Saturday, August 28, 2010

Making history come alive in nonfiction

I visited Boston with my family this week--we took a ferry out to George's Island (if you're not familiar with the area, there are 30 small islands in Boston Harbor) and Fort Warren, a defense position for Boston from 1850-1950.  On the way out, the USS Constitution happened to be taking a short sail into the harbor--and while she's seaworthy and still a commissioned ship in the US Navy--not a regular occurrence.  It took our breath away to see this 200+ year old ship--both beautiful and fierce.

Earlier in the week, I visited the Old North Bridge and the Minuteman National Park.  The Park Rangers there are wonderful in their vivid descriptions of what happened at the Old North Bridge between the Minute Men and the Redcoats--"the shot heard round the world."  

I'm working on a nonfiction work-for-hire piece right now about the colonial period--and it's been challenging to make the text fun and interesting for the target grade-level.  Witnessing history so vividly helps make it come alive and will hopefully help me make it come alive for my readers! 

The research is important, but sometimes getting out of the house and out from behind the computer can help break through the writer's block.

1 comment:

Julie Musil said...

Kris, that must have been AWESOME! I'm fascinated by that stuff, and I'll bet your project will be lots of fun to read (even for adults!)