YALSA launched the Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award in 2010. Learn more about the 2010 winner and finalists.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith
By Deborah Heiligman, published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group (9780805087215).
After creating a list of the pros and cons of marriage, science-minded Charles Darwin chooses to marry his strictly religious first cousin. Little does he know that he is about to embark upon the most loving, creative, and intellectually important relationship of his life.
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
By Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick. (9780763636111).
In the early 1960s, the doctor in charge of testing NASA’s astronauts decided to find out if female pilots were capable of passing the grueling qualification tests required of male pilots. Feasible? Yes. Allowed? No. All testing of women’s potential for the Mercury program was done outside NASA’s purview and without their permission. The reasons why will stun readers.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
By Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books/ Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan children’s Publishing Group (9780374313227).
Hoose recounts the largely untold story of Claudette Colvin, who was arrested and jailed at the age of 15 after refusing to relinquish her seat on a bus to a white woman. Interviews with Colvin create a vivid picture not only of the Montgomery bus boycott but also the Browder v. Gayle case, in which she was a key defendant.
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
By Candace Fleming and illustrated by Ray Fenwick published by Schwartz & Wade Books/Random House (9780375841972).
Thrill to the audacity! Gasp at the hucksterism! Come one, come all to the jaw-dropping, larger-than-life biography of expert humbugger, relentless curiosity seeker, and unparalleled showman P. T. Barnum.
Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland
By Sally M. Walker, published by Carolrhoda/Lerner. (9780822571353)
By presenting a detailed examination into the work of different types of forensic archaeology at excavations in both Jamestown, Virginia, and Colonial Maryland, readers are rewarded with both a picture of this fascinating work and an appreciation for what it contributes to our knowledge of history.
Members of the 2010 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Angela Carstensen, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York; Sallie H. Barringer, Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati; Betsy J. Fraser, Calgary (Alb.) Public Library, Canada; Joyce K. Giuliani, Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, Va.; Andy Howe, Albuquerque (N.M.) Academy Simms Library; Dr. Jami L. Jones, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C.; Tena Litherland, Webb School of Knoxville, Tenn.; Stephen L. Matthews, Foxcroft School, Middleburg, Va.; Jody Sharp, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, Md.; Judy Sasges, administrative assistant, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, Wash.; and Daniel Kraus, Booklist consultant, Chicago.