Inspire students with nonfiction!

After a recent weeding bonanza where we tossed late 80s and early 90s versions of teen self-help and how-to guides, we decided to reinvest in those areas and create a Get Inspired subcollection featuring a wider variety of topics our students might find interesting. Some books we already own, some have been ordered, and a few are on orders waiting to be submitted.

Although these books are being grouped together, we are not physically moving them. To designate their Get Inspired status, books are listed on a booklist and given a Get Inspired sticker. We’ve singled out the following books from our current and anticipated collection because we feel they are especially relevant and inspiring to our students as well as young adults in general.  


You Got This! Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya Penn, a young adult, entrepreneur, and artist who started her career when she was 8 years old.

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. Since this is a journal format with creative prompts, we have to get creative with how students can ethically utilize this information. Sometimes this provides an opportunity to discuss copyright/fair use, and sometimes we might decide to order an additional copy.

Do You Know Who You Are? by Megan Kaye. Like Wreck This Journal, this book encourages readers to write/draw on the pages while completing various activities and quizzes. Students can also use this as a blueprint to create their own quizzes.


The Asperkid’s (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome by Jennifer Cook O’Toole. This guide for young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome addresses the topic with logic and lightheartedness.


The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino, internet baker and fan of sci-fi, math, video games, and all things nerdy.

Cook with Amber: Fun, Fresh Recipes to Get You in the Kitchen by Amber Kelley, teen chef and show host who started as a Youtuber.


Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution by Kaelyn Rich provides approachable information to young adults interested on contemporary social issues. 

We Say #Never Again: Reporting by the Parkland Student Journalists is a collection of media, essays, photos, and student journalism about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, as well as the significance of student journalism.


Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen, is a collection of essays, poems, lists, and drawings about feminism for young adult readers.

Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts by Leah Tinari features Tinari’s street-style portraits and mini bios of a wide variety of American woman from Sojourner Truth to Ellen Degeneres.

This list is not comprehensive, and we plan on adding books from recent orders as well as books we already have in the school library as we come across them. Our plan is to roll them out in increments so the collection will have “new” books we can feature. Hopefully, students will utilize the inspiration aspect of these books while developing a deeper appreciation for reading nonfiction.

Sticker made with freepik graphics and purple label


Author: Mica Johnson

I’m a school librarian at Farragut Middle. I like the lib to be loud, messy, and full of student activity. I love tech stuff as much as I love books, and I’m part of an awesome rotating maker space.

Categories: Blog Topics, Collection Development, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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