45 of the Best Feminist YA Books According to You

This Riot Recommendation for the Best Feminist YA Books is sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, bringing you The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwall.

From a New York Times bestselling author, Betsy Cornwell, a fresh, female-centered take on “Robin Hood” in which a young noblewoman, like the legendary hero, becomes an outlaw fighting for social justice. Perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sarah J. Maas, this smart, gorgeously written take on the Robin Hood lore goes beyond the original’s focus to explore love, gender roles, the healing power of nature, and what it means to be family.


The essence of feminism is equality for all. You don’t have to be a butt-kicking hero to embody that principle. And applying lipstick before going out doesn’t negate that ideal. Feminism is as varied as the many people challenging harmful norms, whether those people are loudly dismantling institutionalized injustice or quietly engaging the friend whose humor too often punches down. So we asked you to visit the comment section and share your picks for the best feminist YA books. The ones you’d put in front of a budding feminist. Or the ones you’d pick up yourself, for a reassuring jolt of validation! Because YA—like feminism—is for all. Literally! Because we’re sharing just some of the recommendations your fellow Riot readers put forth. Check them out and let us know what you thought!

A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana Arnold

Look Both Ways by Alison Cherry

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The Power by Naomi Alderman

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Run by Kody Keplinger

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

The Belles by Dhoneille Clayton

Spinning by Tillie Walden

On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

Ash by Malinda Lo

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling by Lucy Frank

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

Written in the Stars by Aisha Said

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

About a Girl by Sarah McCarry

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

Sign up to receive Check Your Shelf, the Librarian's One-Stop Shop For News, Book Lists, And More.
VIEW COMMENTS