Teacher’s Guide: Strongman

From the bestselling author of the Don’t Know Much About® books comes a dramatic account of the origins of democracy, the history of authoritarianism, and the reigns of five of history’s deadliest dictators.

What makes a country fall to a dictator? How do authoritarian leaders—strongmen—capable of killing millions acquire their power? How are they able to defeat the ideal of democracy? And what can we do to make sure it doesn’t happen again?

By profiling five of the most notoriously ruthless dictators in history—Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Saddam Hussein—Kenneth C. Davis seeks to answer these questions, examining the forces in these strongmen’s personal lives and historical periods that shaped the leaders they’d become.

Kenneth C. Davis wrote Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of the Democracy to provide insight into the lives of five leaders who callously transformed the world and serves as an invaluable resource in an era when democracy itself seems in peril.

Praise for Strongman: The Rise of Five Dictators and the Fall of Democracy:

Washington Post Best Book of the Year!
A YALSA 2021 Nonfiction Award Nominee!
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year

★ “A fascinating, highly readable portrayal of infamous men that provides urgent lessons for democracy now.”
Publishers Weeklystarred review

Strongman is a book that is both deeply researched and deeply felt, both an alarming warning and a galvanizing call to action, both daunting and necessary to read and discuss.”
—Cynthia Levinson, author of Fault Lines in the Constitution

MacKids Spotlight: Christian McKay Heidicker

This month, we’re interviewing Christian McKay Heidicker, author of 2020 Newbery Honor book Scary Stories for Young Foxes! This fall, the series continues with Scary Stories for Young Foxes: The City. This next installment chronicles the adventures of three fox kits desperate to survive the terrors of a frightening new world.

Christian shares more about his inspiration for the story and what he hopes young readers will learn here.

Read a Q&A with Christian here →

WATCH OUR FALL 2021 SCHOOL & LIBRARY PREVIEW, FEATURING AUTHORS ARIEL HENLEY AND PHILIP AND ERIN STEAD!

Discover your next favorite book with the MacKids School & Library Fall 2021 Preview! Hear from our team as they present some of our wonderful upcoming titles, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles!

Ariel Henley, debut author of A Face for Picasso, joins us to talk about her debut novel available September 2021. Plus, Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead joing us to give a special preview of their upcoming book, Amos McGee Misses the Bus!

Timestamps:
2:21 – Ariel Henley and Grace Kendall in conversation
13:53 – Young Adult Books
27:54 – Middle Grade Books
44:24 – Picture Books
58:23 – Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead

Rewild Your Life with Outdoor School!

Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Odd Dot are introducing Outdoor School, an immersive, eight title series from some of the most-recognized names in the outdoor community, encouraging kids to put away their screens and head outside. From rural to urban communities and from outdoor enthusiasts to cautious new adventurers, there is something for everyone! Click through to explore these books!

Learn more about the Outdoor School series + read educator case studies →

Books for Mental Health Awareness Month

These books for kids and teens sensitively deal with tough topics and big emotions. Perfect for SEL units, these stories normalize mental health issues, promote the importance of self-care, and provide more resources for young readers who are struggling to process big emotions like anger, sadness, anxiety, and loss. Share these stories with young readers to let them know they are not alone.

Find books for Mental Health Awareness Month here →

WATCH OUR SPRING 2021 SCHOOL & LIBRARY PREVIEW, FEATURING AUTHOR ADRIANNA CUEVAS!

Discover your next favorite book with the MacKids School & Library Spring 2021 Preview! Hear from our team as they present some of our wonderful upcoming titles, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles!

Plus, Adrianna Cuevas, author of Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, joins us to talk about her newest book Cuba in My Pocket (available in September 2021!)

Timestamps:
3:40 – Adrianna Cuevas in conversation with editor, Trisha de Guzman
15:38 – Picture Books
29:57 – Middle Grade Books
47:27 – Young Adult Books