Hello Goodbye Hello:A Circle of 101 Remarkable MeetingsBy Craig BrownSimon & Schuster, 2012 A Bintel Brief:Sixty Years of Letters from the Lower East Side to the Jewish Daily ForwardBy Isaac […]

Literature for Young Bilingual Readers

The Upside Down Boy/El niño de cabezaby Juan Felipe Herrera(Children’s Book Press, 2000) Featherless/Desplumadoby Juan Felipe Herrera(Children’s Book Press, 2004) At a recent districtwide meeting of bilingual educators, teachers raised […]

Teaching Inequality

Speaking truth to students is a central obligation of teaching, but it can also be a source of tension and problems for teachers. This is particularly true when approaching the […]

Good Stuff 26.4

Helping Teens Stop Violence, Build Community, and Stand for JusticeBy Allan Creighton and Paul Kivel(Hunter House, 2011)204 pp. $19.95 “It is an assumption of our work that young people are […]


Keywords By Raymond Williams(Oxford University Press, 1985) Keywords for Children’s LiteratureEdited by Phillip Nel and Lissa Paul(NYU Press, 2011) The writing and content of Rethinking Schools is 25 years young, fresh, and honest—no […]

What’s in a Name?

The Name Jar By Yangsook Choi(Random House Children’s Books, 2003) I teach in an ethnically, culturally, religiously, and linguistically diverse public school district, so it’s important to me to encourage […]

Tricksters and Their Opposite

Trickster: Native American Tales   Edited by Matt Dembicki(Fulcrum Books, 2010)496 pp., $27.95 By Heart: Poetry, Prison, and Two Lives By Spoon Jacksonand Judith Tannenbaum(New Village Press, 2010)200 pp., $24.95 Trickster grew […]

New Looks at Old Problems

The History of White PeopleBy Nell Irvin Painter(WW Norton, 2010)496 pp. $27.95 Making an Extraordinary School: The Work of Ordinary PeopleBy Len Solo(Publish America, 2010)200 pp. $24.95 For  years I […]

Getting It Exactly Right

Artful Sentences: Syntax as StyleBy Virginia Tufte(Graphics Press, 2006)310 pp. $16 Beautiful EvidenceBy Edward Tufte(Graphics Press, 2006)214 pp. $52 Syntax is the way sentences are put together, and the way […]

Good Stuff 24.2 Sports and Society

A People’s History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and Play By Dave Zirin(The New Press, 2008)302 pp. $18.95 Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading […]

Good Stuff – Little Rebels

A review of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children’s Literature and Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Nature

The Power of First-Person

Most educational writing is done in the abstract third person, as if there were no writer present. But the authors of two new books, I Am a Pencil and The Big Picture, write […]


Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom By Sylvia Libow Martinezand Gary Stager(Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, 2013) Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager’s Invent to Learn is […]

My Night at the Planetarium

My Night in the Planetarium:A True Story About a Child, a Play, and the Art of ResistanceBy Innosanto NagaraSeven Stories Press, 2016 In difficult times, stories are vital. They are […]

Saul Alinsky Lives!

People Power: The Community Organizing Tradition of Saul AlinskyEdited by Aaron Schutz and Mike MillerVanderbilt University Press, 2015 Fifteen years ago, I was part of a community organizing effort that […]

Freedom Summer in Greenwood

In Revolution, 12-year-old Sunny Fairchild is dealing with troubling family issues—an absent mother, a new, pregnant stepmother, a stepbrother and stepsister. And then Northern “invaders” show up to register Black […]

Boys in Dresses

One of a Kind, Like Me/Unico como yo by Larin Mayeno // Illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo // Blood Orange Press, 2016 Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman // […]


Ethan Michaeli’s The Defender is a beautifully written, passionate account of the history and influence of the Chicago-based African American weekly newspaper the Defender. The first issue was published in […]

Joelito’s Big Decision/La gran decisión de Joelito

Joelito’s Big Decision/La gran decisión de Joelito Written by Ann BerlakTranslation by José Antonio GallosoIllustrated by Daniel Camacho(Hard Ball Press, 2015) Joelito is a regular kid who really loves his […]

Beyond Magenta

“You have got to come out here and see this!” That’s how a transgender student was introduced to her homeroom teacher at a high school in my district. When I […]