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Nonfiction for Teens

The Burn Journals
by Brent Runyon (2005)

One day Runyon came home from school, went into the shower, doused himself with gasoline, and lit himself on fire. Runyon's memoir describes his suicide attempt and his long recovery.

Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference
by Joanne Oppenheim (2006)

Joanne Oppenheim tells the story of a group of children locked in a Japanese internment camp through their letters to the San Diego librarian who sends them books.

Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy
by Andrea Warren (2004)

Warrer tells the dramatic story of a war orphan who escaped Vietnam on Operation Babylift to lead a new life in the United States.

From Girls to Grrrlz: A History of Women's Comics from Teens to Zines
by Trina Robbins (1999)

From Betty and Veronica to Slutburger, Robbins examines a century of female comic book characters.

Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir
by Janice Erlbaum (2006)

Janice details her time living in homeless shelters in New York City experimenting with drugs and romance as she tried to escape her mother's abusive boyfriend.

Hole in My Life
by Jack Gantos (2005)

The Joey Pigza Series author writes about his path to becoming a writer, which included smuggling drugs along America's East Coast, a meeting with some Black Panthers, and a dangerous stint in prison.

Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America
by Karen Blumenthal (2005)

Blumenthal describes the rise of Title IX and its effect on the sports scene, covering Billie Jean King's Battle of the Sexes to women's new career options.

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird
by Phillip Hoose (2004)

The Lord God Bird is also known as The Grail Bird because bird watchers seek this woodpecker out in hopes that there is one nest left. Hoose describes how the species was wiped out and the biologists linked to its history.

Wild Lives: 100 Years of People and Animals at the Bronx Zoo
by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld (2006)

Zoehfeld details the creation of the Bronx Zoo and the important role it played in animal conservation.