Zest Books is a leader in young adult nonfiction, publishing books on entertainment, history, science, health, fashion, and lifestyle advice since 2006. Our award-winning books are attractively designed, well researched, smart, and easy to read. So whether you’re looking for better ways to cope with stress, new options for life after high school, or a bit more pop culture blended into your information, we’ve got a book for you!
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Nine Young People Engineering a Better World with Creative Inventions
Teen Innovators tells the stories of discovery and the inventions of nine young students.
For example, twelve-year-old Gitanjali Rao, appalled by the tragedy in Flint, Michigan, found a cheaper, more effective way to test for lead in drinking water. Four undocumented teenagers from an underfunded high school in Phoenix built an underwater robot from spare and found parts. Substituting hard work and creative thinking for money and expensive equipment, they won a national robotics competition, beating a well-funded team from MIT. At fifteen, William Kamkwamba used materials from junkyards near his home in Malawai to build a windmill to generate electricity and pump water for his village.
While each profile tells a different story, the reader soon sees the common threads of determination and ingenuity. Science educator and professor Fred Estes explores the motivation, challenges, and lives of these teen scientists and explains the science behind each invention simply and clearly. Readers will see how the science they study today in school relates to these important discoveries.
Don't Sit on the Baby, 2nd EditionBunnies
The Ultimate Guide to Sane, Skilled, and Safe Babysitting
Babysitting is one of the most popular part-time jobs for teens, but caring for kids is no easy feat. Offering useful tips on everything from navigating naptime to negotiating pay rates, this funny, no-nonsense guide covers all the basics any babysitting hopeful needs to know and much more. This revised edition includes updated ideas for finding jobs, keeping kids—and yourself—safe, and handling behavioral challenges. Learn what to expect from kids ages 0 to 10, how to land (and keep) the perfect babysitting gig, what to do in situations ranging from dirty diapers to emergencies, and how to communicate with parents. Plus, read real-life stories from teens about their experiences on the job.
I Could Not Do Otherwise
The Remarkable Life of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
As a teenager, Mary Edwards Walker determined she would no longer wear the confining corsets and long skirts society dictated women wear at the time and instead opted for pants with a short skirt, setting the stage for her lifelong controversial efforts to change expectations. One of the first women to earn a degree in medicine, Walker championed women’s rights, social justice, and access to health care. She became a Civil War surgeon and a spy, who was captured and arrested by the Confederacy, and she is still the only woman to have been awarded the Medal of Honor.
Written by young adult author Sara Latta, I Could Not Do Otherwise teaches readers about Walker’s determination and strength of conviction, as well as her complete disregard of what others thought of her unconventional style. The slogan, “women’s rights are human rights” is a direct descendant of Walker’s words: “The recognition of the individuality of woman, is simply an acknowledgement of human rights, which all human beings have guaranteed them, by the fact of their having an existence.” I Could Not Do Otherwise brings to light an amazing historical figure who broke gender norms and fought for issues that are still relevant today.
Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults
Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Drawing from her experiences as an Indigenous scientist, botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer demonstrated how all living things—from strawberries and witch hazel to water lilies and lichen—provide us with gifts and lessons every day in her best-selling book Braiding Sweetgrass. Adapted for young adults by Monique Gray Smith, this new edition reinforces how wider ecological understanding stems from listening to the earth’s oldest teachers: the plants around us. With informative sidebars, reflection questions, and art from illustrator Nicole Neidhardt, Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults brings Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the lessons of plant life to a new generation.
Nearer My Freedom
The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano by Himself
Millions of Africans were enslaved during the transatlantic slave trade, but few recorded their personal experiences. Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano is perhaps the most well known of the autobiographies that exist. Using this narrative as a primary source text, authors Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge share Equiano’s life story in “found verse,” supplemented with annotations to give readers historical context. This poetic approach provides interesting analysis and synthesis, helping readers to better understand the original text. Follow Equiano from his life in Africa as a child to his enslavement at a young age, his travels across the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, his liberation, and his life as a free man.
Available March 7, 2023
Men of the 65th
The Borinqueneers of the Korean War
Honor and Fidelity. That is the motto of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers, the only Puerto Rican unit in the United States Army.
Since the regiment’s creation in 1899, the men of the 65th have proudly served the US through multiple wars, despite facing racial discrimination. Their courage, loyalty, and patriotism earned them hundreds of accolades, including the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014.
But the honor and fidelity of the men of the 65th came into question in 1952, in the midst of the Korean War, when ninety-one Borinqueneers were arrested and tried for desertion and disobeying orders. How could this happen in one of the most distinguished and decorated units of the Army?
In this telling of one of the forgotten stories of the Korean War, author Talia Aikens-Nuñez guides us through the history of the Borinqueneers and the challenges they faced leading up to what was the largest court martial in the entire war. Rediscover the bravery of the men of the 65th through Aikens-Nuñez’s thorough writing and the soldiers’ firsthand accounts of the Korean War.
Available May 2, 2023