10 young adult books for readers of all ages who want to learn

Young-adult titles often go undiscovered by adult nonfiction readers. But many of these releases offer wonderfully researched, richly illustrated, and compellingly alternatives to adult-level books. Here are excerpts from 10 such recent YA works.

1. "Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition," by Karen Blumenthal

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(Square Fish, 170 pp.)

The prohibition of alcohol sales and production in the United States led to 14 years of widespread defiance in which bootlegging, speakeasies, and criminals like Al Capone proved the folly of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution. “Bootleg” recounts this rocky era in American history.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

“While the war overseas drained the resources of America’s closest allies, at home it gave the drys the crucial ammunition to finish their own battle. First, Americans began to reject anything German as tainted, including the nation’s more than 1,200 mostly German-American breweries. The drys portrayed any support for beer or brewers as truly unpatriotic. Then there was a more practical problem: American allies were desperately short of food. Several nations banned or cut back the manufacture of alcoholic beverages to preserve grains and open up railcars for transporting other much-needed items. America, the drys argued, needed to do the same.”

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