On January 17, 2023, my new middle-grade novel, The Lost Year, which is inspired by some of my own family history, will be published. This is my most teachable book yet, giving 10-14 year-old readers a sense of Ukrainian history that ties to current events. As a journalist, I also fashioned this story to help educators teach kids about media literacy and disinformation. In addition, the book helps middle-grade readers grapple with the fallout of the covid pandemic. Finally, it even includes a writing lesson. The Lost Year educator’s guide will be available soon!
Nowhere Boy is also a great classroom or even whole school read for grades 5th-8th. It’s a story that provides both windows and mirrors, as well as an opportunity to explore history (including the Syrian War and World War II), geography and immigration and the Refugee Crisis. The book is a perfect fit for the 8th Grade Common Core ELA Unit on Refugees. Nowhere Boy is also a powerful text to use when teaching empathy and compassion in middle and upper grades.
For Nowhere Boy, there is an amazing chapter-by-chapter educators’ guide. It’s written by Kirsten Cappy and Louise El Yaafouri, who have extensive experience in the fields of teaching and refugee children’s literature. Nowhere Boy is an especially perfect fit for the 8th grade common core unit on refugees.
Be sure also to take a look at Albert Jonnart and Ralph Mayer and The Refugee Crisis 101. These pages include actual photos of and documents about Albert and Ralph, as well as information and stories about the current refugee crisis. The Nowhere Boy book trailer is also a great visual way to introduce your students to the real places and people behind the book.
Looking for resources to help teach my other books? All of them have free teachers’ guides that you can download to the left.
Interested in a school visit? Go to events.
Interested in ordering books for your students or school? Discounts for educators are available. For copies for individual students to keep (discounted on a sliding scale based on how many you order) and copies for author visits (discounted at 50%) contact Macmillan at firstname.lastname@example.org. For curriculum copies that will remain at school contact email@example.com or call (888) 330-8477 for more details.