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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

seek and ye shall find

Net Kids The 9th graders I just worked with are crafting a research paper. They had to select an area, come up with a question (so that their papers are not mere descriptions, they are actually examining a proposition), look for reliable resources (one of which had to be a book I cited) and thenwrite their […]

Digital Movement

Latest From the Front This week I am in Bloomington, Illinois, courtesy of University High School. This is the third year in which they’ve asked the incoming 9th graders to read a book of mine (Race), we communicated about it as they read it (by Blackboard last year, Shelfari this year), and now as they […]

The Keepers of the Flame

How Guardians of Their Own Narratives Limit What We Teach Young People A couple of years ago I wrote a column in SLJ titled "The way we present the topic of slavery to young people is all wrong" One of the main themes in it was that, if you read the careful studies of Atlantic […]

Opportunity Knocks

What Can We Do Digitally? The NY Times writes today that, since schools have less money to spend (and time to give up) for class trips, museums are coming to schools To me this seems like the ideal opportunity for digital collaboration. How many of us have worked with experts at some museum on a […]

What Are ALSC Ages?

Talking With Thom While at TLA I had a chance to meet Thom Barthelmess, who has served as ALSC president this year replacing the beloved Kate McClelland I asked him about the idea which was discussed at Midwinter — changing the official age range for ALSC, and I learned a lot. As quick background — […]

Clever Questions and the Zing in Your Brains

What Series Can Do The TLA preconference that Betty Carter and I organized gave us a chance to see books from a great many publishers, including some — such as Capstone and Kids Can — who focus on series. The interesting bit in the series books is that the ones we liked best turned on a […]


What Is the Definition of a Non-Fiction book for Younger Readers? It has pictures. If that is not totally true (or if you want to quibble over what "younger readers" means and argue over YA) it is close enough. And yet so often when here, or in reviews, we talk about a book we speak […]


The Essence of Nonfiction (with a big help from Augustine) Today Betty Carter and I are running our preconference on nonfiction at TLA. The session is titled "I Want a True Book, Too" and yet as we prepared for it, we both found ourselves at odds with that claim. Nonfiction we both insist is not about […]

20 Questions

What the Game Shows We were driving back from Washington the other day and it was about two and half hours into the trip. My 5 and 9 year olds sons had watched a movie but were getting restless. The younger one suddenly claimed that he was starving and couldn’t wait a second to eat. […]

Another Path Into the Classroom

Sharon Kane’s Integrating Literature in the Content Areas Wednesday I spoke about Storyworks and bringing non-fiction into elementary school classroom. Today my focus is Sharon Kane’s YA-oriented book (for one review, As that review suggests, one of the big stumbling blocks for getting trade non-fiction into classrooms is simply that teachers are not aware of […]