YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

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The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year. The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December.

Seals for the winning titles, finalist titles, and nominated titles can be purchased from the ALA Online Store.

Current Winner & Finalists

Official Nomination Lists

Previous Winners

Award Policies and Procedures

Committee Information

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2013 Winner

Bomb by Steve Sheinkin

Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, written by Steve Sheinkin and published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

In this suspenseful combination of science and history, Sheinkin masterfully exposes the international race to develop an atomic weapon and bring an end to World War II.  This true-life spy thriller features an international cast of characters and will keep readers on the edge of their seats.  Period photographs of key players and an abundance of primary sources bring this well-researched story to life.  Sheinkin gives readers insight into what happened with all of the major players after the end of the war.  A thought-provoking epilogue on the long term implications of atomic weaponry reminds readers that the results of scientific inquiry have long term implications for everyone.

“In readability, documentation and presentation, Bomb exemplifies the highest quality in nonfiction for young adults, and it as suspenseful as an international spy thriller,” said YALSA Nonfiction Award Chair Angela Frederick.

2013 Finalists

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, a biography by Karen Blumenthal and published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.     Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95, written by Phillip Hoose     Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, written by Deborah Hopkinson, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic.     We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March, written by Cynthia Levinson and published by Peachtree Publishers.                  

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, a biography by Karen Blumenthal and published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Equally reviled and revered--often by the same people--Steve Jobs, the man who operated from his own "reality distortion field," was an extraordinary "tweaker" who transcended the visionary to perfect the simple and transform the world as we know it. Skillfully crafted and meticulously researched, Blumenthal’s accessible biography presents an intimate and fully dimensional portrait of a complex American icon and the multiple trajectories of influence on our technological paradigms that define his enduring legacy.

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95, written by Phillip Hoose published by Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan children’s Publishing Group.

Moonbird is a fascinating look at the life of rufa red knots in general and B95, one long-lived and tough little bird in particular, and the worldwide efforts to understand and save this subspecies of bird from extinction.  Through maps, photos, and descriptions of his journey, the reader will fly with B95 from near the bottom of the world to the top and back again.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, written by Deborah Hopkinson, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic.

This moving, exciting history of the 1912 disaster reads like an action movie with cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.  The additional material, ranging from the only surviving photos of the inside of the boat during its journey to diagrams and timelines to accounts of what happened to the survivors afterwards, is exhaustive and meticulously researched.  Readers will find themselves hoping that this time, the boat *doesn't* sink.

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March, written by Cynthia Levinson and published by Peachtree Publishers.

Focusing on the experiences of four young people who were at the center of a pivotal moment in the American civil rights movement, this is the story of 4,000 black children and teenagers who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963.  In the end, the children succeeded where adults had failed, and one of the most racially violent cities in America was desegregated.

Nominations

A complete list of the 2013 official nominations will be available after ALA's Midwinter Meeting in January.

Awards Ceremony

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, 10:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 28 in room 606 of the Washington State Convention Center. The official 2013 nominations will be announced after the Midwinter Meeting.

2013 Committee

Members of the 2013 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award committee are: Chair Angela Frederick, Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; Ruth Allen, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Roxy Ekstrom, Schaumburg (Ill.) Twp Library; Angie Manfredi, Los Alamos (N.M.) County Library System; Judy Nelson, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Laura Pearle, VennConsultants, Carmel, N.Y.; Adela Peskorz, Metropolitan State University Library, Saint Paul, Minn.; Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington (Va.) Public Library; Sara Morse, Nashville (Tenn.) Public Library; and Gillian Engberg, Booklist, Chicago.

YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities.