Every year, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) selects the best non-fiction for young adults. The following titles were winners in 2016 and 2017 and are available through the library.
Asinof, Eliot. Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. 1963.
It’s all here: the players, the scandal, the shame, and the damage the 1919 World Series caused America’s national pastime.
Alvarez, Walter. T. Rex and the Crater of Doom. 1997.
Geologist Alvarez presents the development of the impact theory of dinosaur extinction as the adventure/mystery it was.
Aronson, Marc. Art Attack: A Short Cultural History of the Avant-Garde. 1998.
Discover everything you ever wanted to know about bohemians, hipsters, and the development of the world’s most radical art.
Bernstein, Leonard. The Joy of Music. 1959.
Bernstein describes all aspects of classical music.
Blais, Madeleine. In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle. 1995.
Learn about the year of heart, sweat, and muscle that transformed the Amherst Lady Hurricanes basketball team into state champions.
Bodanis, David. The Secret Family: Twenty-four Hours Inside the Mysterious World of Our Minds and Bodies. 1997.
The unseen world around us and within our bodies is shown in vivid detail as we follow a typical family through their day.
Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. 1970.
There’s another side of America’s western expansion: the one seen through Native American eyes.
Brumberg, Joan Jacobs. The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls. 1997.
The historical evolution of body perception has turned the value system of American girls inside out.
Clark, Kenneth. Civilisation: A Personal View. 1970.
Clark explores history through the works, impulses, and beliefs of the great creative individuals of Western civilization.
Copland, Aaron. What to Listen For in Music. 1939.
The composer provides a basic introduction to the mysteries of musical composition and music appreciation.
Day, David. The Search for King Arthur. 1995.
Discover through magnificent illustrations and romantic retellings what is fact and what is legend about this fifth-century hero.
Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. 1997.
Diamond contends that these three factors determined the course of world power throughout history.
Dorris, Michael. The Broken Cord. 1989.
The persistent physical and emotional problems of his adopted son baffled the author until he learned the condition had a name: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Edelman, Marion Wright. The Measure of Our success: A Letter to My Children and Yours. 1992.
A child advocate shares her thoughts on values, raising families, and the future of our country.
Epictetus and Sharon Lebell. The Art of Living: The Classic Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness. 1995.
A modern interpretation of the Stoic philosopher answers the timeless questions of how to be a good person and live a good life
Faludi, Susan. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. 1991.
This unflinching analysis examines the current status of American women.
Finn, David. How to Look at Sculpture: Text and Photographs. 1989.
To understand sculpture, you have to know what to look for.
Ford, Michael Thomas. The Voices of AIDS: Twelve Unforgettable People Talk About How AIDS Has Changed Their Lives.1995.
Individuals whose AIDS experiences have been catalysts for making a difference share their poignant and personal stories.
Fouts, Roger. Next of Kin: What Chimpanzees Have Taught Me About Who We Are. 1997.
Describing his career of communicating with chimpanzees, Fouts explains evolutionary, genetic, and emotional bonds with our next of kin.
Fremon, Celeste. Father Greg & the Homeboys: The Extraordinary Journey of Father Greg Boyle and His Work With the Latino Gangs of East L.A. 1995.
Conscience, parent, motivator, drill sergeant: Father Greg was all this and more to the gangbangers who called his barrio parish community home.
Garfunkel, Trudy. On Wings of Joy: The Story of Ballet from the 16th Century to Today. 1994.
Fascinating history, dancers, choreographers, and stories: here is everything that has helped create this wonderful art form.
Gould, Stephen Jay. The Mismeasure of Man. 1981.
Gould’s history of the attempt to quantify intelligence could be called the “misuse of science.”
Gombrich, E. H. The Story of Art. 1995.
Everything from cave paintings to the experimental art of today is covered, in words and pictures, in this sixteenth edition of one of the most famous and popular art books ever published.
Hafner, Katie and Matthew Lyon. Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet. 1996.
The origins of the world’s first computer network are explained, with tales of the motivations, breakthroughs, and personalities that created it.
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. 1942.
Gods and heroes, their clashes and adventures, come alive in this splendid retelling of the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths.
Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes. 1988.
Cosmology becomes understandable as the author discusses the origin, evolution, and fate of our universe.
Hersch, Patricia. A Tribe Apart: A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence. 1998.
