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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

I Want to Be a Historian

Of School Visits and the Debate Over at PW I was not here in blog form yesterday because I spent a glorious day at the Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, PA meeting with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. That itself was fascinating — the effervescent 6th graders — all sparkle and bright eyes, the more [...]

What Do You Want to Know?

YA Readers and Thinkers Whenever I finish a draft of a book, I look for readers — experts in the field, other authors, teenagers. Luckily enough through librarians I’ve met over the years, friends with older kids, teachers I usually find YA readers willing to read a stack of printed-out pages. But the helpful adult [...]

The Perils of Biography

Are You Sure? Today’s New York Times brings word that members of the Schultz family are not happy with a new biography of Charles — the creator of Peanuts. ("Biography of ‘Peanuts’ Creator Stirs Family" is the headline). Apparently author Charles Michaelis described a darker, more troubled, more unhappy man than members of his family [...]

So Far

Life Begins at Fifty My trusty counter tells me that this is my 49th blog, so I thought it would be a good time to think about the blog process itself. Each time I read over one of my posts, I have a sinking feeling. I notice a typo, a misspelling, a repeated word. Here [...]

Which History?

Neanderthals vs. Americans The Science times arrived on Tuesday, and I eagerly turned to it to see if it had anything new about archaeology or anthropology, the subjects it covers that I find most interesting. There it was, an article on how a new technique has recovered Neanderthal DNA from bones once thought to be [...]

Warning, Contains Politics and Religion

And Also Race Teachers across American should thank Senator McCain. His interview this Saturday opens up so many great doors for classroom discussion — and also, as I have often argued here, shows why history matters. As you all surely know, he said that "the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian Nation." [...]