Blog/News

Secondary Sources to the Rescue!

There’s a common belief among new nonfiction writers that primary sources are the only way to find absolute facts. Secondary sources are assumed to be inferior, less trustworthy, less valuable. I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I get a rush when I find primary sources. As kids in my school visits can attest, [Read More]


Choosing a Structure for your Picture Book Biography

Are you following February’s fabulous and free Nonfiction Fest, described as a month-long crash course in writing children’s nonfiction? I was honored to contribute the following blog post about creative structures available to picture book biography writers. I hope you enjoy it. Choosing a Structure for Your Picture Book Biography By Donna Janell Bowman Dear [Read More]


Reverse-Engineering an Engineering Process from the Past

They are short and for kids, but nonfiction picture books can require the sleuthing skills of Veronica Mars, the puzzling wizardry of Sherlock Holmes, and the science chops of Bill Nye. When I set out to write about how The Great Blondin engineered his tightrope across the Niagara Gorge in 1859, I hoped to find [Read More]


For Educators—STEM Experiments & a Handy STEM Glossary/Companion

Hey, educators, I know how busy you are. Having ready-made lessons and tools can ease your workload as you make curriculum connections with your students. To that end, click here for the fabulous curriculum guide and readers theatre. As a bonus, below is a downloadable one-page STEM glossary companion and two simple balance experiments to [Read More]


Author’s Note & Afterword for King of the Tightrope

The back matter for King of the Tightrope is fabulously designed by the smart folks at Peachtree Publishing, but there’s more to the story than fit the limited pages available. In the Author’s Note and Afterword below, you’ll learn a bit more about the uncovered history of Jean Francois Gravelet, The Great Blondin. Watch for [Read More]