Milton Meltzer: Writing Matters by Milton Meltzer.
Franklin Watts/Scholastic Inc: NY, 2004.

Writing Matters is an updated version of Meltzer's previous autobiography, Starting From Home. The earlier one has more details about his parents and ends with his beginning college. Writing Matters has a more personal tone, explains the details of his professional life, and tells about why he writes.

Milton Meltzer is one of my favorite history writers. From his many books I can tell that he writes for the same reasons that I want my children (and others) to read historical books-so that they understand better what has happened in the past, so that the same mistakes are not made again, and so that we can all move closer towards equality and an understanding of each other. Milton Meltzer brings the past to life. Many of his books have the actual words from people of the time period-including ordinary citizens. He concentrates on people's experiences instead of boring facts that are not memorable when taken out of context.

I did not start reading historical books (besides novels and a biography here and there) until I was considering homeschooling my first child. Suddenly it became important to understand history better, and as I read I learned how little of history is taught in school. Much of what is skipped or glossed over is uncomfortable or controversial. With his books, Meltzer fills in many of the gaps in order to encourage students and adults to think about the issues. If we do not know the people and the struggles that have brought us to where we are, how can we hope to continue moving forward, or even not regress? Few Americans vote because they have not been taught about the ongoing struggles in a real way that matters to them. They also have not been taught that they can look at the whole picture and make meaningful decisions. Reading, learning, thinking, and discussing the information and ideas is all it takes to make better decisions.

related-Milton Meltzer, biography, authorship, education, writing, historian

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