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YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award
Honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year. About the Nonfiction Award
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25 listings found. Displaying 1 - 20

  Cover Art: Janis Joplin : Rise Up Singing Angel, Ann
Janis Joplin : Rise Up Singing
Forty years after her death, Janis Joplin remains among the most compelling and influential figures in rock history. Her story is one of a girl who struggled against rules and limitations, yet worked diligently to improve as a singer. [2011 Award Winner]
120 p. 2010
Teen Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Sugar Changed the World : a Story of Magic Spice Slavery Freedom and Science Aronson, Marc
Sugar Changed the World : a Story of Magic Spice Slavery Freedom and Science
Sugar has left a bloody trail through human history. Cane--not cotton or tobacco--drove the bloody Atlantic slave trade and took the lives of countless Africans who toiled on vast sugar plantations under cruel overseers. And yet the very popularity of sugar gave abolitionists in England the one tool that could finally end the slave trade. [2012 Finalist]
166 p. 2010
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: They Called Themselves the K.K.K. : the Birth of an American Terrorist Group Bartoletti, Susan Campbell
They Called Themselves the K.K.K. : the Birth of an American Terrorist Group
Documents the history and origin of the Ku Klux Klan from its beginning in Pulaski, Tennessee, and provides personal accounts, congressional documents, diaries, and more. [2011 Finalist]
172 p. 2010
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Nazi Hunters : How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi Bascomb, Neal
The Nazi Hunters : How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
Recounts how, sixteen years after the end of World War II, a team of undercover Israeli agents captured the Nazi war criminal, Adolf Eichmann, in a remote area of Argentina and brought him to trial in Israel for crimes committed during the Holocaust.[2014 Winner]
245 pages 2013
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Bootleg : Murder Moonshine and the Lawless Years of Prohibition Blumenthal, Karen.
Bootleg : Murder Moonshine and the Lawless Years of Prohibition
...when a Constitional Amendment banning the sale and consumption of alcohol was ratified, it was hailed as the end of public drunkenness, alcoholism, and a host of other social ills related to booze. Instead, it began a decade of lawlessness, when children smuggled (and drank) illegal alcohol, the most upright citizens casually broke the law, and a host of notorious gangsters entered the public eye. [2012 Finalist]
154 p. 2011
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Steve Jobs : the Man Who Thought Different Blumenthal, Karen.
Steve Jobs : the Man Who Thought Different
From the start, his path was never predictable. Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created Apple in his parents' garage with his friend Steve Wozniack. A devoted husband, father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade, became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every product he touched. [2013 finalist]
310 p. 2012
Teen Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Spies of Mississippi : the True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement Bowers, Rick
Spies of Mississippi : the True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission compiled secret files on more than 87,000 private citizens in the most extensive state spying program in U.S. history. Its mission: to save segregation. [2011 Finalist]
120 p. 2010
Adult Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: The Great and Only Barnum : the Tremendous Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum Fleming, Candace
The Great and Only Barnum : the Tremendous Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum
Biography of P.T. Barnum, showman and founder of the Barnum Bailey Circus. Readers can visit Barnum's American Museum; meet Tom Thumb, the miniature man (only 39 in. tall) and his tinier bride (32 in.); experience the thrill Barnum must have felt when, at age 60, he joined the circus; and discover Barnum's legacy. [2010 Finalist]
151 p. 2009
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Charles and Emma : the Darwins' Leap of Faith Heiligman, Deborah
Charles and Emma : the Darwins' Leap of Faith
Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, were deeply in love and very supportive of each other, but their opinions often clashed. Emma was extremely religious, and Charles questioned God's very existence. [2010 Award Winner]
268 p. 2009
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Claudette Colvin : Twice Toward Justice Hoose, Phillip M.
Claudette Colvin : Twice Toward Justice
Presents the life of the Alabama teenager who played an integral but little-known role in the Montgomery bus strike of 1955-1956, once by refusing to give up a bus seat, and again, by becoming a plaintiff in the landmark civil rights case against the bus company. [2010 Finalist]
133 p. 2009
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Moonbird : a Year On the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 Hoose, Phillip M.
Moonbird : a Year On the Wind with the Great Survivor B95
In the course of his lifetime, B95 has flown the distance to the moon and halfway back! However, recent changes along his migratory circuit - changes caused mostly by human activity - have reduced the food available and made it harder for the birds to reach. How can this one bird make it year after year when so many others fall? [2013 finalist]
148 p. 2012
Children's Nonfiction Book
Other formats available
  Cover Art: Titanic : Voices from the Disaster Hopkinson, Deborah.
Titanic : Voices from the Disaster
Tells the tale of the sinking of the Titanic using the narratives of the witnesses and survivors to the disaster. [2013 finalist]
289 p. 2012
Children's Nonfiction Book
Other formats available
  Cover Art: The Dark Game : True Spy Stories Janeczko, Paul B.
The Dark Game : True Spy Stories
From clothesline codes to surveillance satellites and cyber espionage, Janeczko uncovers two centuries' worth of true spy stories in U.S. history. [2011 Finalist]
248 p. 2010
Teen Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Go : a Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design Kidd, Chip
Go : a Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design
Kids love to express themselves, and are designers by nature - whether making posters for school, deciding what to hang in their rooms, or creating personalized notebook covers. Go, by the award-winning graphic designer Chip Kidd, is a stunning introduction to the ways in which a designer communicates his or her ideas to the world. It's written and designed just for those curious kids, not to mention their savvy parents, who want to learn the secret of how to make things dynamic and interesting.[2014 Finalist]
150 pages 2013
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: We've Got a Job : the 1963 Birmingham Children's March Levinson, Cynthia
We've Got a Job : the 1963 Birmingham Children's March
The inspiring story of one of the greatest moments in civil rights history as seen through the eyes of four young people who were at the center of the action. We've Got a Job tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963. [2013 finalist]
176 p. 2012
Children's Nonfiction Book
Other formats available
  Cover Art: Wheels of Change : How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) Macy, Sue
Wheels of Change : How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
Explore the role the bicycle played in the women's liberation movement. [2012 Finalist]
96 p. 2011
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Every Bone Tells a Story : Hominin Discoveries Deductions and Debates Rubalcaba, Jill
Every Bone Tells a Story : Hominin Discoveries Deductions and Debates
When did language begin? How did early humans populate the globe? By looking closely at four of the most significant hominins ever discovered, the authors explain how Turkana Boy, Lapedo Child, Kennewick Man, and Iceman have influenced debates about the nature of the earliest members of the family Hominidae. [2011 Finalist]
185 p. 2010
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Music Was it : Young Leonard Bernstein Rubin, Susan Goldman
Music Was it : Young Leonard Bernstein
Biography of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. [2012 Finalist]
178 p. 2011
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Imprisoned : the Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II Sandler, Martin W.
Imprisoned : the Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II
While Americans fought for freedom and democracy abroad, fear and suspicion towards Japanese Americans swept the country after Japan's sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. Sandler gives an in-depth account of their lives before, during their imprisonment, and after their release, bringing readers inside life in the internment camps and explaining how a country that is built on the ideals of freedom for all could have such a dark mark on its history.[2014 Finalist]
176 p. 2013
Children's Nonfiction Book
  Cover Art: Bomb : the Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon Sheinkin, Steve
Bomb : the Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon
Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos. [2013 winner]
266 p. 2012
Children's Nonfiction Book
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