Author, editor, publisher, and speaker Marc Aronson believes passionately in the power of great nonfiction — in building background knowledge, nourishing children's interest in the real world, and helping young people become critical readers and thinkers. He has written history and biography books for middle school children and young adults, including books about the secrets of Stonehenge, the sugar trade (Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, and Science), and the life of John Henry (Ain't Nothing but a Man). His biography of Sir Walter Raleigh (Sir Walter Raleigh and the Quest for El Dorado won the ALA's first Robert L. Sibert Information Book Award for nonfiction and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography of Marc Aronson, or see a selected list of his children's books.
(This video is also available on YouTube and iTunes.)
For an extended interview with Aronson and a list of his YA books, visit our sister site, AdLit.org.
Marc Aronson is an author, editor, publisher, speaker, and historian who believes that young people, especially pre-teens and teenagers, are smart, passionate, and capable of engaging with interesting ideas in interesting ways. He has written history and biography nonfiction books for children and young adults, as well as nonfiction books for adults about teenage readers. He has become a strong voice for the role of high-quality nonfiction in support of the Common Core State Standards.
Aronson has written about larger-than-life contemporary figures such as J. Edgar Hoover and Robert F. Kennedy, as well as compelling historical figures like Oliver Cromwell and Sir Walter Raleigh. He has also researched and written sweeping in-depth books about the history and impact of the sugar trade, the cultural history of the avant-garde from 19th century Paris to today, the Salem witch trials, and a global history of race and relations.
In all of his work, Aronson's mission is to inspire young people to ask questions, and to look deeply inside the stories the world brings us. He encourages kids to see themselves as detectives, examining the clues history has left behind, or as reporters, telling the truth about the modern world. Aronson says, "All of my books start with questions, and I hope they prompt readers to ask questions of their own." Aronson also visits schools where he talks with teens about history and the arts, and leads workshops for teachers, librarians, and parents on topics such as how to get boys to read (he's a supporter of the Guys Read project).
Aronson has a Ph.D. in American history from NYU. He lives with his wife, the author Marina Budhos, and two sons in Maplewood, New Jersey.