Historical fiction is a complex genre. It can strive to be as absolutely accurate as the writer can make it (as I attempted in Crispin: Cross of Lead) or it may go no further than to create a general sense of time and place (as in Midnight Magic). The work that is merely dressed up in a general sense of time and place is rather like a musical comedy. There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, and in fact there are some real advantages. The primary advantage is that one can deal with very modern ideas and simply place them where one can have the most fun.
Powerful photographs helped change the tide of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. Some of these very photos moved author Elizabeth Partridge (goddaughter of the influential photographer Dorothea Lange) when she saw them 40 years later. Consider the role that photographs, books, and interviews play in historical research as Partridge discusses her process of selecting viable sources for Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary (Penguin, 2009).
I love how poetry can aid in revealing human nature. We learn more about the poet, or more about ourselves, or more about what it means to be human. In Carole Boston Weatherford’s book of poetry, Becoming Billie Holiday (Wordsong,…
Engage students with technology as you explore best practices in writing. By integrating the online resource listed in this issue into your curriculum, students can have award-winning authors model the application of specific writing tips and techniques.
The reason I write about sports, women's history, and women's sports history, is that I grew up loving sports. I graduated from high school the week before Title IX was passed, so I didn't have opportunities to play in school, like girls do today. I played at camp, on the street, and with my father and my brother.
When I’m working on a book, there’s a perfectly balanced moment when anything seems possible. It comes as I’m well into the research, bursting with ideas and dreams and enthusiasm. Once I start writing, it’s not long before I crash. Reality sets in fast: not everything that fascinates me is going to fit between the covers of a book.
Everyone in education has heard about different learning styles; some of the most prominent are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Perhaps educators have even considered their own learning style and how it influences teaching. But, has consideration ever been given to how these learning styles impact inspiration, interest, and research for a project that follows the inquiry process?
As the new school year begins, you and your students are probably learning a lot of new names.
Using the TeachingBooks.net Author Name Pronunciation Guide, we invite you to learn the names of hundreds of authors and illustrators. In this…
This post offers a sampling of TeachingBooks.net's recordings of favorite children's and young adult authors sharing insights about their work. In these brief audio excerpts students will hear authors express their enthusiasm for their subjects as they reveal how their passions have guided their research and writing.
I was elected to the 2009 John Newbery Award selection committee by the membership of the American Library Association (ALA) division that administers this award, ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children). This was quite an honor, and a real shock to me. You see, I’m not a librarian. I’m a book lover. I’m a professional in the world of children’s books. But I’m not a librarian – and I always thought that librarians and academics in the field were those who got to serve on these committees.