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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Jump Start II

The second day of JS began with an illustrators panel. Several of the featured artists were Gonds — tribal hill people (here is brief background information http://www.everyculture.com/wc/Germany-to-Jamaica/Gonds.html; and here are some examples of their art http://www.artribal.com/Gond_Tribal_Art_Gallery.html). The path from local wall painting to creating paintings and illustration went through one man, and while he is [...]

Missing Post — Lodhi Gardens

We visited Lodhi Gardens in Delhi last Wednesday — which brought several history lessons. The gardens are beautiful: green, very well maintained, filled with sight lines so picturesque and romantic that it is a kind of urban lover’s lane. In every private corner a couple ever so chastely necks, building a private memory album of [...]

Jump Start first day

(there is a missing that I need to cut and paste from Pages, more soon) First day of this conference gave me a sense of the ferment, vitality, and challenges for libraries, school libraries in particular, and thus author and publishers, here in India. The big issue is the split between the worlds of well-funded [...]

Jump Start, India, and the New History

Marina and I leave for Delhi Monday night in order to speak at the Jump Start conference: http://www.jumpstartfest.com/programme-and-speakers This is a gathering of all of the actors interested in literature for younger readers in India — authors, publishers, librarians, booksellers, storytellers, critics — thinking together about how the field can improve and grow. One idea [...]

Books, Ebooks, Apps — Good, Bad, Indifferent, Change

I’ve known Rick Richter as a children’s book publisher for what feels like decades, but now he has created Ruckus Media, a company that creates apps for kids. And he is interviewed here: http://bigthink.com/ideas/39689 I am going to be teaching a class on ebooks, apps and what they mean for youth service librarians this fall [...]

The Squeeze

Last night Marina and I went to a sad/happy party. Old friends of ours, their youngest daughter almost precisely the same age as our eldest son, we’d gone to endless parks together, vacations together, bar mitzvahs (their older boys are older than ours), etc. together, had finally decided that living in NYC was too much [...]

A Modest Suggestion for Those Who Want to Understand the NF-Hunter Mindset

I blogged here recently about the hunter mindset (not specifically those who hunt, but that largely male orientation to goals as expressed in stripped down facts, objections, drive to succeed, compete, conquer). I drove to visit my 91 year old mother today and on the way I listened to a local sports radio channel. Last [...]

The Two Big Challenges

There are two big challenges in writing NF for readers who are not yet adults: context and engagement. Both of these hurdles have recently risen to new heights. On the one hand the ubiquity of the Now — spread by technology, reinforced by extremely well-funded popular culture, expertly crafted to play to the eternal self-preoccupation [...]

Crossing 800

I see that this is my 801st post here, so thanks for visiting, posting, thinking with me, challenging me, and onward to new ideas and topics. We leave the Vermont farm we’ve been visiting today (a great idea, Hollister Hill Farm, where it is both an actual working farm where kids can help with farm [...]

Should We Be Optimisitic or Pessimistic?

About what — you will surely ask. Well about the nation, about the economy, about politics — all of those big issues that have us nervously wagging our heads and feeling sage and sad. But more to the point of this blog, about books for younger reader, and, especially about nonfiction? In one way, certainly [...]