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Updated by Jen Blair on Dec 07, 2019
Headline for Winter Break Best Books 2019 - Nonfiction/Memoir
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Winter Break Best Books 2019 - Nonfiction/Memoir

Because apparently the only way I will read nonfiction is if it is in graphic novel form or in verse...

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei

George Takei tells his story of when his family was imprisoned in American Internment Camps during WWII. His crime? He was of Japanese descent. His parents faced impossible decisions but did everything in their power to protect their children. This is a story of hope but includes ties to present day camps of immigrants to remind us of current attitudes about discrimination and racism.

Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes

“Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing.”
Told in verse, this is a story of remarkable resilience and hope.

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder

“From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details.”

I appreciated the humor and grace of Feder’s personal experience with grief and learned a lot about dealing with my own grief as well. (Pub. date: April 14, 2020)

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang

Yang’s graphic novel retelling of his school’s attempts to win the California State Championships in basketball. As he retells the story of the team, he learns more about the students he taught, the struggles with the past for many teachers, and his own priorities regarding his family and teaching career. (Pub. date: March 17, 2020)

When You Ask Me Where I'm Going by Jasmin Kaur

Told in verse, Kaur explores what it means to be an immigrant woman and the resilience required to overcome obstacles.

Best Friends (Real Friends, #2) by Shannon Hale

In the sequel to Real Friends, Hale honestly shares her own experiences of being a sixth grader trying to fit in with the popular girls.

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Telgemeier returns to nonfiction with her honest portrayal of her experiences with anxiety and stress in fourth grade.

(Don't) Call Me Crazy by Kelly Jensen

Some very familiar names from the YA Author World share their experiences with mental health challenges that they have faced in their own lives.

El Deafo by Cece Bell

I know, I know, but I didn’t read this one until this year! Bell’s experience of not only traumatic hearing loss, but negotiating middle school while wearing bulky and embarrassing hearing aids.