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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

More Thoughts on Monica’s Point About Timeline Controversies

Monica raised an objection (or perhaps better, voiced a caution) about my last post: i suggested offering kids timelines at the start of social studies units, she said — well who gets to pick what is on the timeline. Of course that can be a vexing question for teachers and administrators every period in the […]

Points and Lines

Sasha, at 10, has fallen in love with Civilization — the computer game. We bought to while away the long car trip up to Montreal, but it really took hold since we’ve been home. The other night we ran into two old friends — twins who grew up in a UN family in New York, […]

The Great Debate

Last night my men’s reading group met to talk about Daniel Okrent’s Last Call — a new book on Prohibition. We all felt pretty much the same way — the book brings many new inights (in particular how the move for Prohibition was closely tied to two other key reforms of the era: women’s […]


Yesterday Mockingjay, the third book in the trilogy that began with The Hunger Games, was released in stores. Earlier this summer the CCBC listserv turned to the many dystopian YA novels that have proven to be so popular with readers, but thus also with publishers, thus authors — the more there is a clear trend in […]

Context — The Museum I’d Like to See

Yesteday, admidst driving rain, Marina and I drove an hour to my mother’s house,then took her on a 2-hour drive up to Bard College. Bard holds a summer music festival,, and this year the focus is on Alban Berg. As it happens, my grandfather knew Berg quite well, and my mother wanted to come […]

The NY Mosque Issue 2

I’ve been thinking about the comment about the Imam’s comments on 911 and I realized that the poster’s objection relates directly to the larger theme of my post. In fact the imam in question is a Sufi — and, as the two articles I cited make clear, the Sufis have themselves been the target of attacks from the […]

The NY Mosque Issue

School is starting just as the issue of building an Islamic Center close to the site of the 9-11 terrorist attacks is sweeping through the political landscape. I can imagine that many school may want to avoid talking about the controversy, and they have a full year of challenges ahead without mentioning it. And yet […]

What I Learned at the Baseball Hall of Fame

I’m late posting today because I spent most of the day in a car — the part when I wasn’t in Cooperstown with Sasha (10) at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Sasha is an avid Yankee fan as well as baseball player and has read a great deal about baseball history. He was quivering with […]

one more historical mystery

The other day we picked up an appealing graphic novel version of the Odyssey — put out by Sterling, the All Action series. My boys have seen various versions of parts of this story over the years — from Usborne, the classic collection by the DèAlaires, as woven in to the Percy Jackson books (and […]


This evening I had a glimpse of heaven. We are in Montreal, and the house we are staying in happens to be across the street from a park with a basketball court. Yesterday Sasha, my 10 year old, and I went out to shoot and he was sulky and glum. Having played baseball all summer […]