Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens
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Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens
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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

" How can we rationalise the enduring attraction of boxing, or cage-fighting, or any other form of regimented violence that still passes as a sport? These are the questions that Sam Sheridan attempts to answer in this frequently compelling study of the testosterone-fuelled world of recreational fighting... "

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Top teen pick. Compelling. Cage-fighting. Immersion Journalism. (That's the author on the cover!)
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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Why be happy when you could be normal?" is the real-life question of her adopted mother, as Winterson is evicted, at 16, for taking up with a second girlfriend (the attempts to exorcise her sexuality after the first having been unsuccessful). "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Sexual orientation, memoir. Narrative context for Winterson's popular Roman a clef 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'.

 

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Essay:  As Freezing Persons Recollect the Snow—First Chill—Then Stupor—Then the Letting Go  

When your Jeep spins lazily off the mountain road and slams backward into a snowbank, you don't worry immediately about the cold. Your first thought is that you've just dented your bumper. Your second is that you've failed to bring a shovel. Your third is that you'll be late for dinner. Friends are expecting you at their cabin around eight for a moonlight ski, a late dinner, a sauna. Nothing can keep you from that.
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Story 'experiencing' vs report 'learning'. Narrative elements make this story of dying 'come to life'. In a report the information is merely a series of facts.
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Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt

Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

How a politically conservative middle-class family defended their transgender daughter against bigotry and won a groundbreaking legal victory affirming gender identity.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Transgender identical twins. High school. Gender identity. Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist.  http://niemanstoryboard.org/stories/amy-ellis-nutt-our-stories-choose-us/

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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...
Leslie Whidden's insight:

Celebrity memoir, anorexia, body image, eating disorders, sexual orientation

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NFL Confidential: True Confessions From The Gutter Of Football, by Johnny Anonymous

NFL Confidential: True Confessions From The Gutter Of Football, by Johnny Anonymous | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Football fans will be stunned by his candor about the stiff resistance against gays in the league, the widespread use of painkillers, the racial slurs, the caste system of starters versus backups, the win-at-all cost team attitude, the illegal drugs, and the off-the-field criminal infractions. This wicked football expose, ... "

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Engrossing read. Grade 12 student Blake, our toughest reading challenge so far, was won over with this book: finished it, completed the writing assignment, raved about the book, AND recommended we buy more copies. A challenge won by personal choice reading.
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Starting at Zero, His Own Story, by Jimi Hendrix and editors

Starting at Zero, His Own Story, by Jimi Hendrix and editors | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

“Starting At Zero is the real deal. It's the first book I've ever read entirely in Jimi's own words, uncensored and unadulterated. I can hear his voice in my head as I read it ” –

Leon Hendrix

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Epistolary format: "...notes, diaries, interviews, letters, pensées – to give us the closest we'll get to a Hendrix autobiography."
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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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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
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Human rights, advocacy for education, women's rights, survival, family.
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Nerdfighter Book Recommendations

In which John Green recommends some of his favorite books...

Leslie Whidden's insight:
...some excellent CNF recommendations.
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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke, By Ronald Reng, trans.

A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke, By Ronald Reng, trans. | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
When Robert Enke killed himself in 2009, Germany was wracked with uncomprehending grief. A goalkeeper for the national football team, he appeared to have played his way through mid-career doldrums to become one of the most able players in his position, in line to represent his country at the 2010 World Cup. He had matured, too, into a fine young man.
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Quote from article:  This isn't really a sports book at all: its story is universal: A career isn't a life.
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ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR HORSES, by Mandy Retzlaff

ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR HORSES, by Mandy Retzlaff | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

A memoir of life with Retzlaff's family in war-torn Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe and his armed "war veterans" are violently reclaiming the land from the Retzlaffs and their white farmer neighbors. A moving account of one family's determination to save abandoned horses, despite the dangerous war that surrounded them.

Leslie Whidden's insight:

Africa. Post-apartheid struggles. A grade 10 student confided:

      I'm not a reader, but I LOVED this book.

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Camp Nurse: Adventures at Summer Camp, by Tilda Shalof

Camp Nurse: Adventures at Summer Camp, by Tilda Shalof | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

City-hospital life didn’t prepare Tilda Shalof for wilderness seizures and homesick hearts... As “Nurse Tilda,” Shalof also eased the trials of camp life for urban kids—stresses of communal living, Internet withdrawal, even the shock of nature. She recounts her tender attempts to help campers grappling with challenges such as anorexia, self-cutting, and the death of a parent.

