2020 Nonfiction Award Finalists Announced

Five books have been selected as finalists for the 2020 Nonfiction Award, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults.

The 2020 finalists are:

  • Free Lunch,written by Rex Ogle and published by Norton Young Readers, an imprint of W.W. Norton & Company
  • The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance, written and illustrated by Lynn Curlee and published by Charlesbridge Teen
  • A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust, written by Albert Marrin and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House
  • A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II, written by Elizabeth Wein and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
  • Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship, written by Deborah Heiligman and published by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group







View the full list with annotations on the Nonfiction webpage. Publishers and library staff can purchase finalist seals to place on the finalist titles at www.ala.org/awardsgrants/seals.

YALSA will name the 2020 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on January 27, 2020, in Philadelphia during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting. Those that are unable to attend Midwinter can watch the Youth Media Awards live on January 27, at 8am ET, at http://ala.unikron.com/. Following the YMA announcements, YALSA will host a reception honoring the finalists and the winner, as well as YALSA’s Nonfiction Award finalists and winner, at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting on January 27 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Grand Ballroom E/F at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. Tickets to the reception can be purchased in advance for $25. See a full list of YALSA’s events and programs at the Midwinter Meeting on YALSA’s Midwinter wiki page.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2020 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award committee members are selecting the finalists. They are: Chair Rachel Adams, King County Library, Issaquah, WA; Alicia Blowers, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA; Jennifer Cooper, Potomac Senior High School, Dumfries, VA; Heather Dickerson, Lewis & Clark Library, Helena, MT; Elizabeth E. Nelson, St. Luke’s School, New Canaan, CT; Joe Prince, Jerome Library, Bowling Green, OH; Erica Ruscio, Ventress Memorial Library, Marshfield, MA; Carolyn Vidmar, New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans, LA; Steve Zampino, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT; Ronny Khuri, Booklist Consultant, Chicago, IL.