YALSA announces 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults finalists

For Immediate Release
Wed, 12/07/2011

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CHICAGO –The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011. YALSA will name the 2012 award winner at the Youth Media Awards at 7:45 a.m. on Jan. 23, in Dallas during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

The 2012 finalists are:

  • “Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science” written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • “Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition”written by Karen Blumenthal, published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
  • “Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)” written by Sue Macy, published by National Geographic Children’s Books.
  • “Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein”written by Susan Goldman Rubin, published by Charlesbridge.
  • “The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery” written by Steve Sheinkin, published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

"The committee could not be more excited about this eclectic representation of nonfiction for teens,” said Jennifer Hubert Swan, chair of YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction Award committee. “The authors of these fascinating finalists have brought Benedict Arnold and Leonard Bernstein to life, explored the complexity of the Prohibition era and the sugar trade and showed how a bicycle could start a revolution. We hope that these titles will be enthusiastically embraced by teens and their librarians, and we look forward to more rich discussions before we announce the winning title in January.”

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/nonfiction. YALSA sells finalist seals to librarians and publishers to place on books at www.alastore.ala.org. YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalist authors and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award winner and finalists, at a free reception from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 23, in Omni Hotel in the Dallas E room.

Members of the 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award committee are: Chair Jennifer Hubert, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York; Mary Burkey, Olentangy Local Schools, Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth Burns, New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center, Trenton, N.J.; Betty Carter, Consultant, Coppell, Texas; Diane Colson, Tampa, Fla.; Megan Fink, Charlotte (N.C.) Country Day Middle School; Pam Spencer Holley, Consultant, Hallwood, Va.;  David C. Mowery, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Mary Anne Nichols, Kent State University of Library and Information Science, Kent, Ohio; John Sexton, administrative assistant, Greenburgh, New York; and Dan Kraus, Booklist Magazine, Chicago.

For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos and audio books for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, go to www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.

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. For artwork, please contact Stephanie Kuenn at skuenn@ala.org