Marc Aronson

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Nonfiction Windows So White

Every reader of this magazine knows that Rudine Sims Bishop’s “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” framework has become a central part of our vocabulary as we evaluate books for children and teenagers. Indeed it is a kind of organizing metaphor in the industry-wide push for a more representative literature...

The Writer's Page: What Is Narrative Nonfiction?

It’s been a topsy-turvy time in the education world recently: Common Core and high-stakes tests; then pushback; and now states are revising, revisiting, and renaming their standards. The recently passed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) encourages this trend toward local choice. But if you look closely at the new standards...

Common Ground

As a historian, author, and longtime advocate for nonfiction, there are many things I like about the Common Core English/Language Arts Standards: their focus on historiography and authorial point of view, their mission of training young people to be problem-solvers, their validation of nonfiction-lovers’ passion for the genre. In this...

New Knowledge

Once upon a time, there were two sure signs that a nonfiction book was aimed at young readers: it had illustrations, and the facts, ideas, and insights were securely based on existing adult research. Authors saw themselves as translators whose job was to take the work of adult writers —...

Slippery Slopes and Proliferating Prizes

I’m sure that nearly every reader of this magazine is in favor of supporting a more diverse children’s literature that is in tune with the increasingly multi-ethnic environment in which we and our children live. I am equally convinced, though, that ALA’s sponsorship of three awards in which a book’s...

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