2018 Nonfiction Award finalists announced

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/07/2017


Nichole O’Connor

Program Officier

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2018 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2016 and Oct. 31, 2017. YALSA will name the 2018 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Feb. 12 in Denver during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2018 finalists are:

  • “#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women” edited by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy and published by Annick Press
  • “Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism” written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos and published by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
  • “The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives” written by Dashka Slater and published by Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
  • “Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers” written by Deborah Heiligman and published by Godwin Books/Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
  • “The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found” written by Martin W. Sandler, and published by Candlewick Press

“In addition to well-documented research and compelling informational content, there is a visual appeal that sets these finalists as objects,” shared chair Wendy Stephens. “#NotYourPrincess plays with the tradition of scrapbooking to explore contemporary Native experience. Both Eyes of the World and The Whydah are replete with really fascinating primary sources, and even the more traditional of the books, Vincent and Theo, chose sketches to serve as paratextual breaks and used shaped poetry to convey the sensation of motion in Van Gogh’s art. Those deliberate details add meaning and interest. Much of the texts our committee ended up discussing involved new ways of leveraging illustration and layout to advance a narrative and create a sensory-rich reading experience.”

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Nonfiction Award page. Publishers and library staff can purchase finalist seals to place on the finalist titles at www.ala.org/awardsgrants/seals. Those that are unable to attend Midwinter can watch the Youth Media Awards live on Feb. 12th at 8am MT online at: http://ala.unikron.com/2018. For more information on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.

YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award finalists and winner, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Feb. 12 at the Colorado Convention Center, room 203/205/207. See a full list of YALSA’s events and programs at the Midwinter Meeting on YALSA’s Midwinter wiki page.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities.

Members of the 2018 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Wendy Stephens, Assistant Professor, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL; Catherine M. Andronik, Teacher Librarian, Brien McMahon High School, Norwalk, CT; Jan Chapman, retired Teen Services Librarian, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Strongsville, OH, Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal, New York, NY; Sandra Farag, Youth Material Selector, The New York Public Library & Brooklyn Public Library, New York, NY; Michael Fleming, Librarian, Pacific Cascade Middle School, Issaquah, WA; Sarah Okner, Youth & School Services Librarian, Vernon Area Public Library District, Lincolnshire, IL; Marney Welmers, Retired middle school librarian, Mariana USD, Tucson, AZ; and Dorcas Wong, Teen Services Librarian, San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, CA, and Catherine Sorensen, School Librarian, Scarsdale Schools, NY. Administrative Assistant, and Julia Smith, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to www.ala.org/yalsa, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail: yalsa@ala.org.