Excellence in Nonfiction 2020

Excellence in Nonfiction

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18).

Award Web Site: YALSA's Award for Excellence in Nonfiction

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Author: Rex Ogle
2020 Excellence in Nonfiction - Winner

A distinctive new voice: Rex Ogle's story of starting middle school on the free lunch program is timely, heartbreaking, and true. Free Lunch is the story of Rex Ogle's first semester in sixth grade. Rex and his baby brother often went hungry, wore secondhand clothes, and were short of school supplies, and Rex was on his school's free lunch program. Grounded in the immediacy of physical hunger and the humiliation of having to announce it every day in the school lunch line, Rex's is a compelling story of a more profound hunger -- that of a child for his parents' love and care. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told with the voice and point of view of a 6th-grade kid, Free Lunch is a remarkable debut by a gifted storyteller.

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Author: Albert Marrin
2020 Excellence in Nonfiction - Honor

From National Book Award Finalist Albert Marrin comes the moving story of Janusz Korczak, the heroic Polish Jewish doctor who devoted his life to children, perishing with them in the Holocaust.

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Author: Elizabeth Wein
2020 Excellence in Nonfiction - Honor

Documents the contributions of Soviet airwomen during World War II, examining the formation, obstacles, missions, and legacy of Russia's female combat pilot regiments.

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Author: Lynn Curlee
2020 Excellence in Nonfiction - Honor

With striking portraits and bold prose, Curlee details the life of the prodigal dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, who, unencumbered by sexuality and gender norms, rapidly ascended to stardom before tragically succumbing to mental illness. Curlee pushes the boundaries of the traditional young-adult biography with extravagant design and uncompromising frankness.

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Author: Deborah Heiligman
2020 Excellence in Nonfiction - Honor

A true account of the attack and sinking of the passenger ship SS City of Benares, which was evacuating children from England during WWII.