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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

In The Trenches

Here I Am in Bloomington, Illinois About to go meet the hundred or so 9th graders I have been working with all week. It is a very interesting experience to see kids day after day, not just once for an assembly. They come into focus — not as a generalized "teenager" but younger, older, more [...]

View From Afar

Questions, Questions, Questions I am writing this from The Chateau, a huge hotel in Bloomington, Illinois. The land around here is flat, flat, flat, so when someone builds big, he builds wide –the sight line is as horizontal here as it is vertical in New York City. I am here to spend a week with [...]

Writing, Boys, Tests

Did You See the Article On The New 8th Grade Writing Scores? In the New York Times the headline is "U.S. Students Achieve Mixed Results on Writing Test" (again I don’t want a long URL to create horrible blank spaces here, so just copy that and you’ll get the piece). I’m sure every paper has the same [...]

50 Percent

Did You See the Article on the SLJ Site About Graduation Rates? http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6546716.html This 50% rate reminds me of the number Bill Gates used in a speech to African American software engineers: if you track African American 9th graders nationwide, only 50% will graduate high school. The SLJ article in effect takes that national picture and [...]

Latest from Mary, Kenya

Life does get in the way of writing, especially at tax time, but I try to spend at least three hours a day researching, writing, or in some way working on the book I have tentatively titled A MAASAI WARRIOR’S TWO WORLDS: Living his Dream, Protecting the Land.  One decision I have made–To begin each chapter [...]