Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

5 YA Books to Pick Up After MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu

Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, with Fierce Reads.

The book that started a revolution—now a Netflix Original Film directed by Amy Poehler! In Jennifer Mathieu’s empowering novel, an unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texas high school.

Have you watched Moxie on Netflix yet? The new movie is directed by Amy Poehler and is about a group of teen girls who start a feminist revolution in their small Texas town. Of course, the movie is adapted from Jennifer Mathieu’s YA book of the same name, so if you loved the movie but haven’t read the book, we highly recommend checking it out. If you’ve already read Moxie and are looking for more great YA reads in a similar vein, check out these five contemporary YA books like Moxie about girls starting feminist revolutions and fighting back — three of which you can read now, and two that will be out later this year!

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

Written by award-winning author Watson and poet Hagan, this YA novel is about two best friends, Jasmine and Chelsea, who attend a progressive high school in New York City. Despite their school’s values, they still find that things aren’t great for young women, so they decide to form a Women’s Rights Club. Although people don’t seem eager to sign up at first, the friends are undeterred as they share poetry, artwork, and personal stories about discrimination and microaggressions online. When they go viral, the trolls come for Jasmine and Chelsea, and their principal decides to shut down their club. But they’re not about to let their voices be silenced, nor the voices of any of their peers.

Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner

In this dual POV novel, Millie and Raina are both burned by the same guy. Raina is dumped by Brandon, and then Brandon and the male members of mock trial scheme to get Millie pushed off the team…after she’s done all the work, of course. When the two serendipitously meet in the school bathroom, they decide to fight back by forming an all-girls mock trial team to take on Brandon and the boys. Through a series of misadventures involving political knitting, mock courtroom twists and turns, and protests, the six angry girls that come together have to decide what it means to be a feminist and take on toxic masculinity and sexism in their school. But when their views are challenged in a big way, they face inner turmoil as they struggle to find a way forward. I loved this book because it shows not only how empowering their journey is at school, but in their personal lives as well.

Amelia Westlake Was Never Here by Erin Gough

If you love the anonymous zines and underground movement element of Moxie, you’ll love this Australian YA novel about two very different girls, Will and Harriet, who are given detention at their all-girls school when Will challenges a sexist swim coach. Even though Harriet is annoyed at Will getting her trouble, the two begin talking and they come up with a faux persona — Amelia Westlake — who begins challenging the sexism and hypocrisy in their school. As their fellow students speculate about the identity of Amelia, Will and Harriet go to increasing lengths to maintain their anonymity while challenging social norms…all the while falling for each other! I loved the pranks in this book, and the payoff is amazing.

Dangerous Play by Emma Kress

Zoe Alamandar is her school’s field hockey co-captain and she’s fiercely devoted to her fellow co-captain, her teammates, and seeing her sport all the way to the state championships. But when she’s assaulted at a party, her goals shift as she realizes that her fierce devotion to the rules doesn’t always see that justice is served. So together with her teammates, Zoe begins a secret mission of vigilante justice in their community where they’re serving judgment and punishment for misbehavior that everyone in power wants to overlook. But when one night spins out of control, it could cost Zoe everything. I can’t wait for this book to hit shelves on August 3!

Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach

Eliza Quan is an ambitious Chinese Vietnamese American girl, and she’s worked long and hard all throughout high school to become the best qualified candidate for editor in chief of the school newspaper. But then when Len DiMartile decides to run against her — on a whim! — Eliza is livid that all of her accomplishments mean nothing and the student body seems to prefer his personality over her experience. When she writes an essay about the sexism and it goes viral, Eliza finds herself reluctantly at the forefront of a feminist reckoning. And to make matters worse, the principal decides to make Eliza and Len share the role, and it’s not long before Eliza finds herself falling for Len. This book will be out October 19!

These are all great YA books to read after Moxie, but I’m also hoping for more great intersectional (and diverse!) stories of feminists awakenings and movements in YA in the coming years!