Nobleman's description of his books and how he went about writing them illustrate a couple of points made in a Horn Book article from a few years back on contemporary children's historical nonfiction.
- Children's history books are no longer simplified versions of subjects that were already covered for adult readers. Instead, they often involve new research. Nobleman describes lengthy searches for the pictures of the childhood homes of some of his subjects and finding and interviewing people who had never even been contacted before. Some of these people are now dead, so no one is going to be interviewing them again.
- Because children's writers often seek out new topics to write about, it's not unusual to find children's books that are the first on a subject or even the only book on a subject. That's the case with the titles discussed last night. Boys of Steel was the first stand alone book on Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Bill the Boy Wonder is still the only book on Bill Finger.
Very interesting! It must have been great to hear him discuss this in person. If I want to learn about something quick, I often go to the kids' nonfiction section rather than wading through large adult books.
I've been known to do that, too. It can get you started on acquiring information, at the very least.
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