35 of Your Picks for Activism Fiction

This Riot Recommendation of favorite fiction about activism is sponsored by Parts per Million by Julia Stoops.

Parts per Million | fiction about activismA tale of activism, loss, and transformation, Parts per Million is reading for the resistance. Three Portland activists work hard to save the world—one radio show at a time—when an Irish photographer with an expired visa disrupts their lives. Against the 2002 backdrop of the buildup to the Iraq war, the activists uncover war technologies research at an Oregon university, setting off a page-turning sequence of events. Julia Stoops began Parts per Million, a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, during the tumultuous period after 9/11, and it’s now “a primer for the fight to come.”


Social engagement can make for some engaging reading, especially during this moment in time when consciousness raising is a civic duty for all ages. So we asked you to tell us what you think are the best fiction reads featuring activism. Here are some of your recommendations:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Long Night of White Chickens by Francisco Goldman

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Landfall by Ellen Urbani

Radio Free Vermont by Bill McKibben

My Son’s Story by Nadine Gordimer

Small Changes by Marge Piercy

Zodiac by Neal Stephenson

Gifted by John Daniel

The Ink Truck by William Kennedy

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer

Meridian by Alice Walker

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck

Christodora by Tim Murry

Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

Buffalo Brenda by Jill Pinkwater

We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge

God’s Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembene

Tell No Lies by Barbara Rhine

Everything Belongs to Us by Yoojin Grace Wuertz

Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin

The Book of Daniel by E. L. Doctorow

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Eat the Document by Dana Spiotta

The Sydney Rye series by Emily Kimelman

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Hot Season by Susan Defreitas

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz

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