#QP2018 Nominees Round Up: More Nonfiction!

Blood, Bullets, and Bones by Bridget Heos
Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: October 4, 2017
ISBN: 9780062387622 

Murder most foul is a perfect fodder for reluctant readers and the cover of this book is the come hither invitation that will prove irresistible to many.

I’m an avid reader who bores quickly with nonfiction, so this foray into the development of forensic science was a pleasant surprise. Heos traces criminology from the first poison tests all the way through DNA testing. If the stories of murder are the salt of this delectable morsel, then the pictures that are peppered throughout provide the perfect kick.

Granted, the chapters are, on average, about 15 pages long, which can be a challenge for reluctant readers, and the font is smaller, but there is ample white space and plenty of fascinating facts to keep a reader’s attention. The biggest draw of this book will be the content. Heos has done her historical homework, but she doesn’t offer it up in the dry style of a textbook. Instead, she cloaks the technical information in engaging narrative that provides a context that is so desperately needed for readers who can’t visualize what they are reading on their own. Forty-three pages of end matter (including a glossary, endnotes, photo credits, and an impressive bibliography) are evidence of a serious body of work that is accessible to a wide audience of readers from those who don’t like reading fiction to those who don’t usually enjoy reading, period.

–Jodi Kruse


42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
ISBN: 9780763676247

Baseball, basketball, football—Jackie Robinson excelled in every game! But opportunities were closed to Jackie for one reason: he was African American. Like many other outstanding African American athletes, Jackie played in the Negro Baseball League. In 1946, Branch Rickey, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, recruited Jackie Robinson. It was a brutal, violent time and Jackie faced terrible hatred and discrimination. Jackie showed superhuman restraint and was a phenomenal player. This is a short, very accessible biography.

Teen readers will compare many aspects of the story of Jackie Robinson to issues and challenges faced by today’s professional athletes.

–KE Hones


Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Stephen Biesty
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
ISBN: 9780763689315

Today’s teen readers may be the first generation to space travel in large numbers. We have just started exploring deep space: landing on the moon, robots on Mars, and space probes sent billions of miles to the far reaches of our solar system.

Cutaway illustrations offer precise detail including riveting depictions of space gear and craft with every last scientific instrument and structural element visible and labeled.

Teens interested in astronomy will pore over this amazing, intricate and accessible book about exploring space. Readers will be drawn to the detailed illustrations and the clear writing.

–KE Hones


Karina Garcia’s DIY Slime: 15 Cool, Easy, Borax-Free Recipes! by Karina Garcia
Sizzle Press
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
ISBN: 9781499806601

YouTuber Karina Garcia shows readers how to make their own DIY slime with this book full of 15 fun, and unusual recipes. Ranging from your basic slime, to crazy slime with outside the box ingredients. Examples include Fruity Chewy Slime made with Starburst candy, and Hot N’Cheesy slime made with Red Hot Cheetos. Each recipe includes a list of ingredients, step by step instructions with illuminating pictures, and a short paragraph with a extra info about the slime you just made.

Karina Garcia’s YouTube star status, the current slime fad, and the simplicity of the recipes and directions will draw readers to this short book.

Recommended for fans of super easy DIY projects, and slime.

–Jessica Ormonde


Unstoppable: True Stories of Amazing Bionic Animals by Nancy Furstinger
HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN: 9780544879669

Braces, prosthetics, orthotics and wheelchairs help the animals in Unstoppable. Teens will meet vets, caretakers, prosthetists and families that help animals recover.

Cutting edge technology and scientific advancements are featured including 3D printing and brain controlled prosthetics! These incredible new inventions are helping both animals and humans.

Teens will be eager to check out this book with a cover that features an endearing dog. 

–KE Hones

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Quick Picks

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.