Book List

8 Books That Will Help You Start a Conversation About Social Change

March 14, 2018
Jill Hacking
Riveted Editorial Board
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One of the great things about books is how they help us understand one another and also empower us. There is real power in being a force of empathy and compassion. Here are a few books whose incredible stories can help us foster understanding, compassion, and empowerment.

1. I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

I Have the Right To by Chessy Prout

Chessy Prout’s remarkable memoir is a story of survival, advocacy, and hope in the wake of sexual assault. It will surely change your life. Learn more about Chessy’s story at

2. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed


Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them.

3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds


If you aren’t already obsessed with Jason Reynolds, here’s a great place to start. This fiercely stunning novel takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

4. Tweak by Nic Sheff

Tweak by Nic Sheff

By the time Nic was in early adolescence, he was already addicted to a number of heavy substances. This harrowing story is about recovery, relapse, and family.  Nic’s story is coming to the big screen in October with the major motion picture release of Beautiful Boy, starring Timothée Chalamet as Nic and Steve Carrell as his father, David.

5. Crank by Ellen Hopkins


This novel-in-verse is the first in the Crank trilogy deals with a teen who struggles with a meth addiction and struggles to keep hold of everything she’s worked so hard for.

6. The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

The Way I Used to Be

This stunning novel focuses on Eden as her life gets turned upside down in the wake of her sexual assault by her brother’s best friend. This gripping and poignant story is heartbreaking, but still full of hope.

7. The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith

Smith’s newest book deals with partner abuse and building a life from the wreckage. It also features a wonderful romance between two young women, Brooke and Dani.

8. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

A harrowing story about a girl who is kidnapped and held captive for years, her psychological trauma, and the fight she must wage to survive.

2 Responses to 8 Books That Will Help You Start a Conversation About Social Change

  1. alyssayuri says:

    Long Way Down and Nowhere Girls are on my TBR right now 😁

  2. gdcribbs says:

    These are amazing and important books. I would add SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield to address self-harm, THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, by Marieke Nijkamp, to address school shooting, and as many books on sexual assault to support and empower survivors until they feel heard and validated: FAULT LINE, FAKING NORMAL, INEXCUSABLE, CUT BOTH WAYS, THE GOSPEL OF WINTER, FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK, BOY TOY, DIME, SWAGGER, THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED, EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR, and THINGS WE HAVEN’T SAID, to name a few.

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