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Young Adult Nonfiction General

Rise Up and Sing!

Power, Protest, and Activism in Music

by (author) Andrea Warner

illustrated by Louise Reimer

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
General, General, Civil & Human Rights
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2024
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 17
  • Grade: 7 to 12


This inspiring introduction to activism and social justice for young teens shows the important role music plays in changing the world, featuring:

  • Musicians young teens will know and love: Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Lil Nas X, and more!
  • Iconic artists from past generations: readers will learn about the extraordinary impact of artists such as Nina Simone, Neil Young, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman, and more.
  • Playlists for each social justice issue: Each chapter includes a playlist with recommended songs about an area of activism, from classic tracks to contemporary hits.

In Rise Up and Sing!, Andrea Warner explores how music has contributed to the fight for social justice. Across eight areas of activism—the climate emergency, Indigenous rights, civil rights, disability rights, 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, the peace/anti-war movement, and human rights—Warner introduces some of the artists, past and present, who have made a difference both on stage and off.

Through ground-breaking artists and iconic moments, Rise Up and Sing! shows us that a song is never just a song, and that music really does have the power to change the world.

About the authors

Andrea Warner (she/her) writes and talks. A lot. She's the author of Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography and We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the '90s and Changed Canadian Music. She's the co-writer and associate producer of the 2022 documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On and co-hosts the the weekly feminist pop culture podcast Pop This!. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

Andrea Warner's profile page

Louise Reimer is a freelance illustrator and artist. She grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and loves textiles, the 1970s, and going for hikes.

Louise Reimer's profile page


  • Long-listed, Green Earth Book Award
  • Short-listed, BC & Yukon Book Prizes
  • Long-listed, SLA's Information Book Award 2024
  • Joint winner, CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens

Editorial Reviews

"Rise Up and Sing! is not only a collection of activism and songs for young people but a reminder to all of us of the history of protest music and the ability it has to raise awareness and effect change."
BC Review

“A thoughtful and detailed showcase of revolutionary movements, admirable individuals, and rich music—past and present—makes for a playlist-cum-book of activism as undoubtedly educational as it is exciting to hear.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, STARRED

“Illuminates the tremendous impact of activist artists and songs on individuals, communities, and social movements both past and present.”
Kirkus Reviews

"This graphics-rich offering surveys protest movements and celebrates the songs and performances that publicized, empathized, and inspired both activists and members of the general public ... Thoughtful, accessible essays provide social background while introducing songwriters and performers associated with eight areas of activism ... Expect lots of interest, humming, and sing-alongs."
Booklist STARRED Review

“Music is often so bound up with being a teenager. So is rebellion. Rise Up and Sing! will amplify those intimate relationships by showing young people just how powerful music has always been in creating action and change.”
—Tanya Boteju, author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

"An incredible and vital celebration of how music can shape and transform activist movements, Rise Up and Sing! is both thought-provoking and inspiring. Warner proves to be a deft writer who has so much passion for her source material and delivers a powerful guide to some of music’s most pivotal moments and artists, highlighting their impact on climate justice, racial and gender equality, and 2SLGBTQIA+ rights. This is a terrific and visually gorgeous resource, appealing to readers of all ages."
—Lindsay Wong, author of The Woo-Woo and Tell Me Pleasant Things About Immortality

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