YALSA has chosen five books as finalists for the 2011 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2009 and Oct. 31, 2010. YALSA will name the 2011 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 10, during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

The 2011 finalists are:

  • “Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing” by Ann Angel, published by Amulet/Abrams
  • “They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • “Spies of Mississippi:’  The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement” by Rick Bowers, published by National Geographic Society
  • “The Dark Game: True Spy Stories” by Paul Janeczko, published by Candlewick Press
  • “Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates” by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw, published by Charlesbridge

“The committee is pleased to announce our list of five finalists. These titles offer young adults rich reading experiences on a variety of topics, including archaeology, civil rights, spies, terrorists, and an American music icon,” said Nonfiction Award Chair Don Latham. “We congratulate the authors on this well-deserved recognition for their outstanding work—and we look forward to the pleasurably difficult task of selecting a winner in January.”

More information on the finalists and the award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/nonfiction. YALSA sells finalist seals to librarians and publishers to place on books at www.alastore.ala.org. YALSA will host a reception honoring the shortlist authors and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Morris Award winner and finalists, at a free reception, 8–10 p.m. on Jan. 10 in Room 24 A-C at the San Diego Convention Center.

Members of the 2011 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults committee are: Chair Don Latham, Florida State University School of Library and Information Studies, Tallahassee, Fla.; Christine Allen, Arlington High School, Riverside, Calif.; Rachel Aronowitz, San Francisco Public Library; Carrie Bryniak, Wadsworth (Ohio) Public Library; Monique Franklin, Texas Women’s University School of Library and Information Science, Denton, Texas; Jeanette Larson, Pflugerville, Texas; Teri Lesesne, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; Courtney Lewis, Wyoming Seminary Upper School, Kingston, Pa.; Charli Osborne, Oxford (Mich.) Public Library; Judy Sasges, administrative assistant, Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, Wash.; and Laura Tillotson, Booklist consultant, Chicago.

About Stephanie Kuenn

Stephanie Kuenn is the communications specialist for YALSA, where she is responsible for YALSA's web content, publications, and media relations. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in library and information studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a B.A. in history and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoys baking, watching sports, and reading. Her favorite book is "All the King's Men" by Robert Penn Warren.

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