Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

YALSA Announces Nonfiction Award Finalists

From the YALSA Hub blog:

YALSA selected five books as finalists for the 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011.

YALSA will name the 2012 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 23, during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

The 2012 finalists are:

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition written by Karen Blumenthal, published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) written by Sue Macy, published by National Geographic Children’s Books.

Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein written by Susan Goldman Rubin, published by Charlesbridge.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery written by Steve Sheinkin, published by Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found at YALSA sells finalist seals to librarians and publishers to place on books at

YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalist authors and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award winner and finalists, at a free reception, 10:30 a.m. to noon on Jan. 23 in Omni Hotel in the Dallas E room.

Members of the 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award committee are: Chair Jennifer Hubert, Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School, New York; Mary Burkey, Olentangy Local Schools, Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth Burns, New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center, Trenton, N.J.; Betty Carter, Consultant, Coppell, Texas; Diane Colson, Tampa, Fla.; Megan Fink, Charlotte (N.C.) Country Day Middle School; Pam Spencer Holley, Consultant, Hallwood, Va.;  David C. Mowery, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Mary Anne Nichols, Kent State University of Library and Information Science, Kent, Ohio; John Sexton, administrative assistant, Greenburgh, New York; and Dan Kraus, Booklist Magazine, Chicago.”

Disclaimer: yes, that’s me as a committee member.

About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is


  1. Jonathan Hunt says

    Such a strong list! I could pull names out of a hat between SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD, THE NOTORIOUS BENEDICT ARNOLD, and BOOTLEG for the winner. I like MUSIC WAS IT, but haven’t read WHEELS OF CHANGE. Disappointed not to see AMELIA LOST, but since it’s going to win Newbery recognition, then it doesn’t sting quite as much. 😉

  2. Congratulations on a job well done! I’m not much of a non-fiction reader but have no doubt the committee put together a fantasticall strong and diverse list.

  3. Great list! I just finished reading THE FREEDOM MAZE by Delia Sherman and now I want to go back and re-read SUGAR CHANGED THE WORLD to remind myself of the process of cutting and refining the sugar cane.

  4. Jonathan, thanks! And I look forward to your opinon on WHEELS OF CHANGE.

    Michelle, thanks!

    Cecilia, thanks! I’ll add THE FREEDOM MAZE to my tbr pile, I keep hearing good things about it.


  1. […] As you may remember, I was on last year’s committee for YALSA’s Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. […]