Good Trouble for Grades 6-12

By Skokie Staff Youth Services

We're celebrating the extraordinary legacy of John Lewis, a lifelong civil rights activist and legislator. Learn about his life and how you can change the world for the better by standing up and speaking out for your beliefs.

  • March

    2016 by Lewis, John

    John Lewis was a man who stood by his deeply held beliefs throughout his life. He believed that our country should be a land of equal opportunity for all of us, and he wasn't afraid to risk his life--as an activist and a legislator--to make that happen. Get to know this courageous American by reading his own words in his gripping graphic novels. There are three in the series, and you won't be able to put them down.

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  • Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

    2017 by Brimner, Larry Dane

    You may have heard of the "freedom rides," but you may not know much about them. In 1961, segregation was still being enforced in the South, even though it was illegal. Black people were kept from using the same lunch counters, waiting rooms, buses, drinking fountains, and train cars as white people. Thirteen brave activists, Black and white, decided to challenge the status quo by taking public transportation through the South and defying segregation all along the way. It was dangerous and life-threatening, but it worked. Learn about this amazing group, which included John Lewis. Photos and documents bring this historical bus ride to life.

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  • John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement

    2006 by Haskins, James

    Learn more about John Lewis, a man who knew from childhood that sometimes you have to "turn things upside down to set them right-side up."

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  • The Highest Tribute: Thurgood Marshall's Life, Leadership, and Legacy

    2021 by Magoon, Kekla/ Freeman, Laura (ILT)

    Did you know that there really were signs in some parts of our country that prohibited Black people from using the same drinking fountains as white people? Thurgood Marshall was a man who, like John Lewis, noticed unfairness as a child and never stopped working to change it. This book makes learning about our first Black Supreme Court justice easy and fun.

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  • A Good Kind of Trouble

    2019 by Ramée, Lisa Moore

    What would you like to see changed about our world? And how would you work to change it? I loved reading about Shay, a young teen who begins to see that some trouble is worth getting into, if it means standing up for what is right.

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  • Freedom Summer for Young People

    2020 by Watson, Bruce

    Making change is never easy, and the summer of 1964 brought both pain and positive change to our country. This book introduces you not just to the famous Civil Rights leaders you've heard about, but also to the ordinary, lesser-known people--Black and white--who came to Mississippi from all over the country to stand up for justice.

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  • Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America

    2018 by Easton, Emily

    There are many different ways of making your voice heard if you want to make the world a better place. Learn about 20 activists and how they changed our country by singing, writing, marching, organizing, and speaking out.

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  • The Teachers March! How Selma's Teachers Changed History

    2020 by Wallace, Sandra Neil

    If you can't vote, you don't have a voice in how your government is run. In 1965, a brave group of 104 teachers marched to the courthouse in Selma, Alabama, to protest the denial of voting rights to Black citizens. This was dangerous, because protesters were often attacked in the Jim Crow South. But because teachers are respected members of any community, this march became the basis for many Equal Rights marches that followed. Read about how these courageous teachers changed history.

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  • Raise Your Voice: 12 Protests That Shaped America

    2020 by Kluger, Jeffrey

    One person can make a difference! The author says humans are "hard-wired" to protest against unfairness. Learn about 12 protests, some planned and some spontaneous, on subjects as diverse as gay rights, clean water, and nuclear weapons. You'll see lots of photos of the actual events and hear from the individuals who organized huge protests--even before the arrival of the internet.

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  • Generation Brave: The Gen Z Kids Who Are Changing the World

    2020 by Alexander, Kate

    Yes, you can make a difference! Learn about activists in your own generation from all over the world who are working to make our world a better place. From environmental activist Greta Thunberg to Indigenous rights activist Helena Gualinga (Kichwa), these short biographies will inspire you to find your own cause and get to work.

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  • How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation


    In this book, young activists speak directly to you and offer advice and encouragement to anyone who is interested in advocating for social change. Contributors from all over the world share their own experiences meeting and standing up against various forms of injustice and encourage you to speak out and act.

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  • Suffragette: The Battle for Equality

    2019 by Roberts, David

    The protesters who worked to get voting rights (suffrage) for women were called Suffragettes and they were tireless activists who campaigned long and hard both in the UK and the US. They were also reviled by many people for years. When they demonstrated, they were attacked--both physically and in print--and imprisoned. But they got the vote. Learn about these amazing women, some quite young.

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  • Locked up for Freedom: Civil Rights Protesters at the Leesburg Stockade

    2018 by Schwartz, Heather E.

    This is one of the best accounts of historical events by the people who were there. Girls, some as young as 11, protested against inequality in Georgia in the summer of 1963. Authorities punished them by locking them up in an old army stockade without notifying their families. Because the girls were so young, a lot of them are still around to tell their stories, and they are amazing!

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  • We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changes the World

    2020 by Hasak-Lowy, Todd

    Learn about the great activists who used nonviolence as a means of protest. Gandhi, for India's independence, Alice Paul, for women's suffrage, Cesar Chavez, for farmworkers' fair treatment, Martin Luther King Jr, for civil rights, and Greta Thunberg, for the environment, are only a few of the practitioners of nonviolent protest for social change you'll meet in this compelling book.

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  • Resist! Peaceful Acts That Changed Our World

    2020 by Stanley, Diane

    This beautiful book presents one-page biographies of people who practiced nonviolent resistance. Starting with Harriet Tubman and ending with Greta Thunberg, you'll learn all about sit-ins, songs, boycotts, and online campaigns that have righted social wrongs without violence.

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