Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ann Rinaldi Defends Historical Fiction

From PW, natch: In Defense of Historical Fiction by Ann Rinaldi.

We've been hearing that "kids don't read historical" for years, and yet the historical keeps on chuggin'. Rinaldi talks about why.
Young people write to me daily to tell me they have grown up with my books, that my books got them through some of the worst times of their lives, that when they visited historical places with their parents they already knew everything there was to know about them, that when they studied history in school they found out it was no longer boring. That they now understood about their country. And finally that, reading my books, they had had fun and enjoyment and not realized they were learning. And wow, did that neat stuff really happen? And when is the next one coming out?
You tell 'em, Ann.


Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this. I love it! I sooo wish that my history classes incorporated fiction when I was a kid. Because I thought I hated history, but discovered as an adult I actually love it!

Have you read the book Lies My Teacher Told Me? It's awesome!

Kristen said...

I also grew up reading historical fiction, including your books Anne, and I absolutely love it. In fact, my reading inspired me to obtain a minor in History at college. I just found a great book you might enjoy called Bedlam South by David R. Donaldson and Mark Grisham. It's story of the civil war is very historically accurate.

Debbie Reese said...

It is frightening that her readers think, as she noted, that they're learning something from her books. Two of them (MY HEART IS ON THE GROUND, and, SECOND BEND IN THE RIVER) so badly miseducate readers about American Indians, that these two books would fit perfectly in LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME.

Debbie Reese said...

Ooops... hit the 'publish your comment' too soon.

I was among a group of nine Native and non-Native women who wrote an extensive critique of HEART. It was published in Multicultural Review, Multicultural Education, and, at Rethinking Schools. You can read the entire critique online at Click on "Books to Avoid" and scroll down to it. Along with the critique, you'll see an analysis of plagiarism....