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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

What A Book Can, and Cannot Do

Teacher, Teacher I call this blog Nonfiction Matters, but anyone who has read it can quickly see that it really should be called Social Studies Matter — I have ignored science and math in the worst way. I am moved to make this horrible confession by reading the latest issue of "eschool news" — a [...]

The Tightrope

What Do You Know? Monica’s post about the muddle of information her students have before she begins a unit came just as I was talking about YA nonfiction with a family friend who has been a social worker dealing with teenagers for much of his life. I was explaining the central challenge all of us face: context [...]

Teaching and Reading

What Would You Like Me to Talk About? I was asked to speak to teachers at a bookstore’s "education" night. Cool, I thought, what should I talk about? The store manager made various suggestions, then said, "I spoke with a teacher the other day, and she said, ‘how can we get them to read?’" There [...]

Here We Go Again, Again

Another Reading Study Gets it Wrong Amy Alessio, Teen Coordinator at the Schaumburg (IL) Township District Library is a well-known YA advocate and friend. She forwarded to me an August 21st CNN piece about yet another survey about book reading in America. Surprise, surprise the AP-IPSOS survey of adult readers said a full quarter of [...]

Wholes & Parts

Where to Start My doctoral adviser was Thomas Bender, at NYU. He once wrote an essay ("Making History Whole Again") - published in the New York Times Book Review (Oct. 6, 1985, pp. 42-43)- "Making History Whole Again," The New York Times Book Review (October 6, 1985), 1, 42-43 that I still often think about. It talked [...]

France

The Other Life When we go shopping here in Rouen, we go to a store that is really an all-in-one mall. At the same store we buy our food, get a new SIM card for our cell, pick out clothes for the kids, and get gas for the car.  If we had a dog, he [...]

France

The Other Life When we go shopping here in Rouen, we go to a store that is really an all-in-one mall. At the same store we buy our food; get a new SIM card for our cell, pick out clothes for the kids, get gas for the car – if we had a dog, he [...]

The Museums of Paris

What’s New Is Old Again I am writing this in Rouen, which is to say on a French non-qwerty keyboard – I am back to hunt and peck, please forgive the typos. We set out for the Eifel Tower, but my wife, eager to get to Shakespeare and Co., and no fan of heights, was eager [...]

Global

  I See New York, Everywhere   I’m writing this in Paris, having just been in Amsterdam, and two years ago I was in London. The most striking thing about the street scene in all of those cities is how much they resemble what we New Yorkers are so proud of: everyone is on our [...]

One Answer

A Great Museum I posted the other day about the problem of our lack of a narrative into which we fit different historical events and pesonalities. Well, on cue, yesterday I saw one answer. We went to visit The Troppen Museum — a museum in Amsterdam that is in some ways like the Museum of [...]