Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens
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The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"The magazine story behind Sebastian Junger's celebrated nonfiction book A Perfect Storm ran in Outside magazine in October 1994. "The Storm" told the story of the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat out of Gloucester, Mass., that sank amid horrific weather, killing everyone aboard. It’s a harrowing narrative "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Top notch, exciting narrative, favourite with students.

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Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens
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The Line Between Fact and Fiction

The Line Between Fact and Fiction | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"For centuries writers of nonfiction have borrowed the tools of novelists to reveal truths that could be exposed and rendered in no better way. They place characters in scenes and settings, have them speak to each other in dialogue, reveal limited points of view, and move through time over conflicts and toward resolutions."

Written by @roypeterclark @poynter

Leslie Whidden's insight:

CNF "bridge(s) the gulf that often separates dry research from human narrative."

(Reade, Johnsonian Gleanings)

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Leslie Whidden's curator insight, August 2, 2014 2:26 PM

Definition of Creative or Narrative Nonfiction

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Shadows of the workhouse, by Jennifer Worth

Shadows of the workhouse, by Jennifer Worth | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.
This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people's lives in the poorest section of postwar London.
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Dark and bleak at times, 4 gripping stories, well-developed characters, rich with details of the time and place: East End London.
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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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Josh Rushing interviews former child soldier Ishmael Beah

As part of his AK-47 series Al Jazeera's Josh Rushing spoke to Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier in Sie...

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"Childhood became monstrous when you were forced to kill your families and burn your villages." Captivating interview.

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

'Shooting became just like drinking a glass of water' : Ishmael Beah VIDEO interview | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
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 4:55 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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Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin

Black Like Me, by John Howard Griffin | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Fifty years after John Howard Griffin darkened his skin and travelled through the segregated US south, his record of the fear and prejudice he experienced is still resonant. By Sarfraz Manzoor
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Top choice with teens. Prejudice, racism, immersion journalism. Griffin's immersion into racism of deep south. Well-developed characterization, setting help students to identify, empathize. 

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HOLE IN MY LIFE, by Jack Gantos

HOLE IN MY LIFE, by Jack Gantos | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
After penning a number of novels for preteens, including the Joey Pigza books and the Jack series, Gantos makes a smooth transition as he addresses an older audience. He uses the same bold honesty
Leslie Whidden's insight:
New top pick for our reluctant readers. The phoenix that rises from the flames of drug smuggling and prison time is a writer of excellent YA fiction. 
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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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NEGROLAND by Margo Jefferson

NEGROLAND by Margo Jefferson | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning theater and book critic, a memoir about being raised in upper-class black Chicago, where families worked tirelessly to distance themselves as much from lower-class black people as from white people.
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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:

A top teen read. Accessible language. Teen con artist successfully impersonates co-pilot, doctor, lawyer, professor, all before the age of 21. 

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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 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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H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald: ‘I was feral, I identified with the hawk, took on her character’

H is for Hawk, by 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:

Could-not-put-it-down! Beautiful prose. Poetic, high reading level. Metaphysical in a way similar to Moby Dick, Philosopher and the Wolf,

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Gomorrah, by Roberto Saviano

Gomorrah, by Roberto Saviano | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Saviano has created a perfectly realized, morally compelling journey through the brutal world of contemporary Italian mob life in this ceaselessly violent tale of the Camorra, a network of thugs, "

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The freedom of the writer with Roberto Saviano - English PEN

The freedom of the writer with Roberto Saviano - English PEN | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"English PEN announces an unmissable fundraising event with PEN Pinter 2011 winners Roberto Saviano and David Hare.  In this, their first public conversation, Hare and Saviano will discuss the freedom of the writer and reflect on their own – very different – journeys as writers. "

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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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Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer. How Chris McCandless Died

Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer. 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 7:09 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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Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo: Interview

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

" 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:

Novel-like nonfiction: gripping, heart wrenching. Social issues: poverty, corruption, family, survival in Mumbai.

Q&A with K. Boo http://www.gatesnotes.com/development/qa-with-katherine-boo-author-of-behind-the-beautiful-forevers

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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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I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
A year after she was shot by the Taliban, this extraordinary schoolgirl's words are a reminder of all that is best in human nature, writes Yvonne Roberts
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The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"The magazine story behind Sebastian Junger's celebrated nonfiction book A Perfect Storm ran in Outside magazine in October 1994. "The Storm" told the story of the Andrea Gail, a fishing boat out of Gloucester, Mass., that sank amid horrific weather, killing everyone aboard. It’s a harrowing narrative "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Top notch, exciting narrative, favourite with students.

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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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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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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. Afghanistan. This compelling survival story is reminiscent of 'Into the Wild' by Jon Krakauer, but differs in its dispassionate tone. Travel, history, and culture. High level readers.

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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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