9781400052189By Dana McCullough

Evans High School’s fourth annual, school-wide “Wear Red to Honor Henrietta Lacks” event, was held on Friday, October 3, 2014. This celebration was intended to honor Henrietta Lacks, the amazing afterlife of her cells, and the unique and valuable role they have played, and continue to play, in numerous medical breakthroughs. We are eager to share Henrietta’s story with as many people as possible, so we hope you will keep reading to learn more about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. We also hope you will join us in the future by wearing red and hosting a “Wear Red” event at your own school on or around October 4th. Included here are helpful tips and directions for hosting a “Wear Red” event at your school, plus additional online resources for more information on Henrietta Lacks, her family, and their place in medical history. (more…)

978-0-8041-7907-2By Kirsten Gillibrand, author of Off the Sidelines (Ballantine Books, September 2014)

Dear Educators,

From my mother and grandmother to Hillary Clinton and countless others, incredible role models have shaped me into the woman I am today. I wouldn’t be where I am without their patience, wisdom and guidance.

That is why I am so excited to announce that I have written a book about my own life and the lessons I’ve learned in order to encourage more women and girls to power past life’s obstacles and make a difference in the world around them. (more…)

maya-angelou_quote

“Here on the pulse of this new day.
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
And into your brother’s face,
Your country,
And say simply
Very simply
With hope -
Good Morning.”
– Maya Angelou, from “On the Pulse of Morning”

September 12th, 2014, The Riverside Church, New York

On a nearly perfect late summer day in Morningside Heights there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but there were plenty of rainbows beneath the domed ceiling of The Riverside Church to celebrate the life of Dr. Maya Angelou. This magnificent Church, with its rich history and commitment to justice, with its limestone pillars and Flemish stained glass, was filled with joy – and some great hats – as The Brown Sisters from Portland Oregon opened the program with an amazing “Amazing Grace.” (more…)

978-0-553-41802-6By Andy Weir, author of The Martian: A Novel (Crown, February 2014)

When I wrote “The Martian,” I didn’t mean to craft a thriller that could double as a science textbook— but to some extent, that’s what happened.

The story revolves around a lone astronaut named Mark Watney who is stranded on Mars. He faces countless trials and tribulations in his increasingly desperate attempts to survive. As a science dork, I wanted to make sure everything in the book was as accurate as it could be. I wanted to back up Mark’s solutions with hard numbers. As a result, many parts of the book are basically deadly word problems based on what Mark must do to survive. His life becomes a series of challenges in chemistry, physics, astronomy, and math. (more…)

9780345514400North Bergen (NJ) High School teacher Laurie Troiano recently taught Maya Angelou’s beloved I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings to her Junior Honors class–they finished the book on the same day that Dr. Angelou passed away.  Read the note that Ms. Troiano sent us below, which describes the impact that Dr. Angelou’s classic had on her students:

“There is nothing better than getting books in the mail. Thank you for the copy and guide of Caged Bird. I had a memorable moment this year with my North Bergen High School Junior Honors class. I decided to read this book with them and I haven’t taught it in years. My students knew nothing about her and even less about being black and poor in the South, as they are mostly from immigrant families. The day we finished the book was the day she died. The students all came running to me to tell me. We talked about her and they asked if we could have a moment of silence. The day we took the test, some students cried, and all wrote with such intensity and love.

I will always remember this moment and I wanted to share it with you and say thank you for remembering teachers.”

978-0-8129-7861-2Being a Teen, author Jane Fonda’s comprehensive guide to adolescent issues, was recently assigned to students taking the “Our Whole Lives” class at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Susquehanna Valley (Northumberland, PA).  Fonda’s new book, which covers topics from the body and sex to friendship, family and more, was universally praised by Unitarian Universalist’s students and teachers: “Being a Teen is a wonderful guide to yourself and to others, a pocket encyclopedia, a guide to the roller coaster of puberty. Jane Fonda answers questions that would be difficult to ask….”

Students were engaged by the book, including Henry, age 15, who wrote: “I was apprehensive at first because I thought it would be generic stuff that I already knew or have heard. After the first chapter I read, however, I found that I was learning a lot, and I ended up reading the whole book.” Another student, Emma, age 14, wrote: “The teenage years are a confusing time. Being a Teen is a clear guide with really good information.” (more…)

978-0-307-46497-2Max Brooks’ graphic novel The Harlem Hellfighters focuses on the 369th Infantry Regiment—the first African American regiment mustered to fight in World War I.  Based on a true story, The Harlem Hellfighers takes readers from the enlistment lines in Harlem to the training camp at Spartanburg, South Carolina, to the trenches in France.  Despite extraordinary struggles and discrimination, the 369th became one of the most successful—and least celebrated—regiments of the war.

Author Max Brooks is available to Skype with classes that adopt The Harlem Hellfighters.  If you are interested, please email us at highschool@randomhouse.com

Click here to listen to Max Brooks’ NPR interview.

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