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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Guest Blog From Marina

Recently, I’ve been delving into the past. My school past, that is. Yesterday, in one of my periodic organizational fevers, I went to the garage and pulled out a box of old school work from elementary school. My mother had thankfully saved it and I, in turn, have managed to carry the crumbling folders and [...]

Wedding Bells

ALA this year was framed by the Same Sex Marriage vote in New York. One of the more important things I learned in writing my book on J. Edgar Hoover was how much the “red scare” of the 1950s was really a “lavender scare” — a campaign against homosexuality and lesbianism. So, like the election [...]

Expertise — Or the Bartimaeus Educational Theory

If you haven’t read Myra’s latest comment (in the strand on empathy and understanding) please do, because she mentions a classroom strategy she uses that I first read about that approach in the works of Kieran Egan — a Canadian educational theorist. Take a look at his home page, http://www.educ.sfu.ca/kegan/ and in particular, http://www.ierg.net/LiD/ The [...]

Empathy VS. Understanding

I’ve reading a lot of middle grade and YA fiction recently, at the same time as I’ve been looking at materials about the educational objectives of Language Arts classes in middle grade. One word that often comes up is “empathy” — the idea that, as young people read more they will come to develop a [...]

A Most Gratifying Experience

One of the great treasures for an author of YA nonfiction is an engaged teenager who is willing to read and comment on your manuscript. Sidenote here — any and all of you who work in schools or school libraries, you probably have a teen reading group, but they read published books or about-to-be-released galleys, [...]

Looking Ahead to ALA

If you are heading to New Oreleans for Annual, I hope to see you there. I’ll be signing Sugar at the Houghton booth on Saturday from 2 to 3 Anastasia Suen sent word that on Sunday morning there will be a Nonfiction Book Blast: Booktalks and Activities for Your Library Sunday June 26, 2011 8 [...]

Wolf — I Feel Like the Boy Who Cried This Once Too Often, But He Is At the Door

OK Friends, another day, another disastrous national assessment of what students know about US History. Here is the summary, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/education/15history.html?ref=education and here is the link to the page where you can explore the results more carefully, http://nationsreportcard.gov/ushistory_2010/ As you can see from the article, the NAEP folks can point to some gains — an inch [...]

Branding and the Jetstream

Our very nice neighbors gave us tickets to company seats at the Yankee game yesterday — my first trip to the new Yankee Stadium. It was fascinating — I grew up going to old Yankee Stadium — where some views were obstructed by pillars, I even saw some Mets games at the Polo Grounds — [...]

Another Version of History

On Thursday Doris Gebel, a librarian from Long Island who will be the director of USBBY next year, invited me to come to an event in New York with her. The French Cultural Services were hosting Tomi Ungerer, whose children’s books are being reissued by the art publisher Phaidon. Tomi is 80, so there was [...]

The Two Pleasures of My Line of Work

Yesterday was one of those fine days when you are reminded of why you do what you do. First off came clean up — that moment when a semester of teaching is over, the books I’m working on are in production (that is, my writing, editing, photo selection are all finished, now the books are [...]