One may need to be 18 to vote in the United States, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of ways for minors to get involved in politics. Whether they’re diving into that complicated world of their own volition, or thrust into it by parents with political ambitions, the teens in these books are all in the center of a political storm…and getting into plenty of high-profile trouble
The Fixer, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Tess is new to D.C., new to life with her older sister, Ivy—and new to the world of secrecy that surrounds Ivy in her position as a “fixer,” someone who specializes in making the problems of the rich and powerful go away. When Tess falls into the same role at her high school, their worlds collide, and the danger and secrets that emerge as a result could destroy them both. This series opener was a seriously fast-paced thriller that had me guessing wrong at every turn, which is pretty much the greatest thing someone who reads as much as I do can ask for.
The Wrong Side of Right, by Jenn Marie Thorne
When Kate’s mom dies, she learns about the father she never knew…and that he’s Mark Cooper, the Republican presidential candidate. Suddenly she’s swept up in a world of both politics and her new family, as well as a potentially ill-advised romance, and learning to reconcile her beliefs and things she thought she knew with her brand-new high-profile surroundings. A great, balanced read for fans of lighter contemporary, with bonus points for having a rare positive stepmother-stepdaughter relationship.
First Daughter: White House Rules, by Mitali Perkins
Though an older read, this sequel to Extreme American Makeover remains a fresh take by virtue of its very rare racial diversity in the American political realm. (For younger readers, check out Julia DeVillers’ Liberty Porter, First Daughter series.) Sameera “Sparrow” Righton was adopted from Pakistan when she was three. When she’s sixteen, her father runs for president and wins, with her identity (and proposed Americanization of it) a front-and-center element of the campaign. Now she’s living in the White House and desperately missing her old life. But when you’re the daughter of the most powerful man in the world, escaping under his security’s watch isn’t so easy.
Red Girl, Blue Boy, by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Drew’s mother is the Democratic candidate for president, and he has no interest in her running. Katie’s father is the Republican candidate, and his running is part of her lifelong dream. When the two of them meet, it quickly goes from clashing to crushing, and before long, they’re in a secret relationship. But when that relationship causes problems for their parents’ campaign, they both have to make choices about love and loyalty. A particularly cute choice for younger readers.
Willful Machines, by Tim Floreen
Lee Fisher is a closeted teen boy whose father happens to be the president of the United States during a particularly challenging time: the escape of and subsequent attacks on the human population by Charlotte, an artificial human who’s got Lee on her target list. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about with keeping his crush on new boy Nico quiet, now he has to figure out how to save them both. This one’s not out until October, but it’s definitely on top of my to-read list when it is!