In addition to the finalists and award winner, YALSA publishes a list of vetted nominations for the Nonfiction Award. Seals for nonfiction nominees are available in the ALA Store and may be purchased in bulk. Click YALSA's Award Seals webpage for more information.
* denotes finalists
Anderson, Tanya . Tillie Pierce: Teen Eyewitness to the Battle of Gettysburg, Twenty-First Century Books, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, 2013. 978-1-4677-0692-6.
It is July 1863, and the Confederate Army is moving the war to the North. Fifteen-year-old Tillie Pierce ends up on the front lines of the Battle of Gettysburg. Anderson uses Pierce’s memoir, as well as maps and period photographs, to give readers an on-the-ground view of history.
**Bascomb, Neal. The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi. Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2013.
At the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader responsible for organizing the deportation and imprisonment of millions of Holocaust victims, went into hiding under an assumed identity. Eventually he fled to Argentina where he lived and worked under a false name for 10 years. Bascomb tells the story of Eichmann’s crimes, his years in hiding, and his eventual capture and trial with rich detail and riveting suspense. At the same time, Bascomb introduces readers to the courageous Israeli agents, Holocaust survivors, and their families who worked together to track down, capture, and bring Eichmann to justice.
Bolden, Tonya. Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty, Abrams Books, 2013. 978-1-4197-0390-4.
Bolden combines narrative text, multiple perspectives, attention-grabbing images, and primary sources for a powerful look at one of the most important documents in American history.
Freedman, Russell. Becoming Ben Franklin: How a Candle-Maker's Son Helped Light the Flame of Liberty, Holiday House, 2013. 978-0-8234-2374-3.
Freedman goes beyond the basic facts to a deeper understanding of Benjamin Franklin by depicting the man in the context of his times, his family, his colleagues, and even his opponents. The paintings, etchings, and historical documents reproduced throughout the text support a nuanced portrait of one of America’s iconic founding fathers.
*Kidd, Chip. Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design. Workman Publishing Company, 2013.
this innovative book offers an introduction to the history and basic concepts of graphic design from one of the most successful designers working today. Using real world examples and rich visual aids, Kidd teaches readers how effective design can communicate ideas and messages, and he suggests ways to think critically about the design elements that infuse the media around us. Kidd invites readers to experiment with design themselves by ending the book with a series of 10 design challenges and offers a venue to share their work online.
Kidder, Tracy & Michael French. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World, Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House, 2013. 978-0-385-74318-1.
In this account that begins with Farmer's uncommon childhood, his education at Duke and Harvard Medical School, and subsequent humanitarian work in Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia, readers learn about a man whose life has been driven by his love of the poor and his quest to eradicate infectious diseases.
Lewis, John & Andrew Aydin, Illustrated by Nate Powell. March (Book One), Top Shelf Productions, August 13, 2013. 978-1-60309-300-2.
March (Book One) uses vivid black-and-white artwork and John Lewis’s personal story to connect readers to the depth and scope of the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis and Aydin’s words and Powell’s art combine to paint a vivid picture of Lewis’s life and times.
McClafferty, Carla Killough. Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football's Make-or-Break Moment, Carolrhoda Books, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, 2013. 978-1-4677-1067-1.
There was a moment in the early history of college football when catastrophic injuries nearly put an end to the sport. Now, over 100 years later, McClafferty compares football's historical turning point to the current concussion crisis and provides the scientific and medical information necessary to let readers draw their own conclusions.
Meissner, David & Kim Richardson. Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure, Calkins Creek, an imprint of Boyd’s Mill Press, 2013. 978-1-59078-823-3.
Although it reads like fiction, this book is predominantly written in excerpts from original letters from Klondike Gold Rush miners Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond. Their story of ambition, adventure, and hardship is filled with photos, newspaper clippings and other documents from the period.
Miller, Brandon Marie. Women of the Frontier: 16 Tales of Trailblazing Homesteaders, Entrepreneurs, and Rabble-Rousers, Chicago Review Press, 2013. 978-1-8830-5297-3.
Miller provides a welcome glimpse into the lives of women from different walks of life who lived, worked, and struggled as Americans moved West. Primary sources help bring these women, and the enormous challenges that they faced, to life.
O'Reilly, Bill. Kennedy's Last Days: The Assassination That Defined a Generation, Henry Holt and Co., an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, 2013. 978-0-8050-9802-0.
O’Reilly’s account of the assassination of John F. Kennedy includes his personal memories of the Kennedy era and a detailed account of the day of the assassination. Pictures on nearly every page help give life and detail to Kennedy and Oswald’s very different backgrounds and the paths that led them to that terrible day in Dallas.
Rusch, Elizabeth. Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives, Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. 978-0-547-50350-9.
Rusch profiles a group of scientists who strive to save those who live in the shadow of active volcanoes. The use of photographs, maps, personal experiences, and direct quotes from the scientists and those affected by eruptions brings a sense of urgency to each study of a recent volcanic eruption.
*Sandler, Martin W. Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II. Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc., 2013.
After the Japanese military bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing the internment of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans. This detailed and compassionate chronicle of the internment years incorporates many first-hand accounts and photographs. Sandler skillfully provides context for the internment and also examines its lasting legacy by examining anti-Japanese sentiment in America before World War II and then the redress movement, which advocated for compensation and formal apologies for internees after the war.
Setterington, Ken. Branded by the Pink Triangle, Second Story Press, 2013. 978-1-926920-96-2.
With the rise of the Nazi Party, life for homosexuals in Germany changed dramatically from an atmosphere of tolerance to punishing discrimination marked by raids, arrests, prison sentences, and eventually concentration camps. With a combination of historical research, first-person accounts, photos, and maps, Setterington assembles a dramatic overview of this little-known area of LGBT history.
Sheinkin, Steve. Lincoln's Grave Robbers, Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2013. 978-0-545-40572-0.
A true-crime thriller about a counterfeiting ring that attempted to steal Abraham Lincoln's body to provide ransom for their jailed leader. Along the way, the reader learns about the formation of the Secret Service, the presidential election of 1876, the later lives of Lincoln’s widow and son, and about counterfeiting, which was at an all-time peak during and after the Civil War.
*Stone, Tanya Lee. Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers. Candlewick Press, 2013.
“What is it like to jump out of an airplane? Imagine.” From these opening sentences, Stone chronicles the courage and persistence that were the hallmarks of the Triple Nickles, the African Americans who pushed through military barriers to become the first black paratroopers. Their individual efforts, the eventual recognition of the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, and the broader issues of segregation during the war period are illustrated with a with a rich collection of interviews, letters, and photos. Stone’s afterword, the timeline, and the detailed source notes offer valuable insights into her research methods. Ashley Bryan’s foreword and artwork add personal insight and extend the power of this skillfully told story.
*Swanson, James L. The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy. Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2013.
James Swanson takes readers back in time with a thoroughly researched and tightly written narrative of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Beginning with a succinct introduction to Kennedy’s early life and presidential administration, Swanson sets the scene for a detailed and engaging examination of the events before, during, and after November 22, 1963, when JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald crossed paths in Dallas with tragic results. The book brings events to life with extensive photographs, diagrams, and primary documents, and illuminates Swanson’s research and writing process with detailed source notes, an extensive bibliography, suggestions for further reading, and a comprehensive index.