top of page

Nonfiction YA for Your Reading List

YALSA announces 2021 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award finalists


CHICAGO — The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), selected five books as finalists for the 2021 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between November 1, 2019 and October 31, 2020.

YALSA will name the 2021 award winner in early 2021. The 2021 finalists are:

“This has been a challenging year for all of us,” said Committee Chair Adrienne Gillespie. “The committee has selected finalists that represent the complexity of the human experience, both collective – as in All Thirteen, How We Got to the Moon, and You Call This Democracy?, – or individual – as in The Cat I Never Named and The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh.

Each of these five books includes a wide range of voices, impeccable research, compelling prose, and appealing book design. We feel that these five finalists will inspire young adults to make sense of issues facing them now and help them navigate those they encounter in the future”.

Annotations and more information on the finalists and the award can be found on the Nonfiction Award page. Finalist seals are available for purchase by publishers and library staff to place on the finalist titles. Individuals can watch the Youth Media Awards live on January 25th at 8am CT online. For more information on YALSA’s Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit the Youth Media Awards web page.

Learn more about YALSA’s portfolio of book and media awards, which helps strengthen library services for and with teens by identifying quality, age appropriate resources for librarians and library workers to share with the teens in their communities.


Members of the 2021 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award Committee are: Chair Adrienne Gillespie, Beaverton School District, Portland, Oregon; Danielle Rae Dreger-Babbitt, Sno-Isle Regional Library, Mill Creek Library, Mill Creek, Washington; Jennifer Longee, Durham Academy, Durham, North Carolina; Jill Bellomy, Highland Park Middle School, Dallas, Texas; Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, New York; Katie Richert, Bloomingdale Public Library, Bloomingdale, Illinois; Joel Shoemaker, Illinois Prairie District Public Library, Metamora, Illinois; Kerry Townsend, Columbia Public Schools , Columbia, Missouri; and Dr. Terrell A. Young, Bringham Young University, Provo, Utah.

The mission of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is to support library staff in alleviating the challenges teens face, and in putting all teens ‒ especially those with the greatest needs ‒ on the path to successful and fulfilling lives. For more information about YALSA or to access national guidelines and other resources go to, or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390; or e-mail:

Recent Posts

See All


Opo Io
Opo Io
May 25

Hi, I'm a Harry Kane fan, I just adore this football player! He is one of the best strikers in the world and his amazing skills, scoring instincts and leadership never cease to inspire me.


Mysi Pysi
Mysi Pysi
May 19

Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress, develop your horizons, gain new information, self-actualize and meet new people.

When you are interested in football, you can track the match dates of teams, get together with friends at the cottage or in the pub, discuss what is happening even if you are not an expert or are just immersing yourself in the topic, buy and wear a club or national team T-shirt, and draw on your face on match days tricolor. Hobbies are even reflected in travel: when you visit a new city, you want to see the local stadium, go to a game, do something new that has not happened in your life before.

bottom of page