Young Adult Nonfiction
A Readers' Advisory and Collection Development Guide
by Elizabeth Fraser
March 2020, 239pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-6979-2
$55, £41, 48€, A75
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6980-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Invaluable help for librarians in selecting and recommending nonfiction titles for teens.

Covering more than 500 titles, both classics and newer publications, this book describes what titles are about and why teens would want to read them.

Nonfiction has been the workhorse of many young adult library collections—filling information and curricular needs—and it is also the preferred genre for many teen readers. But not all nonfiction is created equal. This guide identifies some of the best, most engaging, and authoritative nonfiction reads for teens and organizes them according to popular reading interests. With genres ranging from adventure and sports to memoirs, how-to guides and social justice, there is something for every reader here.

Similar fiction titles are noted to help you make connections for readers, and “best bets” for each chapter are noted. Notations in annotations indicate award-winning titles, graphic nonfiction, and reading level. Keywords that appear in the annotations and in detailed indexes enhance access. Librarians who work with and purchase materials for teens, including YA librarians at public libraries, acquisitions and book/materials selectors at public libraries, and middle and high school librarians will find this book invaluable.


  • Identifies the best and most popular new nonfiction reads for teens, along with perennial classics, helping librarians with acquisitions and weeding
  • Allows YA librarians to more easily find books their readers will enjoy through genre organization
  • Helps school librarians find books that fill curricular needs through learning connections
  • Enables readers to transition from beloved fiction "read-alikes" to nonfiction titles with similar appeals
  • Introduces librarians who are new to nonfiction genres and readers' advisory to important features of each genre in "consider starting with" sections in each chapter
Elizabeth (Betsy) Fraser is a selector at the Calgary Public Library in Alberta, Canada. She is author of Reality Rules: A Guide for Teen Nonfiction and the 2016 winner of the YALSA/ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Service to Young Adults Outstanding Achievement Award.


"This current selection deftly updates Fraser’s previous two titles, Reality Rules! A Guide to Teen Nonfiction Reading Interests (2008) and Reality Rules II (2012)."—Booklist, July 31, 2020

"A superb reference work/selection tool that should be owned by all public library systems and school divisions.... Highly Recommended."—CM: Canadian Review of Materials, April 2, 2021

"Fraser does an excellent job highlighting a broad range of best available nonfiction for young people, with deft categorization that will be a real time-saver for busy librarians involved in collection development or reader’s advisory. Her fiction read-alikes and the 'Consider Starting with . . .' plums in each chapter will prove invaluable."—Wendy Stephens, School Library Program Chair, Jacksonville State University

"The teen collection at my library has recently experienced a surge in interest in nonfiction and this volume is great for understanding why as well as offering a wealth of great titles to grow the collection. So many of the annotations enticed me to place holds for titles and add dozens of books to my TBR shelf. The logical organization and the “Consider Starting with…” and “Fiction Read-Alikes” sections are invaluable for great reader’s advisory service to young adults. This is a great resource both for reader’s advisory and collection management."—Diana Tixier Herald, Youth Collections Librarian/Mesa County Libraries and author of Teen Genreflecting

"Betsy Fraser delivers a bountiful bouquet of glorious nonfiction titles for young adult readers. An indispensable reference. A magnificent gift."—Candace Fleming, author of The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia
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