Teen Boys: Nonfiction
Susan Campbell Bartoletti. They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist
Group. (Houghton Mifflin, 2010)
We sometimes wish we could brush some of our history under a rug and try to forget it. We know we
shouldn't, but sometimes our history hurts too much. The Ku Klux Klan is one of our darkest, most
terrifying memories. Men draped in sheets riding through the night to terrorize the innocent is the
stuff of horror films and nightmares. Do yourself a favor and shine a light on those memories with
Susan Campbell Bartoletti's They Called Themselves the K.K.K.
Alex Boese. Electrified Sheep: Glass-eating Scientists, Nuking the Moon, and More Bizarre
Experiments. (Thomas Dunne Books, 2012)
Quick, what mad scientist first revived a shock victim using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation? And who
was the victim? Answer: The scientist was Ben Franklin, and the victim was a chicken. And that’s just
one of the weird stories in this collection.
Suzy Beamer Bohnert. Learning Basketball’s Lingo. (B&B Publishing)
From the “Game Day Goddess” comes a book on the language of basketball for the complete novice.
What makes this book special? It covers not just the official terms, but slang as well. Where else are
you going to find a definition of a “ticky-tack foul”? A bit simplistic for the sports buff, but for anybody
who wants to sit down next to dad and watch a game, this is the dictionary for you.
James Buckley. The Bathroom Companion: A Collection of Facts About the Most-Used Room in the
House. (Quirk, 2005)
Alexa Coelho & Simon Quellen Field. Why is Milk White? & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions.
(Chicago Review Press, 2013)
How's this for an audience: smart kids who are bored/annoyed/tired of school? (The technical term
is curriculum-averse.) Yeah, THOSE kids.This is a book for THOSE kids. Kids that need to see, feel,
understand. For those kids, chemistry can be a challenge. What do those little things calmed atoms
do? Take one out and a solid becomes a liquid; add one in and it explodes.The first exercise tells you
how to make your hands smoke! This isn't a dumbed-down simplistic science fair book; there is a
chapter on things that stink and one on things that catch fire and go bang.
When I was in high school I loved science, but I remember asking my science teacher, if everything
is made up of the same three things (electrons, neutrons, and protons), then why are gold and silver
different colors? He started hyerventilating. I passed on advanced chemistry. If I had this book then, I
might have taken it.
Samantha Ettus. The Experts' Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know. (Clarkson Potter, 2004)
Maria Goodavage. Soldier Dogs: The Untold Story of America’s Canine Heroes. (Dutton, 2012)
A journalist takes us inside the lives of military dogs and their handlers, their selection, training, and
acts of heroism with plenty of human (and canine) interest stories woven through. An especially
unique view of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book makes a way of life few of us have ever
imagined very real and personal.
David Gram. The Lost City of Z : A Tale of Deadly Obsession. (Doubleday, 2009)
This nonfiction account covers a hundred years of fateful, and even fatal, expeditions into the heart of
the Amazon region. It is part adventure tale, part horror story, part ecological treatise, all wrapped up
in some amazing storytelling. This is Bill Bryson with teeth! It is a tropical Into Thin Air. Journalist
David Gram follows in the footsteps of some of the greatest explorers ever into a land that even the
great explorers could not conquer to try to solve a mystery as old as history in the New World. He
goes in search of the golden city of El Dorado.
William Gurstelle. The Art of the Catapult: Build Greek Ballistae, Roman Onagers, English Trebuchets,
and More Ancient Artillery. (Chicago Review Press, 2004)
William Gurstelle. Backyard Ballistics. (Chicago Review, 2001)
Tanya Lloyd Kyi. 50 Poisonous Questions: A Book With Bite. (Annick Press, 2011)
Half this book is about cool poisons in nature, fangs, warts, and clicking mandibles. Very cool. The
other half is about the poisons we humans put into the world and use on each other. Infuriating. All of
it is worth the read.
Roland Laird, Taneshia Nash Laird. Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans. ( Sterling ,
Eric LeGrand. Believe: My Faith and the Tackle That Changed My Life. (William Morrow, 2012)
I don't want to call this book inspirational, because that word seems too public, too outward. This is
an honest, personal account of growing up into an elite athlete, and a moment that ended his career,
could have ended his life, and should have ended his hope and determination but didn't.
Stan Mack. Taxes, the Tea Party, and Those Revolting Rebels: A History in Comics of the American
Revolution. (Nanter, Beall, Minoustchine, 2012)
Hey, maybe the people who decided that a bunch of backwater colonists could defeat the greatest
army ever really were cartoon characters. Their stories seem far more real in this comic history than
they ever did in a textbook.
Joy Masoff. Oh Yuck!: the Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty. (Workman, 2000)
Joy Masoff. Oh Yikes!: History's Grossest, Wackiest Moments. (Workman, 2000)
Benjamin Mee. We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and
the 200 Wild Animals That Change Their Lives Forever. (Weinstein Books, 2008)
Tigers that weigh a quarter ton, escape artist pumas that put Houdini to shame, a jaguar that needs
five-inch root canals, and the most freightening beasts of all: lawyers! Just the challenge for a
professional writer whose been sipping wine in southern France.I'm sorry,sir, but what are you doing
in that tree with a severed bull's head Your feeding a what? Read the book... see the movie.
