wanted to write for this group because they haven’t yet
learned to dread history,” says Kay. “I want them to know
that history can be fun!” In addition, Kay hopes to show
teachers and parents the value of historical fiction as an
alternative learning tool to traditional textbooks.
detailed and careful research that Kay does when creating his
young heroes matches his celebrated teaching style.
Building on his teaching experience with American and
world history and his previously published short novel for
young adults, Jamestown Journey, Kay called museums,
read primary source material from the era and consulted the
published literature on the period.
He believes that the effort to research small details,
such as what type of apple a Virginia boy might eat during the
Civil War, are important in bringing a sense of immediacy to
the text for its readers.
recipient of the 2002 Daughter’s of the American Revolution
National Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year
award, the Florida 2002 Outstanding American History Teacher
of the Year Award, the 2001 Florida History Fair Teacher
of the Year, and a Finalist for the 2001 National History Day
Teacher of the Year, Kay is known for creative teaching as
well as creative writing.
He is the initiator and coordinator of the Pinellas
County History Day, and has taken students to the state level
each year since 1999.
has also developed award-winning curriculum for teachers and
given many workshops on education topics such as teaching the
Civil War, using historical fiction in the classroom and how
to participate in History Day.
Free lesson plans and resource lists for parents and
teachers about his novels are available at www.youngheroesofhistory.com.
completed his masters in education at the University of
Massachusetts in Boston and received his bachelor’s in
history cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.
He currently teaches History, at East Lake High School in
Tarpon Springs, Fla.
also enjoys coaching and playing ice hockey and riding
bicycles. Kay and
his wife, Heidi, have three children.