5 Reads to Inspire and Challenge You This Winter

Posted by Tracy O'Brien on December 26, 2016

Daylight hours are dwindling, and temperatures are cooler. What better time to hunker down inside and take a book break? Books can fulfill many human needs: increasing our knowledge, broadening our empathy, making us laugh, inspiring us, or entertaining us. The best books achieve several at once. Here are a few titles that we hope you find engaging and take you deeper into the themes, histories, and questions at the heart of Facing History and Ourselves.

Teachers, find suggested Facing History resources and tools that tie into each book recommendation to build upon and expand your lessons.

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Topics: Books, Reading, Literature, Reading List

5 Summer Reads to Open Your Mind and Heart

Posted by Tracy O'Brien on June 9, 2016

Nothing says summer like sitting in the sun with a good book. Check out five summer reads, recommended by Tracy O'Brien, Facing History's Director of Library Services. 

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Topics: Books, Reading, Literature, Summer, Reading List

Inspiring Testimony: Stories of Surviving Genocide

Posted by Stacey Perlman on April 4, 2016


April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Throughout the month, we’ll be featuring stories on Facing Today that reflect upon genocide throughout history. Hearing personal stories of survival can be a powerful learning experience. In this post, we’re shining a light on the inspirational stories of two genocide survivors.

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Topics: Books, International, Holocaust, Genocide/Collective Violence, History, Holocaust Education

Meet the History-Makers of Tomorrow

Posted by Stacey Perlman on March 16, 2016

Facing History and Ourselves celebrates upstanders of all kinds: those who stand up to injustice, those who seek to make positive change in the world, and those who spread messages of tolerance, empathy, and knowledge. During Women’s History Month, we are cheering on young women who are doing just that.

Here are three inspiring stories of young women who we have no doubt will be history-makers of the future. How do we know? Read about how they are already upstanders in their communities. 

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Topics: Books, Students, Religious Tolerance, Memphis, Upstanders, Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants, Women's History Month

Understanding Mockingbird and Watchman in Today’s World

Posted by Laura Tavares on January 7, 2016

In January and February, Barnes & Noble Booksellers is partnering with Facing History and Ourselves to promote our resources for teaching To Kill A Mockingbird to educators across the United States. Facing History’s Senior Program Associate, Laura Tavares, reflects on why Mockingbird is more relevant today than at any time since it’s original publication at the dawn of the American Civil Rights Era.

Six months ago, Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman revealed a different side of the beloved Atticus Finch. Lovers of Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, were left confused as he is rendered a segregationist who clashes with his daughter over his racist beliefs. My colleagues and I saw this as an opportunity to explore Mockingbird even further. Since the book’s release, we immersed ourselves in this text to develop resources that can inform the way you read and teach Mockingbird in your classroom. 

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman, Reading, Racism, Reading List

Best Winter Reads: Recommendations from the Facing History Library

Posted by Tracy O'Brien on December 30, 2015

Winter is a great time to slow down, indulge in eating hearty food and curl up with a book that can transport you to another world, all from the comfort of your couch. So go on an adventure this winter. Hit the library, stop by the independent bookstore on the corner, toss a few items in your AmazonSmile shopping cart (when you do, a portion of your purchase can go directly to Facing History), or start downloading to your e-reader. Hand-picked by Tracy O'Brien, Director of Facing History and Ourselves’ library, these titles are guaranteed to transport, challenge, and inspire readers of all ages.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, Facing History Resources, Memoir, Facing History and Ourselves, Survivor Testimony, Reading, Reading List

5 Questions for Pulitzer-Winner Sonia Nazario

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on October 2, 2015

On November 5, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Sonia Nazario will join Facing History in Cleveland, Ohio, for a Community Conversation—one in a series of public talks held across the country in partnership with The Allstate Foundation. You can RSVP here today. Ahead of the talk, we sat down with the author of the bestseller Enrique's Journey to discuss immigration, reporting during times of conflict, and the power young people have to shape our world for the better.

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Topics: Books, Events, Immigration, Facing History Together, Sonia Nazario, Community Conversations

Why A More Complicated Atticus Could Be A New Learning Opportunity

Posted by Laura Tavares on July 15, 2015

Like so many literature lovers, I’d been eagerly anticipating yesterday's release of Go Set a Watchman. For nearly two years, I’ve been thinking about the world of Maycomb as I worked with colleagues to create Facing History and Ourselves’ resource Teaching Mockingbird. I couldn’t wait to read Watchman, which has been described as a first draft or “parent” of To Kill a Mockingbird, to learn more about how Harper Lee first imagined beloved characters like Atticus, Scout, and Jem, and to see how she depicts Maycomb in the 1950s.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Reconstruction, News, History, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Waiting for Watchman

Posted by Dan Sigward on July 10, 2015

Facing History has eagerly awaited next week's release of Go Set a Watchman since its discovery was announced this past February. Today we were treated to a sneak preview with the release of the book's first chapter. As earlier media reports indicated, the book features an adult Scout returning to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father 20 years after the events of the original book. It is written in third person and therefore isn’t limited to Scout’s point of view.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, ELA

Bringing Art into Holocaust Instruction

Posted by Brandon Barr on June 16, 2015

As a teacher, I am constantly thinking of new ways to engage my students.

Before I started teaching my students a unit about the Holocaust this year, I thought a lot about how I could get them to think, process, and reflect meaningfully and critically about this history, and also inspire them to act in a manner that influences the world for good.

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Topics: Art, Books, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Holocaust, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony, History, Facing Technology, Chicago


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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