2019 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List
Just in time for holiday shopping, the Texas Library Association is pleased to announce the 2019 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List. With more than 140 titles, the list includes nonfiction gems for children and adults. It is intended for recreational reading and is not designed to support any particular curriculum. Due to the diversity in age range and topics, Texas librarians should consider titles on this list in accordance with their own local collection development policies.
* Titles received a unanimous vote from the selection committee
#NeverAgain by David Hogg and Lauren Hogg. Random House. 2018.
*The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater. Macmillan / Farrar Straus Giroux. 2017.
59 Hours by Johnny Kovatch. Simon & Schuster / Simon Pulse. 2018.
*Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2017.
All That Trash: The Story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and Our Problem with Stuff by Meghan McCarthy. Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2018.
American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures by America Ferrera. Simon & Schuster / Gallery Books. 2018.
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee. Penguin Random House / Crown. 2017.
*Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card: A Memoir by Sara Saedi. Penguin Random House /
Knopf Doubleday / Alfred A. Knopf. 2018.
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou. Penguin Random House / Knopf. 2018.
*Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston. HarperCollins / Amistad. 2018.
Because I Was a Girl: True Stories for Girls of All Ages by Melissa De La Cruz (editor). Macmillan / Henry Holt. 2017.
*Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond
Obstfed. Hachette / Little, Brown and Company. 2017.
The Best Land Under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny by Michael Wallis.
W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 2017.
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace and illustrated by Bryan Collier. Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 2018.
Black Girls Rock! Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth by Beverly Bond (editor). Simon & Schuster / Atria / 37 INK. 2018.
Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy by Heather Ann Thompson.
Penguin Random House / Pantheon Books. 2016.
Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend by Karen Blumenthal. Penguin Random House / Viking. 2018.
*The Boo-boos that Changed the World by Barry Wittenstein. Charlesbridge. 2018.
Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals by Gabrielle Balkin and illustrated by Sam Brewster.
Phaidon Press. 2017.
*Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge. Penguin Random House / Viking. 2018.
The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century by Sarah Elizabeth Miller. Penguin
Random House / Schwartz & Wade. 2016.
Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu. Macmillan / First Second. 2018.
The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral
Restoration Foundation by Kate Messner and illustrated by Matthew Forsythe. Chronicle Books. 2018.
Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans. Penguin Random House / Portfolio. 2018.
Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian, My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph by Yusra Mardini. Macmillan / St. Martin’s Press. 2018.
Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine by Edward Lee. Workman Publishing / Artisan. 2018.
The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South by
Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington. Perseus Book Group / PublicAffairs. 2018.
Call Me American: A Memoir by Abdi Nor Iftan. Penguin Random House / Alfred A. Knopf. 2018.
The Captain Class: A New Theory of Leadership by Sam Walker. Penguin Random House / Random House. 2017.
*Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin by James Swanson. Scholastic Press. 2018.
Chasing Space (Young Reader’s Edition) by Leland Melvin. HarperCollins / Amistad. 2017.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. / Liveright. 2017.
*The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty. HarperCollins / Amistad. 2017.
*Crash: the Great Depression and the Fall and Rise of America by Marc Favreau. Hachette / Little, Brown and Company. 2018.
*Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton and illustrated by Victo Ngai. Lerner Publishing Group / Millbrook Press. 2017.
*The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America by Ethan Michaeli. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2016.
Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Penguin Random House / Knopf. 2016.
Do Not Lick This Book (*it’s Full of Germs) by Idan Ben-Barak and illustrated by Julian Frost. Macmillan / Roaring Brook Press. 2018.
Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency by Pete
Souza. Hachette / Little, Brown and Company. 2017.
Earth! : My First 4.54 Billion Years by Stacy McAnulty and illustrated by David Litchfield. Macmillan / Henry Holt. 2017.
*Educated: a memoir by Tara Westover. Penguin Random House / Random House. 2018.
*Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond
Our Solar System by Michael Summers and James Trefil. Smithsonian Books. 2017.
Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced the World that Fairies are Real by Marc Tyler Nobleman and
illustrated by Eliza Wheeler. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Clarion Books. 2018.
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix. Abrams Books for Young Readers / Amulet. 2018.
The Far Away Brothers: Two Young Migrants and the Making of an American Life by Lauren Markham. Penguin Random House / Crown. 2017.
Faster, Higher, Farther by Jack Ewing. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 2017.
Fault Lines in the Constitution: The Framers, Their Fights, and the Flaws That Affect Us Today by
Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson. Peachtree Publishers. 2017.
A First Class Catastrophe: The Road to Black Monday, the Worst Day in Wall Street History by
Diana Henriques. Macmillan / Henry Holt. 2017.
Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O’Connell Pearson.
Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster books for young readers. 2018.
*Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones by Sara Levine and illustrated by T. S. Spookytooth. Lerner Publishing Group / Millbrook Press. 2018.
*Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other’s
Backs by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Maple Lam. Penguin Random House / Crown Books for
Young Readers. 2018.
Fur, Feather, Fin: All of Us are Kin by Diane Lang and illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books. 2018.
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackermann. Penguin Random House / Penguin Press. 2016.
Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry. Macmillan / Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2017.
*The Gift of Our Wounds: A Sikh and a Former White Supremacist Find Forgiveness After Hate by
Arno Michaelis and Pardeep Singh Kaleka. Macmillan / St. Martin’s Press. 2018.
Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb & the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel and illustrated by Micha Archer. Penguin Random House / Nancy Paulsen Books. 2018.
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2018.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil. Penguin Random House / Crown. 2018.
Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani and Sarah Hutt and
illustrated by Andrea Tsurumi. Penguin Random House / Viking. 2017.
God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State by Lawrence Wright. Penguin Random House / Alfred A. Knopf. 2016.
The Gross Cookbook by Susanna Tee. Sourcebooks / Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. 2017.
Gunpowder Girls: The True Stories of Three Civil War Tragedies by Tanya Anderson. Quindaro Press. 2016.
*Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers and illustrated by Shawn Harris. Chronicle Books. 2017.
*Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka. Scholastic / Graphix. 2018.
A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey. Macmillan / Flatiron Books. 2018.
Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration by Rose Brock (editor). Penguin Random House / Philomel Books. 2018.
How Does My Home Work? by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti. Candlewick Press. 2018.
How the Cookie Crumbled: The True (and Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of the Chocolate
Chip Cookie by Gilbert Ford. Simon & Schuster / Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 2017.
I Am Gandhi by Brad Meltzer and illustrated by 25+ illustrators. Penguin Random House / Dial Books. 2018.
I Am I Am I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell. Penguin Random House / Knopf. 2018.
I Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope by
Chessy Prout with Jenn Abelson. Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2018.
If You Were the Moon by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Jaime Kim. Lerner Publishing Group / Millbrook Press. 2017.
*In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker. Penguin Random House / Crown. 2016.
In the Past: From Tribolites to Dinosaurs to Mammoths in More Than 500 Million Years by David
Elliott. Candlewick Press. 2018.
*The Incredible True Story of Blondy Baruti: My Unlikely Journey from the Congo to Hollywood by
Blondy Baruti with Joe Layden. Simon & Schuster. 2018.
The Inheritance: A Family on the Front Lines of the Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease by Niki Kapsambelis. Simon and Schuster. 2017.
The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil, and One Family’s Search for the American Dream by Bryan Mealer. Macmillan / Flatiron Books. 2018.
Know Your Rights! A Modern Kid’s Guide to the American Constitution by Laura Barcella. Sterling Children’s Books. 2018.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Penguin Random House / Knopf. 2016.
Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War by Lynne Olson. Random House. 2017.
Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown. Scholastic / David Fickling Books. 2017.
Lights! Camera! Alice! : The Thrilling True Adventures of the First Woman Filmmaker by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Simona Ciraolo. Chronicle Books. 2018.
*The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu. Penguin Random House / Riverhead Books. 2018.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison. Hachette / Little, Brown and Company. 2017.
The Long Haul: A Trucker’s Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 2018.
The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead by Deborah Noyes. Penguin Random House / Viking. 2017.
Marley Dias Gets it Done and So Can You! by Marley Dias. Scholastic. 2018.
Megafire: The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame by Michael Kodas. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2017.
A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa by Alexis Okeowo. Hachette / Little, Brown and Company. 2017.
Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. Simon & Schuster / Atria. 2017.
No One Tells You This: A Memoir by Glynnis MacNicol. Simon & Schuster. 2018.
Not So Different: What You REALLY Want to Ask About Having a Disability by Shane Burcaw and photographed by Matt Carr. Macmillan / Roaring Brook Press. 2017.
Once Upon a Jungle by Laura Knowles and illustrated by James Boast. Firefly Books. 2017.
Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy by Anna Clark. Macmillan / Metropolitan Books. 2018.
The Potlikker Papers : A Food History of the Modern South by John T. Edge. Penguin Random House / Penguin Press. 2017.
The Race to Space: Countdown to Liftoff by Erik Slader and Ben Thompson. Macmillan / Roaring Brook Press. 2018.
The Radium Girls by Kate Moore. Sourcebooks. 2017.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter and illustrated by Stacy Innerst. Abrams Books for Young Readers. 2017.
*Schomburg : The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez. Candlewick Press. 2017.
*Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood. HarperCollins Publishers / Harper. 2018.
Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity, and Coming to America by Larry Smith (editor). Disney / Kingswell. 2017.
A Soldier’s Sketchbook : The Illustrated First World War Diary of R.H. Rabjohn by John Wilson.
Penguin Random House / Tundra Books. 2017.
Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clark and the Making of a Masterpiece by Michael Benson. Simon & Schuster. 2018.
Step Right Up by Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by Daniel Minter. Lee & Low Books. 2016.
Tesla: Inventor of the Modern by Richard Munson. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. 2018.
*They Lost Their Heads! What Happened to Washington’s Teeth, Einstein’s Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts by Carlyn Beccia. Bloomsbury. 2018.
Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Michael Bennett and Dave Zirin. Haymarket Books. 2018.
*Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot’s World War II Story by Marc Tyler Nobleman and illustrated by Melissa Iwai. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Clarion Books. 2018.
Threading My Prayer Rug by Sabeeha Rehman. Arcade Publishing . 2017.
*Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas by Michael Hurd. UT
Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride. Penguin Random House / Crown. 2018.
*Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner. Boyds Mills Press. 2017.
Underneath it All: A History of Women’s Underwear by Amber J. Keyser. Lerner Publishing Group /
Twenty First Century Books. 2018.
*The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray. 2018.
The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2018.
What Do You Do With A Voice Like That? By Chris Barton and illustrated by Ekua Holmes. Simon & Schuster / Beach Lane Books. 2018.
when they call you a terrorist: a black lives matter memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullers and Asha Bandele. Macmillan / St. Martin’s Press. 2017.
*Wicked Bugs: The Meanest, Deadliest, Grossest Bugs on Earth (Young Reader’s Edition) by Amy
Stewart and illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs. Workman Publishing / Algonquin Young Readers. 2017.
Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard. W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. / Liveright. 2017.