• Inspiring young people to engage with media in
    thoughtful & creative ways that support well-being.

Media Power Youth Booklist

Find Your Inspiration!

Books can transport you to new worlds, open your mind to new ideas, and teach you things about your surroundings and yourself. That’s why we teamed up with the Bookery Manchester to create a book list with inspirational stories featuring characters that overcome challenges and help their communities. What book will you be reading next? You can read a short description of each book and see the cover by clicking on the titles below. 

All books are currently available at the Bookery Manchester. Some may be available through the Bookery’s online store.

Graphic Novels

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Seventh-grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

Girl Haven by Lilah Sturges

Three years ago, Ash’s mom left home and never returned, leaving behind a husband and child and a shed full of mystical curiosities related to the all-girl fantasy world she’d created as a child—Koretris. One day Ash invites a new group of friends from Pride Club over, and they try one of the spells to enter Koretris

Beetle & The Hollowbones by Aliza Layne

In the eerie town of ‘Allows, some people get to be magical sorceresses, while other people have their spirits trapped in the mall for all ghastly eternity. 

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.


The Splintered Light by Ginger Johnson

In a world without color, eleven-year-old Ishmael lives a monotonous existence, herding sheep and helping his widowed mother with their meager farm after the premature death of his father. Early one morning, a ray of light pierces a pane of glass in the barn, fragmenting Ishmael’s black and white world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. 

Lumberjanes! Unicorn Power by Mariko Tamaki

Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. 

Middle School Bites by Steven Banks


Middle School Bites: Banks, Steven, Fearing, Mark: 9780823445431: Amazon.com: Books

Tom is desperate to fit in at school, but he’s hungry and howling, not to mention half dead. Blame it on the vampire – and the werewolf – and the zombie.

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer

The Ear, the Eye and the Arm - WikipediaGeneral Matsika’s children steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure–and disappear. In Zimbabwe, in the year 2194, the children’s parents call in Africa’s most unusual detectives–the Ear, the Eye, and the Arm–who have powers far beyond those of other human beings. The children must avoid the evils of the past, the technology of the future, and a motley assortment of criminals in order to return home safely. 

A Box of Bones by Marina Cohen

A Box of Bones: Cohen, Marina: 9781250172211: Amazon.com: BooksTwelve-year-old Kallie believes there’s a rational explanation for everything, despite the good-natured prodding of her Grandpa Jess, who takes her to frivolous wastes of time like their town’s local Festival of Fools. There, Kallie meets a faceless man who gives her a strange wooden puzzle box. Intrigued despite herself, Kallie sets to work on unlocking its secrets and…lets something out.

Realistic Fiction

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin

The Next Great Paulie Fink: Benjamin, Ali: 9780316380881: Amazon.com: BooksBeing the new kid at school isn’t easy, especially when you have to follow in the footsteps of a legendary classroom prankster.


The Sea in Winter by Christine Day

The Sea in Winter: Day, Christine: 9780062872043: Amazon.com: BooksIt’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?



Nikki on the Line by Barbara Carroll Roberts

Nikki on the Line: Roberts, Barbara Carroll: 9780316521901: Amazon.com: BooksNikki wants to be a basketball star… but between school stress, friend drama, and babysitting woes, will she be able to make it on her new team?

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost (1) (Track): Reynolds, Jason: 9781481450157: Amazon.com: Books

Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?


Hazel's Theory of Everything by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

Hazel's Theory of Evolution: Bigelow, Lisa Jenn: 9780062791177: Amazon.com: BooksHazel knows a lot about the world. That’s because when she’s not hanging with her best friend or helping her two moms care for the goats on their farm, she loves reading through dusty encyclopedias. But even Hazel doesn’t have answers for the questions awaiting her as she enters eighth grade. As Hazel struggles to cope, she’ll come to realize that sometimes you have to look within yourself—instead of the pages of a book—to find the answers to life’s most important questions.



Simon B. Rhymin' by Dwayne Reed

Simon B. Rhymin': Reed, Dwayne: 9780316538978: Amazon.com: BooksA funny and heartwarming bounce-to-the-beat underdog story about a young rapper whose rhymes help bring his community together.


Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz

Finding Perfect: Swartz, Elly: 9781250294135: Amazon.com: BooksMolly’s mother is leaving for a faraway job, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Poetry Slam Contest. Molly is sure her mother would never miss that. Right…? But as time passes, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly’s world from spinning out of control.



Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin

Before these men became legends, they met in 1907 at the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, where they forged one of the winningest teams in the history of America’s favorite sport.


Rad American History A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl

Rad American History A-Z by Kate Schatz: 9781984856838 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: BooksFrom the New York Times bestselling team behind Rad American Women A-Z comes an illustrated collection of radical and transformative political, social, and cultural movements in American history.


A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games by Lori Alexander

A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games: Alexander, Lori, Drummond, Allan: 9781328580795: Amazon.com: BooksTelling the inspiring human story behind the creation of the Paralympics, this young readers biography artfully combines archival photos, full-color illustrations, and a riveting narrative to honor the life of Ludwig Guttmann, whose work profoundly changed so many lives.

While I Was Away by Waka T. Brown

While I Was Away: Brown, Waka T.: 9780063017115: Amazon.com: BooksA memoir from debut author Waka T. Brown, who takes readers on a journey to Japan, where she was sent as a child in the 1980s to reconnect to her family’s roots.

This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell

Amazon.com: This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do The Work (Empower the Future, 1) (9780711245211): Jewell, Tiffany, Durand, Aurelia: BooksLearn about identities, true histories, and anti-racism work in 20 carefully laid out chapters. Written by anti-bias, anti-racist, educator and activist, Tiffany Jewell, and illustrated by French illustrator Aurélia Durand in kaleidoscopic vibrancy.


Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice by Veronica Chambers

Resist profiles men and women who resisted tyranny, fought the odds, and stood up to bullies that threatened to harm their communities.

Living the Confidence Code by Katy Kay and Claire Shipman

Living the Confidence Code: Real Girls. Real Stories. Real Confidence.: Kay, Katty, Shipman, Claire, Riley, JillEllyn: 9780062954114: Amazon.com: BooksThe best way to understand confidence is to see it in action. That’s why bestselling authors Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, and JillEllyn Riley have collected 30 true stories of real girls, pursuing their passions, struggling and stumbling, but along the way figuring out how to build their own special brand of confidence.


The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover (The Crossover Series): Alexander, Kwame: 9780544107717: Amazon.com: BooksJosh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

Starfish by Lisa Fipps

Amazon.com: Starfish (9781984814500): Fipps, Lisa: BooksEver since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rule unapologetically be her own fabulous self.

Media Power Youth’s mission is to inspire young people to use media in ways that support their well-being. Follow us on Instagram and visit our Youth Resources page to find even more resources and opportunities for young people!