/OverDrive as an eBook.
Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne – Angel moves from California to Brooklyn at the start of junior year and discovers home and belonging are more than just places. This title is also available on Libby/OverDrive as an eBook or an eAudio.
Well, That Was Unexpected by Jesse Q. Sutanto – Two Chinese Indonesian teens—a biracial California girl and a Jakarta boy—reckon with catfishing, gender roles, toxic masculinity, meddling families, social media scrutiny—and unexpectedly falling in love. This title is also available on Libby/OverDrive as an eBook.
Yes! No! A First Conversation About Consent by Megan Madison, Jessica Ralli, and Isabel Roxas – A thoughtful and inclusive approach to discussing consent both for young children and their grownups.
*Book summaries captured from the Rise booklist.
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