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Nursing. Summer camp. Canada. Teens who want to be a camp counselor may find the book illuminating, funny, eyeopening.
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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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This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own : A Journey to the End of Boxing, by Jonathan Rendall

This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own :  A Journey to the End of Boxing, by Jonathan Rendall | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Jonathan Rendall won the Somerset Maugham Prize for his first book, This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own, which Tom Wolfe described as "brilliant". Tom Stoppard said of it (with his own exclamation mark), "What a wonderful, artful book!"
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Boxing. Sports memoir about having the faith and losing the faith
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The Black Count:
Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, by Tom Reiss

The Black Count: <br/>Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo, by Tom Reiss | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Alex Dumas, an extraordinary man whose sensational life had been largely lost to history solely because of his race, takes the spotlight in this dynamic tale. Father to the well-known novelist and clear inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo, as well as the adventurous spirit of The Three Musketeers and other stories,  "

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Race relations, French Revolution, middle narrative arc, lots of historical detail. Still, strong characterization of Dumas and Napoleon. Excellent for lovers of historical narrative.
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Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army, by Georg Rauch

Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army, by Georg Rauch | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"The privileged offspring of doctors and architects, Rauch was not just a reluctant draftee into Hitler's Wehrmacht: he was part Jewish, a fact he was unaware of until German troops took over his "

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Antisemitism, WWII, Soviet labor camp, survival.
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ZeroZeroZero by Roberto Saviano

ZeroZeroZero by Roberto Saviano | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Following 2006’s Gomorrah, reporter Saviano returns with another blistering crime exposé, this time delivering a wide-ranging and disturbing look at international cocaine trafficking. To give
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Crime. Drug trafficking. " reporter Saviano notes, “there are two kinds of wealthy people: those who count their money and those who weigh it.”
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BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts, by Julian Rubinstein

BALLAD OF THE WHISKEY ROBBER: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts, by Julian Rubinstein | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

This story of a bank robber who captured a nation's sympathy in post-Communist Hungary is a rollicking tale told with glee and flair. Attila Ambrus sneaked over the border from Romania into Hun.

He becomes an alternate on the national hockey team, and spends ten years robbing banks.

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Crime. Hockey. New to our collection. Highly recommended.
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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:
Travel, history, culture, resilience, Afghanistan. High level readers. Compelling journalistic survival story.
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ISAAC'S STORM by Erik Larson | Kirkus Reviews

ISAAC'S STORM by Erik Larson | Kirkus Reviews | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"The air turned wild and gray, a storm surge swept over the city, the wind became “a thousands little devils, shrieking and whistling,” said a survivor. The wind is now thought to have topped 150 mph. Slate fractured skulls and removed limbs. Venomous snakes spiraled upward into trees occupied by people. A rocket of timber killed a horse in mid-gallop.”

It’s estimated that 8,000 people died...

There is bad weather, and there are 100-year storms. "

Leslie Whidden's insight:
Disaster. 1900 hurricane. Texas. Monster rogue hurricane. Gripping anecdotal accounts.
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The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel. An excerpt

The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel. An excerpt | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
BAGHDAD -- The general was coming. His helicopter was landing. The great David Petraeus was nearly here.
Leslie Whidden's insight:

"The Good Soldiers recounts nearly a year in the life of a U.S. Army battalion stationed in a particularly rough part of Baghdad."

 

 

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Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel

Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it

"Thank You for Your Service, written by American journalist David Finkel, is the follow up non-fiction book to The Good Soldiers, which chronicles the lives of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad during 2007 and 2008.


"A harrowing account of the 'after-war' faced by soldiers returning battle-scarred from Iraq impresses Geoff Dyer "

Leslie Whidden's insight:

PTSD.  Foreward written by General Romeo Dallaire.

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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, lots of dialogue, hunting, horses, and hard work will keep the attention of boys. Reluctant readers will read and enjoy.

 

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Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers | Creative Nonfiction : best titles for teens | Scoop.it
Dave Eggers's account of one man's ordeal at the hands of US military officials in the wake of hurricane Katrina is a grim indictment of the Bush regime, says Valerie Martin
Leslie Whidden's insight:
Natural disaster. Hurricane Katrina.
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