You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Join TLA
All News

2023 Texas Topaz Reading List Announced

TLA News, TLA Reading Lists

The Texas Library Association is thrilled to announce the new Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List! The purpose of the Texas Topaz Reading List is to provide children, teens, and adults with recommended nonfiction titles that stimulate reading for pleasure and personal learning. It is intended for recreational reading and is not designed to support any particular curriculum.

Each year, the Texas Topaz Committee considers nonfiction books published three years prior to the release of the list. This year, the Committee selected 71 titles recommended for young readers and 37 titles recommended for adults. All titles on the new list were published between 2020 and 2022.

Below are recommended titles from the new Texas Topaz Reading List with unanimous votes from the entire Committee. For the full list of 2023 Texas Topaz K-12 titles, go here. For the full list of Texas Topaz titles recommended for adults, go here.

You can find the combined list here: 2023 Texas Topaz List FULL LIST.

For more information and resources, visit

2023 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List – UNANIMOUS RECOMMENDATIONS

Grades K-2

  • Action! How Movies Began by Meghan McCarthy
  • Because Claudette by Tracey Baptiste, illustrated by Tonya Engel
  • I Am Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith
  • The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & her New Deal for America by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Alexandra Bye
  • The Strangest Thing in the Sea: And Other Curious Creatures of the Deep by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler

Grades 3-5

  • A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War by Barbara Carroll Roberts, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
  • Blips on a Screen: How Ralph Baer Invented TV Video Gaming and Launched a Worldwide Obsession by Kate Hannigan, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora
  • Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, illustrated by Daniel Minter
  • Cultured Donuts: Take a Bite Out of Art History by Chloe Tyler
  • Packing for Mars for Kids by Mary Roach
  • Rescuing Titanic: A True Story of Quiet Bravery in the North Atlantic by Flora Delargy

Grades 6-8

  • Ambushed! The Assassination Plot Against President Garfield by Gail Jarrow
  • Button Pusher by Tyler Page
  • Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown by Steve Sheinkin

Grades 9-12

  • Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert
  • Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI – Adapted for Young Readers by David Grann
  • Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime by Candace Fleming
  • The Race of the Century: The Battle to Break the Four-Minute Mile by Neal Bascomb
  • The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming
  • Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile


  • Being Seen: One Deafblind Woman’s Fight to End Ableism by Elsa Sjunneson
  • Corrections In Ink by Keri Blakinger
  • Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell
  • Deaf Utopia: A Memoir and a Love Letter to a Way of Life by Nyle DiMarco
  • Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law by Mary Roach
  • How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
  • Paper Bullets: Two Women Who Risked Their Lives to Defy the Nazis by Jeffrey H. Jackson
  • Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth by Elizabeth Williamson
  • The Facemaker: A Visionary Surgeon’s Battle to Mend the Disfigured Soldiers of World War I by Lindsey Fitzharris
  • The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk Wallace Johnson
  • The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice by Benjamin Gilmer
  • The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People by Rick Bragg
  • Trailed: One Woman’s Quest to Solve the Shenandoah Murders by Kathryn Miles
  • You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

 2023 Texas Topaz Reading List Committee Members:

Alleasha Austin, Chair
Bette McDowell, Vice Chair
Kelly Brouillard, Past Chair
Rachel Asselin
Kandra Gibbs
Candace Hudson
Shelly Landreth
Amelia Lewis
Ann Rector
Amber Seely
Lorraine Roussin
Kristi Starr
Priscilla Suarez
Theresa Tongio Holden
Kay Waltmon