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127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
In April 2003, Aron Ralston was hiking alone in the Utah wilderness when he decided to go canyon climbing. Halfway up a rock face, disaster struck.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Adventure, survival.  Film '127 Hours' is a hook to the book.

 

 

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A Long Way Gone: memoirs of a boy soldier, by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: memoirs of a boy soldier, by Ishmael Beah | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Beah says that the book "provides the human context that is missing." Book description and excerpt.

 

Representative of the best that CNF offers to teens. Rated #1 with boys.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

#1 teen read.  Issue: child soldiers and rehabililtation. High school readers not keen on fiction often claim this is the first book they have finished reading ... and enjoyed.

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THE PLACES IN BETWEEN by Rory Stewart

THE PLACES IN BETWEEN by Rory Stewart | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Just after the fall of the Taliban, a doughty Scot walks across Afghanistan from Herat to Kabul, observing, studying, starving, freezing, encountering poverty, cruelty, ignorance, generosity, warmth and terror.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Highly recommended. This frightening survival story is reminiscent of 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer, but differs in its completely dispassionate tone. Adventure, survival, history, and culture. Appeals to higher level readers.

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FINGERPRINTS: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science, by Colin Beavan

FINGERPRINTS: The Origins of Crime Detection and the Murder Case That Launched Forensic Science, by Colin Beavan | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
A lively, fascinating recounting of how fingerprints came to be a means of criminal identification, with emphasis on the personalities, claims, and peccadilloes of the men involved.
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Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life On Fire, by Jerry D. Mathes

Ahead of the Flaming Front: A Life On Fire, by Jerry D. Mathes | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Thumbs up and still breathing
High Country News
Jerry D. Mathes' second nonfiction book, Ahead of the Flaming Front, portrays the day-to-day life of a wildland firefighter.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Survival.  Mathes writes about sliding down ropes into remote fires, pitching in on hand crews to build fire lines, working as a sawyer, and traveling to fill in on other crews.

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Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles into the Darkness, by Neil Swidey

Trapped Under the Sea: One Engineering Marvel, Five Men, and a Disaster Ten Miles into the Darkness, by Neil Swidey | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"History of the “giant, stinking cesspool” of Boston Harbor...  focuses on construction of its business end: the world’s longest dead-end tunnel, which travels 9.5 miles though bedrock, ending in 55 vertical pipes that diffuse effluent far out to sea.

 

In hindsight, disaster (death) was inevitable, Swidey describes the years of bitterness and litigation that followed "

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In The Garden of Beasts: Love and Terror in Hitler's Berlin, by Erik Larson

In The Garden of Beasts: Love and Terror in Hitler's Berlin, by Erik Larson | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Larson writes history like a novelist. Here, the troubled tenure of an academic US ambassador and his wayward daughter offers a fresh view of Nazi Berlin."

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Ishmael Beah VIDEO interview: 'Shooting became just like drinking a glass of water'

As a teenager in war-ravaged Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah was brainwashed, drugged and forced to kill. Now he works to rehabilitate child soldiers.
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Leslie Whidden's curator insight, October 3, 2013 1:55 PM

Since Beah's book "Long Way Gone" is  the most read CNf book in our school library I thought it fitting to include this older story to provide our students with context.

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The Deserter's Tale by Joshua Key/ As told to Lawrence Hill

The Deserter's Tale by Joshua Key/  As told to Lawrence Hill | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Excerpt:

"I know that many Americans have their minds made up about people like me. They think we are cowards who just couldn't take it. I don't blame them. I had my own mind made up about war deserters long before I set foot in Iraq. But I know right from wrong. I had a conscience by the age of six. I had to suspend it for a while in Iraq."

       “Destined to become part of the literature of the Iraq war. "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

#2 teen read.  High appeal with boys; powerful characterization, fast paced story, war memoir. Co-author Lawrence Hill, 'Book of Negroes":  www.lawrencehill.com

 

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo: Interview

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by  Katherine Boo: Interview | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

" So it was important to me to keep the perspective as much as possible [of] what the people in the slum saw and understood or were impressed and moved or weirded out by in this wealthier part of the city."

 

 

 

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Most novel-like nonfiction I've read so far. Outstanding, gripping, heart wrenching.  Social issues: poverty, corruption in Mumbai.

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The Empathy Exams: Essays, by Leslie Jamison

The Empathy Exams: Essays,  by Leslie Jamison | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Novelist Jamison’s (The Gin Closet) first collection of essays, winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, is a heady and unsparing examination of pain and how it allows us to understand others, a
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Excerpt: "My job title is Medical Actor, which means I play sick. I get paid by the hour. Medical students guess my maladies."

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127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston

127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
In April 2003, Aron Ralston was hiking alone in the Utah wilderness when he decided to go canyon climbing. Halfway up a rock face, disaster struck.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Adventure, survival.  Film '127 Hours' is a hook to the book.

 

 

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Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"In McCandless, Krakauer had found another stubborn, lonely soul; a man at home in the solitude of nature. Krakauer writes that he was struck by “the parallels between events in his life and those in my own,” most notably a reckless passion for risk and adventure, and a fragile paternal connection."

 

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Subject: survival. Action, anecdotes, journal entries, psychology tell the story of 24 year old Chris McCandless. High appeal with teens. From author of 'Into Thin Air' and 'Eiger Dreams'.

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How Chris McCandless Died

How Chris McCandless Died | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
A new paper presents hitherto unknown evidence that appears to close the book on the cause of Christopher McCandless’s death…
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Leslie Whidden's curator insight, September 12, 2013 4:09 PM

This is a must-read! If you haven't read 'Into the Wild" read it, and read this article. Shocking.

