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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

The 2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction For Young Adults

And the winner is . . . .

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.

From the ALA Website:  “Treating history as mystery, Sheinkin takes readers through means, motive, and opportunity as he outlines Arnold’s path towards treason. This well researched (with liberal use of primary sources) cradle to grave biography emphasizes the political, social, and military issues within the Colonial army and how Arnold ambitiously maneuvered his own career through grit and determination. “In this illuminating biography, Sheinkin proves that spoilers don’t matter—it’s not whether or not Arnold betrayed his country, but why,” said YALSA Nonfiction Award Chair Jennifer Hubert.”

The finalists:

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science 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 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) by Sue Macy, published by National Geographic Children’s Books.

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

Full annotations are at the YALSA website.

I had a terrific time being on this year’s committee, I loved getting to know my fellow committee members, and wow, what an amazing year for nonfiction!

You’ll never guess what committee I am on now . . .

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. Thanks for your hard work on this, Liz, and the rest of your committee, too.

    What committee are you on now?

  2. Fabulous Films!

  3. Thank you for all of your hard work, Liz. The time and effort you and other committee members put into your work is admirable. And I think you’ll enjoy your time on fab films next year. Talk about a whole different world!