Last week the shortlist for the Morris Award was announced*. Today, YALSA has announced the five finalists for its new Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. It's been an amazing year for Young Adult Nonfiction and there were so many amazing titles from which to choose. I can only imagine how challenging it was for the committee to narrow their selections down to these five:
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum by Candace Fleming
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland (Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades) by Sally M. Walker
Terrific choices! Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice has already won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, and Charles and Emma was another of the nominees.
Unsurprisingly, all five of these are also among the 50 or so titles currently nominated for the Cybils Middle Grade/Young Adult Nonfiction award. As a first-round judge, I've had the pleasure of reading three of the YALSA finalists and am currently finishing up Written in Bone. I'm first on the hold list at my library for The Great and Only Barnum, so I'll most likely be reading that next.
With all of the nonfiction reading I've been doing, I can wholeheartedly agree that these are some great books that have been nominated for the YALSA award. Of course, there are also so many more great books that didn't make their list...but maybe they'll wind up on the Cybils shortlist! Who knows? The shortlist will be announced January 1st, so stay tuned.
The winner of the YALSA award will be announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards this January in Boston. A few weeks later, on Valentine's Day, February 14th, the Cybils winners will be announced.
As a judge for the Cybils, I can't disclose my immediate preferences, but I'd love to hear what others think about the best nonfiction for tweens and teens. Do you have a favorite?
* I'll be posting about this later in December, after my reading for the Cybils is done and I can turn attention to fiction once again.
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