Oregon Book Awards Finalist!

My young readers’ adaptation of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species is my favorite among all the books I’ve written. (It wasn’t an easy choice, though.) That’s why I’m so happy to report that it has been chosen as one of five finalists in the Children’s Literature category for the 2020 Oregon Book Awards.

These awards are given every year in seven categories to writers who live in Oregon. The list of past finalists and winners includes many, many gifted writers and extraordinary books. I am honored to be among them.

The 2020 winners in each category will be announced in a ceremony at the end of April. No matter which book wins, we can be sure of one thing: it will be a great book!

Tiny jewels beneath our feet

Pieces of sand from a beach in Maui, Hawaii

“See the world in a grain of sand,” wrote the poet William Blake. The photographs taken by Dr. Gary Greenberg make that amazingly easy to do.

Using microscopes that he designed and invented, Greenberg has magnified and photographed. His images reveal that what we may think of as trillions of identical “grains” are really a colorful array of tiny fossils, bits of minerals, and pieces of coral and shells.

You can see more of his photographs at http://www.sandgrains.com. He has even photographed sand from the Moon!

Lies, truth, and history

I’m proud to have been chosen to write the Young Readers version of a great book: Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James W. Loewen. It’s about U.S. history–and the parts of it that our textbooks leave out, or get wrong. If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re learning the full story about Christopher Columbus, or the Pilgrims, or the Vietnam War, or much, much more, I hope you’ll check this book out. Many students have shared it with their history teachers and changed the way history is taught in their schools.


Mapping a Natural Marvel

If you like the Grand Canyon, or maps, or stories about how people overcome difficulties to do great things, you will enjoy this article about how Bradford Washburn created this masterpiece of modern mapmaking. 

My Origin of Species adaptation makes a “best of” list

I’m very proud to say that the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has included Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: Young Readers Edition on its list of Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 for 2019. Science teachers are heroes, and it is an honor to have them recognize by my adaptation of this world-changing book.

Their summary:

“The topics of genus and species,
instinct and inheritance, and
biodiversity and mutations
come to life in this young readers’
edition of The Origin of Species.”

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