Recommended Reading: Non-Fiction for Teens
Updated: Apr 13
For many people, non-fiction appears dry and boring, but non-fiction works aren't all that way. Some non-fiction books read just as well as fiction, if not better. Don't believe me? Check out this list of non-fiction titles and tell me what you think. One of them may change your mind forever.
Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes
In her own voice, author and poet Nikki Grime explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse. Grimes’ mother suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and her father was barely around. After shuffling between foster families and losing trust in the adults around her, Grimes found power and purpose in writing at the age of six. In this moving memoir, Grimes shows just how powerful the written word can be.
Nevertheless, We Persisted by In This Together Media
A collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back but persisted. Each one of these contributors shares their stories of subjection to hatred – because of gender, sexuality, race, or something else – and the ways in which they overcame the obstacles that were put in their path. These deeply personal stories with resonate with readers of all backgrounds and will encourage those who are struggling to continue fighting for justice.
Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman
You’ve probably heard of the infamous artist Vincent van Gogh, but have you heard of his younger brother, Theo? Theo was a Dutch art dealer and a close friend and confidant of his brother, Vincent. Theo supported Vincent both financially and emotionally so he could pursue his art. This is the story of their brotherhood. Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent wrote Theo during his lifetime, the author weaves a tale of two lives intertwined and the extraordinary love of the Van Gogh brothers.
The Miracle & Tragedy of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller
When the Quintuplets were born, no one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne mesmerized the globe, defying medical history with every breath they took. They were born in May 1934 and, between the five of them, weighed only 13 pounds. Under the guise of protection, the Ontario government took custody of the children, raising them in a hospital near their parents. But as the years went on, the government used the children for their own gains. This book tells the story of the five Dionne girls – growing up in the limelight and forging identities of their own.
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone
The story of the Triple Nickles is largely unknown, but Stone’s book attempts to change that. During World War II, discrimination was still very much alive on the homefront and in the war. African American soldiers were segregated from their white counterparts – in battalions of their own. At Fort Benning, First Sergeant Walter Morris’ men serve as guards at The Parachute School where white soldiers train to become paratroopers. But Morris knows the only way to prove his men are just as capable as white men is to train and perform like them. This is the story of the 555th Parachute Infantry – America’s first black paratroopers – who proved that ability had nothing to do with the color of one’s skin.
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