July 2013


NightoftheCometby George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet: A Novel (Ballantine Books, July 2013)

In my new novel The Night of the Comet, the protagonist is a high school science teacher in a small Louisiana town, circa 1973.  Frustrated in his work, belittled by his family, mocked by his students, he hitches his aspirations to what he believes will be the astronomical event of the century: the coming of Comet Kohoutek.

For my portrayal of Alan Broussard, the teacher, I drew on my own experience in the classroom.  I’ve taught English for most of the last two decades—enough time, certainly, to give me a sense of the rigors and rewards of teaching, and also to raise my esteem of those who have been doing it even longer, and in more difficult circumstances, than I have.

I was also inspired, in my story of Alan, by movies I’ve seen that feature teachers as heroes—but not in the way you might expect.   (more…)

Advertisements

GreenTown USAby Daniel Wallach, foreword contributor of Green Town U.S.A.: The Handbook for America’s Sustainable Future (Hatherleigh Press, July 2013) and Executive Director and Founder of Greensburg GreenTown

You may have heard of Greensburg, Kansas, the little town only 1.5 miles wide that was 95% destroyed by a tornado in 2007.   What you may not know is that Greensburg chose to transform tragedy into opportunity by deciding to rebuild “green.” Since we made this decision, we have received quite a bit of exciting recognition. President Barack Obama mentioned it in his address to a joint session of Congress on February 24, 2009 and Leonardo DiCaprio, working with the Discovery Channel, produced a documentary. We were also featured on the Weather Channel during a segment entitled “When Weather Changed History.”

But the story of Greensburg, Kansas does not begin and end there. In fact, our decision to rebuild green is, in a way, the prelude to a new chapter for every town and city in our country, especially in light of the recent and ongoing disaster in the Gulf. Individuals across America can look to Greensburg, a.k.a. “GreenTown”, as an example of how we can change the course of history and change the way we live with the environment in mind, and how young people can be instrumental in this change.

(more…)

Stock Image Book PileRandom House is delighted to offer downloadable listings of Random House titles that appear in Appendix B, as well as a selection of non-Appendix B suggested titles. In addition to providing the ISBN, pagination, Common Core exemplar category and corresponding Common Core selection for all available retail formats, the RH Common Core title list also includes available library editions.

Click here to view a PDF of the Random House Common Core title list.

Click here to download the Random House Common Core title list in Excel.

Decoded

Since its publication nearly three years ago, Jay-Z’s powerful memoir, Decoded, has continued to engage readers, unfolding the story of legendary rap artist Jay-Z through a blend of lyrics and prose.

Upon reading Decoded, the Mighty Teen Scholars program of Philadelphia, PA discussed the book, specifically talking about the new, diversified age of patriotism that Decoded suggests is replacing an older, more rigid patriotism of the past.

Mighty Teen Scholars helps teenagers to think and write with clarity so that they can achieve success in school, work, and life. Teenagers congregate every Wednesday night to interview professionals, plan for college, discuss and write about current events, and, in this case, talk about books.

We’re delighted to share the opinions of these introspective, enthusiastic teenage readers, as shaped by their reading of Decoded. (more…)