November 2009

A Truth Universally Acknowledged Edited by Susannah Carson

For so many of us a Jane Austen novel is much more than the epitome of a great read. It is a delight and a solace, a challenge and a reward, and perhaps even an obsession. For two centuries Austen has enthralled readers. Few other authors can claim as many fans or as much devotion. So why are we so fascinated with her novels? What is it about her prose that has made Jane Austen so universally beloved?

Send an e-mail to and explain (in 500-1000 words) the significance Jane Austen has had on the literary world and in your own life, and you will be entered for the chance to win a signed copy of A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen, along with The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, volume 1 and The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, volume 2.

Read the official rules here.


Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

by Alisa Smith, co-author with J.B. MacKinnon of Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet (First 10 people to post a comment will receive a FREE copy of the book. Simply post a comment and then email us with your full school mailing address).

Who would have thought that a totally local concept could travel around the world? James and I wouldn’t have believed it when we began our local-eating experiment in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2005. It was a private, personal thing. We deprived ourselves of rice, olive oil, sugar, and all packaged foods for a whole year because of what people are now calling our  “carbon footprint.” We had just learned that even a simple turnip or apple travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate. An entire supermarket-sourced meal could have enough air miles to span the globe. Already, we were worried about the amount of fossil fuels consumed by our modern lifestyles, so we figured our daily bread was the perfect place to start cutting back. After all, couldn’t you grow lettuce in your own backyard? (more…)


The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D.

The following article is excerpted from His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s new book The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World and serves as the opening piece for this new volume of RHI focusing on environmental education.  We think it sets the perfect tone not just for this newest RHI initiative but also for you, the teacher, as you think about how to motivate and inspire not just your students, but their parents, fellow faculty and, well, yourself!

It is clear that, given the reality of the interdependent world in which we now live, no individual or group, community or nation can live in isolation. This is not a merely abstract idea, but a political, economic and environmental reality. Our actions have an impact on others and the emerging global community. This is why an interdependent society has to be a compassionate society, compassionate in its choice of goals and responsible in its cooperation in pursuit of those goals. (more…)

Welcome to the online blog of RHI Magazine! For the past three years, we have provided the print version of the magazine for free to middle- and high-school educators and librarians. Featuring nationally-renowned educators, bestselling and award-winning authors, and contributions from leading educational and professional organizations, past issues have covered topics such as: reaching reluctant readers, critical literary and civic responsibility, and censorship and banned books.   All past issues are available for free download, either as a complete file or ala carte, article-by-article.  Simply click on the topics in the preceding sentence or visit this blog’s archives for the links.

With so many teachers, students, and publishers embracing new technology today, we decided this year to make RHI a completely digital initiative. In the coming months, we will post brand-new articles and we invite you, the educator, to visit our site on a weekly basis to weigh in and share your thoughts.  At some point in the future we may even print a fourth issue (on recycled paper!) and could include your feedback.  In essence, we’re inviting you to help build the next issue!

The blog will also be home to all things high-school related, a one-stop place for news, teacher resources, promotional give-aways and more. We encourage you to book-mark, and to help spread the word!