Hey YA Readers: Let’s highlight some upcoming YA nonfiction for our TBRs!
“What’s Up in YA?” is sponsored by Disney Publishing Worldwide, publisher of The Devouring Gray.
After the death of her sister, Violet finds herself dragged to the hometown her mother fled years ago. Violet may be new to Four Paths, New York, but she soon learns her family isn’t. They’re one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods. When Violet accidentally wanders into the Gray and unleashes the monster, Violet and her new friends must band together to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities in order to defeat the monster… before the Gray devours them all.
I’m a big fan of YA nonfiction, and I’m so thrilled to see that it’s been growing as a category in the last few years. While I’ve hit on some great collective biographies that are coming out this year (or have hit in recent memory), as well as a handful of memoirs, I haven’t highlighted some of the awesome YA nonfiction that has hit or will hit shelves shortly this year.
Let’s change that now.
Because I’ve not read all of these — I’ve only read a couple and the rest are sitting on my never-ending stacks — I’m pulling descriptions from Amazon because I can’t come up with better. If you haven’t read YA nonfiction before, these titles would be excellent starting places. There are Young Reader Editions (aka: the books adapted from adult books for younger audiences) and original titles.
Dissenter on the Bench by Victoria Ortiz (June 4)
Dramatically narrated case histories from Justice Ginsburg’s stellar career are interwoven with an account of RBG’s life—childhood, family, beliefs, education, marriage, legal and judicial career, children, and achievements—and her many-faceted personality is captured. The cases described, many involving young people, demonstrate her passionate concern for gender equality, fairness, and our constitutional rights. Notes, bibliography, index.
Dreamland by Sam Quinones (July 16)
As an adult book, Sam Quinones’s Dreamland took the world by storm, winning the NBCC Award for General Nonfiction and hitting at least a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Now, adapted for the first time for a young adult audience, this compelling reporting explains the roots of the current opiate crisis.
In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. Quinones explains how the rise of the prescription drug OxyContin, a miraculous and extremely addictive painkiller pushed by pharmaceutical companies, paralleled the massive influx of black tar heroin–cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico’s west coast, independent of any drug cartel.
Introducing a memorable cast of characters–pharmaceutical pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, teens, and parents–Dreamland is a revelatory account of the massive threat facing America and its heartland.
Girl Mogul by Tiffany Pham (April 2)
Welcome to Girl Mogul! No matter who you are or where you come from, this book can help you define success, envision it, and make it happen―in school, in your personal life, and at work. Get ready to awaken all the awesomeness that is already inside of you.
You are fierce.
You are bold.
You are unique.
You are driven.
You are inspiring.
YOU ARE A GIRL MOGUL
Tiffany Pham, founder and CEO of Mogul, created one of the most successful platforms for girls worldwide, reaching millions of people to enact true change in their lives, after receiving thousands of emails asking for advice. In Girl Mogul, she speaks directly to teens and young adults, sharing insights from her own life as well from the lives of the most incredible and inspiring women on Mogul. Tiffany has proven that with the right attitude, the right people, and the right vision, there’s nothing girls can’t do.
It’s Trevor Noah by Trevor Noah (available April 9)
Trevor Noah, the funny guy who hosts The Daily Show, shares his remarkable story of growing up in South Africa, with a black South African mother and a white European father at a time when it was against the law for a mixed-race child like him to exist. But he did exist–and from the beginning, the often-misbehaved Trevor used his keen smarts and humor to navigate a harsh life under a racist government.
This compelling memoir blends drama, comedy, and tragedy to depict the day-to-day trials that turned a boy into a young man. In a country where racism barred blacks from social, educational, and economic opportunity, Trevor surmounted staggering obstacles and created a promising future for himself, thanks to his mom’s unwavering love and indomitable will.
It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime not only provides a fascinating and honest perspective on South Africa’s racial history, but it will also astound and inspire young readers looking to improve their own lives.
The Miracle and Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller (August 27)
When the Dionne Quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family–and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Here, Sarah Miller reconstructs their unprecedented upbringing with fresh depth and subtlety, bringing to new light their resilience and the indelible bond of their unique sisterhood.
The Stonewall Riots by Gayle E Pitman (May 14)
This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.
VIRAL by Ann Bausum (June 4)
Thirty-five years ago, it was a modern-day, mysterious plague. Its earliest victims were mostly gay men, some of the most marginalized people in the country; at its peak in America, it killed tens of thousands of people. The losses were staggering, the science frightening, and the government’s inaction unforgivable. The AIDS Crisis fundamentally changed the fabric of the United States.
Viral presents the history of the AIDS crisis through the lens of the brave victims and activists who demanded action and literally fought for their lives. This compassionate but unflinching text explores everything from the disease’s origins and how it spread to the activism it inspired and how the world confronts HIV and AIDS today.
Want more YA nonfiction recommendations? I pulled together 50 must-read YA nonfiction books you might like, too!
Thanks for hanging out and we’ll see you later this week!