Book Reviews / YA Cafe Podcast

How I Resist edited by Maureen Johnson

Words of empowerment and encouragement from thirty amazing creators? Yes, please! In today’s episode, we discuss How I Resist, an activism anthology for teens edited by Maureen Johnson with special guest, educator and activist Chris Peck. (Transcript)

16 How I Resist Maureen Johnson

In today’s episode…

How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation is an anthology of essays, poems, art, interviews, and short fiction all centered around the idea of activism. Editor Maureen Johnson calls it a “resistance book for teens”. The contributor list is absolutely amazing, and each contributor finds their own way and means to answer the question, “how do you resist?”

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Episode highlights…

*7:03 “I wasn’t expecting a book about activism to be funny” – Danielle & Chris share some of their favorite humor from the book

*8:06 “The doors have been opened, the light has been shed”, how social media can help reveal the everyday racism that surrounds us

*12:17 Backstage at Hamilton

Things We Like a Latte

Chris – Nerdwriter channel on YouTube. Below are links to his three favorite episodes.

Arrival: A Response to Bad Movies  

Holocene: How Bon Iver Creates A Mood 

Lord of the Rings: How Music Elevates Story  

Danielle – Jessica Spotswood’s newest novel, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls

Especially for educators

*19:47 “Media Conciousness As Part of A Resistance”

*23:11 Overlooked and “benevolent” stereotypes

*28:02 “Refilling the well”, how to avoid activism fatigue

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More ideas and resources for teachers and librarians…

10 Songs of Resistance

10 Ways Youth Can Engage In Activism

Lesson Plans: The Power to Change the World

A great way help students explore a big topic like activism or social justice is through a literature circle. I have a blog post full of book recs, discussion questions, video resources, (and more!) for conducting a Social Justice Lit Circle.

And, if you haven’t caught our episode on Jessica Spotswood’s anthology of stories about amazing, courageous girls, check out The Radical Element.

Also be sure to check out Chris’ book club for educators. How I Resist is his first title and you can jump into the discussions now! Find it on Instagram @edureadingclub

16 How I Resist Maureen Johnson

Get in touch with us on Instagram and Twitter at @yacafepodcast or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!


Hosts: Danielle Hall (who blogs at

          & Amanda Thrasher (a booklover extraordinaire)

Guests: Chris Peck, teacher (find him on Instagram @_hipsterteacher_

Producer: Leila Hobbs

Music: Matt McCammon

Thank you to Macmillan Publishing for a review copy of this book!


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