Good Trouble: The Young Activist’s Dictionary of Social Justice

Taking part in activism and fighting for social justice and change takes courage, commitment and is often sparked by strong emotions, such as anger, fear, or love. It also takes a lot of information. Being informed allows you to back up your opinions and beliefs with facts: knowledge is power.

The Young Activist’s Dictionary of Social Justice by Ryse Tottingham, illustrated by Andy Passchier
Library Catalog

This is the fourth installment in the Good Trouble series, and while I have mentioned activism and being an activist several times, I’ve taken for granted that those terms are understood.

These definitions are taken from The Young Activist’s Dictionary of Social Justice which provides a wealth of information explaining many terms and phrases that you may come across while taking part in change-making activities. I’ve learned quite a bit while reading it!

For example, on the back of the book, the question is asked: What is REDLINING?  I said to myself, “I’m not sure!” I looked it up and found the definition in easy to understand language. Going through the pages I was introduced to the meanings of many words, some of which I had heard and had a vague understanding of, and others which were new to me.

From “ability” to “zealot,” the definitions within the book are clear and helpful, which even as an adult I found valuable! Combined with short biographies of activists from around the world, I highly recommend this for young people (and not so young people!) looking to make a difference in the world.


Why “Good Trouble”?

Among many important things, civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis was famous for using the term “good trouble” when speaking on fighting against injustice in this country. This blog series will highlight books in our collection that might inspire you towards activism or provide you some ways to cause some “good trouble” fighting against societal injustices.

“Speak up, speak out, get in the way. Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”

“What can you do to get into good trouble? There is a light inside of you that will turn on when you get into good trouble. You will feel emboldened and freed. You will realize that unjust laws cannot stop you. These laws cannot stop the truth that is in your heart and soul.”

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

– John Lewis

Note: If you are interested in learning more about the life of  John Lewis, I highly recommend the March trilogy of graphic novels.
Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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