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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Testing Tests

Puzzled The other day I heard from a colleague who has worked in children’s books for many years. He was just back from IRA and said that this time he finally saw it: NCLB had won. Teachers really were not looking for trade books. Instead they wanted customizable sets that they could use to help [...]

Loss and Change

I learned yesterday that Craig Virden died suddenly this week. Did you know Craig? If you had not met him personally, you surely know the results of his work. He was an agent for children’s authors, then an editor, and ultimately the publisher of children’s books at Random House. Many books you know and love [...]

The Problem of Hitler’s Library

Have You Read About The New Book On Hitler’s Library? Here is a short excerpt from the author,  tinyurl.com/ctzzg2  and here is a review: tinyurl.com/dbc26j  Hitler, as it turns out, was a voracious reader. He read at least one book a night, and had, at his death, a personal library of some 16,000 books. Why should [...]

Writing Is Thinking

What I Learned This Year Teaching 9th Graders I’m just back from Normal, IL where — courtesy of Brian Conant and the Freshman Program at U. High — I’ve had my second chance to work with 9th graders over a full week. The Freshman Program is a shared endeavor in which English, Social Studies, and Science [...]

Ode to the Donnell

The Stories of a Library If you don’t live in New York City, you may not have read, or paid much attention, to this article: cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/23/midtown-fumes-over-donnell-librarys-fate/ But to me it was both very personal and a good entry into a larger story. Here are the basic facts: the Donnell Library was on 53rd St. in Manhattan [...]