For immediate release | December 8, 2016

2017 Nonfiction Award finalists announced

CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2017 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2015 and Oct. 31, 2016.

YALSA will name the 2017 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 23, in Atlanta during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.

The 2017 finalists are:

  • “Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History” by Karen Blumenthal and published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
  • “In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Livesby Kenneth C. Davis, and published by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
  • “March: Book Three” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, published by Top Shelf Productions, an imprint of IDW Publishing
  • “Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune” written by Pamela S. Turner. Illustrated by Gareth Hinds, and published by Charlesbridge
  • “This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration” written by Linda Barrett Osborne, and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS

“This year was phenomenal in the publishing of outstanding Nonfiction for Young Adults.” shared Ellen Spring, chair of YALSA’s 2017 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults committee. “We have been reading continuously for a year and had very difficult choices to make to choose our finalists. Many books shared the concerns of the country and we were extremely pleased to find that these books help explain the issues facing us today and their basis in the past. Our nonfiction selections covered everything from how-to books, to biographies, to survival, to war epics. Young Adults have an extraordinary wealth of choices.”

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Nonfiction Award page. Publishers and library staff can purchase finalist seals to place on the finalist titles at For more information on the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit

YALSA will host a reception honoring the Nonfiction Award finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award finalists and winner at the ALA Midwinter Meeting from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 23, Georgia World Congress Center, room B302. See a full list of YALSA’s events and programs at Midwinter on YALSA’s Midwinter wiki page. 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.

Members of the 2017 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are: Chair Ellen Spring, MSAD#40 K-12 District Librarian, Waldoboro, ME; Meaghan Darling, Youth Services Librarian, Long Hill Public Library, Gillette, NJ; Christopher Lassen, Youth Material Selector, The New York Public Library & Brooklyn Public Library, New York, NY ; Lisa Lechuga, Librarian, Kitsap Regional Library, Kitsap County, WA; Jennifer Longee, Librarian, Durham Academy, Durham, NC; Karen M. Perry, Adjunct Instructor, Dept. of Library Science, Darden School of Education, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA; Loren Spector, Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA; Amanda Moss Struckmeyer, Library Media Specialist, West Middleton Elementary School, Middleton Cross Plains Area School District, Middleton, WI; Katherine Tigges, Children’s Librarian, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL, and Maggie Reagan, Booklist Consultant, Chicago.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail:


Nichole O'Connor

Program Officer

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)