February 2011


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

To celebrate the release of the new movie of Jane Eyre, Vintage Books and Focus Features are pleased to present the Jane Eyre Gothic Story Competition for Young Writers. Students aged 13-18 can enter by submitting an original gothic short story for the chance to win a trip for two to visit “Brontë Country,” in Yorkshire, England, including economy roundtrip airfare, four-star hotel accommodations for four nights, a trip to visit the Brontë sisters’ Parsonage, and a guided walking tour of Brontë Country. The winning story will be published online at the Random House for High School Teachers website. Please review full details and offical competition rules before entering your story.

Blind Descent by James M. Tabor

Agony. Ecstasy. Injury. Death. Betrayal. Brotherhood and sisterhood. Accidents. Triumphs. Unknown realms. Exploration and discovery. Overwhelming obstacles. Ingenious victories.

These are some of the reasons why I think Blind Descent would make good reading for high school students. Here are two great truths: Hockey games, reduced to their essences, are nothing more than two players racing towards the puck; everything else that happens is connecting tissue, secondary, quotidian. The same is true of life. Reduced to its essence, life is a series of critical moments linked by days, months, years, or decades of the stuff we do to pass time. Work. Play. Eat. Sleep. Drive. Party. Study, etc.

There are some people who are not content to wait for life to bring them critical moments. For a variety of reasons, they go out of their way to create such junctures, often placing themselves in harm’s way to do so. (more…)

The New Cool by Neal Bascomb

Publishing on March 1, 2011, The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts by Neal Bascomb is the astonishing story of a team of high school seniors and their remarkable mentor and teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer, who come together—not to play a sport or exercise their athletic prowess—but rather to build a machine that will battle in the most heated, sophisticated robotics contest in the world. The FIRST competition, sponsored by genius inventor Dean Kamen, is jumpstarting American innovation for the next generation—and beyond.

The New Cool would make a great faculty read and can help teachers learn to get their students excited about technology and science—a seemingly daunting task that Bascomb brings much-needed aid to.

And who says technology can’t be cool? Earlier this month Kamen and will.i.am of The Black Eyed Peas launched the FIRST Robotics Competition 20th anniversary season with the Kickoff of a new robotics team called “LOGO MOTION.”

Check out the full article on the Kickoff here.
Watch the book trailer.
Start reading The New Cool now.