I’ve always been a history nerd. I haven’t always liked nonfiction, but I’ve always liked history and this enjoyment has carried me into nonfiction (NF) books. I won’t say NF is an acquired taste, just a recent development for me. I think I’ve come to enjoy these books because NF has become less scholarly, and more approachable for us ordinary humans. NF is more likely to be written in the manner of a storyteller and less informational. NF has even at times embraced creativity so much that it pushed the boundaries between truth and fiction, such as with Dora Bruder by Patrick Modiano (University of California Press, 1999). In attempting to trace the life of Dora Bruder, a young Jewish girl in Paris 1941, Bruder would imagine parts of her existence when documentation was missing. He stated he was doing so in the text, allowing readers the opportunity to bring their emotions and imaginations into their reading of the book thus creating a more full story.
But, true NF delivers fact-based evidence in a way that informs the reader about history, science, psychology or another field of study. Good NF writers do more than simply write a textbook. They tell good stories and they document the stories with images, quotes and references to primary or secondary sources. In that regard, NF has remained scholarly.
There are a several 2018 nonfictions that you won’t want to miss.
Unpresidented : A Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough. Feiwel and Friends. ages 12-18
Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass, A Monumental American Man by Tonya Bolden (Abrams) ages 10-14
A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) ages 12 and up
Just Mercy : A True Story of the Fight for Justice adapted for young adults by Bryan Stevenson (Delacorte) ages 12 and up
Path to the Stars : My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo (Clarion/HMH Kids) ag es 10-12
Americanized: Rebel Without A Green Card by Sara Saedi (Knopf) ages 12-18
Young Water Protectors : A Story About Standing Rock by Asian Tudor, Kelly Tudor and Jason Eaglespeaker (CreateSpace)
Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle and Rudy Gutierrez(Antheneum Books for Young Readers)