May 28, 2017

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YALSA Reveals Five Nonfiction Award Finalists

The sinking of the Titanic, the creation of history’s most destructive nuclear weapon, and the march for civil rights are among the subjects covered by this year’s finalists for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

The award was first created two years ago and honors nonfiction titles published for young people ages 12-18.

The 2013 finalists are:

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster (Scholastic) by Deborah Hopkinson, an intricate examination of that fateful night that incorporates stories from Titanic survivors as well as detailed facts.

Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon (Roaring Brook) by Steve Sheinkin, an enthralling, suspenseful account of how the work of scientists, spies, and saboteurs resulted in the atomic bomb.

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Farrar) by Phillip Hoose, which explores a species of bird that migrates hundreds of thousands of miles over the course of its life.

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal (Feiwel & Friends) by Karen Blumenthal, a nuanced portrait of the late entrepreneur and innovator that delves into both his life and his myriad accomplishments.

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March (Peachtree) by Cynthia Levinson, a meticulously researched photo-essay that chronicles the narratives of four young people involved in the Birmingham Children’s March.

“The committee is very proud of the five finalists,” Angela Frederick, chair of YALSA’s Nonfiction Award committee told SLJ. “I think each author succeeded in telling a true story in a fascinating way, and that is what will attract teen readers. There were many wonderful nonfiction books published for teens this year, and the committee struggled to narrow it down to the five that were ultimately chosen.”

YALSA will host a reception honoring both the finalist authors and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award winner and finalists, at a reception from 10:30 am to noon on January 28 in room 606 of the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Members of the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Angela Frederick, Nashville (TN) Public Library; Ruth Allen, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR; Roxy Ekstrom, Schaumburg (IL) Township Library; Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos (NM) County Library System; Judy Nelson, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, WA; Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA; Laura Pearle, VennConsultants, Carmel, NY; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University Library, Saint Paul, MN; Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington (VA) Public Library; Sara Morse, Nashville (TN) Public Library; and Gillian Engberg, Booklist, Chicago.

Mahnaz Dar About Mahnaz Dar

Mahnaz Dar ( is Assistant Managing Editor for Library Journal and School Library Journal and can be found on Twitter @DibblyFresh.

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  1. Still no David McCullough books?!?