Sugar Changed The World Short-Listed for The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year. The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December. The award will be presented at ALA Annual Conference.

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN: 978-0-61857492-6

Blending facts with a fascinating personal narrative, this true tale of the sugar trail provides readers with an intimate and troubling portrait of the white grains that sweeten everything from their coffee to their bubblegum. The authors use both their own family histories and as many individual accounts as possible to demonstrate that sugar changed the course of commerce, government, slavery, invention and immigration. This complex and challenging history is supported by sharp black and white photos (with links to color images) and detailed source notes.

Link: Young Adult Library Services Association

Sugar Changed the World named as a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Review Young Adult Literature Prize

What does the sweet stuff you put in your coffee have to do with the French Revolution?  Or the history of slavery in the Caribbean and United States? Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos discuss the intertwined histories of sugar, slavery, and democratic change with Marc Steiner host of The Marc Steiner Show which airs Monday thru Thursday from 5-7pm on WEAA 88.9 FM in Baltimore. Listen to a podcast recording of the show below:

Marc and Marina presented their book, Sugar Changed the World, to a group of 8th grade and high school students at the Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn, New York. See a sample of the video at C-SPAN.

Sugar Changed the World Named a 2010 Best for Teens Book in Kirkus Reviews and Best Book, Non-Fiction, SLJ.

“Covering 10,000 years of history and ranging the world, the story is made personal by the authors’ own family stories, their passion for the subject and their conviction that young people are up to the challenge of complex, well-written narrative history.”
–Kirkus Reviews, starred

“Meticulously researched, brutally honest, compelling … a captivating read.”
–School Library Journal, starred

“This is fine historical writing: an epic story on a broad canvas that never loses sight of individual moments of human drama; a historical methodology infused with political, intellectual, cultural, and social strands; a complex sequence of cause and effect; an illuminating synthesis of primary and secondary sources; and a thoughtful marriage of words, picture, and design. An authors’ note, a timeline, source notes, a bibliography, and an index are appended. ” Jonathan Hunt, The Horn Book, starred

Circling the globe and spanning millennia, this eye-opening book is the first collaboration between Marc Aronson, a top historian for young readers, and his wife, Marina Budhos, a novelist with roots in sugar (her father’s family left India for work on a sugar plantation in the Caribbean).” Abby McGanney Nolan, The Washington Post

“An impassioned, thought-provoking account that forces us to look anew at the things we take for granted.”
–Shelf Awareness

“A bountiful feast.”Chicago Tribune

“This fascinating and unusual book is aimed ostensibly at younger readers, but the topic and treatment are suitable to any reader curious about the origins of the world’s most popular sweetener.”Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal