But oppressive futuristic societies aren’t the only places you can find characters fighting for their rights—historical, contemporary, and fantasy novels contain just as many triumphant stories of activism and persistence. So, because we all need a bit of inspiration in this time of resistance, here are ten (non-dystopian) books with characters who stand up to structures of power both big and small. Some of the characters aim to overthrow their government, others seek to deliver justice where due, and others ache to influence their culture’s norms—but all are astonishingly smart and strong.
What are your favorite books with characters who resist? Send your recommendations my way!
Also, friendly reminder that reading about characters who resist is an amazing pastime, but it’s important that you're resisting as well! I know the state of the planet can feel hopeless and overwhelming, but your small contributions do help. Volunteer, donate, and protest if you can, and for my American friends, make sure you're calling your elected officials! A few resources that help me are Five Calls and Daily Action (which give you issues and scripts to use for your calls) and Celeste Pewter’s Twitter feed—she does an incredible job of breaking down the news and giving us action steps we can take.