April 2014


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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By Jared Diamond, author of The Third Chimpanzee for Young People: On the Evolution And Future of the Human Animal (Seven Stories, April 2014).The Third Chimpanzee For Young People

One day, when my twin sons were in middle school, they came home from school angry with me.  I wasn’t aware of having done anything particular that day to arouse their wrath, and so I asked them what was the matter.  They replied, “Our history teacher has assigned your book to our class to read.  We haven’t looked at it yet, but we already know that it’s a bad book.  Worst of all, our teacher is inviting you to come to school to talk to our class.  We are going to be so embarrassed in front of our friends!”

I duly arrived at my sons’ class, to find my sons sitting in the last row, with faces averted, huddled in uncomfortable postures, and obviously in agony from embarrassment.  As I began to talk about my book, their classmates started asking questions and expressing increasingly lively interest.  My sons gradually rotated to face forward, relaxed from their cramped posture, and began smiling.  They were delighted that their classmates liked my book, and that they didn’t have to be ashamed of me.  Since then, my sons have been among my strongest supporters, quick to denounce any criticism of my books.  (more…)

978-0-307-95667-5By Debbie Stier, author of The Perfect Score Project (Harmony, February 2014).

My project started as an attempt to motivate my son to care about the SATs. We needed a plan for college: how to get in and how to pay. I started researching the SAT, looking for hope, and it was during that search that I found an article about SAT scores leading to merit aid, which seemed promising.

I started with the SAT Question of the Day and immediately got hooked. They were like puzzles, and in a moment of enthusiasm, I declared I was going to try to achieve a perfect SAT score! I never expected my son to get a perfect score; he came up with his own goal, which we agreed on.

The project grew into a book idea—a “Consumer Reports” for the SAT. And so, in 2011, I took the test every time it was offered (seven times total) at five different test centers. (more…)