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Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens
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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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The Nazi Officer's Wife, by Edith Hahn Beer

The Nazi Officer's Wife, by Edith Hahn Beer | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Excerpt: "There she meets Werner Vetter, Aryan, racist, and loyal to the Nazi government. Werner falls in love with her, and she with him. She tells him her secret, that she is Jewish. He tells her his secret, that he is married. ... "

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Dramatic WWII memoir. Favourite with girls.

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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 and strategy. 

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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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Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
When she had no one and nothing left, Cheryl Strayed traveled the Pacific Crest Trail alone, writing about the experience years later in “Wild.”
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Survival stories with female heroes are few and far between. Must buy.

 

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Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk, by Rebecca Godfrey

Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk, by Rebecca Godfrey | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"A murder as vicious and visceral as the sustained beating and drowning of 14-year-old Reena Virk at the hands of her teenage peers creates a vacuum in understanding that pulls in all attempts at explanation."

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Issue:  High school bullying. 1997 murder in Vancouver provides narrative context for opening classroom discussion of a difficult topic.

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The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

From her first memory, of catching fire while boiling hotdogs by herself in the trailer park, to her last glimpse of her mother, picking through a New York City Dumpster, Walls’s detached, direct, and unflinching account of her rags-to-riches life proves a troubling ride.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

#1 with girls.  Powerful, fast-paced narrative. Short entries, lots of dialogue, easy-access language. Memoir of growing up, dysfunctional family, poverty, reminiscent of Liar's Club by Mary Karr and Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

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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 SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW by Wade Davis

THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW by Wade Davis | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

Zombi?   "In 1982 Wade Davis accepted a delicate assignment to investigate two documented zombi cases in Haiti. Both zombis had officially been declared dead and had been buried. Then they had both unexpectedly reappeared, years later, in their familiar communities, half living, their mental capacities considerably altered. " http://www.umanitoba.ca/cm/cmarchive/vol14no4/revserpent.html

 

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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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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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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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E=MC2, by David Bodanis

E=MC2, by David Bodanis | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Everyone knows that E=mc2 is really important, but they usually don’t know what it means, and that’s frustrating,” Oxford science lecturer Bodanis confides. This paradox—that practically everyone can recite the formula, but hardly anyone understands it—spurred the author to write an accessible guide for nonscientists.."

 

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Narrative, chronological history of E=mc2. Visits each of the contributors to development of the equation, including Emilie du Chatelet and Madame Curie.

 

 

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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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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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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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Unbearable Lightness, by Portia de Rossi

Unbearable Lightness, by Portia de Rossi | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Some remarks, like radioactive elements, have a lingering half-life that allows them to poison one generation after another. One that still contaminates our body-obsessed popular culture is the...
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Issue: body image, eating disorders. 

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Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
The author of “Seabiscuit” chronicles the ordeal of an Olympic runner turned World War II airman whose bomber crashed in the South Pacific.
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Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: an African Childhood, by Alexandra Fuller

Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: an African  Childhood, 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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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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The Lost City of Z, by David Grann

The Lost City of Z, by David Grann | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"When he vanished, Fawcett and his party had been trying to uncover a lost civilization hidden in the Amazon, which Fawcett had named, simply, the City of Z."

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Adventure, science, mystery.

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Science IS stranger than fiction! The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins

Science IS stranger than fiction! The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

In this outstanding graphic science book, evolutionary biologist Dawkins teams up with illustrator Dave McKean to examine questions in everyday science.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Introduce students to mind-boggling narratives from the world of science. Climate Changed, Death From the Skies, E=mc2, Spillover, Extremes, Rats, Fingerprints, Poisoner's Handbook, Other Worlds, Passionate Minds, Henrietta Lacks, ....

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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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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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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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