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I am a senior writer at National Geographic Magazine. I used to be the book editor for the Washington Post so I especially like to explore books on National Geographic topics.

Travels in Belize: Eco-Tourism, Mayan Temples, Snakes That Chase You, Pasta with Coppola

Simon Worrall first traveled to Belize more than 20 years ago to do a travel guide for Fodor’s. “It was just as Belize was getting on people’s radar,” he says. “I knew it was one of those remote corners of the British Empire, and I was intrigued.” Now Worrall, who has written about Patagonia, a…

Japanese Grandparents, Custom Harvesting, Airport Malaria: Elements in an Award-Winning Children’s Novel

Last month, Cynthia Kadohata won the National Book Award for her children’s novel “The Thing About Luck.” The book follows 12-year-old Summer as she travels with her Japanese grandparents for a season of harvesting work in the Midwest. We spoke with Kadohata about the book. “The Thing About Luck” is set among seasonal workers called…

James McBride Wins a National Book Award for His Novel About John Brown

James McBride, who has written for National Geographic Magazine, won the National Book Award for fiction last night for his novel, The Good Lord Bird. McBride hadn’t prepared a speech because he didn’t think he would win—his competition included Thomas Pynchon and Jhumpa Lahiri—but he recounted how he lost his mother, his niece, and his…

Writing Like a Gorilla … and Winning a Newbery Medal

A novel told from a gorilla’s point of view won the 2013 winner of the Newbery Medal, the top honor in American children’s literature. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate, is based on the true story of Ivan, a gorilla that was kept for 27 years at a department store in Tacoma, Wash.…

After Sandy: How to Convince People to Evacuate

By Rachel Hartigan Shea Getting people out of a storm’s danger zones is a key step toward preventing loss of life. To find out what experts know about getting the word out, we spoke to Jay Baker, an associate professor of geography at Florida State University. Why do some people stay in their homes despite…