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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Once I Understood the “Occupy” Movement, I Saw How It Fits the Common Core

Last night Marina and I had the treat of attending a “political salon” hosted by the World Policy Institute. This was a get-together with nibbles and wine, but structured around a discussion. Dr. Mira Kamdar — author of Planet India, she is American but lives in Paris and studies India — focused the discussion on [...]

Arab Spring — Curiosity

Saturday morning I happened to notice that NASA was about to launch the Atlas-Centaur rocket holding the rover named Curiosity to Mars. I told my boys, we turned on the TV and caught the countdown and liftoff. Over the weekend we had watched a documentary on the Mercury 7, but this was the first time [...]

Truth VS Reality

In response to the last blog, Pamela Turner suggested that calling our books “True” poses a problem since some are more “truthi” than “true.” I also prefer “reality” to “truth” but almost for the opposite reason. I don’t think the calling card of our books is, or indeed should be, that we present gilt-edged, certified, [...]

This Is Too Much Fun — What 7th Graders Think NF Should Be Called

In my school visits I have taken to suggesting a contest to rename NF by what it is, not what it is not. Here are the most truthful (not all positive) but at times spectacular responses from a recent day spent with 7th Graders in North Carolina: Renaming Nonfiction I would rename nonfiction “ice cream” [...]

NCTE Thoughts and Buzz

I was fortunate enough to be part of the Orbis Pictus honorees panel, as If Stones Could Speak was one of winners. There were various slip ups — the room had changed and no one told me, time management was a challenge with one winner, Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and [...]

NCTE — Critical Reading

The Palmer House hotel I am using in Chicago is most ungenerous with WiFi but if you sit at the bar in the lobby and nurse a drink, you have free access. I was catching up on my student’s work yesterday when I saw, sitting next to me, a woman preparing her NCTE talk — [...]

A Change in How We Consider (e)Books for Awards and Reviews?

The e-world buzzes all around us these days, and yet in the land of writing, publishing, and sharing books with young readers, print continues to flourish. But there is an area of tension that we all — and I especially mean those of you who are officers in ALA, who sit on award committees, and [...]

Biopic, Historical Fiction, History: J. Edgar

Last night we saw J. Edgar, the new Clint Eastwood, Leonardo DiCaprio biopic about Hoover, and as many of you know, my own YA book on the life and times of Hoover is coming out next year. Seeing the movie was a case study in the very question we had been discussing in my Rutgers [...]

What I Am Learning About Ebooks, Enhanced EBooks, and Apps; and some Convention Notes

This semester I have been teaching a course in the MLIS program at Rutgers on digital books and apps for K-12 libraries. “Teaching” is not really the right word, more like being ring-master, talk show host. Because each week we are visited by a creator, publisher, reviewer, distributor, or librarian already working in the field [...]

Meeting the NYC Librarians — Next Act in the Common Core

My meeting with the NYC school librarians took place in an immense hall — apparently the second largest in New York after Radio City Music Hall — and while the upper, and upper upper tiers were not filled (I could just picture some event with a famous guest and the kid who just managed to [...]