2023 YA NonFiction Titles

Top YA NonFiction Title

Miller, Larry with Laila Lacy. Jump: My Secret Journey From the Streets to the Boardroom. January 2022. William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. $27.99. Hardback. 304  pages. ‎ 9780062999818. Older Teens and Up.

Jason Reynolds teams up with his friend, visual artist Jason Griffin, to present a mix-media illustration of his 3-sentenced narrative poem that depicts the perspectives of a young Black boy and his family during the 2020 COVID pandemic. The collaboration between wordsmith and artist brilliantly portrays the heaviness of a pandemic quarantine that forces people inside glued to their digital screens while juxtaposed against the protests and violence committed against others on the outside. 

This book encompasses family dynamics and interaction, COVID pandemic quarantine, protests and violence during quarantine.

Cronn-Mills, Kirstin. Gender Inequality in Sports from Title IX to World Titles. April 2022. Twenty-First Century Books, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. $37.32 Hardback. 120 pages. ‎ 9781728419473. Young Adults.

Title IX is fifty years old and purposed to protect people in federally funded programs from discrimination based on sex. With a broader field of identity development, this book supports a stronger awareness for the need to look to the future on how this law can bring about greater equality in the area of the world of sports and gender and sexual identity.

This book encompasses sex discrimination in sports, law and legislation, US Education Amendment of 1972, gender identity

Grann, David. Killers of the Flower Moon: Adapted for Young Readers: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. November, 2021. Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. $18.99. Hardback. 336  pages. ‎ 9780593377345. Young Adults.

In the 1920s, the Osage Nation in Oklahoma were the richest people in the world, per capital, due to the oil on their reservation land but those in power began to kill off each member of the nation, including those who tried to investigate the problem. As the death toll rose a new Bureau of Investigation emerged, known today as the FBI.

This book encompasses the history of the Osage Nation, Indigenous land rights, 1920s oil investments, true crime
Free Minds Writers. When You Hear Me, You Hear Us: Voices of Youth Incarcerated. August 2021. Shout Mouse Press. $14.99. Paperback. 288 pages. ‎ 9781950807345. Young Adults.

In this anthology of poetry and prose, readers can hear the voices of youth charged and incarcerated in the adult criminal legal system.  The collection of work challenges readers to call out for accountability, transformative justice, and healing in this nation’s legal system.

This book encompasses JD facility writing and literacy programs, voice and agency, poetry, youth incarcerated

Martin, Jetta Grace, Joshua Bloom, and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. Freedom! The Story of the Black Panther Party. January 2022. Levine Querido, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc. $19.99. Hardback. 384  pages. ‎9781646140930. Young Adults.

This well-researched title focuses on the founding members of the Black Panther Party, Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, emphasizing the groups’ Promise to the People, which was incorporated in the organization’s Ten Point Platform. The authors purposely wrote this as a resource for younger readers, using lots of wide margins and blocked text.

This book encompasses the history of the BPP, Black Power, Civil Rights, Black Power, Democratic Socialism, Black liberation, CONTELPRO, The Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee (SNCC), the 10-Point Program

Kruzan, Sara and Cori Thomas. I Cried to Dream Again: Trafficking, Murder, and Deliverance — A Memoir. May 2022. Pantheon, an imprint of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. $27.00. Hardback. 208 pages. ‎ 9780593315880. Young Adults.

Author Sara Kruzan is a survivor of childhood abuse and sex trafficking. She is currently an advocate for incarcerated women and children and is the inspiration behind Sara’s Law, a bill in the United States House of Representatives that seeks protection for children of abuse from receiving life in prison. This memoir is her story.

This book encompasses child self trafficking; sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; social justice, incarceral laws and conditions

Gao, Laura. Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American.March 2022. Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins. $14.99. Hardback. 272 pages. ‎ 9780063067769. Young Adults.

Laura Gao is born in Wuhan, China and moves to Texas at four. When she gets older, she begns to examine her sexuality and eventually self-identifies as queer. Through the author’s humorous yet heartfelt eyes, the reader gets to see and appreciate the culture attributes of Wuhan, as it was during the author’s childhood and through the cultural practices of her family and friends in America, before the impact of today’s global COVID pandemic.

This book encompasses COVID; Wuhan, China; immigration; sexual and gender identity

Dyson, Michael E. and Marc Favreau. Unequal: A Story of America. May 2022. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Little Brown and Company. $18.99. Hardback. 368 pages. ‎ 9780759557017. Young Adults.

The authors in this title take a critical look at how racism permeates our society systemically, offering readers the opportunity to generate ideas for meaningful change in their own lives.

