Hopefully these stories will inspire a new generation to fight for their future...


Teenage Rebels

Microcosm Publishing (2015)


Teenage Rebels: Successful High School Activists from the Little Rock Nine to the Class of Tomorrow

Geared toward young adult readers, Teenage Rebels provides a glimpse into the laws, policies, and political struggles that have shaped the lives of American high school students over the last one hundred years. Through dozens of case studies, Dawson Barrett recounts the strikes, marches, and picket lines of teens all over the U.S. as they demand better textbooks, start recycling programs, and protest the censorship of student newspapers. With historically-influenced artwork and accessible writing, this book is for anyone who has ever challenged the rules and wished for a better world.


“It's nothing new that high school students are left out of the political process. They've even been left out of most histories of student movements, which focus on colleges—although they led many brave battles in the face of fire hoses in Birmingham and rifles in Johannesberg. In this lucid book, Dawson Barrett corrects that omission. Hopefully these stories will inspire a new generation to fight for their future and not settle for the present. Climate change, unemployment, inequality, all these injustices are stealing from the future.”

    —Tom Hayden, activist and author

“Unlabeled and under-the-radar, teenagers create their political identities in Dawson Barrett's stories of young people successfully fighting the power. Righteous and inspiring!”

    —Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Manifesta, Grassroots, and Look Both Ways

“Cuts through the strange separateness, superficiality, and social disconnectedness commonly ascribed to teenagers to the underlying core truth that teens are people who are connected to their world. Every single astonishing story that Dawson relates, from 16 year-old Sybil Ludington’s 1777 ride to alert the militia of a British attack, to the 21st century high school students fighting for gay and transgender rights and the rights of immigrants, illustrate the deep concern of young people about their society, and their willingness to act on that.”

    —Mark Rudd, activist and author 

“As someone who became active in high school--protesting the Vietnam War, fighting for Black Power, demanding more rights for students--I was thrilled with the publication of this work. It reminds the reader of the proud tradition of progressive student activism and that, far from being limited to college students, it has been a phenomenon crossing many age, gender, racial and ethnic boundaries.”

    —Bill Fletcher, Jr., writer/activist; author of “They're Bankrupting Us” - And Twenty Other Myths about Unions

“The timing of Dawson Barrett’s Teenage Rebels couldn't be better. Now that standardized testing has been abolished, and Congress has diverted $500 billion per year to public education from the defense and homeland security budgets, and from taxes on the prison-industrial complex, we will finally have free, engaging, quality education for all American kids.”

    —Senator Andy Bichlbaum (D-New Virginia) [The Yes Men]

Informative and inspiring, this collection of 72 stories from American history demonstrates the impact that teenagers have been able to make when they believe in a cause.”

    —School Library Journal

At a moment when it’s more important than ever to make student activism common sense, Teenage Rebels is timely.”

    —Rethinking Schools

“Armed with this book as an introduction, any high schooler could begin to imagine a school where they could stand up and fight for themselves.”

    —Waging Nonviolence

“By highlighting the ways students have pushed for equality and fairness in their communities and class-rooms, the book frames protesting teenagers as activists on the verge of bringing their passion for justice to the world at large.”

    —Bitch magazine