YA Friday: Nonfiction Smorgasbord

This week, I thought I would highlight some of our non-fiction books that you may have missed in the past year. From a guide on what you can do to help save the environment, to the essays of a young actress, to the history of the Harlem Renaissance - this is just a sample of what our YA nonfiction collection has to offer.

Nonfiction Reads

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community, book cover

Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community by Lady Gaga and Born This Way Foundation Reporters

Within these pages, you'll meet young changemakers who found their inner strength, who prevailed in the face of bullies, who started their own social movements, who decided to break through the mental health stigma and share how they felt, who created safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, and who have embraced kindness with every fiber of their being by helping others without the expectation of anything in return.

Apple, book cover

Apple by Eric Gansworth

The term "Apple" is a slur in Native communities across the country. It's for someone supposedly "red on the outside, white on the inside." Eric Gansworth is telling his story in Apple (Skin to the Core). The story of his family, of Onondaga among Tuscaroras, of Native folks everywhere. From the horrible legacy of the government boarding schools, to a boy watching his siblings leave and return and leave again, to a young man fighting to be an artist who balances multiple worlds. Eric shatters that slur and reclaims it in verse and prose and imagery that truly lives up to the word heartbreaking. -- Inside front jacket flap.

It's All Love: Reflections for Your Heart and Soul, book cover

It's All Love: Reflections for Your Heart and Soul by Jenna Ortega

"A book of affirmations and honest stories about relationships, career, and faith."  Ortega has had to balance her acting career, her private live, and many public expectations from a young age. She learned that she could only get through it by leading with love-- love for her friends, her family, her faith, and herself. Here she shares candid stories about acting, dating, family, friendships, and mental health, alongside short affirmations.

Harlem Stomp!: a Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance, book cover

Harlem Stomp!: a Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill

Explores the literary, artistic, and intellectual creativity of the Harlem Renaissance and discusses the lives and work of Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other notable figures of the era.

Challenge Everything, book cover

Challenge Everything by Blue Sandford

The main concern of young people is climate change and how to combat it. This is the only official handbook from Extinction Rebellion Youth and will help you to change your life and change the world for the better. Written by the coordinator of Extinction Rebellion Youth London, this is no greenwashing book - it's an important call to action. A manifesto for how young people can help to save the planet by questioning everything about modern life and acting upon their conclusions. This book will ask you to challenge everything - challenge government (protest and take peaceful action where necessary), challenge business (decide who you want to support, decide who you want to boycott), and above all to challenge yourself - how can you change your life to make a difference. Filled with stories, essays, slogans and inspiring illustrations, this book will cover consuming, actioning, boycotting, campaigning, striking, questioning, rewilding and reconnecting with our planet.

Violet and Daisy: the Story of Vaudeville's Famous Conjoined Twins, book cover

Violet and Daisy: the Story of Vaudeville's Famous Conjoined Twins by Sarah Miller

This is the the absorbing and compulsively readable story of Violet and Daisy Hilton, conjoined twins who were the sensation of the US sideshow circuits in the 1920s and1930s. In a story loaded with questions about identity and exploitation, Sarah Miller delivers a completely compelling, empathetic portrait of two sisters whose bonds were so sacred that nothing--not even death--would compel Violet and Daisy to break them.

Freedom Summer for Young People, book cover

Freedom Summer for Young People by Bruce Watson

"In the summer of 1964, as the Civil Rights movement boiled over, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent more than seven hundred college students to Mississippi to help black Americans already battling for democracy, their dignity and the right to vote. The campaign was called "Freedom Summer." But on the evening after volunteers arrived, three young civil rights workers went missing, presumed victims of the Ku Klux Klan. The disappearance focused America's attention on Mississippi. In the days and weeks that followed, volunteers and local black activists faced intimidation, threats, and violence from white people who didn't believe African Americans should have the right to vote. As the summer unfolded, volunteers were arrested or beaten. Black churches were burned. More Americans came to Mississippi, including doctors, clergymen, and Martin Luther King. A few frightened volunteers went home, but the rest stayed on in Mississippi, teaching in Freedom Schools, registering voters, and living with black people as equals. Freedom Summer brought out the best and the worst in America. The story told within these pages is of everyday people fighting for freedom, a fight that continues today. Freedom Summer for Young People is a riveting account of a decisive moment in American history, sure to move and inspire readers.

Atomic Women: The Untold Stories of the Scientists Who Helped Create the Nuclear Bomb, book cover

Atomic Women: The Untold Stories of the Scientists Who Helped Create the Nuclear Bomb by Roseanne Montillo

They were leaning over the edge of the unknown and afraid of what they would discover there: Meet the World War II female scientists who worked in the secret sites of the Manhattan Project. Recruited not only from labs and universities from across the United States but also from countries abroad, these scientists helped in -- and often initiated -- the development of the atomic bomb, taking starring roles in the Manhattan Project. In fact, their involvement was critical to its success, though many of them were not fully aware of the consequences. The atomic women include: Lise Meitner and Iraene Joliot-Curie (daughter of Marie Curie), who led the groundwork for the Manhattan Project from Europe; Elizabeth Rona, the foremost expert in plutonium, who gave rise to the "Fat Man" and "Little Boy," the bombs dropped over Japan; Leona Woods, Elizabeth Graves, and Joan Hinton, who were inspired by European scientific ideals but carved their own paths.