This week’s suggested titles all fall into the nonfiction category, but trust me, they are anything but dull! If you like learning about real people and the real world, these books are for you.
Until a few years ago, I seldom read nonfiction. I couldn’t imagine that reading history or science could ever be as compelling as a story. What a mistake! Nonfiction can be every bit as dramatic as fiction with the added bonus of learning something new.
HIGH: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction
Nonfiction by David and Nic Sheff
David Sheff—author of Beautiful Boy—and his son Nic, the beautiful boy addicted to methamphetamines, teamed up to write a down-to-earth guidebook about drugs, alcohol, and addiction. Avoiding the finger wagging that so often characterizes such texts, the book is full of factual information and stories that warn of the deadly dangers of experimentation.
THE 57 BUS: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives
Literary Nonfiction by Dashka Slater
Sasha and Richard live completely different lives. They probably never would have met if they hadn’t both taken the same bus one day. On their way home after school, a reckless act leaves Sasha severely burned and Richard charged with two hate crimes, facing life in prison.
Nonfiction by Hope Jahren
Hope is a geobiologist who has spent her whole life studying nature. She takes readers through her journey of first discovering a love for science and quickly finding her life’s purpose in the lab. She describes both her disappointments and triumphs alongside her eccentric lab partner, Bill, and invites readers to experience science through her unique narrative.
As you read these titles, consider:
- How does reading about the lives of others help us reflect upon our own?
- What role does privilege play in life outcomes?
Try out one of these activities to further your reading:
- Listen to the authors of High discuss what inspired them to write their book and what they hope it achieves.
- Use these discussion questions to talk about the sensitive topics in The 57 Bus.
- Social Studies Connection: Read about 10 brilliant historical women who, like Hope Jahren, devoted their lives to the study of science.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.
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Photo of Carol Jago provided by ©Andrew Collings