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 winner
* denotes finalists
YALSA 2018 Excellence in Nonfiction Official Nominations
*Aronson, Marc and Marina Tamar Budhos. Eyes of the World : Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism. Holt. 9780805098358. Meet Robert Capo and Gerda Taro, young refugees and fearless pioneers of photojournalism, who documented the savagery of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. In capturing a struggle against fascism that presaged World War II, their body of work reflects the evolution of photography as a journalistic medium. Aronson and Budhos use the two as a springboard to an expansive look at a forgotten conflict whose political and philosophical ramifications captured the attention of the world.
Brockenbrough, Martha. Alexander Hamilton, Revolutionary. Feiwel and Friends. 9781250123190. You’ve heard of the Broadway musical Hamilton; now meet the real Alexander Hamilton in this fascinating historical biography of the man who was instrumental in creating our democracy and economic system.
Green, Katie. Lighter Than My Shadow. Roar. 9781941302415. Written and illustrated by the author, this vivid graphic format memoir depicts the author's struggle with eating disorders, mental illness and the difficult journey through recovery.
**Heiligman, Deborah. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. Holt. 9780805093391. The bond between brothers was never stronger. Drawing on their lifelong correspondence, Heiligman plumbs their journey from an ascetic upbringing in a Protestant parsonage to the auction houses of Europe as Theo develops business acumen, all the while supporting volatile Vincent’s groundbreaking artistic endeavors both materially and emotionally. Their devotion to each other was so profound that there could have been no Vincent van Gogh without Theo.
Hennessey, Jonathan and art by Jack McGowan. The Comic Book Story of Video Games: The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution. Ten Speed Press. 9780399578908. Just like Life will find a way to survive, in any situation, so will gamers find a way to co-opt whatever nascent technology exist so that they can play and compete in electronic games. This cleverly illustrated graphic novel goes into great detail about paradigm-changing games going back to the very first computers and networks. Truly an all-inclusive catalog of gaming’s history that is effortless to read.
Jensen, Kelly, ed. Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw and Speak About Feminism for the Real World. Algonquin. 9781616205867. This mixed-media anthology with contributions from Laurie Halse Anderson, Daniel José Older, and Brandy Colbert, among others, explores body positivity, gender identity, and intersectionality in an accessible primer on all things feminism.
*Leatherdale, Mary Beth and Lisa Charleyboy. #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women. Annick. 9781554519576. The editors present a stereotype-busting, zine-like collection of personal essays, illustrations, and photos from and about the marginalized experiences of indigenous young women. This energetic showcase of contemporary lives demonstrates the strength and vitality of living heritages through a rich, visually stunning riot of art and memoir.
Levinson, Cynthia and Sanford Levinson. Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws that Affect Us Today. Peachtree. 9781561459452. Think the Constitution is dry as dust? This illuminating look at the United States Constitution illustrates both the brilliance and troubling flaws of what many consider the most important document of our democracy.
Losure, Mary. Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal’d. Candlewick. 9780763670634. Everyone knows the story of Newton, an apple, and gravity, but this complicated, brilliant man lived in a time where science was touched with alchemy. Follow his fascinating explorations through the beautifully crafted words and illustrations of this book.
*Sandler, Martin W. The Whydah : A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found. Candlewick. 9780763680336. Cinematic portrayals of the high seas can’t touch the rollicking realities of life aboard the Eighteenth century ship, The Whydah. This transporting look at the peculiar society of the piratical brotherhood, peppered with first-hand accounts, has much to tell us about successful maritime strategies for maintaining a reign of terror, the Whydah’s wreck and the house-to-house search it inspired, and the truths that artifacts recovered from its discovery off Cape Cod revealed about the golden age of piracy in the American colonies.
Sheinkin, Steve. Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team. Roaring Brook. 9781596439542. Sheinkin presents the fascinating story of Jim Thorpe, the superb athlete, from his childhood as a marginalized Native American, through his years as a student at the rigorous, abusive Carlisle boarding school where he, his team, and coach Pop Warner “invented football,” on to Thorpe’s momentary triumph as the winner of two Olympic gold medals in 1912 before that honor’s subsequent loss and eventual restoration.
*Slater, Dashka. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives. Farrar Straus Giroux. 9780374303235. In the news: an agender teen falls asleep on an Oakland city bus. A black teen sets their skirt on fire. Two young lives, forever entwined because of proximity in a moment, eventually spark an entire community’s shift towards restorative justice.
Solomon, Andrew. Far From the Tree: How Children and Their Parents Learn to Accept One Another...Our Differences Unite Us (Young Adult Edition). Simon & Schuster. 9781481840905. This young adult edition of a popular adult title describes ways that members of marginalized groups--the deaf; those with dwarfism, autism, or a variety of physical abnormalities; transgender persons--and their families have formed their own cultures and communities.
Walden, Tillie. Spinning. First Second. 9781626729407. This expressive graphic format memoir traces Walden’s fraught adolescent development among the cut-throat world of competitive ice skating, with panels as precise and exacting as on-ice routines and sequences every bit as climatic.
Weatherford, Carole Boston and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library. Candlewick. 9780763680466. A lush picture book biography in verse sharing the life and work of Afro-Puerto Rican Arturo Schomburg. An avid collector of cultural artifacts, Schomburg’s passion for the history and achievements of those of African descent led to the creation of New York Public Library’s landmark Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.