Category Archives: Books

Teaching Civil Rights

In March 2014, The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a report describing civil rights education in the United States as “woefully inadequate.” According to the SPLC: In this new report, 20 states received grades of ‘F.’ These include five states – Alaska, Iowa, Maine, Oregon and Wyoming – that neither cover the movement in their […]

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“The Cay” – Middle Grade Survival Books

As I describe in earlier posts, I am interested in middle grade books about disaster response and survival, particularly those with a historical and economic viewpoint. (Read an article I wrote for Project Eve on this subject.) Theodore Taylor’s “The Cay” is a lost classic with a unique take on survival that is a compelling read, though […]

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Thinking Like Musicals in Literature

As I wrote in my earlier bio, I often think in musical ideas for my books and imagine how they would transfer to the stage. Supertramp’s “Goodbye Stranger” captures a scene in my book “How to Build An Impossible Bottle” almost exactly as how I would dramatize it on stage. What can also be learned […]

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Dolphin Summer Vacation

In 2008 dolphins took a summer vacation in New Jersey’s Navesink River, feasting on plentiful fish stocks. The dolphins were an unusual site and tourist attraction, but fears arose when temperatures dropped, the river began to freeze, and the dolphins did not leave. Months later news reports showed dolphins retrieved from the shore; many of […]

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Sustainability models: Lessons learned from the bow and arrow

Media swarm several times per year to press conferences featuring Apple’s new releases like the iPhone or iPad. Mark Zuckerberg’s press conference announcements have reporters tweeting in speculation and anticipation for days before. Yet, in this tech-driven world, the most revealing and iconic image of recent years–inspiring a new take on sustainability models–might not be […]

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Hoot

“Hoot” is a great middle grade book about several young people fighting new construction that threatens their environment. I won’t spoil the book for you, but I will describe one reason I love this book: environment and setting. The book is told from the perspective of a young man who frequently moves as a result […]

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Cooking vegetarian

No better way to follow up a farmer’s market post than a post about cooking vegetables! Around 2005, I became vegan. I went completely cold-turkey overnight after reading Dr. Neal Barnard’s books. While the health benefits of eating vegan have even converted notorious hamburger lovers like Bill Clinton, (going vegan can help you quickly lose […]

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Speeding

Internet and Social Media Speeds A strange relationship exists between the rapid, pressured web world and that of print literature. Both must coexist and utilize their strengths while fostering an awareness of the contrasts between the nature of what improves the two mediums. Social media standards can produce misinformation and missed opportunities that can make […]

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Dinosaur vs. Bedtime

Here’s a terrific book my 7-year-old friend and I enjoyed reading before bedtime. Many kids love dinosaurs and I have often wondered if it’s because of the dinosaurs themselves or because for some reason most schools place a ton of emphasis on them. Sometimes I think schools could minimize all the dino-talk with something a […]

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LLWS & Achievement

The Little League World Series last week showcased amazing talent by young players between the ages of 11-13. Some of the most outstanding highlights include: A no hitter by California in extra innings Several grand slams and home runs in clutch situations Defensive fielding that would impress Derek Jeter Quick defensive decision-making under pressure Several […]

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