#QP2018 Nominees Round Up: More Nonfiction!

Project You: More Than 50 Ways to Calm Down, De-Stress, & Feel Great by Aubre Andrus with Karen Bluth, PhD
Switch Press, a Capstone imprint
Publication Date: September 1, 2017

Project You, More Than 50 Ways to Calm Down, De-stress, & Feel Great, written by Aubre Andrus with Karen Bluth, offers a variety of ways for young people to take care of themselves, manage their lives, and feel great.  The authors explain how to use the book which has a wellness checklist for young people to examine their level of wellness. However, if young people suffer from depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses, the authors suggest seeking professional help.

Young people can begin to take control by choosing a way that interests them. There is a list of suggested activities for certain struggles or challenges.  For example, if a teen struggles with stage fright, they can turn to a certain page. If a teen struggles with organization, there are ways to help the teen become organized. Teens can meditate, practice yoga, and even give themselves mini massages. They can also plan their future by creating a vision board, learning how to make decisions, and more.

Each technique has illustrations and/or photographs and highlighted text that helps the teens follow the directions. Supporting text details the technique and offers additional suggestions.

Project You has techniques for everyone—from teens to young adults. Take care of you by using this book.

–Karen Lemmons


The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
ISBN: 9780374303235

Two Oakland teenagers’ lives intersect in devastating ways while riding the 57 bus home from school one afternoon. Sasha, an agender white teenager, naps at the back of the bus while wearing a gauzy white skirt. Richard, an African-American teenager, boards the bus joking around with his friends. Their joking takes a dark, irrevocable turn when Richard sets Sasha’s skirt on fire with a lighter, setting in motion a tragic series of consequences for both teenagers that will reverberate throughout the country and change both their lives.

Brief, riveting chapters probe sensitively into the complex lives of both teenagers, spanning the time leading up to the event and the subsequent months afterwards as Sasha recovers from their burns and Richard awaits his trial and sentencing. Slater employs a clear, journalistic style to inform readers about various sides of the multifaceted and complex issues at play in the case–from the injustices of the criminal justice system, to issues of race, class, and gender–in a nonjudgmental manner that invites readers to think deeply about social justice issues and the ways in which they intersect. Some chapters are presented as short free-form poems, letters from Richard, or excerpts from instant message conversations between Sasha’s friends; these perspectives help to enhance readers’ understanding of the individuals at the heart of this true-crime story, and to engage with them as real people whose lives were affected in myriad ways by one fateful, irreversible event.

–Jenny Zbrizher


Life Hacks for Kids by Sunny Keller
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
ISBN: 9781328742131

Sunny Keller, host of Life Hacks for Kids on YouTube, chooses 35 hacks from her show and compiles them into a book appropriately titled Life Hacks for Kids. She hopes these projects will encourage and motivate young people to make some creative projects from ordinary items.

The book is divided into eight sections: Hacktivites, Hack That Snack Attack, Hackcycle, NiftyThrifty Gift Hacks, Hack Your Room, The Arts Hacks, Hacks for all Seasons and Let’s get Pranked Hacks. Each section has about five to six projects young people can do. Some projects included are inside-out indoor s’mores, groovy lava lamp, duct tape earrings, Jamaican steel drums, invisi-paint and more. In between sections, Sunny includes information about herself and a behind the scenes look at her show.

Each activity reads like a recipe. She lists the “ingredients” needed and the steps. Beautiful colorful illustrations, and short simple directions, makes each activity easy to follow and complete. At the conclusion of each activity, she writes words of encouragement for a job well done.

These hack activities will appeal to teens of all ages. The variety of activities certainly offers something for everyone. Get hacking with Sunny!

–Karen Lemmons


It’s Great to Create: 101 Fun Creative Exercises for Everyone by Jon Burgerman
Chronicle Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
ISBN: 9781452155326

Do you like to draw with your eyes closed?

Doodle artist and illustrator Jon Burgerman shows there are no mistakes, just fun and creative ideas for everyone.

It’s Great to Create is a very small book, packed so many ways to draw, doodle, make, and have fun with unexpected art projects.

Every page has new ways to make awesome art.

Teens will grab this little, tiny book for inspiration for 101 fun creations!!

–Kay Hones


Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris
Chronicle Books
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
ISBN: 9781452162812

Why is the Statue of Liberty moving forward with her right foot in mid stride?

This small fact is investigated in this humorous nonfiction book. Readers will learn about the history and art of this famous symbol, as they read about the real message of immigration.

Dave Eggers says, “I think it’s important that we talk about it. It’s especially important that we talk about it with our kids. The news these days is volatile and unsettling, and our kids are scared. We need to show them how to be brave. We need to learn from their tolerance and curiosity and open minds. We need to teach them what this country is supposed to stand for. And that’s why I wrote this book for them.”

Kay Hones

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