March is for Role Models: Fascinating Nonfiction

Today as part of our March is for Role Models initiative, we’d like to shine a spotlight on women writing nonfiction. Our model of programming focuses on partnership with teachers and schools to best help them empower students; in that collaborative spirit, we work hard to ensure that all of our BtB programs are designed in accordance with the Common Core State Standards which require, among other things, that nonfiction is taught extensively in English classrooms. These women bring unique perspective to a variety of contentious issues, from teen pregnancy and poverty to the effects of consumer culture, and have inspired students to look out at their world with new vision.

Novella Carpenter – Essential Urban Farmer
A “how-to” guide for both experienced and not-so-experienced urban farmers alike, Novella’s vision for a different kind of city shines through.

Joanna Lipper – Growing Up Fast
The life stories of six teen mothers from Pittsfield, Mass open up larger questions of poverty, mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, and what we owe to those the system has failed.

Marion Nestle – Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition, and Health
Food Politics is a fascinating study of how our food surplus has given birth to a flood of tactics by the food industry – advertising, lawsuits, lobbying, PR, and philanthropy, to name a few – which are ultimately antithetical to our health and well-being.

Alissa Quart – Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
Branded exposes often-shady marketing tactics of advertising to teenagers, and the anxious, competitive, and consumption-obsessed behavior it creates in a darkly funny book.

Elizabeth Royte – Garbage Land
This book starts where we stop thinking about where our trash is going; a fascinating reminder that trash doesn’t disappear when we drop it at the curb.

Andrian Nicole LeBlanc – Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
A gripping portrait of poverty, Random Family tells the stories of two Latina women from the Bronx.

Margo Jefferson – On Michael Jackson
In this meditation on the King of Pop, Margo Jefferson examines fame, family, genius, music, and normalcy in a book that is in equal parts a window into Michael Jackson’s tumultuous life, and a mirror directed at ours.