Author Profile: Steve Sheinkin

One aspect of the Common Core Standards, adopted in 2011, has students in all grades reading more nonfiction. That's great, in my opinion, because I really like reading books of information.

One of my favorite authors of nonfiction is Steve Sheinkin. Once a writer of textbooks, Sheinkin explains, "I used to spend long days in the library, searching for stories to make my history textbooks fun to read." He filled up lots and lots of notebooks with "funny, amazing, inspiring, surprising, and disgusting stories." Unfortunately, he wasn't allowed to include the interesting stuff in the textbooks. So Sheinkin promised himself that one day he would take all those stories and write his own history books. And, he did! Reviewers say of Sheinkin's writing: "History with the good bits put back." I agree! It is real easy to become so engrossed in his storytelling that I guarantee you will forget you are reading nofiction.

Here are some of his titles that I am sure everyone in the family will enjoy.

King George: What Was His Problem?: the whole hilarious story of the American Revolution. Everything your schoolbooks didn't tell you about the American Revolution. What do a hopping-mad George Washington, hundreds of naked soldiers, and a salmon lunch have in common? They’re all part of the amazing story of the American Revolution

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: the true story of adventure, heroism and bravery. This accessible biography introduces young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven. Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes, and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.


Sheinkin has written a book about Lincoln's Grave Robbers, Port Chicago 50: disaster, mutiny, and the fight for Civil Rights, and my all-time favorite...

Bomb: the race to build - and steal - the world's most dangerous weapon. Winner of the prestigious 2013 Robert F. Sibert Award, Bomb is an exciting read. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb. This book is on my top ten favorite nonfiction titles.


His latest book is about Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War. I can't wait to read it!

Be sure to put Sheinkin on your 'to-read' list. You'll be glad you did.

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