Young readers’ adaptations of adult nonfiction titles have grown exponentially in recent years, and this season proves no exception. Booksellers have told PW anecdotally that the titles are more popular than ever, with some adults purchasing the titles ostensibly for themselves as well. Here we share (chronologically) some recent and forthcoming grownup books reinterpreted for all ages.
Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition
By Margot Lee Shetterly (HarperCollins, Nov. 29, 2016, paperback, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-266237-8).
Drawn from Shetterly’s nonfiction title, which itself was adapted into the Hollywood film of the same name, the book follows the true story of the African-American female computing group behind some of NASA’s biggest advancements during the space race, and all that they endured in Jim Crow-era Virginia.
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina Young Readers Edition
By Misty Copeland (Aladdin, Dec. 6, 2016, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-7979-0).
Misty Copeland was the first African-American dancer to be named principal dancer in the 75-year history of the American Ballet Company. This adaptation of her autobiography follows her from a young prodigy to a dance trailblazer.
Strong Inside (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of How Perry Wallace Broke College Basketball’s Color Line
By Andrew Maraniss (Philomel, Dec. 20, 2016, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-399-54834-5).
The story of Perry Wallace, the first African-American to play college basketball in a highly segregated conference, is adapted for middle grade readers. The athlete’s life spans pivotal moments in the history of American civil rights.
Elon Musk and the Quest for a Fantastic Future Young Readers’ Edition
By Ashlee Vance (HarperCollins, January 24, 2017, paperback, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-06-246327-2).
Vance’s adult biography of the relentlessly motivated inventor, behind companies like PayPal, Tesla, and SpaceX, was drafted with unprecedented access to South African-born Musk. Now the life of the man who is changing how we live now and influencing how we may live in the future is available in a more accessible version for younger readers.
The Heart of Everything That Is: Young Readers Edition
By Bob Drury and Tom Clavin. (McElderry, Feb. 7, 2017, hardcover, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-6460-4).
This version of the legendary story of Oglala Lakota warrior Red Cloud, adapted for a middle grade audience, unfolds like a historical adventure novel, but its source material drew on Red Cloud’s once lost autobiography, following his efforts to preserve the way of life of his people against the United States Army’s encroachment.
Inside of a Dog Young Readers Edition: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
By Alexandra Horowitz, illus. by Sean Vidal Edgerton (S&S, March 21, 2017, paperback, $7.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-5094-2).
The animal behaviorist’s nonfiction title makes its way into an edition for younger pups; it investigates the sense perceptions of dogs while also entertaining what man’s best friend could be thinking.
Man’s Search for Meaning: A Young Adult Edition
By Viktor E. Frankl (Beacon, Apr. 4, paperback, $10.99, ISBN 978-0-8070-6799-4).
Frankl’s book, in print since 1946, is being adapted for a YA audience. Drawing on his experiences as a concentration camp survivor, the author’s psychotherapy method attempts to find meaning in suffering.
The Children of Willesden Lane: A True Story of Hope and Survival During World War II (Young Readers Edition)
By Mona Golabeck, Lee Cohen, and adapted by Emil Sher (Little, Brown, Apr. 4, 2017, paperback, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-316-55488-6).
Golabeck is the daughter of the subject of this book that follows her mother, who narrowly escaped Nazi-controlled Austria, and spent six years living with surrogate families in London and developing her prodigious musical talent.
Orphan Train Girl
By Christina Baker Kline (HarperCollins, May 2, 2017, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-06-244594-0).
In this adaptation of Orphan Train for young readers, a girl in foster care forms a bond with a former orphan train rider. The book is condensed slightly and includes an author’s note and archival photos from the era.
Ben’s Revolution: Benjamin Russell and the Battle of Bunker Hill
By Nathaniel Philbrick (Penguin/Paulsen, May 23, 2017, hardcover, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-399-16674-7).
This middle-grade adaptation of Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, a Revolution, offers a Boston boy's perspective on the start of the American Revolution.
The Day the World Went Nuclear: Dropping the Atom Bomb and the End of World War II in the Pacific
By Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt, June 20, 2017, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-250-12033-5).
The volume adapts Killing the Rising Sun for a middle grade and teen audience. Told as a historical thriller, the volume follows the development of the atomic bomb and its use in WWII.
Magellan: Over the Edge of the World
By Laurence Bergreen (Roaring Brook, July 4, 2017, hardcover, $19.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-120-3).
A young readers’ adaptation of Over the Edge of the World, the nonfiction title shares the details behind the first sea voyage to circumnavigate the world.