10 High Interest Nonfiction Titles to Recommend to Your Secondary Students

July 13, 2018

As teachers, we hope that every book we put in the hands of our students is a great one, but some students prefer that great story to also be true. For these students, the story takes on greater meaning because it actually happened to a real person. Here's 10 high interest nonfiction titles that I've recently read and would recommend to secondary students.
As teachers, we hope that every book we put in the hands of our students is a great one, but some students prefer that great story to also be a true one. For these students, the story takes on greater meaning because it actually happened to a real person. Here's 10 high interest nonfiction titles that I've recently read and would recommend to secondary students. Click the title of each to read my full review and ideas for using it in the classroom.

Author William Kamkwamba describes his life in Africa in a way that does not make the reader pity him or look down upon the differences in his culture. Many of his experiences are ones the average child can relate to, but are set against the backdrop of third world struggles. 

2. Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father by Jonathan Hennessey
This graphic novel is as detailed in narration as it is in illustration. Every moment of Hamilton's life from birth to death is meticulously recorded in this visual biography.

Two men with the same name, born in the same place, and roughly the same age, but with very different fates. One grows up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ends up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence for a crime he claims he didn't commit. For middle school students, get the young reader's edition.
The text focuses on the discovery of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina and the work of Israeli spies to capture him and bring him to trial in Israel. Despite several hiccups, with extremely careful planning, the team is able to successfully complete their mission. 
An 11-year-old's research project becomes a quest to clear a Naval captain of wrong doing. The sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the rescue of her men four days later are all part of this fascinating nonfiction piece. 

This is the riveting, true story of the victims, accused witches, crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives. 
The text focuses on a little known event in American history. This narrative nonfiction novel is a fascinating story of the prejudice and injustice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II. 
This literary nonfiction reads like a spy thriller. America's efforts to build the atomic bomb, the sabotage of German weapon manufacture, and the Soviets attempts to steal American secrets are woven together in this action packed story. 
This is a wonderful mix of history lesson and biographical narrative. The text explains the challenges of African Americans from roughly the 1940s through the 1970s, but makes the information personal through the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. For middle school students, get the young reader's edition.

This nonfiction biography reads like a great narrative. Louis Zamperini survives unbelievable odds as a POW during WWII. Read on for more of my review and ideas for classroom use. For middle school students, get the young reader's edition.

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