Subscribe to SLJ
Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Myths, Popular Culture, School

Cecillia’s comment about Disney mths and kids happened to come just as my Rutgers class was reading the two book on the 1793 Yellow Fever outbreak — Laurie Anderson’s novel Fever, 1793 and Jim Murphy’s nonfiction book An American Plague. One of the debates in class was how to think of those elementary/young middle school […]

The 1960s; Rumor, Truth, History — The Challenge for Authors and Schools

Yesterday, the Times ran this piece, a film maker finds fault with the script of a forthcoming Clint Eastwood biopic on J. Edgar Hoover on historical grounds; then today, this: a critique of a new miniseries on The Kennedys, also on historical grounds. Why is it that telling the story of the 60s […]

The TLS — Aeration and Error

Just about every Saturday (delivery is not as regular as it should be) the current issue of the TLS — Times Literary Supplement — arrives at my door. Why should I be a regular reader of an English publiscation that rarely if ever reviews books for younger readers, never books published only in America, and […]

Recasting The Story of African-Americans

Did you all see the article about the new census results in today’s Times: The results of the 2010 census are starting to come out, and one clear trend is that African Americans are moving back to the South, away from the rust belt cities. I found this trend, and how it was described, striking […]

More on the Idea of the National Digital Library

Dr. Darnton published this op-ed in the Times today: A concern I have addressed in response to a previous article of Darnton’s is about illustrated books. Our books, from board books on up, are often illustrated — thus the rights involved in a book are not limited to one author, or even one author […]

The Google Decision

As you all must have seen, a judge has ruled against the Google Settlement, . What does this mean, and mean for authors, editors, publishers, librarians, students? Well, first, what is the Google Settlement? Google, working with several academic libraries, and later the cooperation of major publishers and indeed the Authors Guild (an organization […]

“Tell the Truth But Tell It Slant”

Over at Read Roger, someone who chose to remain anonymous posted this about the “Speculation” debate — “The new NF seems to be all about embracing the slant and deliberately writing non-fiction from a specific viewpoint. Whether I agree with the author or not, I think it’s perilously close to propaganda and I don’t like […]

Digital Decisions

This week has been Spring Break at Rutgers and so I have been awash in the world of print — finishing one books, getting another through production. But at the very same time I am thinking about e-books from both a personal perspective and in terms of what they mean, and will mean, for all […]

Two African-American Moms Address the Achievement Gap

Lisa E. Davis and Carol Sutton Lewis are high-achieving African-American women who went to Ivy League colleges and then on to successful professional careers. They have started a new blog,, that is addressed to the challenges families of color face in rearing their children and guiding them towards the best colleges and the most fulfilling […]

One More Effort at Explaining the “New Knowledge” Claim — Bracketology

I am writing this Sunday night, just a couple of hours after America learned which 68 teams would be invited to compete for the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball championship. For weeks, millions of Americans have been thinking about this, listening to experts opine on who was In/Out or On the Bubble (possibly in or […]