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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Life Also Means the End of Life

Mortality: Tony Judt’s "Night" The end of the year is in so many ways a moment of endings. We all know how the dark, the cold, even the flow of family, holidays, parties, can bring about intense depression. I just learned of a person who felt all those pains so strongly she took her own [...]

Motion and History

What I Learning from Marx I have a book coming that is, significantly about McCarthyism and while I wait for my editor’s comments, I thought I ought to refresh my own memory about Communism — since my readers will know little about it, and care even less. I needed to bring it back into intellectual [...]

The Hard Part of Blogging at Year’s End

Ebb and Flow I like blogging, and the more I do it, the more I get used to the rhythm of it — what is a blog, as opposed to a conversation or an article. But this time of year also shows the limitation of blogging. Because a blog is a kind of midpoint between [...]

Year End Thoughts

Where Engagement Needs to Take Over From Storytelling — and Doesn’t At year’s end a conversation I had helped bring together my perennial interests (which you see discussed here all too often): nonfiction, kids, reading, school, authors and how they all do, or don’t, fit together. Summarizing one discussion, a teacher said: in early elementary school kids [...]

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Research

How Much Do We Really Know About NF and Reading? Did you all see this comment to my last blog: "The editors of The Reading Teacher, Robert B. Cooter, Jr., and J. Helen Perkins, are welcoming manuscripts for two themed issues to be published in 2010. The first issue, scheduled for early 2010, will focus [...]

The Email Brings News Good and Bad

Good Deb Hanson sends this wonderful news about the Guys Read club she created in Florida: Guys Read club news: "some of the Guys Read boys are going to be mentoring 2nd grade boys in reading starting in January. Several of them are very excited about being asked to mentor the little ones. Others are [...]

Skype Sample — Davidson’s Inst.’s Experience

The Davidson Institute is an organization dedicated to nurturing and teaching profoundly gifted young people (ages 5-18). tinyurl.com/y9oofer The students and families it serves live throughout the United States, so the Institute has always made use of digital connections. Instead of author visits to a brick and mortar building, it provides week long Bulletin Board sessions [...]

Skype Scope

So Are Schools and Libraries Using Skype for Authors Visits? The other day I wrote about the potential for using Skype for author visits and one of you commented that the effort to do that brought up a host of problems: the calls kept getting dropped, and the school folks were not even convinced that [...]

Read Obama’s Nobel Speech — Here

I Posted on History and Tragedy but I had not yet read his speech. Now I have — and you should too — not just eloquent, it is profound — a serious realism about war and peace, idealism and realism — the weight of the real world and the aspiration to create a better one: [...]