2013 Nonfiction Award Nominations

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.

2013 Nominations

Chuck Close Face Book by Chuck Close

Chuck Close Face Book is a deceptively simple book, less in-depth biography than his life as a painter.  Close overcame physical illness to become an inspiration for artists; the sections on his creative process and technique will give teen artists insight and ideas for their own craft. While the text may skew towards younger readers, his descriptions about how he does it will attract even the oldest teen artists. There is an impressive amount of backmatter for those interested in learning more about his life.

The Amazing Harry Kellar: Great American Magician by Gail Jarrow

Harry Kellar was a world-famous magician in his time, but he is now all but forgotten.  This fascinating account examines his life and magic tricks, and is illustrated with numerous photos and full-color copies of the gorgeous posters that promoted his performances.

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery

In this well-written and readable biography, readers are given special insight into the insular and unique world of Dr. Temple Grandin.  Grandin, who throughout her career in  animal science, has revolutionized the livestock industry, was born with autism in 1947 in a world that didn't yet have a name for the disorder.  With help from Grandin herself as well as colleagues, family, and friends, Montgomery weaves the gripping and revelatory story of a woman who refused to let the limits of the world's expectations hold her back.  The richly illustrated and well-documented book also provides insight into life with autism.

Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank

Starting in prehistoric times and continuing to today this book traces the history and biology of tuberculosis. In addition to being a medical history of the disease and the continuing search for a cure, it seamlessly weaves in the social history of the TB and its victims. From the rise and fall of the sanatorium movement to today's drug-resistant outbreaks, Murphy shows how culture and policy have helped and hindered TB's spread across geography and time.

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch

Man may never set foot on the red planet known as Mars.  Steven Squyres understood that a geologist was exactly what space exploration needed and set out to convince NASA to send a robotic geologist to Mars. In 2003, after eight years, he and his team sent two little  rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, off on an adventure that was expected to last, at best, for three months. Nine years later Opportunity is still travelling across the surface sending photos back to earth.  Today Opportunity has a new companion named Curiosity.  Follow the adventure in this lavishly illustrated and well documented work, then go online for a daily briefing of Mars through the eyes of our surrogates.

Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure by Martin W. Sandler

Trapped by the flash freeze of a surprise early Arctic winter in 1897, 265 sailors with dwindling supplies and six months of plunging temperatures ahead faced almost certain death. Desperate to save them, the United States government hatched a daring plan that involved sending three men into brutal weather conditions, on foot, on a journey of more than 1500 miles...but they had to be the right three men.  Using a rich collection of personal letters, journals, and astonishing archival photos and illustrations, Martin Sandler shares the story of human courage and endurance that transformed the unthinkable and impossible into an extraordinary tale of rescue and survival.

Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 by Sally M. Walker

On a cold morning in December 1917, a ship filled with munitions collided with another vessel in Halifax Harbor. The resulting explosion flattened everything within a half-mile radius and resulted in more than 2,000 deaths. Walker follows several young people who lived through the disaster and chronicles the rescue efforts in a story that is both affecting and unbelieveable.

Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World by Sally M. Walker

 Two men stumbled upon human remains along the Columbia River near Kennewick Washington.  Author, Sally Walker presents the scientific research process and discoveries that have been made since 1996 when those 9,000 year-old remains, of what is now known as Kennewick Man, were uncovered.  Interspersed with this mystery are the stories of other North American prehistoric remains:  Spirit Cave Man, Arch Lake Woman, and the Horn Shelter People.  Readers go behind the scenes, follow the scientists and their research process, which includes  clear, easy to understand scientific explanations, and they learn of the ongoing tension between cultures. This well-researched text is full of interesting images, maps and photographs, and concludes with a stunning reconstruction giving readers insight into what Kennewick Man may have actually looked like.

Charles Dickens and the Street Children of London by Andrea Warren

This biography shows how Dickens's childhood experiences with poverty shaped his writing and career by showing the parallels between his life and plots. It gives particular emphasis to how he used his wealth, fame, and platform to help England's neediest people. Including many period illustrations, the text brings alive to horrors of the workhouse and shows readers why Dickens was so popular in his time and why he continues to be read and studied.