This book encompasses racial inequities in the USA, systemic discrimination, the Civil Rights Movement, White privilege

Jones, Luvvie Ajayi. Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens. May 2022. Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, USA. $17.99. Hardback. 272 pages. ‎ 9780593526033. Young Adults.

In today’s world, youth are finding themselves in troubled situations for simply participating in a common exchange of ideas, when sharing  their perspectives on fairness and equality. In conversational tones this book helps youth to understand how to dismantle the fears these situations generate through affirmative actions and thought.

This book encompasses self esteem development, voice and agency for teens

Pearce, Sheldon. Changes: An Oral History of Tupac Shakur. June 2021. Simon & Schuster. $26.99. Hardback. 288 pages. ‎ 9781982170462. Young Adults.

 In recognition of Pac’s 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his death, as well as the resurgence of Tupac’s “Changes” as an anthem in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death,  the authors interviewed those who knew him, bringing to readers fresh new stories and insights on the legend’s complexities that were often a contradiction to his public persona.

This book encompasses Hip Hop and Rap history, post pandemic social and legal justice protest

Zoboi, Ibi. Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler. January 2022. Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. $17.99. Hardback. 128 pages. ‎ 978-0399187384. Middle Grades.

 Ibi Zoboi’s legacy as a writer was impacted by her personal acquaintance with the inimitable Octavia Butler. Using the analogic context of the Great Depression, World War II, the space race, the red scare, and the Civil Rights movement, Zoboi captures Butler’s life journey through a lens of poetry, and a variety of artifacts that include personal handwritten notes, photographs, story drafts, and newspaper clippings.

This book encompasses mid-twentieth century American history, segregation in Southern California, honing literacy skills, science fiction creative writing, Women’s Rights

Blakinger, Keri. Corrections in Ink: a Memoir. January 2022. Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.. $17.99. Hardback. 128 pages. ‎ 978-0399187384. Middle Grades and Up.

As a national level teen figure skater, Keri Blakinger struggled with bulimia and drug addiction through her college years, where she was arrested and jailed for two and a half years on possession of heroin. This experience helped to change her perspectives, and upon release, she re-entered college, got a degree in journalism, and worked for major news organizations, often writing on the systemic racism and white privilege that is rampant in the legal system. This memoir documents her restorative journey and advocacy for rights in the the criminal justice system.

This book encompasses drug addiction, juvenile and adult incarceration, restorative justice

Dandro, Travis. Hummingbird Heart. May 2022. Drawn and Quartered. $29.95. Paperback. 368 pages. ‎ 9781770465626. Young Adults.

 In this second installation of his childhood memoir, the reader is moved to a time in Dandro’s life when he lived with his grandmother, after his father committed suicide. With not much to look forward to except for the weightless, unburdoness feeling of freedom from the flight of a hummingbird he often watches, Travis shares the highs and lows of his teen years with both introspectiveness and humor.

This book encompasses cancer in seniors, orphans, suicide, drug addiction, restoration, self-esteem

Kroll, Andy. A Death on W Street: The Murder of Seth Rich and the Age of Conspiracy. September 2022. PublicAffairs Books, an imprint of Perseus Books. $30.00. Hardback. 358 pages. ‎ 9781541751149. Emerging Adult.

Seth Rich was a twentysomething employee of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the person that murdered him at a pizza parlor in Washington, DC was never found. His murder generated and connected right-ring conspiracy theories to the 2016 presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and included the indictment of 12 Russian military intelligence agents, but …, the person who murdered Seth was never identified and brought to justice.

This book encompassesthe 2016 national elections, misinformation, disinformation, unsolved murder cases, politics, voter denial and restriction

Ramirez, Yasmin. ¡Ándale, Prieta!: A Memoir. August 2022. Cinco Puntos Press, am imprint of Lee and Low Books. $14.99. Paperback. 272 pages. ‎ 9781947627550. Young Adults.

Sometimes the strongest people in our families aren’t who you would expect; for Yasmin it was her Ita. In this beautifully written memoir we learn of the generations of strong women in the author’s life, and the pain of grief in losing her grandmother.This relatable story shows that some scars can be beautiful, however, some scars linger and still hurt, while life goes on. 

This book highlights: life on La Frontera, Mexican identity, non traditional families, absent fathers, and grief.

Seltaer, Olivia. Cramm This Book: So You Know WTF Is Going On in the World Today. February 2022. Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Books, USA. $17.99. Hardback. 272 pages. ‎ 9780593352168. Young Adults.

This book, written by a teen for teens, finds its roots in the author’s website by the same name (http://thecramm.com). Both the Cramm website and book was created in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election, aimed at a teen audience who was in need of assistance with understanding the civic and historical development of this nation, in order to understand what was going on with the events in their current time. 

This book encompasses civics and social history in America, voice and agency for teens, political dynamics in society and government.