Nonfiction Award

nonfiction awardnonfiction awardnonfiction award

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 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 through ALA.

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2014 Winner

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi written by Neal Bascomb

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi written by Neal Bascomb, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

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.

“Neal Bascomb, a bestselling author for adults, brings an important moment in history to life for teen readers in a gripping and exhaustively researched narrative,” said YALSA Nonfiction Award Chair Jamison Hedin.

2014 Finalists

  •	“Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design” written by Chip Kidd, published by Workman Publishing Company.  •	“Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II” written by Martin W. Sandler, published by Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.  •	“Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers” written by Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick Press.  •	“The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy” written by James L. Swanson, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design written by Chip Kidd, published by Workman Publishing Company.

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.

Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II written by Martin W. Sandler, published by Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

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.

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers written by Tanya Lee Stone, published by Candlewick Press.

“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.

The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy written by James L. Swanson, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

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.

Awards Ceremony

The awards were presented to winner Neal Bascomb and finalists Chip Kidd, Martin W. Sandler, Tanya Lee Stone and James L. Swanson at a reception in Philadelphia on Jan. 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 114-Lecture Hall.

2014 Committee

Members of the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Jamison Hedin, Ludlow (Mass.) High School; Kathy M. Burnette, Discovery Middle School, Granger, Ind.; Molly M. Collins, Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library; Maria E. Gentle, Arlington (Va.) Public Library; Dorcas Hand, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston; Sarah Holtkamp, Chicago Public Library; Sherry L. Rampey, First Baptist Church of Gaston (S.C.); Scott Robins, Toronto Public Library, Ontario, Canada; and Patti Tjomsland, Bureau of Education and Research (BER) Longview, Wash; and Gillian Engberg, Booklist Consultant, Chicago, Ill.

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.