Peace, Love & Books

My life is mostly bibliocentric. My major area of reading interest is children's and young adult literature but I also read plent of adult books, too, particularly nonfiction. I am originally from New Jersey. I moved to Memphis in 1991 to attend graduate school. That is where I met my wonderful wife, Judy to whom I have been married since 1993. In my professional life I have taught high school English, undergraduate courses in composition and literature, graduate courses in children's and young adult literature, and worked as a librarian in public, school, and special libraries. At the momement, I devote my time to writing, teaching, and speaking. I have an extensive collection of Chuck Taylor hightop sneakers of various colors and I also collect PEZ dispensers. I live with my wife and two cats in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary - Gail Jarrow

A fascinating story told in a gripping narrative, and an excellent reminder of why it's always important to thoroughly wash your hands.

Moon Bear - Gill Lewis, Alessandro Gottardo

When twelve-year-old Tam's father is killed, he is sent to work on a "bear farm" in the city where bears held captive in cages are subjected to the barbaric practice of "milking" their bladders of bile, which is sold for medicinal purposes.. Tam develops a close bond with a newly arrived bear cub and is determined to save it from this horrific fate. A compelling, heart-rending story of cruelty and compassion.

Orbiting Jupiter - Gary D. Schmidt

As raw and penetrating as a blustery wind blowing through you on a wicked cold January morning.

Pool - Jihyeon Lee

A swimming pool is a gateway to an extraordinary magical journey for two shy children with boundless imaginations. Wordless and wonderful.

The Flame Trees Of Thika: Memories Of An African Childhood - Elspeth Huxley

Huxley's beautifully written, enchantingly evocative and poignant memoir about her childhood years living in Kenya, 1912-1914 with her parents.                  

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights - Ann Bausum

An excellent chronicle of the incident that galvanized the movement for LGBT rights.

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America - Kevin M. Kruse

The story of how the persisting myth that America is a Christian nation was born and aggressively disseminated in the 1950s with the enthusiastic assistance of Corporate America. A fascinating, lucid, engaging history and, for those who believe in the strict separation of church and state, quite disturbing.

To the Sea - Cale Atkinson, Cale Atkinson

A charming, moodily whimsical, preposterously unlikely friendship story.

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Jon Krakauer

This searing chronicle about a series of sexual assaults at the University of Montana serves as a microcosm for the national epidemic of rape on college and university campuses, and the routine failure of the justice system to punish perpetrators. Riveting and deeply disturbing.

A Peace To End All Peace: Creating The Modern Middle East 1914-1922 - David Fromkin

An excellent account of how the allied victors of the Great War created the modern Middle East and set the stage for the violence and upheaval that plague the region to this day.

Gon, the Little Fox - Nankichi Niimi, Genjirou Mita

A beautiful and sad Japanese folktale, wonderfully illustrated in delicate watercolors.

Pakkun the Wolf and His Dinosaur Friends - Yasuko Kimura

Little Pakkun the Wolf goes down a hole to retrieve one of Mrs. Hen's eggs and finds himself in the Land of Dinosaurs. A fun, whimsical adventure. Love the colorful, surreal illustrations. Originally published in Japan in 1982.

Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army - Georg Rauch

An extraordinary true story translated from German.

I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

I wish every American kid who takes his or her educational opportunities for granted could be required to read this remarkable young woman's story.

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life - James   Bowen

Only a heartless, soulless, insufferable dolt would not be profoundly moved by this heartwarming story of a stray cat who transforms the life of a man down on his luck.

Smoky Mountain Rose

Smoky Mountain Rose - Alan Schroeder Cinderella in an Appalachian setting.