Book List

7 Compelling Books You Should Read Before You Vote

November 2, 2018
Natasha Puetz

For this election season, check out these books that tackle pressing issues which should be front-of-mind for everyone whether you’re old enough to hit the voting booth or not. (And if you are, go vote!)


7 Compelling Books You Should Read Before You Vote

1. The Perfect Candidate by Peter Stone

Cameron Carter’s life outside of small town captivity is just starting: he’s landed an internship with US Congressman Billy Beck. Doing his best to overcome the learning curve that is DC politics, Cameron meets a fellow staffer Ariel Lancaster. Things are looking up…until she winds up dead. Now the suspect of an FBI investigation he wants no part of, Cameron soon discovers DC’s darkest secrets. With is family’s future at stake, he races to expose a deadly conspiracy that has all of the grit and intrigue of House of Cards.


2. Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

What happens when the real-life California drought reaches its worst possible outcome? No. Water. Left.

The tap has run dry and suddenly Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a desperate war-zone. Friends and families that were once friends now turn against  each other in search of water. Now without her parents, Alyssa must make impossible choices to protect her and her brother’s life.

3. Social Intercourse by Greg Howard

This hilarious and provocative debut examines the challenges of growing up different in a small southern town. Specifically, what it means to be an LGBTQ+ individual.

Beck’s emotionally fragile dad begins dating Jaxon Parker, his former bully’s mom—who was supposedly a lesbian. Neither Beck nor Jax are thrilled about this idea, especially since Jax is hoping for a reunion between his moms. In hopes of derailing the budding romance, the boys plan their conservative town’s first Rainbow Prom. In the midst of all the chaos, hearts will be broken and new romance will bloom…and not in the way Beck and Jax could have ever planned.

In this wanting time of LGBTQ+ equality, Beck’s and Jax’s story is here as a call to action.

4. Want by Cindy Pon

The perfect book for talking about socioeconomic standing and corruption and environmentalism. Jason Zhou survives living in a divided society where the wealthy can buy longer lives. Because of the pollution, the rich buy and wear special suits that protect them from the air’s deadly state while the rest of the population struggles against exposure often succumbing to early deaths. With the help of his friend, Zhou infiltrates the wealthy’s lives hoping to destroy the international Jin Corporation, which not only makes the special suits, but also causes the massive pollution.

5. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

In the wake of the #MeToo era, Annabelle’s story is a rally for change. Annabelle is running from Seattle to Washington, DC. She’s not ready to think about why yet, just the physical act of running. However, no matter how hard she tries, she can’t outrun the tragedy The Taker inflicted on her this past year.With the support of her Grandpa (who is following her in his RV) and the self-appointed publicity team made up by her brother and two friends, she becomes a reluctant activist once the story of her trauma comes to light. Through welcome and unwelcome distracts, she just keeps running.

6. People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins

A gun is sold in the classifieds after an accidental death and bought by a teenager for protection. But who was it?

Was it Rand or Cami, the married teens with a son? Was is Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fear people like Silas and Ashlyn because of his race, and who clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or was it Noelle, who has sunken into a depression after a devastating accident?Get ready to understand both sides of the gun control debate from many different—and often under represented—angles.

7. For Every One by Jason Reynolds

This stirring poem is a rallying cry to the dreamers—dreamers who will one day become the leaders of our world. It’s for everyone: for every person, especially every kid, who dreams of being better than what they are. For every person who dreams of the world being better than it is. Reynolds’ poem is perfect for inspiring all of us to imagine and work towards the better and the best.

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