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Review of Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson Middle School, High School    Candlewick    149 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8789-2    $16.99 Parable, satire, dystopic sci-fi — Anderson’s take on a near future in which alien “vuvv” have colonized America’s economy, land, and airspace has so many shiveringly close resemblances to the contemporary world that it might also […]

Review of Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson; illus. by Andrea Offermann Middle School, High School    Candlewick    134 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-5939-4    $19.99    g The storyline of this graphic novel retelling of a twelfth-century epic poem is straightforward enough: after slaying Sir Esclados, Sir Yvain, a young knight-errant from […]

Massachusetts Book Awards 2016

On Tuesday, December 6th, I was lucky to be the plus-one, with amazing school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, at the sixteenth annual Massachusetts Book Awards ceremony at the State House, in recognition of “significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.” The award is administered […]

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Author M. T. Anderson’s 2016 BGHB NF Honor Speech

This book is a hymn, I hope, to a composer I love and to the power of music in general. It began when my interest was piqued by the idea of a symphony considered so important that it was transferred onto microfilm like some dossier in a spy novel and smuggled halfway across the globe. […]

Outside the Box: Author M. T. Anderson’s 2016 HBAS Keynote Speech

I can’t stand Little Women. Sure, I know Louisa May Alcott’s book is a classic of children’s literature; Henry James called her “the Thackeray, the Trollope, of the nursery and the school-room.” But as a romantic-hearted young teen, I couldn’t bear to watch the March girls’ sunny, youthful dreams squashed by fate and by the […]

What do ordinary people do during war?

This is one of the questions from a student that gave me pause a long time ago.  It was a sort of typical survey humanities course, and I vividly remember her interesting and important question. My own history education was often centered on primary sources or key events summarized neatly in a textbook, and I […]

Feed | Class #4, 2016

At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

Feed

At first perusal, M.T. Anderson’s Feed is an entertaining tale of privileged futuristic teens who spend spring break on the moon. Their carelessness about the environment, their pitiful lack of knowledge, and technology-induced overstimulation seems so exaggerated as to invite easy laughter. Not far into the book, however, we start to recognize every aspect of […]

Monstrous Affections panel interview

When you meet an author you admire and he says, “Hi, I’m Tobin,” it might be best not to say, “I know! …Sorry, that’s probably creepy.” Luckily for me, M. T. Anderson and his Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales colleagues — author/editors Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (who also own the mostly adult […]

M. T. Anderson is my favorite punctuation teacher

I suppose I am a “writing person.” I study it, and teach it, and teach about teaching it pretty regularly. The most common question I get, over and over, no matter what level teachers I am with, is about the best way to teach conventions. In my experience, teachers have often tried things they don’t […]