YALSA Announces 2023 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award finalists

For Immediate Release
Thu, 12/08/2022


Carla Jamison

Program Officer

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)


CHICAGO - The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2023 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, which awards the best in nonfiction published for young adults ranging in age from 12 through 18 years, highlighting excellence in writing, research, presentation and readability for young adults.

YALSA will name the 2023 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 30, 2023, during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience conference in New Orleans, La.

The 2023 Excellence in Nonfiction finalists are:

“Abuela, Don't Forget Me,” by Rex Ogle. Norton Young Readers, An Imprint of W. W. Norton & Company

“American Murderer: The Parasite that Haunted the South,” by Gail Jarrow. Calkins Creek.

“A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome,” by Ariel Henley. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

“Unequal: A Story of America,” by Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Favreau. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers a division Hachette Book Group, Inc.

“Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice,” by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile. Norton Young Readers, An Imprint of W. W. Norton & Company

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year.  Award winners are announced annually during the ALA Youth Media Awards presentation.

“The Committee’s choices for the five finalists reflect the many superb autobiographies published this year in a variety of formats as well as excellent books on historic pandemics and human justice,” said Chair Allison Gray.  “The Committee found it extremely difficult to limit itself to a top 5 titles as the quality of non-fiction for teens this year was truly impressive.”

The full list of annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Nonfiction Award page.  Finalist seals are available for purchase by publishers and library staff to place on the finalist titles at  www.ala.org/awardsgrants/seals.

Members of the 2023 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults award committee are:  Chair B. Allison Gray, Goleta Valley Library, Goleta, California; Elizabeth Bast, Racine, Wisconsin; Molly Dettmann, Norman North High School Library, Norman, Oklahoma; Katy Henderson, Chatham Community Library, Pittsboro, North Carolina; Loren Hinton, Norman Public Library Central, Norman, Oklahoma; Dana Hutchins, Dwight Middle School, San Antonio, Texas; Pamela Kranenburg, Defiance Public Library, Holgate, Ohio; Bethany Martin, Trinity School, New York, New York; and Heather Richard, Independent Educational Literacy Consultant, Northampton, Massachusetts.


The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is networking, advocacy, and professional development.  The Young Adult Library Services Association empowers all those involved in the profession to provide equitable, diverse, and inclusive teen services.  For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources drive to www.ala.org/yalsa.


American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit www.ala.org.