The New York Public Library revealed the five finalists for the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, a prize that “recognizes nonfiction books written by working journalists that raise awareness of current events or societal issues that impact readers.”

Jeff Goodell was named a finalist for The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet, about how increased heat brought about by the climate crisis will affect the planet. Patricia Evangelista made the shortlist for Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country, her account of the atrocities carried out in the Philippines during the war against drugs by the country’s former president, Rodrigo Duterte.

Roxanna Asgarian made the shortlist for We Were Once a Family: A Story of Love, Death, and Child Removal in America, her account of the 2018 Hart family murders in California, in which two white women killed themselves and their six Black adopted children. The book won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Also named finalists were Ben Goldfarb’s Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of our Planet, which explores how streets and highways threaten the environment, and Tom Mueller’s How To Make a Killing: Blood, Death and Dollars in American Medicine, an indictment of America’s for-profit medical system.

The Bernstein Award was established in 1987. Previous winners have included Lawrence Wright for The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and Katherine Boo for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity. The winner of this year’s prize will be announced in May.

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.