honesty, school, teaching, writing

In Memoriam

A few weeks ago I learned that one of my high school English teachers had passed away at age 55. Initially I was shocked; classmates and I exchanged texts and Facebook messages, trying to make sense of this sudden, unexpected loss. Then, just as quickly, the world moved on. I kept meaning to write something… Continue reading In Memoriam

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book talk, historical fiction

Book Talk: American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson Random House, February 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile… Continue reading Book Talk: American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

book talk, historical fantasy, historical fiction, mentor texts

Book Talk: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee Katherine Tegen Books, October 2018 Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll… Continue reading Book Talk: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

historical fiction, movies

BlacKkKlansman: This is Why Historical Fiction Matters

I don't get out to the movies much anymore, mostly due to a combination of parenting fatigue/childcare costs/fear that the movie won't be worth the effort. But when my cousin Dan Whitener announced that his original song "We Are Gonna Be Okay," co-written with his wife Eileen Kern, was featured in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, I knew… Continue reading BlacKkKlansman: This is Why Historical Fiction Matters

books, historical fantasy, mentor texts

Book Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Invictus by Ryan Graudin Little, Brown, September 2017 Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy (Time Travel) Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time traveler from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in ancient Rome, Far's very existence defies the laws of nature. All he's ever wanted was to explore history… Continue reading Book Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin