Author Articles


the wondrous workings of planet earthRachel Ignotofsky’s The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems presents an expansive and beautifully illustrated tour of our planet, exploring ecosystems large and small, from reefs, deserts, and rainforests to a single drop of water.  Making earth science accessible and entertaining through art, maps, and infographics, this newly published Ten Speed Press book explains how our planet works—from its diverse ecosystems and their inhabitants, to the levels of ecology, the importance of biodiversity, and the cycles of nature.

In this special interview with author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky, she walks us through her creative process, what inspired her content strategy, themes and objectives, working with her editor and the Ten Speed Press design and production team, and how she hopes readers of all ages will become empowered to help preserve and protect earth’s natural resources. 

To request a complimentary examination copy to review for classroom use, please contact us at K12education@edu.penguinrandomhouse.com or call us toll free at (844) 851-3955. (more…)

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the far away brothersBy Lauren Markham, author of The Far Away Brothers (Broadway Books, May 2018)

To request a complimentary examination copy to review for classroom use, please contact us at K12education@edu.penguinrandomhouse.com or call us toll free at (844) 851-3955.

For the past decade, I’ve worked at a high school for immigrant students in Oakland, California. The school is a delayed mirror of world events; as people flee conflict and catastrophes the world over—from Syria, Afghanistan, Burma, Mexico, the DRC—some of the displaced inevitably make it to our school. One day in February of 2014, a co-worker introduced me to two dispirited young men: identical twins. Several months earlier, they’d left their parents and siblings behind in El Salvador, crossing through Guatemala, Mexico, and the Texas desert all on their own. Now they were terrified of being deported. (more…)

the classBy Heather Won Tesoriero, author of The Class (Ballantine Books, September 2018)

To request a complimentary examination copy to review for classroom use, please contact us at K12education@edu.penguinrandomhouse.com or call us toll free at (844) 851-3955.

In the fall of 2015, I was a producer for the CBS Evening News. We were planning to do an endpiece for the show about Olivia Hallisey, a Greenwich, CT, teenager who won the Google Science Fair with her invention of a cheap, rapid test for Ebola. Since I spent my first three years out of college teaching, I raised my hand to produce the piece. I thought it would be fun to spend a day back in a high school classroom.

What I didn’t know was that returning to high school that day would change my life. I stepped into Andy Bramante’s independent science research class at Greenwich High School, and I was riveted. The class had no textbooks, tests, or curriculum. Instead, kids work on individual science research projects throughout the year with the goal of taking them out on the global science fair circuit. (more…)

 

green pbBy Sam Graham-Felsen, author of Green (Random House Trade Paperbacks, November 2018)

In March of 2007, I left my life as a political journalist in New York and moved to Chicago to work as the chief blogger on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. I was responsible for telling the story of the movement behind Obama, and I spent a lot of time traveling the country talking to people from all races and walks of life. I met veterans, farmers, college students, working class folks from the Rust Belt, many of them former Republicans—most of whom had never been politically engaged until Obama came along. It was thrilling to meet so many people who believed, as I did, in the vision of a united and reconciled America. And it seemed, after Obama was elected, that our country truly had turned the page. (more…)

9780804189934By Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing, Third Edition (Three Rivers Press, July 2017).

To request a complimentary examination copy to review for classroom use, please contact us at K12education@edu.penguinrandomhouse.com or call us toll free at (844) 851-3955.

Adding rhetoric to a literature syllabus can spark something surprising in students.

Few people can say that John Quincy Adams changed their lives. Those who can are wise to keep it to themselves. Friends tell me I should also stop prating about my passion for rhetoric, the 3,000-year-old art of persuasion.

John Quincy Adams changed my life by introducing me to rhetoric.

Sorry. (more…)

Reading with Patrick

Recently graduated from Harvard University, Michelle Kuo arrived in the rural town of Helena, Arkansas, as a Teach for America volunteer, bursting with optimism and drive. But she soon encountered the jarring realities of life in one of the poorest counties in America, still disabled by the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In Reading with Patrick, Kuo, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, shares the story of her complicated but rewarding mentorship of one student, Patrick Browning, and his remarkable literary and personal awakening. Below is an essay Kuo wrote for educators about her own experiences as a teacher.

To request a complimentary examination copy to review for classroom use, please contact us at K12education@edu.penguinrandomhouse.com or call us toll free at (844) 851-3955. (more…)

9781101907290By Shaka Senghor, author of Writing My Wrongs (Convergent Books, January 2017).

Although I grew up in the ’80s in a very different era, I can still relate to many of the challenges our youth face today. By the time I turned seventeen years old, gun violence had become a normal part of my life. I watched many of my childhood friends and family members get gunned down in the streets. When I was fourteen, my older brother shot my oldest brother in the neck; at fifteen, my childhood friend was shot to death; at sixteen, my older brother was shot, and years later was shot again, this time leading to his paralysis from the waist down; and at the age of seventeen, I was shot several times while standing on the corner in my neighborhood. By the time I turned nineteen, I had been surrounded by so much violence that I became desensitized to it. (more…)

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