Subscribe to SLJ
Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Starting Over

We’ve switched over to Word Press as the software for writing our blogs. From what I hear, that is entirely good — it should only make for better, more visually interesting, posts. Unfortunately I don’t think it changes the limitations on your comments — you still can’t include links.  SLJ and LJ are moving offices, as […]

What to Say and What Not to Say

When Teaching About the Dark Sides of History I spoke to a small gathering of New York City Social Studies teachers this past weekend about the various ways I work with high school students. That naturally led to some of the choices I’ve had to make in dealing with difficult subjects — how explicit to […]

Pluto, Evolution, and the Texas School Board

Change Is Hard I grew up feeling that I was living the future: the liberal views on Civil Rights that I heard at school were the tide  nation would need to ride. In my 11th grade textbook, though, the story of Reconstruction was told as a case of Northern Carbetbaggers, ill-prepared ex-slaves and cruel Northern troops making […]

Latest on Texas

In Case You Missed It Notice that California is considering splitting its standards from those of Texas. While, as I wrote the other day, I don’t see the value in state standards per se, it is interesting that the very extremity of the Texas position may cause a further splintering in the world of […]

Revision or

Sondheim On Sondheim Last night Marina and I were fortunate enough to see Sondheim On Sondheim — the new Broadway review which weaves together filmed interviews with the composer/lyracist Stephan Sondheim with many live performances of many of his best creations. The show is simultaneously a light biography and an all-star night of Broadway show […]

Why Do We Have State Standards?

Can You Explain? When I gave my talk in Napa over the weekend, the first comment from a librarian was that the only way books — hardcover, paperback, digital — would be used by teachers is if they are clearly linked to state standards. Indeed in another digital project I may be working on that […]

The Best Defense

Is a Good Offense I met the California State Library Association folks this weekend to talk about the Napa experiment. The talk went well — a few key points emerged. State Standards — of course — telling a teacher how a book matches the standards is just the necessary guidepost. Then we spoke about what other tools […]

Can Site Licenses Break the Barrier Between Trade Books and Classrooms?

An Experiment I’m off to California today — not because it has been wet and cold in New Jersey, or even because I am being hosted at a winery in Napa, but to launch at experiment. Working with National Geographic and the Napa Unified School District, we are exploring the digital present/future. My bookmaking partner […]

Experimenting: A Skype Test

Figuring Out What Works, and What Does Not I’ve been writing about the ways in which we can be flooded by change, by technology — drowned rather than swept along. But even as I am registering those hesitations, I am also experimenting — trying to learn how to ride the tide, how to make the […]


More on Change and Pause Last week my 90 year old mother had to go to the hospital for some tests. She is fine now, but driving over to drop her off and pick her up, I had plenty of time to listen to the radio. As it happened I was on my local news […]