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SLJ’s Reviews of the 2019 YALSA's Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalists

YALSA’s 2019 Excellence in Nonfiction Award Shortlist Revealed

We Are Here to Stay | A Conversation with Susan Kuklin

PREMIUM

The Lady Is a Spy: Virginia Hall, World War II Hero of the French Resistance

A well-researched, organized, and compelling nonfiction read for middle schoolers.
PREMIUM

A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II

Recommend this richly detailed work of nonfiction to fans of Monica Hesse and Wein's historical fiction.
PREMIUM

Biddy Mason Speaks Up

A first purchase for biography, history, and general nonfiction collections alike.
PREMIUM

I Spy the Illuminati Eye: What's the Big Secret?

Recommended for purchase in larger libraries where students casually read nonfiction or where librarians have success hand-selling titles.
PREMIUM

This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality

A must-buy for tweens and teens, especially where novels-in-verse are popular.
PREMIUM

Mediterranean

This accessible yet heartbreaking story deserves to be read and discussed by readers of many different ages.
PREMIUM

Fake News: Separating Truth from Fiction

A useful addition to classroom and large public libraries.
PREMIUM

The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Light the World

Purchase where narrative nonfiction flies off the shelves.
PREMIUM

Lafayette!: A Revolutionary War Tale

A must-buy.–Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library
PREMIUM

Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories

A solid choice for high schools seeking to inspire activism in their student body.

Will a Middle Grade Title or a Sequel Win the Printz? | Pondering Printz

45 Phenomenal Titles | November 2018 Stars

Historical Wars Get Personal

PREMIUM

Animals Go to War: From Dogs to Dolphins

Purchase for collections where readers are interested in alternative parts of the military.
PREMIUM

1919: The Year That Changed America

Well researched and presented in an attractive manner, Sandler's text delivers a solid look at a pivotal year.
PREMIUM

Nature's Deadliest Creatures Visual Encyclopedia

Place this one in a display, where it will attract browsers by the dozen.
PREMIUM

Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story

A solid purchase for most reference collections.
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High: Everything You Want To Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction

An additional purchase for libraries where works by the Sheffs are popular.
PREMIUM

Inventions: A Visual Encyclopedia

There are no resource lists in this title, but the high-quality images and a topical rather than chronological or alphabetical arrangement make this substantial survey most suitable for middle and upper elementary grade browsers.
PREMIUM

The Colorado Coalfield War: Massacre at Ludlow

While generally informative and appealing, the book suffers from a lack of sourcing. Rosemary Laughlin's The Ludlow Massacre of 1913–1914 also covers the subject for a similar age group.
PREMIUM

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow

A first purchase for YA nonfiction collections, especially to support history curriculums.
PREMIUM

Documents of the LGBT Movement

Flaws aside, this book is a strong addition to both reference and circulating collections.–Francisca Goldsmith, Library Ronin, Worcester, MA
PREMIUM

China

An excellent primer on an important world power. Most middle school and YA collections will want to consider.
PREMIUM

Ocean Renegades!: Journey Through the Paleozoic Era

A must for avid dinosaur fans and budding natural scientists.–Lettycia Terrones, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
PREMIUM

Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement

A must-buy for most middle and high school libraries.
PREMIUM

Period Power: A Manifesto for the Menstrual Movement

Part health guide, part manifesto, this book has the potential to become the next go-to book for teens looking for more information about their bodies.
PREMIUM

National Geographic Kids Extreme Records

A great addition to most collections. This will be well used, so order a few.
PREMIUM

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019

An excellent choice for librarians looking to refresh outdated almanacs.
PREMIUM

It's Up to You, Abe Lincoln

Bound to be popular among history and trivia buffs.
PREMIUM

Adulting via Audio: 23 Teen-Friendly Adult Audiobooks

A Graphic Memoir, a Sequel, Debuts, and More | Pondering Printz

An Anthology of Intriguing Animals: Look Inside the Book

Olympic Gold Medalist and Protester Tommie Smith Partners With Derrick Barnes on New Graphic Memoir

Save the Animals! Books About Endangered Species & Conservation Efforts

National Book Award Finalists Could Be Newbery Medalists, Too

5 Awesome Animal Robots You Have to See to Believe

SLJ Reviews of the Finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards

Drawn from Life: Graphic Memoirs for Teens

Honoring Activism

“This Was a Book I Needed To Write” | Jarrett J. Krosoczka On “Hey, Kiddo”

Claire Rudolf Murphy Talks About "Martin and Bobby"

PREMIUM

Monster School

A wonderful addition to poetry and storybook shelves all year round.
PREMIUM

(Extra)Ordinary Women: Ten Inspirational Stories

Consider wherever Byron Pitt's Be the One and motivational true stories are popular.
PREMIUM

Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon

Truly out of this world. A must-buy for most poetry collections.
PREMIUM

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes

A stirring, if uneven, lyric tribute to Indigenous heroes past and present. Medium to large collections may want to consider.
PREMIUM

Imagine

A beautifully illustrated poem that will be cherished by children. A first purchase.
PREMIUM

Rebel Voices: The Global Fight for Women's Equality and the Right To Vote

A good purchase for YA nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

Sing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the Year

Libraries seeking an inclusive sampling of contemporary poets will be better served elsewhere.–Lauren Strohecker, McKinley Elementary School, Elkins Park, PA
PREMIUM

Your Amazing Skin from Outside In

This equally informative and entertaining combination of poetry and anatomical science is a fine addition for libraries serving middle grade readers.
PREMIUM

Girls Write Now: Two Decades of True Stories from Young Female Voices

Purchase for young writers interested in reading works by their peers or where personal essays are in demand.
PREMIUM

Death Eaters: Meet Nature's Scavengers

Though there may be many "oohs" and "yucks" from readers, this may well be a popular title. A top purchase for robust collections.
PREMIUM

How Do I Love Thee?

An enchanting imagining of love and friendship made successful by its splendid artwork; this is a winning choice for young poets.
PREMIUM

History vs Women: The Defiant Lives That They Don't Want You To Know

This is a must for public library YA nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

Cook with Amber: Fun, Fresh Recipes To Get You in the Kitchen

Appealing but perhaps limited in audience scope. Consider for public libraries looking to build a cookbook collection for teens.
PREMIUM

Light Filters In: Poems

Undoubtedly, Kaufman's readers—new and old—will be clamoring for more. A top addition to YA poetry collections.
PREMIUM

I'll Root for You

Have students pick and choose their favorites and then get moving with this collection of sporty poems.
PREMIUM

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

Despite some flaws, this is a must-have book to update tween cookbook collections—and a great holiday buy, too.
PREMIUM

Backyard Bears: Conservation, Habitat Changes, and the Rise of Urban Wildlife

A useful introduction to a field of scientific study that will only grow in importance. A fine addition to nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

Rain

A quiet, somewhat melancholy addition to poetry collections.
PREMIUM

Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution

With references to pop culture, social media, and timely example scenarios, this book is highly recommened for YA collections.
PREMIUM

Attucks!: Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City

A great purchase for YA nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

A First Book of the Sea

This nicely illustrated and enjoyable poetry collection is recommended for most libraries, especially where aquatic life is popular.
PREMIUM

Once Upon a Star: A Poetic Journey Through Space

An excellent resource for STEM-related activities, science curricula, or children who are simply curious about the world around them.
PREMIUM

Yugen

A gorgeously crafted, complex work. A strong choice for robust poetry collections.
PREMIUM

Dolores Huerta Stands Strong: The Woman Who Demanded Justice

This well-told, age-appropriate account of a vital and essential activist deserves a place in all middle grade collections.
PREMIUM

Phrases of the Moon

A solid purchase for elementary poetry collections.
PREMIUM

The Brain: The Ultimate Thinking Machine

A strong complementary text for science classes focusing on neuroscience.
PREMIUM

Gun Violence and Mass Shootings

A timely introduction to the epidemic of gun violence.
PREMIUM

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice

Every high school should purchase the book; many middle schools will also want it.
PREMIUM

Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts

Consider for large middle school libraries.
PREMIUM

A Bunch of Punctuation

Educators and libraries looking to provide grammar resources a bit lighter than the average textbook will find this a useful and enjoyable addition to their collection.
PREMIUM

Fakers: An Insider's Guide to Cons, Hoaxes, and Scams

This engrossing read is a solid choice for medium to large nonfiction collections.

Which Came First? History Quiz

12 Picture Books That Showcase Native Voices

Toddler Time Activity Kit: DK's Good Night, Baby Moon

20 Nonfiction and Poetry Titles That Celebrate Latinx Heritage

SLJ's Reviews of the 2018 National Book Award Longlisters

Peek Inside Peek And Seek, Out This Month

12 Picture Books for the Fall 2018 Holiday Season

Martians, Butterflies, and the Depths of the Ocean

Go bee-hind the scenes of DK's children's book about bees!

PREMIUM

Endurance: My Year in Space and How I Got There

An engaging and high-flying read for nonfiction and space lovers alike. A fine addition to large nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide

A needed resource for YA nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

Alexander Hamilton: Documents Decoded

Recommended for most nonfiction high school collections for its support of Common Core State Standards for critical reading of historic documents. Jeanette Lambert, formerly at Nashville-Davidson County Schools, TN
PREMIUM

Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought

A great resource for those exploring environmental issues and seeking ways to combat climate change.
PREMIUM

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

This accessible and heartbreaking primer, with its stirring simplicity and a note of hope, should be required reading for all teens hoping to be empathetic and engaged world citizens.
PREMIUM

National Parks of the USA

Pair, use, or display with a more detailed guide book of the parks for a thorough, stunning look at our nation's natural treasures.
PREMIUM

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist

A great addition to memoir/biography collections.
PREMIUM

Coming Up Clutch: The Greatest Upsets, Comebacks, and Finishes in Sports History

A solid purchase for those lacking an up-to-date sports encyclopedia-style item.
PREMIUM

Short & Skinny

Purchase where graphic memoirs circulate well.–Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL
PREMIUM

Eavesdropping on Elephants: How Listening Helps Conservation

A great pick for middle school nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

Children's Animal Atlas

It's a cursory look, best paired with a more complete, photographic atlas. But this is a surefire way to introduce both geography and the animal kingdom to early elementary age students.
PREMIUM

1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change

This wide-ranging anthology is useful as both a print symposium on the topic of 1968 and as a source book for further study.
PREMIUM

Apollo 8: The Mission That Changed Everything

An out-of-this-world exploration of the space race—and a must-have for most nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

The School's on Fire!: A True Story of Bravery, Tragedy, and Determination

This moving narrative of one of the most devastating school fires in U.S. history is recommended for middle school nonfiction collections.
PREMIUM

Plantopedia

A highly appealing introduction to the plant world, though researchers will need to supplement it with other resources for specific facts.
PREMIUM

Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, and Fixing Almost Everything

A solid nonfiction purchase that's browseable and has potential for classroom use.
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