An intimate three-year journey through contemporary adolescence with eight “typical” teens reveals a separate culture spawned not from personal choice, but rather from adult alienation and abandonment.
Hersey, John. Hiroshima. 1946.
Six Hiroshima survivors reflect on the aftermath of the first atomic bomb.
Humes, Edward. No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court. 1996.
Humes paints a tragic and heartbreaking portrait of the chaos characterizing America’s juvenile justice system where, as one inmate writes, “my screams have no voice, no matter how loud I shout.”
Hubbell, Sue. A Country Year: Living the Questions. 1986.
A former wife and librarian observes her natural surroundings during a year spent as a beekeeper on a beautiful Ozark farm.
Jones, K. Maurice. Say It Loud! The Story of Rap Music. 1994.
From a village in West Africa to a street in Brooklyn, to MTV, rappers make the Scene.
Junger, Sebastian. The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea. 1997.
Haunting premonitions didn’t save seven fisherman from the ferocious and deadly power of the sea.
Kendall, Elizabeth. Where She Danced. 1979.
The contributions of major innovators and the conditions of their times are the basis for this history of modern American dance.
Kotlowitz, Alex. The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death, and America’s Dilemma. 1998.
Geographically, only a river separates two closely neighboring towns, but the murder mystery surrounding the death of a young black man exposes a deeply rooted racial divide.
Kozol, Jonathan. Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. 1991.
Kozol’s stinging indictment of America’s public school system advocates an equal distribution of per pupil funding to right the gross inequities in our current system.
Krakauer, John. Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster. 1997.
His dream expedition to Everest became a nightmare when human error and a sudden storm combined to claim the lives of some of the world’s best mountain climbers.
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. 1993.
A comic book asks and answers the question of whether or not comics are a literary form.
McPhee, John. In Suspect Terrain. 1983.
Traveling along I-80 with geologist Anita Harris, McPhee describes the geologic features that reveal the history of the Appalachians.
Murray, Albert. Stomping the Blues. 1976.
An aficionado gives the lowdown on what it is and its origins.
Occhiogrosso, Peter. The Joy of Sects: A Spirited Guide to the World’s Religious Traditions. 1994.
This lively, easy to understand guidebook is for everyone from the faithful believer to the curious doubter.
O’Gorman, James F. ABC of Architecture. 1998.
Function, structure, and beauty are the interdependent basics — the ABC — of architecture.
Paulos, John Allen. Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences. 1988.
Paulos illustrates the importance of understanding and the consequences of misunderstanding mathematical concepts in everyday life.
Penn, W. S., editor. The Telling of the World: Native American Stories and Art. 1996.
Traditional and contemporary legends, stories, and art from many tribes explain our world and its lifeforms.
Petroski, Henry. Invention by Design: How Engineers Get From Thought to Thing. 1996.
Using examples from paper clips to monumental bridges, Petroski shows how engineers work.
Pipher, Mary. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls. 1994.
Pipher looks at societal “girl poisoning” and the emotional and psychological havoc it wreaks on the lives of young women.
Rybczynski, Witold . The Most Beautiful House in the World. 1989.
The author’s dream of building a boat evolves into the building of a home, a process he uses to explain complex architectural ideas.
Sheehan, Neil. A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam. 1988.
A soldier exposes the corruption undermining the American war effort in Vietnam.
Simon, David and Edward Burns. The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. 1997.
Crack owns this corner and infects the lives of all those within reach.
Sobel, Dava. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. 1995.
A self-taught eighteenth-century English clockmaker succeeded where the scientific community failed.
Strickland, Carol and John Boswell. The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History From Prehistoric to Post-Modern. 1992.
From cave paintings to conceptual art, art history is demystified.
Stringer, Christopher and Robin McKie. African Exodus: The Origins of Modern Humanity. 1997.
The authors support the theory of a single origin of modern humanity with paleoanthropological, archaeological, and DNA evidence.
Thomas, Lewis. The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher. 1974.
These essays offer an optimistic scientist’s view of a wide variety of subjects.
Williams, Juan. Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. 1987.
From Brown v. the Board of Education to the Voting Rights Act, Williams outlines the social and political gains of African Americans.
Yolen, Jane, editor. Favorite Folktales from Around the World. 1986.
This collection of international folktales provides an understanding of the roots of diverse cultures.