One of the very first novels we read together was Pramoedya Ananta Toer's This Earth of Mankind. The book is the first in the 'Buru Quartet', an amazing feat of storytelling as the narrative was first recited orally to cellmates while the Indonesian author was imprisoned by the Suharto regime. If you weren't reading along with us at that time we read This Earth, you can sample the writer's work via Warscapes which is currently hosting a short story "In Twilight Born" from the collection All That Is Gone. The tale is told from a child's perspective and relates a tale of idealism, struggle, and disappointment which will resonate with any activist. There is also a helpful introduction to the author's life.
And can I just add that I have always loved the vibrant artwork that Penguin chose for this series. The cover art is by Montreal-based artist Stephan Daigle. You can explore a gallery of his work at stephandaigle.com.