YA Nonfiction

This list is for those seeking information on real life, fun hobby inspiration, and more!

Compiled by:
Julie K. and Fern S.
The Big Backyard: The Solar System Beyond Pluto

Ron Miller
(Teen Nonfiction - 523.4922 Mil)

The cold, dark world that lies at the farthest reaches of our solar system holds a vast collection of secrets. For the most of human history, we had no idea anything was out there. Using photographs from NASA probes and telescopes, Miller takes us on a tour into the darkest corners of the solar system, to places beyond the limits of the human eye. Discover answers to age-old questions—and encounter new mysteries—at the edge of the solar system.

Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media

Mark Kurlansky
(Teen Nonfiction - 177.3 Kur)

Big lies are told by governments, politicians, and corporations to avoid responsibility, cast blame on the innocent, win elections, disguise intent, create chaos, and gain power and wealth. Big lies are as old as civilization; they corrupt public understanding and discourse, turn science upside down, and reinvent history. The future stewards of our world require a how-to manual for seeing through big lies and thinking critically, because big lies require believers, and democracy depends on independent thought.

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Brandy Colbert
(Teen Nonfiction - 976.686 Col)

A searing new work of nonfiction from award-winning author Brandy Colbert about the history and legacy of one of the most deadly and destructive acts of racial violence in American history: the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

Robin Wall Kimmerer
(Teen Nonfiction - 305.8 Kim)

Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer's best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass is adapted for a young adult audience by children's author Monique Gray Smith, bringing Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation.

Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square

Margherita Cole
(Teen Nonfiction - 741.51 Col)

From eccentric comic strips to imaginative manga, there are many different forms of cartoons. What do they have in common? They capture the essence of something: simplification creates lovable characters. Cole uses step-by-step instructions and basic shapes to teach you to draw cartoon-inspired people, clothing, and things. With dozens of drawing projects and easy-to-follow tips and techniques, this book is perfect for beginning artists, cartoonists, illustrators, doodlers, and more.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents: Adapted for Young Adults

Isabel Wilkerson
(Teen Nonfiction - 305.512 Wil)

In this young adult adaptation of the Oprah Book Club selection and New York Times bestselling nonfiction work, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson explores the unspoken hierarchies that divide us across lines of race and class. Revealing and timely, this work will speak to young people who are engaged more than ever with the world around them, or to anyone who believes in a more just existence for all.

Drawing is for Everyone: Simple Lessons to Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit

Kateri Ewing
(Teen Nonfiction - 741.2 Ewi)

With Drawing Is for Everyone, you can learn how to build a daily drawing practice and how to set intentions and create, even if you have just 10 minutes a day. The projects draw inspiration from poetry, music, literature, and the natural world, and invite experimentation with a variety of sources. You'll pursue your personal passions through accessible projects as you build your drawing skills, confidence, and creativity.

Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown

Steve Sheinkin
(Teen Nonfiction - 972.9106 She)

New York Times bestselling author Steve Sheinkin presents a follow up to his award-winning book Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World's Most Dangerous Weapon, taking readers on a terrifying journey into the Cold War and our mutual assured destruction.


D. L. Hawksworth
(Teen Nonfiction - 579.5 Haw)

Return to the museum with exquisite, detailed images of some of the most fascinating living organisms on this planet—fungi. Exploring every sort of fungi, from the kinds we see on supermarket shelves to those like penicillium that have shaped human history, this collection is the definitive introduction to what fungi are and just how vital they are to the world's ecosystem.

The Greatest Stories Ever Played: Video Games and the Evolution of Storytelling

Dustin Hansen
(Teen Nonfiction - 794.8 Han)

A lifelong gamer with over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry examines the storytelling skills in some of the most beloved and moving games of the past 30 years.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged

Veronica Peerless
(Teen Nonfiction - 635.965 Pee)

Do you have a "black thumb"? Does just looking at plants cause them to wither and die? Peerless offers advice on keeping houseplants alive, even if you're horticulturally challenged. She shows you how to create an oasis of happy flourishing houseplants, and even give suggestions for different areas of your house.

How to Be a (Young) Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi
(Teen Nonfiction - 305.8009 Ken)

We can let racism stand, or we can stand against it. Readers will follow a young Kendi as he learns (and unlearns) lessons that help shape his understanding racism. Kendi's concept of anti-racism re-energizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America. Even more fundamentally, it points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. He asks us to think about what an anti-racist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.

