Real life stories, biographies and memoirs, are more inspiring than most other books, don’t you think? Because you’re reading about people who really did amazing things. Usually despite great odds. There’s hope-giving power in these nonfiction true life stories. For teens, and for us not-teens, too.
These four books are so excellent, I suspect you’ll read them and then want to share them with all your friends and family. I know I did.
4 Inspiring Nonfiction Books for Teen Readers
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin
You don’t have to be a football fan to be mesmerized by this incredible underdog story of grit with the history of football as a backdrop. Why must you read this? First, because you don’t really know the history of football until you’ve read the history of Carlisle Indian School and Jim Thorpe. Did you know that a whole team played on the field all at once? Or that a president had to intervene because there were so many deaths from head injuries with no helmets? Second, because Jim Thorpe was clearly one of the greatest athletes in the world of all time, and his life wasn’t what you would ever have expected. Third, because you won’t look at the history of the American Indians the same once you learn more about this little publicized history of the often abusive white-run boarding schools. Even though this history wasn’t the point of the book, it’s in the background and it’s disturbing. And fourth, because Steve Sheinkin is one of the best writers you’ll read. The way he put together this book, which facts and how he told the story, is masterful. A must read!
Hidden Figures (Young Readers’ Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly NONFICTION
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future (Young Readers Edition) by Ashlee Vance
Elon’s story is fascinating. His unique history, intelligence, and vision are unique and worth knowing. The ins and outs of his businesses give readers insight into the mind of Musk, a mind that is quite extraordinary. Anyone, teen or adult, interested in being an entrepreneur should read this book. Musk shows that it’s not a straight line to success; that vision, hard work, failures, and perseverance are the basic ingredients. As far as the writing goes, the book is dense with many details you may or not find as interesting as me. But for those of you who are interested in Tesla and the SpaceX project, you’ll devour these details.
Download my "Can't Put 'Em Down" book lists for your kids ages 3 - 13.
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