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Recommendations

The Best of Nonfiction for Teens

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I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai
BIOGRAPHY JNF YOUSAFZAI
The story of a courageous young woman who fought for the right to be educated and was shot in the head for her efforts. She survived and has devoted her life to advocating for human rights. Her struggle has grown into an international movement.
Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand
HISTORY TEEN HIL
In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
SOCSCI TEEN KUK
Kuklin’s book profiles six transgender teens in both their own words and the author’s excellent photographs. Each tells a complex personal tale of realization, coming out, communication with family and friends, struggles, and triumph through adversity.
Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton
BIOGRAPHY TEEN HAMILTON
In this moving personal account of faith and fortitude, internationally ranked surfer Bethany Hamilton tells how she survived a shark attack that cost her arm—but not her spirit.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
BIOGRAPHY JNF WOODSON
In vivid poems, Jacqueline Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
The Diary of a Young Girl (The Diary of Anne Frank)
BIOGRAPHY FRANK 09/16
The classic book that put a human face to the unimaginable horrors of the holocaust.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose
HISTORY MILITARY WW2 JNF HOO
In April 1940, occupying German forces made Denmark a "protectorate" of the Third Reich. The Danish government accepted the occupation, but a small group of teen boys, angry at their nation's cowardice, formed the secret Churchill Club to resist the Germans and conducted a six-month spree of sabotage and destruction.
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
SOCSCI PSYCH JUN 05/16
Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning.
In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis
HISTORY US JNF DAV
From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, personal manservant and lifelong slave of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country’s great tragedy—that a nation “conceived in liberty” was also born in shackles. These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books.
Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner
BIOGRAPHY JNF YOSHITSUNE
Stirring narrative nonfiction recounts the rise of Minamoto Yoshitsune from seemingly doomed infant to immortal warrior-hero, one of the most famous samurai in Japanese history.
This Land Is Our Land: A History of American Immigration by Linda Barrett Osborne
HISTORY US JNF OSB
Osborne examines immigration to the United States from the 19th century to the present, and the accompanying reactions from Americans already here—reactions she describes as “startlingly similar and consistent.”
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
HISTORY MILITARY VIETNAM JNF SHE
Most Dangerous recounts the story of America’s first large-scale government whistleblower, Daniel Ellsberg, who became famous (or infamous) for leaking the “Pentagon Papers,” which exposed the questionable decisions that led the United States into the Vietnam War.
This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain
BIOGRAPHY JNF AUDUBON
In This Strange Wilderness, award-winning author Nancy Plain brings together the amazing story of this American icon’s career and the beautiful images that are his legacy.
Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone
HISTORY MILITARY WW2 JNF STO
An exceptionally well-researched, lovingly crafted, and important tribute to unsung American heroes.
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
TRANSPOR BOATS JNF HOP
In what’s sure to be a definitive work commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, Hopkinson offers a well-researched and fascinating account of the disaster.
Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History by Kate Schatz
BIOGRAPHY JNF SCH
Our history books are filled with incredible stories of heroes and rebels, villains and visionaries, but too often it’s men who occupy all the starring roles. RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE boldly challenges the male-dominated version of history we’ve been sold, offering us a new vision of the past that brings women out of the historical shadows.