How to Be a Young #Writer

Christopher Edge
(Teen Nonfiction - 808.02 Edg)

This book will get you started on your writing journey. It gives practical advice on beating the fear of the blank page, plot structuring, choosing a viewpoint, creating characters, writing killer openings and perfect endings. It will support you as you start writing and keep you going through to getting people reading your stories.

Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History

Blair Imani
(Teen Nonfiction - 920 Ima)

An inspiring and radical celebration of 70 women, girls, and nonbinary people who have changed—and are still changing—the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond.

Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present

Adrienne Keene
(Teen Nonfiction - 920 Kee)

An accessible and educational illustrated book profiling 50 notable American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian people, from NBA star Kyrie Irving of the Standing Rock Lakota to Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality

Eliot Schrefer
(Teen Nonfiction - 591.562 Sch)

We're taught the natural order means male-female pairs for each animal on Earth. In recent years, study after study reveals substantial same-sex sexual behavior in animals. Schrefer examines the diversity of sexual behavior in the animal world. He argues that the diversity of sexuality that links humans to the animal world can be a source of wonder and self-acceptance.

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks: Adapted for Young People

Jeanne Theoharis
(Teen Nonfiction - 921 Parks The)

This definitive biography of Rosa Parks accessibly examines her six decades of activism, challenging young readers perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement.

The Self-Care Kit for Stressed-Out Teens

Frankie Young
(Teen Nonfiction - 155.9042 You)

A guide for teens with tips and strategies to stay as stress-free through the teen years with various coping skills and more.

The Super Easy Teen Cookbook: 75 Simple Step-by-Step Recipes

Christina Hitchcock
(Teen Nonfiction - 641.5 Hit)

The Super Easy Teen Cookbook is filled with recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacktime—all of which you can easily prepare without any cooking experience. The recipes in this cookbook have detailed, step-by-step instructions and use only easy-to-find, affordable ingredients.

This Book is Gay

Juno Dawson
(Teen Nonfiction - 306.76 Daw)

Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Queer. Intersex. Straight. Curious. This book is for everyone, regardless of gender or sexual preference. This book is for anyone who's ever dared to wonder. This book is for YOU. This candid, funny, and uncensored exploration of sexuality and what it's like to grow up LGBTQ also includes real stories from people across the gender and sexual spectrums, not to mention hilarious illustrations.

This Book Will Save the Planet: A Climate-Justice Primer for Activists and Changemakers

Dany Sigwalt
(Teen Nonfiction - 363.7387 Sig)

This Book Will Save the Planet is a vital and timely illustrated study of the climate crisis that tells us exactly what we can do to help save the world we live in.

Welcome to Consent: How to Say No, When to Say Yes, and How to Be the Boss of Your Body

Yumi Stynes
(Teen Nonfiction - 306.7083 Sty)

Every person is the boss of their own body! This lively guide—another engaging and essential resource from the creators of Welcome to Your Period!—digs deep into all aspects of consent.

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals About Death

Caitlin Doughty
(Teen Nonfiction - 306.9 Dou)

Best-selling author and mortician Caitlin Doughty answers real questions from kids about death, dead bodies, and decomposition. Beautifully illustrated by Dianné Ruz, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? shows us that death is science and art, and only by asking questions can we begin to embrace it.

Graphic Novels
Almost American Girl: An Illustrated Memoir

Robin Ha
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Ha Ha)

A powerful and moving teen graphic novel memoir about immigration, belonging, and how arts can save a life—perfect for fans of American Born Chinese and Hey, Kiddo

Banned Book Club

Hyun Sook Kim
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Kim Kim)

In Banned Book Club, Hyun Sook shares a dramatic true story of political division, fear-mongering, anti-intellectualism, the death of democratic institutions, and the relentless rebellion of reading.

The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

Thi Bui
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Bui Bui)

Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

Gender Queer: A Memoir

Maia Kobabe
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 921 Kobabe Kob)

Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story; it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Make Your Own Board Game: Designing, Building, and Playing an Original Tabletop Game

Jesse Terrance Daniels
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 794 Dan)

Game design expert Jesse Terrance Daniels teaches all the fundamentals of game design, from rule-setting to physical construction, along with original illustrations that capture the ethos and energy of the young, contemporary gaming community.

Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History

Art Spiegelman
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 940.5318 Spi)

Author-illustrator Art Spiegelman traces his father's imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp through a series of disarming and unusual cartoons arranged to tell the story as a novel.


Marjane Satrapi
(Teen Nonfiction Graphic Novels - GN 741.5092 Satrapi Sat)

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the coming-of-age story of her life in Tehran from ages six to 14, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq.