New Nonfiction at CA Library

Here are some books we have recently added to the nonfiction section at CA Library. Look for them in the New Books section!

American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures, edited by America Ferrera with E. Cayce Dumont — Award-winning actress and political activist America Ferrera has compiled a vibrant and varied collection of first person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures. “Teens will find lots to connect with, as many of the entries focus on childhood, coming of age, and the growing pains that accompany adolescence and identity formation. A strong selection where anthologies and personal essay collections have a readership; a good choice for supplementing civics courses” (School Library Journal).

Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir by Adam Rippon — Former Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon shares his underdog journey from beautiful mess to outrageous success in this hilarious, big-hearted memoir. “Rippon may have started his career as an underdog, but he prevailed, thanks to his resilience, laser-focused work ethic, and acerbic sense of humor” (Booklist).

The Body: A Guide For Occupants by Bill Bryson — Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail) once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body — how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail. Full of extraordinary facts and irresistible Bryson-esque anecdotes, The Body will lead you to a deeper understanding of the miracle that is life in general and you in particular. “Bryson’s splendid stroll through human anatomy, physiology, evolution, and illness is instructive, accessible, and entertaining” (Booklist).

Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us by Sam Kean — Kean (The Disappearing Spoon) takes readers on another round-the-globe journey through the periodic table, exploring how the air people breathe reflects the world’s history, tracing the origins and ingredients of the atmosphere to explain oxygen’s role in reshaping continents, steering human progress, and powering revolutions. “A witty book that turns the science of the stuff we breathe into a delightful romp through history” (Kirkus Reviews).

The End of Chiraq: A Literary Mixtape edited by Javon Johnson and Kevin Coval — Johnson, a professor of African American studies, and Coval, cofounder of Chicago’s Louder Than a Bomb youth poetry festival, curate this collection of poems, rap lyrics, short stories, essays, interviews, and artwork about Chicago, the city that came to be known as “Chiraq” (“Chicago” + “Iraq”), and the people who live in its vibrant and occasionally violent neighborhoods. “Socially aware YAs, especially hip-hop fans, will find much enlightenment and encouragement here” (Booklist).

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister — An exploration into the transformative power of female anger and its ability to transcend into a political movement, tracking the history of female anger as political fuel — from suffragettes marching on the White House to office workers vacating their buildings after Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. “Recommended for burgeoning activists and teens interested in politics, history, and current events” (School Library Journal).

How To Start a Revolution: Young People and the Future of American Politics by Lauren Duca — Teen Vogue award-winning columnist Lauren Duca shares a smart and funny guide for challenging the status quo in a much-needed reminder that young people are the ones who will change the world. Duca investigates and explains the issues at the root of our ailing political system and reimagines what an equitable democracy would look like, beginning with young people getting involved. “This call to action will resonate even with those who are not already involved in progressive politics” (Publishers Weekly).

cover_imageA Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust by Albert Marrin — From National Book Award Finalist Albert Marrin comes the moving story of Janusz Korczak, the heroic Polish Jewish doctor who devoted his life to children, perishing with them in the Holocaust. “This fascinating work will terrify and educate readers about the dangers of autocracy and racism. Highly recommended for all young adult collections” (School Library Journal).

Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound by James Rhodes — In a stunning and innovative performance, piano maestro James Rhodes introduces today’s readers to seven of the greatest composers of all time. Discover their backstories and how each one shaped and defined classical music. “This dynamic and infectious introduction to classical music is sure to capture a new generation of musicophiles” (Kirkus Reviews).

Women: The National Geographic Image Collection, with an introduction by Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic Magazine — From Silicon Valley to politics and beyond, women are reshaping our world. Now, in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, this bold and inspiring book from National Geographic mines 130 years of photography to showcase their past, their present, and their future. “In addition to the diverse historical depictions of women and girls throughout the world, teens will be inspired by the words of the contemporary trailblazers” (Booklist).

Veterans Day: Military Narratives


“Veteran” by jaydrogers is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Veterans know better than anyone else the price of freedom, for they’ve suffered the scars of war. We can offer them no better tribute than to protect what they have won for us.”

–Ronald Reagan, Radio Address, 5 November 1983

This Veterans Day, we thank all military men and women who have served our country. All of them have stories to tell, and these stories are worth hearing.

Here is a selection of memoirs available at CA Library written by veterans in the armed services:

Every Man a Hero: A Memoir of D-Day, the First Wave at Omaha Beach, and a World at War by Ray Lambert — Seventy-five years ago, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ray Lambert hit Omaha Beach with the first wave. Now ninety-eight years old, he delivers one of the most remarkable memoirs of our time, a tour-de-force of remembrance evoking his role as a decorated World War II medic who risked his life to save the heroes of D-Day. “Reading Lambert’s account is like sitting at your grandfather’s feet and hearing some of the best tales you’ll ever know. All Americans owe Lambert gratitude for his service and sacrifice, and for sharing his memories” (Booklist).

Ghost of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI by Ryan Smithson — Smithson recounts the experiences he had serving his first tour of duty as an Army engineer in Iraq when he was only nineteen. “A remarkable, deeply penetrating read that will compel teens to reflect on their own thoughts about duty, patriotism and sacrifice” (Kirkus Reviews).

I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior: Memoirs of an American Soldier by Howard E. Wasdin — Howard Wasdin reflects on his life and military career, discussing his difficult childhood, training, goal to become a member of Navy SEAL Team Six, experiences during the Battle of Mogadishu, and more. “The action will keep all readers turning the pages wanting to see how the missions and training turned out. Wasdin also tells the story from the other side of the press, giving insight into military actions that are often criticized by the media and politicians” (School Library Journal).

Living With Honor by Salvatore A. Giunta — A memoir of Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta discussing his career serving in the Army in Afghanistan. For risking his life to save a wounded soldier from being captured, in 2010 he became the first living person to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. “A simply told account that reminds us of the awesome weight accompanying this signal honor” (Kirkus Reviews).

The Making of a Navy SEAL: My Story of Surviving the Toughest Challenge and Training the Best by Brandon Webb — Webb’s experiences in the world’s most elite sniper corps are the stuff of legend. From his grueling years of training in Naval Special Operations to his combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, his memoir provides a rare and riveting look at the inner workings of the U.S. military through the eyes of a covert operations specialist. “Webb’s story makes for a breathless read for the many who will never encounter anything remotely as mentally and physically challenging as the endless training exercises to make it into the SEAL teams” (Booklist).

Predator: The Remote-Control Air War over Iraq and Afghanistan: A Pilot’s Story by Matt J. Martin — Air Force Lt. Col. Matt J. Martin is considered a “top gun” in the world of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), flying hundreds of missions on two warfronts and actively involved in virtually every facet of the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan: tracking Osama bin Laden, fighting with the U.S. Marines in Fallujah, and rescuing aid workers kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban. “A fascinating tale of the challenges of flying a touchy, mule-stubborn, expensive robot from half a world away” (Air & Space Smithsonian).

Sea Stories: My Life In Special Operations by William H. McRaven — U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven is a part of American military history, having been involved, as a Navy SEAL, in some of the most famous missions in recent memory, including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. “Readers interested in the essential work of military special forces will be inspired by McRaven’s adventures” (Kirkus Reviews).

Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog by Mike Dowling — The thrilling and inspiring story of U.S. Marine Sgt. Mike Dowling and his dog Rex, a bomb-sniffing German Shepard, who forged a bond of trust and loyalty while serving on the war-torn streets of Iraq’s most dangerous city as part of the first Marine Corps military K9 teams sent to the front lines of combat since Vietnam. “Dowling’s approach offers a clear-headed view of the improvisational nature of combat in Iraq, and the brutal difficulties with which American military personnel contended. A unique testimonial from today’s professional, highly specialized military, with a clear extra appeal to animal lovers” (Kirkus Reviews).

Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front by Mary Jennings Hegar — After being commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, MJ Hegar was selected for pilot training by the Air National Guard, finished at the top of her class, then served three tours in Afghanistan, flying combat search-and-rescue missions, culminating in a harrowing rescue attempt that would earn her the Purple Heart as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device. “Hegar’s inspirational memoir reflects the strength and grace with which she approached her service to her country, whether she was venturing behind enemy lines to rescue wounded soldiers or standing up for women’s right to be on the front line” (Booklist).

What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes — Vietnam War veteran Marlantes (U.S. Marine Corps) weaves accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. He also underscores the need for returning veterans to be counseled properly. “Both a training manual for would-be warriors and a caution to the politicians who would deploy them, this is also essential reading for civilians who seek to better understand the complicated costs of military action” (Booklist).

New Nonfiction at CA Library

Here are some of the latest nonfiction books we’ve added to the library collection; look for them in the New Books section!

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza — Spanning more than 400 years, this classic bottom-up history examines the legacy of Indigenous peoples’ resistance, resilience, and steadfast fight against imperialism. The original academic text is fully adapted for young adult readers, including discussion topics, archival images, original maps, recommendations for further reading, and other materials to encourage students, teachers, and general readers to think critically about their own place in history. “An excellent read, dismantling American mythologies and fostering critical reasoning about history and current events” (Kirkus Reviews).

Crisis In The Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak In History, and of the Outbreaks To Come by Richard Preston — The 2013-2014 Ebola epidemic was the deadliest ever — but the outbreaks continue. Now comes a gripping account of the doctors and scientists fighting to protect us, an urgent wake-up call about the future of emerging viruses — from the #1 bestselling author of The Hot Zone. “[Preston’s] concluding sections establish why this story remains relevant, as the Ebola outbreak is a cautionary tale of what could happen if a similar mutated supervirus reached cities. This nonfiction page-turner will both educate and scare readers” (Publishers Weekly).

Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything American History Textbooks Get Wrong by James W. Loewen, adapted by Rebecca Stefoff — An adaptation for young readers that critiques American history textbooks, arguing that they contain misinformation, fail to connect present issues with past events, and lack suspense and drama, and retells events in American history in ways that combat these problems. “Relevant facts and figures have been updated [since the original 1985 edition], as well as references to the current president and administration. An important and necessary purchase for all secondary schools who want students to develop a love and appreciation for U.S. history while seeing it with clearer eyes” (School Library Journal).

Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm — On the fiftieth anniversary of the mission that first landed men on the moon, author and illustrator Jonathan Fetter-Vorm conjures the long history of the visionaries, stargazers, builders, and adventurers who sent Apollo 11 on its legendary voyage. From the exhilarating trajectories of astronauts — recounted in their own words – -to the unsung brilliance of engineers working behind the scenes, Moonbound captures the grand arc of the Space Age in a graphic history of unprecedented scope and profound lyricism. “A well-paced yet deep look at the path that led to the first man on the moon, including the early lunar myths, philosophies and fantasies that predated it” (Library Journal).

Nature’s Giants : The Biology And Evolution Of The World’s Largest Lifeforms by Graeme D. Ruxton — Why are creatures the size that they are? Why aren’t bugs the size of elephants, or whales the size of goldfish? In this lavishly illustrated new book, biologist Graeme Ruxton explains how and why nature’s giants came to be so big. Through a diverse array of examples, Ruxton explores the physics, biology, and evolutionary drivers behind organism size, showing what it’s like to live large. “For its clear explanations, striking pictures, and breadth of coverage, this book is recommended for high-school readers interested in natural science” (Booklist).

Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik  — Award-winning journalist Irin Carmon and lawyer Shana Knizhnik give readers an intimate, irreverent look at the life and work of the feminist pioneer and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose searing dissents and steely strength have inspired millions. “Brief, cogent excerpts from her court opinions are annotated in plain language by prominent legal academics, and the authors successfully situate RBG’s work within a larger historical context, thereby illustrating her central role in advancing equal rights for all” (Library Journal).

The (Other) Word: A Celebration of Fat & Fierce, edited by Angie Manfredi — This dazzling collection of art, poetry, essays, and fashion tips is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. By combining the talents of renowned fat YA and middle-grade authors, as well as fat influencers and creators, The (Other) F Word offers teen readers and activists of all ages a tool for navigating our world with confidence and courage. “This powerful anthology creates an important discourse celebrating body diversity, leaving readers feeling inspired to seek their own form of self-acceptance” (School Library Journal).

So You Want To Start A Podcast: Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Story, And Building A Community That Will Listen by Kristen Meinzer — Though they are the fastest-growing form of media, podcasts can actually be tricky to create — and even harder to sustain. Few know the secrets of successfully creating a knockout podcast better than Kristen Meinzer. An award-winning commentator, producer, and podcast host, Meinzer shares her expertise, providing aspiring podcasters with crucial information and guidance to work smarter, not harder as they start their own audio forum. “Even the most tech-savvy teens will benefit from Meinzer’s advice on voice, structure, and the non-technical nitty gritty of podcasting” (Booklist).

The Stonewall Riots: Coming Out In The Streets by Gayle E. Pitman — A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement, covering American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, including interviews with people involved and witnesses. “The backmatter alone is almost worth the purchase price, as it includes a timeline, footnotes, and a healthy bibliography. A user-friendly look at a watershed event and its context” (Kirkus Reviews).

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger & Steven Scott — A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within Japanese-American concentration camps during World War II. Takei’s firsthand account of those years behind barbed wire describes the joys and terrors of growing up under legalized racism, his mother’s hard choices, his father’s faith in democracy, and the way those experiences planted the seeds for his astonishing future. “This evocative memoir shares stories of the nation’s past, draws heartbreaking parallels to the present, and serves as a cautionary tale for the future. For all readers old enough to understand the importance of our collective history” (School Library Journal).