Young Adult Nonfiction: A Readers’ Advisory and Collection Development Guide

Libraries Unlimited. Mar. 2020. 256p. pap. $55. ISBN 9781440869792.
Defining young adults as readers ages 12–18, Fraser (Calgary P.L.; Reality Rules: A Guide to Teen Nonfiction Reading Interests) has compiled a detailed, rich catalog to aid librarians doing nonfiction readers’ advisory and collection development. The introduction offers succinct guidance on evaluation points (accuracy, organization, illustrations, design, prose, and documentation). Readers will find it easy to jump into any of the 10 chapters, which cover true adventure, life stories, and subject interests (e.g., history, sports, how-to), with annotations for noteworthy titles in each area. Titles were published in 2012 or more recently, with occasional worthy older texts; The Diary of Anne Frank is listed alongside Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis’s Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival. Subdivisions provide more targeted recommendations—within “Autobiography and Memoir,” readers will find “coming of age,” “overcoming adversity,” and “humorous.” Annotations are pithy, with suggested grade levels, notable awards, and keywords. Fiction read-alikes at the end of each section, the inclusion of significant graphic nonfiction works, and author, title, and subject indexes are further benefits. Fraser’s selections are top-notch; seasoned librarians will recognize nonfiction mainstays including Martin Sandler and the “Scientists in the Field” series. Brief “Consider Starting With” lists condense recommendations.
VERDICT While there is room to quibble with some suggested reading/interest levels, these moments are rare. This is a necessary purchase and an enjoyable read for those who recommend to or develop collections for a young adult audience.

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