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Double Doll, by Sharleen Daugherty

Double Doll, by Sharleen Daugherty | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

A Wall Street–savvy consultant, turned Navajo rug trader, Daugherty "set out to find weavers on the reservation; she aimed to sell their rugs and tapestries to wealthy collectors on the East Coast."  A deal gone bad with an English-speaking Navajo weaver leaves Daugherty feeling duped.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Memoir. Feminism, matrilineal society, self-discovery. Insights into Anglo and Navajo ways of life.

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THE POISONER’S HANDBOOK: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, by Deborah Blum

THE POISONER’S HANDBOOK: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, by Deborah Blum | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
The rollicking story of the creation of modern forensic science by New York researchers during the Prohibition era.
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Lost Girls : An Unsolved American Mystery, by Robert Kolker

Lost Girls : An Unsolved American Mystery, by Robert Kolker | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"In mid-December 2010, the Suffolk County police discovered the bodies of four women, each wrapped in burlap, on a desolate, bramble-covered stretch of sand called Gilgo Beach. The corpses were later identified as those of four prostitutes,"

Leslie Whidden's insight:

True Crime. Students have read the review and recommend we buy. Already a line-up to read our copy as soon as it arrives.

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I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, by Nujood Ali

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, by Nujood Ali | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
It’s no coincidence that Yemen is home to child brides — including Nujood Ali, who fought for and won a divorce at 10 — and terrorists.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

An easy-read, popular with girls, grade 9 through 11. Memoir narrated by Nujood. Addresses female oppression in Middle East. Girls empathize with her situation. Fast paced, dialogue, colourful setting. Inspiring, though at times heartbreaking.

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The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Despite being a work of historical nonfiction, Devil in the White City is capable of leaving readers with mouths open and hairs on end; the book reads like good fiction, replete with foreshadowing, suspense, and enthralling characters. 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and America’s first serial killer."

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Wounded, by Emily Mayhew

Wounded, by Emily Mayhew | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
GrrlScientist: Written by a historian and shortlisted for the 2014 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, Wounded traces a soldier's journey from injury on the battlefield to recovery in Britain, documenting how modifications during the Great War forever changed how medical care is provided to front-line soldiers today
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Book Excerpt : "Basically, literary journalism is an experimental hybrid that serves two masters; it must be factually accurate and it must be written with attention to literary style and technique."

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DEATH FROM THE SKIES! These Are the Ways the World Will End, by Philip Plait

DEATH FROM THE SKIES! These Are the Ways the World Will End, by Philip Plait | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

A surprisingly upbeat look at all the ways the universe can destroy us.  After a brief introduction, astronomer Plait (Bad Astronomy, 2002) gets down to business with asteroid strikes. The chapter begins with a fictionalized episode that leads to the arrival of the killer planetoid.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Killer opening will grab student attention - guaranteed.

 

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The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, by Alexandra Fuller

The Legend of Colton H. Bryant, by Alexandra Fuller | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Fuller narrates the tragically short life of Colton H. Bryant, a Wyoming roughneck in his mid-20s who in 2006 fell to his death on an oil rig...   Though the book is wonderfully poignant and poetic and reads more like a novel than biography, Fuller acknowledges that she has taken narrative liberties, "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Fast-pace, engaging dialogue, hunting, horses, and hard work will keep the attention of boys. Despite narrative liberties in dialogue and chronology this is a book that reluctant readers will read and enjoy.

 

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Catch Me If You Can, by Frank Abagnale

Catch Me If You Can, by Frank Abagnale | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
The life story—zingingly told—of a teenage imposter who once kited checks, had over $500,000 stashed away in bank accounts, and spent much of it on women and fancy cars—all before he was 21!
Leslie Whidden's insight:

#3 teen read.   Teen con artist successfully impersonates co-pilot, doctor, lawyer, professor, all before the age of 21. Always a favourite with teen readers who are tough sells.

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Newjack: Beyond the Stereotype of the Brutal Guard | Alaska Justice Forum

Newjack: Beyond the Stereotype of the Brutal Guard | Alaska Justice Forum | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"NEW JACK: GUARDING SING SING gives an inside look at the work of correctional guards. Its author, Ted Conover, spent a year working as a "newjack" — the inmate term for a newly-minted New York correctional officer — in New York's Sing Sing prison.

John Riley is an assistant professor with the Justice Center.

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Issue: Maximum security prisons. Riveting read. Immersion journalism, at once memoir and adventure.

 

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A Fighter's Heart, By Sam Sheridan

A Fighter's Heart, By Sam Sheridan | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"This memoir tells Sheridan's story, in all its gory detail, from the several months in which he lives at a Muay Thai camp in rural Thailand to his stretches with a cage-fighting team in Iowa."

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Favourite with boys interested in Mixed Martial Arts.

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Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"  A gripping story of a 1996 expedition gone awry and of the ensuing disaster that killed two top guides, a sherpa and several clients. "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Krakauer is a favourite author with teens. He writes extreme adventure, popular with boys.

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Buck, by MK Asante

Buck, by MK Asante | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Asante is a teenager growing up in various Philadelphia neighborhoods, and his life, by just about any measure, is a mess. He has a stepbrother in jail, a sister in a mental institution and a circle of friends whose lives have been touched too often by violence, chaos and death."

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Moving up the charts: Tried it on a few of our most resistant readers. They gave it a thumbs up. 'Buy more like it."

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