My high school English teacher asked us to explain the difference between non-fiction and fiction. “Truth and lies,” muttered the class wit. He was more profound than he realized. Good fiction reveals fundamental truths about human existence in memorable stories, while bad non-fiction is, as Zorba the Greek so eloquently explained, “A pack of lies.”

I like to think I combine the best features of both genres: compelling narratives that are factually accurate. Kids want much more than a dry recitation of facts. This means easy-to-follow storylines, vivid descriptions, frequent use of anecdotes, and emphasis on the most important details.

Publishers recognize these qualities. One noted, “What impressed me most was Jim’s careful historical research and attention to detail. He delivered manuscripts dead-on to some very particular reading-level specifications. He also delivered early. Jim did all this while remembering the most important part of the job: telling good stories.”

My books have attracted sterling reviews. For example, John Peters of the New York Public Library commented on The Cuban Missile Crisis: The Cold War Goes Hot and The Story of the Attack on Pearl Harbor: “Both books combine absorbing narrative with sharp cause-and-effect analyses.”

You can purchase many of them from me, and I will happily provide a personalized inscription. Please contact me for availability of specific titles and shipping information.

I am sure of one thing. I have picked up so many great stories while researching my subjects that I am one popular guy at parties and social gatherings.


What they say

Jim Whiting’s Masters in Music book series is an incredible resource for my music program at Bridge Boston  Charter School, an urban elementary school that serves high-poverty students in Boston. Whiting’s books are incredibly informative, providing a rich historical context and accurate biography for each composer. They are equally fascinating, with each book narrating dramatic stories that captivate students’ attention, and allow students to see classical music composers as interesting and relevant historical figures.  My students love reading Jim Whiting’s books as a class and independently, and I believe the books have certainly motivated students to learn and perform classical music in a way that is significant and meaningful.

– Julie Davis, educator