Jennifer Morse. Guiness Book of World Records 2009. (Scholastic Reference, 2008)
H.P. Newquist. Here There Be Monsters: The Legendary Kraken and the Giant Squid. (Houghton
The only thing more exciting than a monster of myth is when the monster turns out to be real. This
nonfiction, picture book format includes every known picture of the giant and colossal squids, as well
as many of the fanciful pictures of the legendary Kraken. For everyone who likes real life adventure
stories, as well as those fans of a good creature feature.
Deborah Noyes. Encyclopedia of the End: Mysterious Death in Fact, Fancy, Folklore, and More.
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2008)
Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook. (Chronicle Books,
Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Extreme Edition.
(Chronicle Books, 2005)
Doreen Rappaport. Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust.
The horror of the Holocaust can leave the impression that the Jews of Europe just waited to be
slaughtered. But that isn’t the whole story. All over Europe, Jews organized, helped each other
escape the Nazis, made allies, and fought back. Often without help, often without hope, they fought so
that the world would know they fought, in towns, ghettoes, fields, forests, and even in the death
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Special Edition 2009. (Scholastic, 2008)
Nancy Rica Schiff. Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations. (Ten Speed Press, 2002)
Nancy Rica Schiff. Odder Jobs: More Portraits of Unusual Occupations. (Ten Speed Press, 2006)
Michael J. Rosen, with Ben Kassoy. No Dribbling the Squid: Octopush, Shin Kicking, Elephant Polo,
and Other Oddball Sports. (Andrew McMeel, 2009)
Competitive spitting, shovel racing, backward bicycling, basketball on unicycles, and Octopush
(underwater hockey); there are some really strange sports out there, and they are all in this one little
book, with plenty of pictures of all the zanyness. Two or three pages on each sport, complete with
statistics, rules, and probably too many bad puns makes this a quick, fun read. No need to read it
cover to cover; flip it open to any page and enjoy. (Hint: Kudu Dung spitting on p. 72)
"The Science Of..." (Series)
Mike Flynn. The Ultimate Survival Guide. (Macmillan Children's Books, 2010)
Ever since Piven and Borgenicht's "Worst case Scenario" series, there has been a rash of survival
books, most disappointingly tame and little-related to the great outdoors. This is the real thing, a guide
that talks about real life survival situations from your back yard to the harshest environments on
earth. Complete with activities like building a solar water purifier and a bit of British humor, this is the
book for all those boys who were sorely disappointed by The Dangerous Book for Boys.
Georgina Phillips. Ouch!: Extreme Feats of Human Endurance. (Macmillan Children's Books, 2010)
Dave Reay. Your Planet Needs You!: A Kid's Guide to Going Green. (Macmillan Children's Books, 2009)
Adam Selzer. The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History. (Delacorte, 2010)
The cure for the common history book. This irreverent take on American history digs into such
weighty issues as the place of stupid hats at major junctions of history, who was the most boring
president we ever had, and why Americans have smelled so bad for so long. Read this along side your
real history text book and you might get a few laughs and a little perspective.
Stephen Spignesi. The Weird 100: A Collection of the Strange and the Unexplained. (Citadel Press,
James L. Swanson. Bloody Times: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson
Davis. (Collins, 2011)
When General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865, the Union thought that
the Civil War was over. Two men, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America,
and John Wilkes Booth, the soon to be assassin, did not agree. The war would not truly be over until
the country buried Abraham Lincoln, and hunted down Jefferson Davis.
James L. Swanson. Chasing Lincoln 's Killer. (Scholastic, 2009)
This Book Really Sucks!: the Science Behind Gravity, Flight, Leeches, Black Holes, Tornadoes, Our
Friend the Vacuum Cleaner, and Most Everything Else That Sucks. (Planet Dexter, 1999)
Sally M. Walker. Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917. (Henry Holt, 2011)
What is the connection between the city of Halifax in Canada, World War I, and the Christmas tree in
Boston, Massachusetts? Two thousand deaths in the largest man-made explosion before the atomic
bomb, that's what.
Chris Woodford, et al. Cool Stuff and How it Works. (Dorling Kindersley, 2005)
Chris Woodford and Jon Woodcock. Cool Stuff 2.0 and How it Works. (Dorling Kindersley, 2007)
Chris Woodford. Cool Stuff Exploded. (Dorling Kindersley, 2008)
Chris Woodford and Jon Woodcock. The Gadget Book: How Really Cool Stuff Works. (Dorling
Chris Woodford. How Cool Stuff Works. (Dorling Kindersley, 2008)
|Books For Boys
Suggestions by Michael Sullivan
|The Web Home of Michael Sullivan
teacher, librarian, chess instructor, author, storyteller, expert on boys and reading.