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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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CNF : it is the human story that really ignites the subject

 

"But, as with any biography, it is the human stories that really ignite the subject - stories of love, courage and tragedy, of near misses, disappointments and disasters that turn ... seemingly impenetrable theory into a dramatic and accessible human achievement." 

 http://www.panmacmillan.com/book/davidbodanis/emc2

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Richard Dawkins' book title "The Magic of Reality" summarizes the power of nonfiction to get non-readers reading:  truth can be stranger than fiction. True stories appeal to young readers dismissive of fiction.

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The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert Pulitzer Prize 2015 winner

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert  Pulitzer Prize 2015 winner | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
New Yorker staff writer Kolbert (Field Notes from a Catastrophe) accomplishes an amazing feat in her latest book, which superbly blends the depressing facts associated with rampant species extinctions
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THE QUEEN OF KATWE by Tim Crothers | Kirkus

THE QUEEN OF KATWE by Tim Crothers | Kirkus | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Sports journalist Crothers' moving account of an impoverished Ugandan girl's unlikely rise to prominence in the world of competitive chess.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Reminds me of Walter Tevis' novel, The Queen's Gambit.

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Kirsten Shedden's curator insight, May 22, 9:46 AM

awesome book!

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Dead Wake, by Erik Larson - Book Review Podcast

Dead Wake, by Erik Larson - Book Review Podcast | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Mr. Larson discusses his new book about the sinking of the Lusitania.

 

"The mighty ocean liner was the paragon of civilization, big and fast, strong and sleek, tricked out with every kind of innovation, a White City on the high seas. And hunting it was an ever sly and furtive machine of the deep, a nautical sociopath with an unquenchable thirst for bringing down tonnage."

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Always good reading.

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Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Anne Enright marvels at Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller’s intense memoir of growing up in Rhodesia. What happens when it’s all your fault, and not your fault at all?

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THE DISASTER DIARIES by Sam Sheridan | Kirkus

THE DISASTER DIARIES by Sam Sheridan | Kirkus | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
How to survive any possible disaster, from aliens to zombies to everything in between.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Success with both boys and girls.

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Kirsten Shedden's curator insight, May 22, 2:45 PM

Great book! 

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ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR HORSES by Mandy Retzlaff | Kirkus

ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR HORSES by Mandy Retzlaff | Kirkus | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
A moving account of one family's determination to save abandoned horses, despite the dangerous war that surrounded them.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

A grade 10 student wrote: I'm not a reader but I loved this book.

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Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science, by Richard Preston

Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science, by Richard Preston | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"The title ... refers to the subject of his bestselling The Hot Zone : a series of rooms in a government biohazard laboratory where scientists work with virulent pathogens like the Ebola viruses  "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Richard Preston is a New Yorker contributor. These short essays have appeared in the NewYorker.

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The Emperor of All Maladies : a Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies : a Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

 "Mukherjee takes us from the earliest records of cancer in 2,500BC, through medieval theories of black bile and bloodletting, on to the surgical butchery of 19th-century mastectomies, performed with no anaesthetic or penicillin but reckless confidence, before reaching the rollercoaster of 20th-century medical politics, which swung between indifference, euphoria and despair,..."

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Engrossing from the first page. Accessible language. Appeals to students interested in medical career, as well as anyone interested in learning more about cancer.

 

Siddhartha Mukherjee: 'A positive attitude does not cure cancer, any more than a negative one causes it.'

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Extremes, by Kevin Fong

Extremes, by Kevin Fong | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"From the outset Extremes is a gripping read ... stories describing the limits of human physiology, it's the kind of book you want to read peeking through cracks in your fingers; you want to look away, but not as much as you want to know what happens."

 

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Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan

Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
In a talk before a packed audience at the Connecticut Mental Health Center auditorium,  Susannah Cahalan, New York Post journalist and author of “Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness,” recalled her
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Favourite CNF for teen readers. 

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Other Worlds : the search for life in the Universe, by Michael D. Lemonick

Other Worlds : the search for life in the Universe, by Michael D. Lemonick | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
The senior science writer for Time summarizes current scientific evidence for the presence of life beyond Earth.

Lemonick begins with three brief portraits of scientists engaged in various research projects: the detection of planets around other stars, the chemical analysis of a Martian meteorite, and SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) itself.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Grabs attention from the starting line: It's 1600, the Roman Inquisition. A rat-infested dungeon cell holds a visionary cosmologist who has been sentenced to burn at the stake. Thought provoking, mid-paced. Appeals to students interested in science and science fiction.

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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 students' attention - guaranteed.

