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2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge Check-in #2

yalsa morris nonfiction sealsNot signed up for YALSA’s 2014 Morris/Nonfiction Reading Challenge? Read the official rules and sign up on the original post. If you’re finished, fill out the form at the bottom of this post to let us know!

I won’t lie.  I haven’t actually started on the challenge this year, not in earnest, anyway.  I did look up all the nominated titles in my local library catalog, and I spent some quality time placing holds; I’m planning to delve in as soon as the current craziness dies down and I finish the book I’m reading now.

I have to say, both lists look amazing this year, and I’m excited to get started, especially because a lot of the titles weren’t on my radar at all, though clearly they should have been.

The Nazi HuntersBelle EpoqueIf, like me, you haven’t cracked open a nominated title yet, don’t despair.  Check out the guidelines for this year’s reading challenge and make your plan of attack–the Morris finalists look amazing, and the Nonfiction list is awesome.  The challenge ends January 27th, which is more than enough time to get serious.  I’m starting with Elizabeth Ross’ Belle Epoque and The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb.

What about you?

-Julie Bartel, currently reading The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

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Julie Bartel

Julie is a writer and librarian living in Salt Lake City, UT.


  1. I, too, have holds on everything. The hardest one for me to find was Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II written by Martin W. Sandler. My public library system doesn’t have it yet and only 1 school in my district did. The library tech at my school had to ask the library tech at the school who had it who wanted to check with the teacher that asked the school to buy it….. I lied and told them it was for a class. Fortunately, they got it to me, but I had to promise to return it the first day we got back from break.

    This week I read Courage Has No Color, bringing my total to two.

    My company arrived late last night/early this morning, so I’m not sure I will get much read over the next 12 days while they are here.

  2. Lois Lois

    I’ve finished Courage Has No Color and Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. Both were good – of course in very different ways. Courage was new information and thought provoking. Go was clever and a great explanation (with wonderful examples) of basic design principles.

  3. This week I read Charm & Strange, The President Has Been Shot, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, and Belle Epoque. I’m on the waiting list for Sex & Violence, and I have yet to locate a copy of A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, but I put in a purchase request for that one at my local public library.

    Since it’s winter break now (I’m a public school librarian), I am working through the other Best of lists from this year, which should keep me busy until the last two Morris/Nonfiction books are available for me to read.

  4. I finished Charm & Strange early on this week, and thought it was just fantastic. Review here:

    Currently reading Sex & Violence, about halfway through, though I’ll likely take a break while traveling this week. This one is a bit of a slow read for me, so it’s taking longer than I’d expected.

  5. Finished one more from each list this week:

    4/5 for Charm & Strange
    5/5 for The Nazi Hunters

    I wish I wouldn’t have read In the Shadow of Blackbirds first because I don’t think anything will be better than that one.

    • MindyE MindyE

      Good to know! I think I’ll read In the Shadow of Blackbirds last!

  6. Sara Ray Sara Ray

    I finished Courage Has No Color. I am grateful for this challenge because I’ve never been all that interested in reading about history. I found this story to be enlightening.

    I’m planning to read Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design next. I was hesitant about reading that one until I got my hand’s on it. It looks like a fun read!

  7. Stephanie DeVincentis Stephanie DeVincentis

    I have Dr. Birds Advice ready to be read this week!

  8. Grace DKL Grace DKL

    I finished The President Has Been Shot, Sex & Violence and In the Shadow of Blackbirds this week. Blackbirds was amazing, I don’t see how any of the other nominees can measure up.

  9. j wells j wells

    Still attempting In the Shadow of Blackbirds, I love it but I only have the chance to read it on my lunch break so it is taking a little longer. Happy Holidays to everyone!

  10. Heather Heather

    I forgot to check in last week, so I have several finished. Of the nonfiction list, I’ve finished Courage Has No Color, Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans during World War II , and The President Has Been Shot.

    I’m currently reading The Nazi Hunters, and I’m waiting for Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design to get here. I’m also hoping that Sex & Violence and Charm & Strange will get here in time.

    Of the Morris list, I’ve only finished In the Shadow of Blackbirds.

    My reviews are here:

  11. MindyE MindyE

    I finished Charm & Strange, which I shared with one of my guidance counselors. Now I’m working on Sex & Violence.

  12. Brenda Schwarz Brenda Schwarz

    I have inner library loaned a couple of non fiction books. I just received one of them. Hopefully I will be able to read it this next couple of days.

  13. Brenda Lower Brenda Lower

    I read GO: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, and loved it!

    I’ve started Courage Has No Color, and have everything else ready to read!

    Morris award nominees: 1/5
    Non-fiction nominees: 1/5 (with another started!)

    For full reviews, see my blog:

  14. Finished Charm and Strange (good but not standout) and am mid- In the Shadow of Blackbirds (which so far has the charm I thought was lacking in The Diviners. All the books have come in for me, so it’s all on me to finish them now….

  15. Finished Go: a Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design and am organizing a program to hold at the library during Teen Tech Week to work on one of the projects Kidd suggests!

  16. Anna Anna

    I just finished Charm & Strange and started In the Shadow of Blackbirds.

  17. Gloria Collyard Gloria Collyard

    I have now finished 2 of the books. Courage Has No Color and The Nazi Hunters. Both books were disturbing because of the subject matter. I thought The Nazi Hunters was the better written of the two. These books portray history of that the world is not proud of, but ism essential for us to know.

  18. Gloria Collyard Gloria Collyard

    I had a day to devote to reading and was able to read “Imprisoned” today. I do not usually read nonfiction, but did enjoy this book. It is written in a style that makes it an easy read and the pictures help to tell the story.

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