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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

That Covers It

While Waiting For Your Suggestions on How to Feature Non-Fiction I thought I’d open up a related discussion: what makes for a great cover on a non-fiction book? For fiction, we’ve seen fashions come and go. In YA fiction, for example, the standard from the 1970s to the end of the 1980s was "realism." Did […]

I Can’t Get Over That Number

How About You? What Did 3.6 Mean to You? For years I have been hearing that teachers in elementary school ignored nonfiction, and I experienced that when my older son was in first grade. And yet that Read Research article still shocks and upsets me. How can we complain that boys don’t read, how can […]

Three point six %, I Mean that 3.6!!!!!

I Was Unfair to Caroline In Passing On Her 80% Without Checking It, But Mary Bowman-Kruhm (who has been giving us her Work In Progress about Kenya) sent me two articles with some astonishing numbers. Do yourself a favor and read: "There Is More to Reading than Fiction!" in the April 2007 issue of Teacher Librarian, […]


The 80% Issue (Or the Million Dollar Question) Caroline Ward tells me that 80% of the nonfiction books read by younger readers are used for assignments. Can any of you track down the study that yielded that figure? I’d love to know more — which ages, how was the study done, when, is this all books, […]

Q and A with a Book Designer

In order to kick off our discussion of design and art in nonfiction, I asked some questions of Jon Glick, who has designed the books I’ve worked on with my packaging partner John Glenn. Here goes — feel free to send in more questions for Jon, and he is looking for art for me to […]

Of Museums and Books

Yesterday I visited two museums here in Dallas, The Sixth Floor and the Dallas Holocaust Museum (that last site is very modest, but in a sense that suits the museum — as I’ll explain). I was impressed with both of them, and they got me to thinking — as I did after we went to […]


Jim Murphy, Susan Cambell and I are on a panel today about YA Nonfiction It will be interesting to see how each of us see the field. The questions they sent us are about how to reach and engage teenagers. Lurking in those questions, I assume, is a sense that teenagers are swamped with cool […]

Looking For Art

Artist Wanted So far, the Work In Progress blogs have concentrated on text. Now I am looking for an artist, or photographer, or designer, or editor, or author-working-with-art-design-photography. I’d like to use this space to follow some of the decisions about which art to use, how to use it, how to narrate visually that come […]

You Have to See This

Folks, This is Too Cool, I Have to Show It I have tried to avoid talking about my own books on this site, but this time I can’t avoid it. There is a very nice review of Ain’t Nothing But a Man in the New York Times, but what I really want you to see […]

More from Kenya, and TLA

Mary’s Lates (and New Invitation for Questions) and a few Notes Hi all, back from a great week with the 9th graders in Bloomington, Illinois, I am off to TLA next week, I hope to see some of you there. I am buzzing with ideas from the high school visit, would be happy to discuss […]