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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Weightlessness in Blogland: The Currents and Crosscurrents of ALA

It was an Annual with a sense of arrival, new beginnings, but also disconcerting endings — as I mentioned, Sibert at 10, first for the new YALSA NF award, 11 for Printz, 41 for CSK — but also first for BFYA — those of us who had fought against the destruction of BBYA (best books for young […]

from ALA

My apologies for the late post, I was having trouble getting my computer to cooperate. For any of you who have not come to ALA, the mood here at annual has been quite upbeat. The standard explanation is that it has been so hot in DC that no one wants to be anywhere except in […]

Mix and Match

In preparation for coming to ALA, I’ve been working on the music website that my wife and I are creating to go with our forthcoming book Sugar Changed the World. The idea of the site was to provide a place where readers could hear some of the life that came from death — the music […]

Angles of Vision

Writing a book about J. Edgar Hoover for teenagers was a constant reminder of how the central issues in our lives can change and have changed. His life was defined by the battle between communism and anti-communism — all of his psychological need to divide the world into pure and impure, lawful and lawless, controlled […]

ALA Annual

The end of this week brings Annual in DC and I’ll be there for the duration. I’ll be signing at the National Geographic  booth Saturday 2-3. Please come by. I’ll also be lurking around the Candlewick booth from Sunday on, where they will have ARCs of A Family of Readers — the new guide to literature […]

The Age Question, Again

I am in the very last days of writing my book on J. Edgar Hoover, and this book keeps raising the question of how to write nonfiction for teenagers. Writing about Hoover — but really anyone in the 20th Century, especially the second half — means that a great deal of the adult and academic […]

Guest Blog from Marc Tyler Nobleman


Marc asked to guest blog about some of the new areas being covered in nonfiction for younger readers (Marc sent images of the book covers, but I have to learn how to import them): Kids these days. They now bring aliens, bubble gum, and bikinis home from school. “In the form of library books,” you […]

Ages Levels Grades

My older on is on a couple of baseball teams, and he is pretty good for his age. But yesterday when I was hitting grounders to him, I noticed that he is awkward — backs up on the ball instead of charging it, takes it backhad instead of keeping it front of him — I suspect […]

Testing, Testing

Did you all see this article in the Times today, The article is about school administrators who have been caught cheating, adjusting the state tests taken by their students, so that the school would be seen as making better annual yearly progress. More generally, it is about the question of whether high stakes testing […]


The other night it was my turn to read to my about to be 10 year old son, but we are between books and I’d been spending all day working on J. Edgar Hoover so I decided to talk to Sasha a bit about what I’d be reading and thinking about. I was talking about the […]