 

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Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Jon Krakauer's Missoula is the true-crime story of a handful of acquaintance rapes in one college town. Krakauer, who happens to be my favorite narrative nonfiction writer, uses the same technique ...  to examine the way a single American community handled a number of university rape cases.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Jon Krakauer is the author of Eiger Dreams, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Under the Banner of Heaven, Where Men Win Glory, and Three Cups of Deceit.

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Helen Macdonald: ‘I was feral, I identified with the hawk, took on her character’

Helen Macdonald: ‘I was feral, I identified with the hawk, took on her character’ | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

 

H Is for Hawk is an extraordinary memoir of grief that became the year’s most talked-about work of nonfiction. Excerpt:

 

“… the man pulls an enormous, enormous hawk out of the box and in a strange coincidence of world and deed a great flood of sunshine drenches us and everything is brilliance and fury. The hawk’s wings, barred and beating, the sharp fingers of her dark-tipped primaries cutting the air, her fine feathers raised like the scattered quills of a fretful porcupine. Two enormous eyes. My heart jumps sideways. She is a conjuring trick. A reptile. A fallen angel. A griffon from the pages of an illuminated bestiary. Something bright and distant, like gold falling through water. A broken marionette of wings, legs and light-splashed feathers.”

Leslie Whidden's insight:

5* could-not-put-it-down. High reading level. Poetic, thoughtful, metaphysical in a way similar to Moby Dick, Philosopher and the Wolf,

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Journeyman, by Sean Pronger

Journeyman, by Sean Pronger | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Honest. That is about the best way I can sum up Journeyman: The many triumphs (and even more numerous defeats) of a guy who's seen just about everything in the game of hockey.  I loved reading this..."

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Top boy read. Fast paced, dialogue, action.

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God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre, by Richard Grant

God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre, by Richard Grant | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
As he travels through Mexico’s Sierra Madre, one of the largest drug-producing regions in the world, British journalist Grant (American Nomads
) encounters
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Have students (particularly boys) read the 3 page prologue: it WILL catch their attention. Topics: violence and drug cartels, Style: fast-paced, humourous, dialogue in dialect, mid-level difficulty.

Grade 11 student: 'Highly recommended!"

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THE GIRL WITH THE CROOKED NOSE by Ted Botha | Kirkus

THE GIRL WITH THE CROOKED NOSE by Ted Botha | Kirkus | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
The real-life saga of Frank Bender, who unexpectedly rode a commercial photography career to a parallel gig reconstructing the faces of unidentified murder victims and suspects.
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THE TRUE GERMAN by Werner Otto Mller-Hill , Jefferson Chase | Kirkus

THE TRUE GERMAN by Werner Otto Mller-Hill , Jefferson Chase | Kirkus | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
A prescient World War II diary by a German judge who loathed the Nazi regime yet was a military judge during the war.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Highly recommended by grade 11 student. One of the few books about WW2 atrocities from a German point of view.

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Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, by David Quammen

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, by David Quammen | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Ebola and bubonic plague are zoonoses.

A zoonosis is an animal infection that, through a simple twist of fate, becomes transmissible to humans. Maybe that twist is a needle prick, or contact with an exotic animal or hiking downwind of the wrong farm."

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Written before the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Quammen predicted with accuracy.

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The Magic of Reality: Richard Dawkins Teaches Children to Fight Myth with Science

The Magic of Reality: Richard Dawkins Teaches Children to Fight Myth with Science | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Dawkins brings us his first sort-of-children’s book, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True — a scientific primer for the world, its magic, and its origin, an antidote to the creationism mythology teaching young readers how to replace myth with science, and a fine addition to our favorite soft-of-children’s nonfiction "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Dawkins, with McKean's fantastic illustrations, makes difficult science accessible - even to me.

 

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The Night Shift: Real Life in the Heart of the ER, by Dr. Brian Goldman

The Night Shift: Real Life in the Heart of the ER, by Dr. Brian Goldman | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

In The Night Shift, Goldman shares his experiences in the witching hours at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto. We meet the kinds of patients who walk into an ER after midnight: late-night revellers injured on their way home after last call, teens assaulted in the streets by other teens and a woman who punches another woman out of jealousy over a man.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Fast paced, sometimes tense, enlightening. Good level of language for students. Topic appeals to those planning a career in the medical profession.

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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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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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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Hilary Mantel:  "Henrietta Lacks is a medical specimen of quite another kind. No dead woman has done more for the living, and yet we can imagine her easily from her photograph, a vivacious woman who was only 31 years when she died in 1951 in a "coloured ward" in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore."

Leslie Whidden's insight:

A fascinating science narrative. Publishers Weekly Starred Review http://rebeccaskloot.com/2009/10/publishers-weekly-starred-review-of-the-immortal-life-of-henrietta-lacks/

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