Getting Educated with Jason Boog, John Casey, William Deresiewicz, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

Boog, Jason & Betsy Bird. Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age—From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between. Touchstone. Aug. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781476749792. pap. $15.99. EDUCATION
Once publishing editor at Mediabistro, Boog launched into fatherhood by writing this book on turning children into lifelong readers. After interviewing childhood development experts, bornreadinglibrarians, and children’s book authors and publishers, he offers an interactive approach focusing on children from birth to age five. With a foreword by Betsy Bird of the New York Public Library.

Casey, John. Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction. Norton. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780393241082. $25.95. WRITING SKILLS
Casey won the National Book Award for his novel Spartina, so you may want to pay attention to this conversation on writing fiction, with chapters ranging from “Dogma and Anti-Dogma” (can fiction writing be taught?) and “If I Were a Flower, What Kind of Flower Would I Be,” which considers writing as performance. Aimed at students and writers, but, hey, anyone who loves fiction should enjoy.

Deresiewicz, William. Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life. S. & S. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780393241082. $26. SOCIOLOGY
Award-winning critic/author Deresiewicz taught English at Yale until 2008 and served on the admissions committee. So trust him when he says that what’s wrong with higher education today—particularly at the most demanding schools—is that students have spent their lives pushing for top grades and consequently don’t know how to think creatively or ask good questions. This (not-Tiger) mom understands.

Grossman, Lt. Col. Dave & Gloria Degaetano. Stop Teaching Our Kids To Kill, Revised and Updated Edition: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie, and Video Game Violence. Harmony. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780804139359. pap. $15. PARENTING
In 1999, Grossman, a retired lieutenant colonel recognized for his study of human aggression, joined with Parent Coaching Institute founder/CEO Degaetano to write a book arguing that media and video game violence encourages violence in youth. The book now appears in paperback in a completely updated edition that remains timely; the author is one the road 300 days a year speaking on this topic, and the book is still selling 350 copies a month.

Keizer, Garret. Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher. Metropolitan: Holt. Aug. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780805096439. $26. EDUCATION
How did former teacher Keizer reeducate himself? The author (Privacy) and Harper’s contributing editor returned to the rural Vermont high school where he had taught 14 years ago to reassess (one big change: the importance of standardized testing), finally arguing that public education need not fail and that treating educational reform as a panacea for America’s social ills is a big mistake.


Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.