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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Nonfiction Sings the Blues

The Problem of Permissions and Copyright Have any of you seen Nina Paley’s animated film (for adults, not kids) Sita Sings the Blues? Here is a trailer, and here is a website I mention it here because Ms. Paley is involved in an intense and protracted fight over the rights to some of the music […]

To Round Out the Year — In Praise of Fiction

Yes, I Meant Fiction — Sort Of For the last month I have looked forward to my "turn" to read to my 8 year old son every other night. That is because of the book I have been reading to him. I found it years ago in a used bookstore, drawn as much to the […]

The Desolation of the Chains

I Was Given the Last-Second Assignment to Buy a Gift Book for a Ninth Grade Cousin His dad said this boy is very hard to shop for, but the one clue he could offer was that school was about to start on Ancient Rome, so perhaps I could find him a book on that. Our […]

Guest Blog on Nonfiction in Elementary School

Are Your Kindergarteners Discouraged from Borrowing Nonfiction? Here is a guest blog from Angela Boccuzzi-Reichert, teacher librarian at the Dr. Lorraine A. Sherwood Library, Merton Williams Middle School in Hilton, NY since 2001.   My four year old son loves non-fiction, bring him to a bookstore or library and he parks himself in the non-fiction section […]

The Problem of "Challenge"

Or One Key Problem with Some Public School Education My wife and I were speaking with our 8 year old third grade son this morning — as Marina went over his spelling homework and found some errors and illegible writing. Sasha is a good student, but makes his fair share of mistakes — or rushes […]


I WILL NOT TOLERATE RACIST IGNORANCE ON THIS BLOG. Any intelligent, well argued POV is welcome here. But recently two comments were posted attacking me and others, and spewing bile against Muslims and Islam. This is a blog for thoughtful people who read, write, edit, publish, and review books for younger readers. It is not […]

Great Resources on Islam. and on the Experience of Being a Young Muslim in America

I had planned this for later in the week, but I know feel it should be posted at once This guest blog comes from Sandhya Nankani whose bio is available here, In New York City alone about 1 in 10 students in public schools is Muslim–nearly 100,000 in all–yet they remain one of the most misunderstood […]

Speaking in Second Life — and a Request

Yesterday I Got to Give a Talk — with Power Point — on Race in Second Life It was neat, avatars from anywhere in the world could attend — one set of questions came from a person in Morocco, so it was truly a world conference. I played a slide show that I use in […]

More On Our NF and Adult NF

Thought Experiments Imagine there was a great new academic book on dinosaurs, and an enterprising author who wanted to come up with a version of it for younger readers. The author would face a series of choices. Very likely, none of the text could be used — the professor would surely have written for his […]

A Great Guys Read Program

Want a Model For Getting the Most Reluctant of Male Readers to Read? Deb Hanson — who made some kind remarks about my book Race in the comments box — had heard me and Chris Crutcher speak at the FAME conference this fall. She was inspired to create a program in her Lehigh Acres Florida […]