inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #51 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Fri 9 Jul 10 13:20
    

>It suffered from a lack of zombies.

   Definitely need zombies in the next edition. Short zombies.

As for the comments on Jezebel, the site is often a bully pulpit, so to
speak.

   I wanted to put Sarkozy in the book -- especially after that photo of him
with Obama, and Sarkozy was standing on his toes...
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #52 of 118: The dogma of the quiet past is inadequate for.. (robertflink) Fri 9 Jul 10 14:35
    
The subject is an aspect of a larger issue of conventional narratives
and where the individual stands or chooses to stand in relation to
same.  With expanding diversity, particularly in the cosmopolitan
world, one is hard pressed if one demands that the world validate
his/her preferred narrative.

IMO, there is little room for such validation of narrative in any
future (diverse) worth living in.  
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #53 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Fri 9 Jul 10 20:09
    

  Uh, yeah. Thanks. We're still talking about "Short: Walking Tall When
You're Not Tall At All," right?
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #54 of 118: those Andropovian bongs (rik) Fri 9 Jul 10 20:24
    
Talking about it?   I'm living it.   Buying it, too.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #55 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Sat 10 Jul 10 04:57
    

   Thanks! Hope you like it! I've never written anything that gets such a
strong reaction from people. I just hope more people find it...
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #56 of 118: Lisa Harris (lrph) Sat 10 Jul 10 06:10
    
John, you talk a lot about the way studies are skewed in their
interpretations and how to watch out for false conclusions.  Was this
always your direction for your book, or did you stumble upon it as you
did your own research?
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #57 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Sat 10 Jul 10 13:37
    

  I was surprised. I had expected the studies to say what they had been
reported as saying. Once I got the researchers on the phone, they shared hte
limitations of their studies and scare stories about how their reserach had
been misinterpreted for a great headline, or had been simplified to exclude
the nuances that, in the height and intelligence story for example, showed
that the underlying issue was nutrition, not height. Of course, the
researchers can contribute to this problem, but for the most part they
simply said that they have to shake their heads at the simplification that
goes on in stories about their work,
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #58 of 118: Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Sat 10 Jul 10 14:07
    
I'd like to see that side of the book played up. This book should be
taught in science class, or maybe social studies. There is *so* much
mangling of scientific information out there, and this is a topic that
everyone can understand. 

Ever think of writing an easy-to understand adult book on that? You
could do height, and weight, and diet (in fewer pages than Taubes), and
global warming even...
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #59 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Sat 10 Jul 10 14:51
    


    I first pitched this as a book for grownups -- no takers! A smart editor
suggested I rewrite it as nonfiction for young adults, and a publsher said
yes. If this book does well, publishers might have me do more, and for
adults, too. My previous book, Living Terrors, was for adults, of course.

   But six years as a science writer at the NY Times taught me that getting
science right is something that rarely happens in the press, and that we all
ought to work harder to help people understand what studies and discoveries
actually mean.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #60 of 118: person of crevice (obizuth) Sat 10 Jul 10 20:13
    
this may be too inside baseball, but how do you promote non-fiction for 
middle-grade readers? i can't think of many books like yours! 

our school librarian is ordering it for the school library. 
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #61 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Sat 10 Jul 10 20:56
    

  >>  this may be too inside baseball, but how do you promote non-fiction
for
 middle-grade readers? i can't think of many books like yours!


   That's a great question. I would love to have an answer to it. It was a
plus in approaching, for example, the Washington Post--I had the publisher
send a copy to the editor of the Health section, and she had a brief review
written up. The Washington Post Book World didn't write it up, but Health
section readers heard about SHORT. And health columnist Jane Brody wrote
about the book in her column. So the oddness of the book has gotten it more
attention than it might otherwise have received.

  On the other hand, have you seen where they tuck away the nonfiction books
for kids in bookstores? Wow. In the Barnes and Noble in Livingston, NJ, it's
all the way in the back of the children's section, in a tight corner. A
single bookshelf. Still, they have had to restock SHORT several times;
people seem to want to buy the damned thing. Which is nice.

   There is no book tour or anything like that, but I am hoping to do a
talks at schools, as I think I've mentioned, and am trying to get the word
out any way I can. The print reviews have been lovely -- Parade.com called
it "a perfect book for short kids." Hard to beat that.

  Interest from TV has been feeble, though a few morning shows sounded very
interested at first. That interest might revive.

  All suggestions and contacts are welcome, of course!
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #62 of 118: Lisa Greim (lisa) Sat 10 Jul 10 23:22
    
Add some zombies and it'll sell. Maybe claim the kid on the cover is a
zombie. Or a vampire. I wish I were kidding.

Robert Reich famously referred to himself (in the New Yorker, I think)
as "that Socialist dwarf." It made me like him more.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #63 of 118: (fom) Sun 11 Jul 10 00:18
    
My friend the children's librarian in Galena, Illinois, has ordered it, or 
is in the process of ordering it. It seems to me like every library should 
have it.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #64 of 118: Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Sun 11 Jul 10 07:10
    
Took me two tries to find it in our local Barnes and Noble. It was
tucked below the *dictionaries* which is the last place a kid's going
to browse. I think if they'd put it face-forward it might have drawn
more interest, because there's something compellingly creepy about the
cover picture. 
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #65 of 118: person of crevice (obizuth) Sun 11 Jul 10 08:17
    
oh god, that's sad, betsy. 

betsy bird, the very influential NYPL librarian who blogs at School 
Library Journal, has talked about how many kids ask for "true" books. my 
mom and i have talked about how my brotehr was a total non-reader-for-fun 
until he got to college, where he discovered non-fiction. now he reads 
much more rigorous, hard books than i do, but k-12 he didn't read for fun 
at ALL...and my mom says it never occurred to her to look for non-fiction 
for him. i really think there are kids who would READ if we just offered 
them more non-fiction! (these days the answer seems to be graphic novels. 
i love graphic novels...but try science and history too! a children's book 
editor friend is working on what sounds to me like a great best of both 
worlds (tm hannah montana) -- graphic history book about the use of dogs 
in wartime. BUT I DIGRESS, BIGTIME.) 

john, if you want i can hook you up with our school librarian. she's a 
fan. she handles all our author visits. email me if you want contacts at 
other NYC schools, public and private. i really would like to help in any 
way i can -- i think media literacy for kids is a hugely important skill 
and this book could be a big eye-opener for a lot of 'em. 
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #66 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Sun 11 Jul 10 08:28
    

  I would love that!

  And, as the father of two kids who read for fun and one who never picks up
a book that wasn't assigned, I know what you're talking about...
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #67 of 118: Mrs. Bigby Hind (jessica) Sun 11 Jul 10 14:29
    
Rafe has long made a beeline for the nonfiction section of the
library, looking for books on whatever is his passion of the moment. I
think this sort of interest often gets overlooked among grade school
age readers.

Frankly, I think a nice feature-length article in the Magazine on this
sort of media literacy would be great for all readers.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #68 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Sun 11 Jul 10 16:25
    

  summer reading lists rarely include nonfiction works, at least in my
experience.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #69 of 118: Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 11 Jul 10 19:19
    

> I think if they'd put it face-forward it might have drawn
>  more interest

There's nothing to stop *you* from doing it!

I don't know if we still have it, but the writers conference used to 
have the stealth book-changers.  We'd go to bookstores and look for a 
WELLpern's latest and turn them all face out.  If they were lying on a 
table, we'd stand them up.

Book-changers unite!
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #70 of 118: Idea Hamster On Speed (randomize27) Mon 12 Jul 10 07:58
    
Shhhhh...it's supposed to be STEALTHY.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #71 of 118: person of crevice (obizuth) Mon 12 Jul 10 08:11
    
i was looking at goodreads reviews of Short.

a very tall skinny woman loved it because she felt it was relevant to her 
childhood sitch too. 

a very short woman felt that the book was really for boys, not girls, that 
the book didn't go far enuf into the probs of short women. 

john? 
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #72 of 118: John Schwartz (jswatz) Mon 12 Jul 10 13:55
    

  I am SO RELIEVED to know I am not the only one who does this.

  as for the Goodreads reviews, thanks so much for letting me know! I had
not been to the site yet to check for reviews. Jheri actually got in touch
with me to thank me for writing the book. She's fascinating -- a model who
travels the world, but felt very self conscious during her teen years.

  The Angela Craft review is very good, and humbling. I wish I'd said more
about girls in the book, and worked with my editor to make sure we were at
least talking to boys and girls. But we did decide to focus the narrative on
boys, since so many of them feel height issues so deeply.

  I need to spend more time on GoodReads...
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #73 of 118: person of crevice (obizuth) Mon 12 Jul 10 14:19
    
if you're like me, and you get crushed by bad reviews, it's not a good 
idea. oh wait, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY BAD REVIEWS. 
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #74 of 118: Mrs. Bigby Hind (jessica) Mon 12 Jul 10 14:20
    
When you write the next edition, I can tell you about my experiences
as a short woman, most of which involve being treated as less mature
and authoritative than I am. For example, when I would go take a
deposition, it was always assumed that I was not the lead attorney, but
the court reporter or a paralegal.

Of clothing alterations we will not speak.
  
inkwell.vue.387 : John Schwartz, Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All
permalink #75 of 118: person of crevice (obizuth) Mon 12 Jul 10 14:26
    
in grade school short girls seemed to rule the world -- they were adorbs! 
or so i felt as a really tall (but not FREAKISHLY tall) girl. in junior 
high and up i think it got harder for the shorties -- hard to be taken 
seriously hard to walk the line between cute and girlfriend-fodder. since 
this book is for, hm, john, what? 3rd-7th grade? i think it's ok that it
focuses on the probs of short boys. 
  

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