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Nonfiction Matters
Inside Nonfiction Matters

Digital Books: What I Learned at IRA

I spent Sunday listening to and speaking at a preconference at IRA devoted to ebooks, apps, and their place in the classroom. Being immersed in one subject all day, in a sequence of related but quite distinct and ifferent talks, was wonderful. I got a good sense of what the audience (teachers) needed, and some [...]

More News From the 9th grade Front

It is quite a thrill to be here in a place called Normal — Illinois (after the school of education that was once here) and to work with the 4th consecutive 9th grade class that has built a year long unit around Race — and in such an intelligent way. The teachers explore many of [...]

Cross Section of 9th grade

This week I have the good fortune of once again working with 9th graders in Illinois. They have read parts of my book on race and are working on their first major research paper — following up on, or challenging, some contention of mine from that book. I’ve been reading over their proposals and while [...]

As the CC spreads, opposition, challenges, reality checks

I had the good fortune of being in Texas at TLA, then in Washington, DC with my family and to do some promotion work for Master of Deceit. Karen Macpherson interviewed me (and Sasha) for the Scripps-Howard papers, and I had a lengthy taped intervew for Reading Rockets (if you don’t know the many excellent [...]

YANF and Voice

I keep learning from my students. Last week my Nonfiction class turned in essays on YA fiction and NF — similarities and differences. A couple of the papers pointed out something I had never previously considered — and is well worth out discussion: YA fiction was born in voice. Many books seek to capture the [...]

Text Clusters, Text Complexity, and the Print Problem

Last night in my YA Materials class we were reading books about the Civil Rights movement: They Call Themselves the KKK; Claudette Colvin; Freedom Riders; Marching for Freedom. Some of the students knew Sue’s Hitler Youth, but otherwise the authors, the books, and even the subjects of some of the books were new to my [...]

A Shout Out to John W. Glenn — and Book Packagers Everywhere

Any of you who have read my recent middle grade books may have noticed an odd credit line in them — to Aronson & Glenn. And if you were really keeping score at home, you might have noticed that John W. Glenn and I co-wrote The World Made New for National Geographic some years ago. [...]

The YA NF Blur

I’ve been teaching a class on “The Glories of Nonfiction” at Rutgers this semester and, as I suspected, one of the main reactions from my graduate students — who range in age from their 20s on up — is “I didn’t know about these books,” “these are nothing like the nonfiction I knew about growing [...]

Reading, Books, Ebooks, and Us

Nancy Feresten — head of children’s books at National Geographic as well as general coordinator for all things digital and child centered at the company — came to my nonfiction class yesterday, and shared a survey you should all read: the Pew Trust’s very recent survey of ebook reading by poele 16 and older, http://tinyurl.com/79jjhzy [...]

(Self) Publishing NF By Young People

The New York Times tells us that more and more young people are self-publishing their fiction and sharing it with the world: http://tinyurl.com/6u7tany, and the online magazine Publishing Perspectives has taken this up as a cause: http://tinyurl.com/774ty55. I see nothing wrong for the child in playing at being an author — just as kids play [...]