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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Read This On The Book-Game Issue

The New York Times is doing an ongoing series on reading and how it may be changing. This second piece links directly to the issues we have been talking about here — is gaming a path to reading, a challenge to reading, a form of reading? And whatever gaming (and the entire online world) mean for books, how does that change (or should it change) what authors, illustrators, designers and editors — as well as parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers, and kids — do in books? 

As I indicated in the last blog — I think there is a great deal the digital world can offer to those of us who work in print. But I also feel we are just, tenstatively, learning how this can work. Do those of us who write middle grade or YA nonfiction make deals with schools where we let them in on our writing process, and their students create facebook pages, or youtube trailers, or game sites for our books — we show them about research and writing, they lead us out in the world of 2.0? We go deep, they go wide? 

What do you think?


  1. Loree Burns says:

    My first response to this, I must admit, is a sense of overwhelmed-ness. How many hats can one writer wear? Must I truly add digital guru to the list?

    My second response grows out of a post over at I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids blog). Jennifer Armstrong has started a discussion about getting kids outside and, strangely, one of the ways I feel I encourage this is through the “digital” side of my work … blog entries about research activities (most of which are outdoors), photo galleries of working in the field, etc etc. But I am left with this circular conundrum in which I am using the computer to encourage kids to spend less time on their computers …

    Loree Burns

  2. Marc Aronson says:


    While I too feel overwhelmed, I also feel excited at what is possible, how we can expand what we do. And I don’t see this as binary — if books and sites stimulate kids, they will go out into the world. If exploring leads to questions, they may consult books and sites.

  3. Nancy Castaldo says:

    I am excited about all of the possibilities of the digital world and I’d love to connect with students during the research phase of my writing more, but I also find it a bit overwhelming. It is a different way to think. Instead of thinking of the readers with book in hand, we need to think of them so much earlier and prepare ahead. It’s not impossible – it just will take some time to train our braines in that direction.

  4. Marc Aronson says:


    We will have the chance to think of our readers not only in terms of what we get down on the page, but how we learn what we learn, and how we shape that information into text and art. I am sure that, at times, that will feel like a burden, and, at others, like an opportunity.