5 must read books for young adults (non-fiction)

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We talk a lot about all of the hottest new fiction (and old faves), but there’s a ton of great nonfiction out there, too. And a lot of it focuses on topics and stories that you should know about so we thought it was time to give the genre a little love. Because great stories keep you turning pages, whether they are made up or true-to-life!

1. March

ICYMI, John Lewis is a congressman from Georgia, and he’s kind of a big deal.

You may have seen him featured in David Letterman’s recent interview with Barack Obama. He’s one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, and his commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom.

March is the first in a graphic novel trilogy, and you should totally pick it up to learn more about this American icon.

2. This Land is Our Land: A History of American Immigration

Immigration is a hot-button issue these days. And American attitudes towards immigrants are paradoxical.

On the one hand, we see our country as a haven for the poor and oppressed; anyone, no matter his or her background, can find freedom here and achieve the “American Dream.” On the other hand, we set boundaries and restrictions on who may come to this country and whether they may become citizens.

If you’re looking to know more about the backstory of immigration in the U.S., particularly the ways in which government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups has evolved, check out This Land is Our Land.

3. Blood, Bullets, and Bones

If you are a fan of mysteries and crime scene drama, you have to check out this fascinating look at the ever-changing science of forensics.

Author Bridget Heos uses real-life cases to tell the history of modern forensic science, from the first test for arsenic poisoning to fingerprinting, firearm and blood spatter analysis, DNA evidence, and more. By turns captivating and shocking, Blood, Bullets, and Bones demonstrates the essential role forensic science has played in our criminal justice system.

4. Dear Bully

Have you ever been bullied? Have you ever witnessed bullying? You are not alone, and Dear Bully will prove it.

Seventy of today’s top authors come together to share their stories about bullying — as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators — in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.

5. The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met.

Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment.

The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.

I hope you like this list.

Thank you.

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