Joy Hakim

Joy Hakim

I'm a teacher turned newspaper reporter who decided to write a storyteller's U.S. history. It turned into: A History of US, ten small books published by Oxford University Press. The books begin with the first explorers crossing the Bering Strait, the series ends with Donald Trump. In testimony before the Senate Education Committee American historian David McCullough called the books "superb." People Magazine described me as "the J.K. Rowling of the history world." The books have sold more than 5 million copies. They are intended to cross disciplines and teach reading skills as well as American history. Why should language arts be the sole reading discipline? A Dallas school used the books to teach middle school reading and scores went up 10%. Educator teams at Oxford and Johns Hopkins have done terrific coordinated teaching materials. Freedom: A History of US, is a one-volume US history, companion to a 16-part PBS series of the same name narrated by Katie Couric, with voices by a host of Hollywood figures. This one volume history is available from Social Studies School Services. The Story of Science is a three-book series published by Smithsonian Books with encouragement from the NSTA (National Science Teachers Association). The first volume is Aristotle Leads the Way; the second, Newton at the Cente. They tell of classic science. The third book, Einstein Adds A New Dimension, attempts to explain quantum theory and relativity through stories, so everyone can understand those amazing and very current sciences. Science writer Timothy Ferris said he wished he had them when he was a boy. Educators at Johns Hopkins and Juliana Texley at NSTA developed teaching materials for classroom use (available from NSTA or Amazon). Reading guru Lucy Calkins, of Teachers College, Columbia, has called the books the "gold standard" in the field. They have been translated into Korean and Chinese. The Chinese books recently won an education award in Shanghai. "Free To Believe (Or Not)," tells the tale of religious freedom in America through a series of stories and through original documents. The book was written to help teachers and students handle those often hard to read documents. I'm finishing four small books that put biology into a narrative framework tracking this timely science from Vesalius (Renaissance) to Jennifer Doudna and Emanuelle Carpentier (today's genetics). Right now, I'm writing freebie lessons to read and do at home. They can be found on my You can also connect with me on Twitter: @joyhakim_joy or at
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