In an effort to change up my reading habits a little, I’ve recently started working more nonfiction onto my TBR. So far, I’m finding that nonfiction quenches my curiosity in a way that’s different from fiction. In particular, memoirs provide valuable insight into the actual lived experiences of other people. While novels imagine those lives, memoirs provide someone’s personal truth in their own words. For me, reading that truth helps open my eyes to new ideas and broadens my perspective of the possible. So, if you’re also looking to expand your reading (and your mind), check out these YA memoirs!
New memoir from George M. Johnson, the New York Times bestselling author of All Boys Aren't Blue—a "deeply impactful" (Nic Stone), "striking and joyful" (Laurie Halse Anderson), and "stunning read" (Publishers Weekly, starred) that celebrates Black boyhood and brotherhood in all its glory!
This is the vibrant story of George, Garrett, Rall, and Rasul -- four children raised by Nanny, their fiercely devoted grandmother. The boys hold each other close through early brushes with racism, memorable experiences at the family barbershop, and first loves and losses. And with Nanny at their center, they are never broken.
George M. Johnson captures the unique experience of growing up as a Black boy in America through rich family stories that explore themes of vulnerability, sacrifice, and culture.
Complete with touching letters from the grandchildren to their beloved matriarch and a full color photo insert, this heartwarming and heartbreaking memoir is destined to become a modern classic of emerging adulthood.
by Sophia Glock
Young Sophia has lived in so many different countries, she can barely keep count. Stationed now with her family in Central America because of her parents' work, Sophia feels displaced as an American living abroad, when she has hardly spent any of her life in America.
Everything changes when she reads a letter she was never meant to see and uncovers her parents' secret. They are not who they say they are. They are working for the CIA. As Sophia tries to make sense of this news, and the web of lies surrounding her, she begins to question everything. The impact that this has on Sophia's emerging sense of self and understanding of the world makes for a page-turning exploration of lies and double lives.
In the hands of this extraordinary graphic storyteller, this astonishing true story bursts to life.
by Alex Bertie
A brave firsthand account of online personality Alex Bertie's life, struggles, and victories as a transgender teen, as well as a groundbreaking guide for transitioning teens.
Long before he became known for his YouTube videos, Alex Bertie was an isolated, often-afraid transgender teenager looking for answers. In this revolutionary memoir and valuable resource, Alex recounts his life, struggles, and victories as a young trans man. Along the way, he provides readers with accessible, highly researched explanations of gender, sexuality, and transitions. He explores without judgment how complicated all these things can be, and how many equally authentic ways there are to live as yourself and find happiness.
It can be hard for questioning teens to believe in a brighter future, let alone find any sense of community. Here, with clarity and compassion, Alex writes as a supportive older brother for transitioning teens, their allies, their parents, and anyone looking to better understand others -- and themselves.
From Paralympic ski racer and YouTube star, Josh Sundquist, comes an always-funny (and sometimes-awkward) memoir about teenage misadventures. The inspiration for the series Best Foot Forward, streaming soon on Apple TV+!
When I was twenty-five years old, it came to my attention that I had never had a girlfriend. At the time, I was actually under the impression that I was in a relationship, so this bit of news came as something of a shock.
Why was Josh still single? To find out, he tracked down each of the girls he had tried to date since middle school and asked them straight up: What went wrong?
The results of Josh's semiscientific investigation are in your hands. From a disastrous Putt-Putt date involving a backward prosthetic foot, to his introduction to CFD (Close Fast Dancing), and a misguided "grand gesture" at a Miss America pageant, this story is about looking for love--or at least a girlfriend--in all the wrong places.
Poignant, relatable, and totally hilarious, this memoir is for anyone who has ever wondered, "Is there something wrong with me?"
(Spoiler Alert: the answer is no.)
Zaynab was out of school for two years as she fled war before landing in America. Her sister, Sabreen, survived a harrowing journey to Italy.
Ajida escaped horrific violence, but then found herself battling the elements to keep her family safe.
Malala's experiences visiting refugee camps caused her to reconsider her own displacement -- first as an Internally Displaced Person when she was a young child in Pakistan, and then as an international activist who could travel anywhere in the world except to the home she loved. In We Are Displaced, Malala not only explores her own story, but she also shares the personal stories of some of the incredible girls she has met on her journeys -- girls who have lost their community, relatives, and often the only world they've ever known.
In a time of immigration crises, war, and border conflicts, We Are Displaced is an important reminder from one of the world's most prominent young activists that every single one of the 68.5 million currently displaced is a person -- often a young person -- with hopes and dreams.
"A stirring and timely book." --New York Times