Nonfiction: Not Just for Nerds

Do you ever want to just learn, you know, stuff? Have a thing for nonfiction? Curious as to how things work and why they work the way they do? Then you’re sure to enjoy these nonfiction selections. Don’t let the recommended grades fool you – if you’re interested in a certain topic, you’re bound to love the book.

Myers, Walter Dean. Just write: here’s how! 2012. 9th Grade.
The award-winning author guides readers through the writing process, and includes examples from his own works, outlines for writing fiction and nonfiction, and excerpted pages from the author’s writing notebooks.
Ties in with: 9th Grade English

Powers, J.L., editor. That mad game: growing up in a war zone: an anthology of essays from around the globe. 2012. 12th Grade.
What’s it like to grow up during war? This collection of personal and narrative essays explores both the universal and particular experiences of children and teenagers who came of age during a time of war.
Ties in with: 12th Grade Social Studies, Psychology

Laskas, Jeanne Marie. Hidden America: from coal miners to cowboys, an extraordinary exploration of the unseen people who make this country work. 2012. 12th Grade
Looks at the remarkable men and women whose low-profile accomplishments contribute to the running of the nation, from coal miners and oil rig workers to migrant laborers and air traffic controllers.
Ties in with: 12th Grade Economics

Marrin, Albert. Flesh & Blood So Cheap: the Triangle Fire and its legacy. 2011. 8th Grade.
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames. The factory was crowded. The doors were locked to ensure workers stayed inside. One hundred forty-six people – mostly women – perished; it was one of the most lethal workplace fires in American history until September 11, 2001. But the story of the fire is not the story of one accidental moment in time. It is a story of immigration and hard work to make it in a new country, as Italians and Jews and others traveled to America to find a better life. It is the story of poor working conditions and greedy bosses, as garment workers discovered the endless sacrifices required to make ends meet. It is the story of unimaginable, but avoidable, disaster. And is it the story of the unquenchable pride and activism of fearless immigrants and women who stood up to business, got America on their side, and finally changed working conditions for our entire nation, initiating radical new laws we take for granted today.
Ties in with: 8th Grade Social Studies, Labor History