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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Tell Me About Texting

Every Generation Has Its Slang I remember when I first heard a classmate use the word "cool" to imply "hot," or when "hassle" as in "don’t hassle me, man" went from being strange to common; for that matter I remembe when I had to ask a friend who works in advertising what to "blog" meant. […]

A Marriage Made in Heaven

Did You All Catch the Essay in the Sunday Times on The Two Kinds of Reading? If not, here it is, The piece nicely mapped two camps — those who consider what kids do online a form of reading, and those who think that while it involves decoding text, it is fundamentally different from book reading. And even […]

Why should we assume that a girl would rather read a novel than a book on how a bridge is built?

Did You Catch the New Study on Girls and Math? Here’s one report on it, in the Times: It turns out that the gap in math performance in schools, which we have seen for 20 years, has disappeared. Why? Simple: girls are now taking as many math courses as boys, so they do as […]

The Crawler Question

I Am Working On a Book About McCarthyism as is Jim Giblin (and a number of novelists — some of you posted to this site when we were talking about Betty Partridge’s Pete Seeger book). Jim has told me that he is writing a full fledged biography of the senator — much as he did for […]


When Is The Last Time You Read a Nonfiction Book In Translation? Over at CCBC they have been talking about Leonard Marcus’s truly impressive book, This is the definitive history of Children’s Book publishing in America — and it really puts present issues and conflicts in their long-term context. For some reason, though, the CCBC […]

The Measure of America

How Does America Measure Up? We all hear politicans yammering on about health care, poverty, inequality… but what is the actual state of our country? Readers of this blog probably have a sense of the gaps that show up in schools — between kids whose parents are all over them to do ten activities and […]

Susan’sThird WIP

Friends — I’d imagine Susan’s work might pose questions for you — please send them in — Marc Part III No Choirboy opens with a quote by Bryan Stevenson: “Are you the sum total of your worst act?” My job was to answer that question.              The biggest challenge was how to portray the three inmates who […]

Susan’s Second WIP

Losing my editor was a blow, especially since I was so very fond of her.  I knew, though, that I had to find a new publisher as quickly as possible so that I would not lose the book’s momentum.  I still hadn’t decided what will go into the book, or even what exactly I wanted […]

New Work In Progress

Susan Kuklin Tells About Creating Her New Book Marc invited me to blog a bit about “process,” the beginnings of my soon-to-be-published YA book, No Choirboy:  Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row.              I’m against capital punishment.  Usually my books are about something I’m for, such as, the search for some thing noble, the […]

Teaching Week

All this week I am meeting with teachers Marina and I are presenting our work-in-progress on Sugar to 5th grade NYC public school teachers at an NYU seminar, and then today she and I are talking about nonfiction and literacy with New Jersey public school teachers at her college, William Paterson. Monica often claims I […]