Want to take a break from your beloved fantasy, contemporary fiction, and sci-fi books? Look towards nonfiction books. There are many Young Adult nonfiction books releasing in 2020 that can enlighten you on American democracy, how to write a book, the environmentalist movement, and more. Here, I highlight 10 recent YA nonfiction releases that have informed, inspired and motivated readers in 2020.
You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Government and Deliver Power to the People by Elizabeth Rusch
In 2020, the political landscape has never been more tumultuous. From gerrymandering to voter suppression, this book questions how America got to this point. This book also offers ways to help combat these problems as well as other suggestions on how teens can become politically active – even if they aren’t old enough to vote yet.
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in a collection of essays. From being bullied at the age of five to flea marketing with his grandmother to his first sexual experiences, this memoir weaves through the trials and triumphs faced by black queer boys.
Fly Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front by Mary Jennings Hegar
In July 2009, Mary Jennings Hegar was shot down while on a Medevac mission in Afghanistan. Despite being wounded, she was able to save countless lives, earning the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device. It would also be the first day to convince the U.S. Government to allow women to serve openly on the front lines for the first time in American history.
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World by Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandele
While leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, they are actually loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. This book is the young adult adaptation of the adult novel and features journal entries and photos.
Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book by Ally Carter
The author behind books featuring some of your favorite spies, thieves, and embassy kids has written a book that answers some of teens most pressing questions about writing books. This writing advice book discusses how to turn your idea into a story and even the pros and cons of traditional vs. self-publishing.
In Good Hands: Remarkable Female Politicians from Around the World Who Showed Up, Spoke Out and Made Change by Stephanie MacKendrick
This book is written for young women who have dreams of running for office one day. It features stories from eighteen role models on how to get a campaign off the ground. This book combines stories with expertise to help guide any young woman to run for office.
Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder
This graphic novel follows author Tyler Feder’s experiences of going to her mother’s first oncology appointment through the various stages of cancer to her funeral and beyond. Feder shares important moments like what it’s like to celebrate holidays without her mother, to wanting to tell her mother something – but not being able to. This heartfelt story will make you laugh and cry.
The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures by Noelle Stevenson
From the author-illustrator of the graphic novel, Nimona, comes an autobiography that follows eight years of this creative’s life. From hearing the wrong name being called at her graduation ceremony to becoming a National Book Award finalist, this story dives into the wit and wisdom of Stevenson’s life.
Earth Day and the Environmental Movement: Standing Up for Earth by Christy Peterson
On April 22, 1970, about twenty million people hosted a teach-in to support environmental protections. This became the first Earth Day. Now fifty years later, change has happened but global climate change is still a real threat. Now the environment has become an increasingly partisan issue, but young people are leading the charge for the United States and the world.
Almost American Girl by Robin Ha
For as long as she can remember, it has always been Robin and her mom versus the world. But when a vacation to visit friends in Huntsville, Alabama becomes a permanent stay thanks to her mom’s unexpected announcement of getting married, Robin is devastated. This graphic novel memoir follows Robin as she adjusts to culture shock, learning a new language, missing her friends – and enrolling into a life-changing local comic drawing class.