This Just In


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…)

9780804189767 (1)By Ricki Weisfelner, an art teacher at Woodward Parkway Elementary School who utilized President George W. Bush’s Portraits of Courage as a teaching tool for her students.

Inspired by former President George W. Bush’s book, Portraits of Courage, a collection of paintings of and essays about U.S. veterans, I thought it would be a great idea to have veterans model for our young artists here at Woodward Parkway and use George W. Bush as the artist of inspiration. My idea: while students were painting the portraits, they would interview the veterans and create a short biographical essay. Several classroom teachers helped students prepare questions to ask the veterans, read stories of vets, and encouraged the children to wear red, white, and blue to their next art class. The administration sent a letter to parents, soliciting volunteers to model. We had the help of many school families, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, and my own personal family and friends. Twenty-two veterans came to pose for the twenty-three classes I teach. (more…)

9780804189934A favorite text for AP® English Language, writing, and journalism classes, Thank You for Arguing is your student’s master class in the art of persuasion. Jay Heinrichs not only teaches how to recognize a metonymy and a chiasmus, but also how to argue effectively without anger. The revised and updated third edition includes extensive new material on persuasive essay writing, tropes, facing bullies, and arguing when people don’t believe the same facts. Plus an expanded “Argument Lab” section to put your students’ new skills to the test.

“Heinrichs is a clever, passionate and erudite advocate for rhetoric, the 3,000-year-old art of persuasion, and his user-friendly primer brims with anecdotes, historical and popular-culture references, sidebars, tips and definitions.” —Publishers Weekly (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…)

9781101907290Curriculum Guide Now Available

Shaka Senghor was raised in a middle class neighborhood on Detroit’s east side during the height of the 1980s crack epidemic. An honor roll student and a natural leader, he dreamed of becoming a doctor—but at age 11, his parents’ marriage began to unravel, and the beatings from his mother worsened, sending him on a downward spiral that saw him run away from home, turn to drug dealing to survive, and end up in prison for murder at the age of 19, fuming with anger and despair.

Writing My Wrongs (Convergent Books) is the story of what came next. During his nineteen-year incarceration, seven of which were spent in solitary confinement, Senghor discovered literature, meditation, self-examination, and the kindness of others—tools he used to confront the demons of his past, forgive the people who hurt him, and begin atoning for the wrongs he had committed. Upon his release at age thirty-eight, Senghor became an activist and mentor to young men and women facing circumstances like his. Shaka’s an unforgettable story, one which reminds us that our worst deeds don’t define us and which serves as a compelling witness to our country’s need for rethinking its approach to crime, prison, and the men and women sent there.

The new Writing My Wrongs Curriculum Guide was developed by Dr. Ebony Roberts and provides strategies to bring the book into the high school classroom. This guide, which also includes connections to the Common Core State Standards, features a thorough curriculum framework, activities for students before, during, and after reading the book, and takes you chapter by chapter through the themes (such as childhood innocence and prisons as punishment) that are central to Shaka’s story with suggested exercises and suggested supplementary resources for each.

Click here to download the Curriculum Guide or email us at highschool@penguinrandomhouse.com to request a print copy.

Click here to read about the use of Writing My Wrongs in a community Common Reading program.

9780804189354Thank you for your interest in The Martian: Classroom Edition (Broadway Books), featuring classroom-appropriate language, discussion questions and activities, and a Q&A with Andy Weir himself.  With its compelling narrative and scientific content, the book is perfectly suited for both language arts and STEM curriculums. Additionally, our website and blog feature further resources to make teachers’ lives just a little bit simpler:

* An essay by Andy Weir and this interview in Education Week, which discuss the book’s ability to double as both novel and science textbook.
* A Teacher’s Guide aligned with the Common Core State Standards. Please email us for print copies.
* If you are a full-time teacher who is considering (or reviewing) the book for classroom use, please email us for a free review copy (while supplies last). Please note that this offer is only available to teachers; librarians, please feel free to share this offer with teachers at your school. (more…)

9781101903544 (1)By Mike Massimino, author of Spaceman (Crown Archetype, October 2016).

When I was six years old, I watched Neil Armstrong walk on the moon and dreamed that one day I would follow in those historic footsteps. But as a working class kid who was skinny, awkward, nearsighted, and afraid of heights, I saw no path to becoming an astronaut. So my dream died by age eight, only to be rekindled after seeing the movie and reading the book The Right Stuff when I was a senior in college.

In my book, Spaceman, I encourage young people to never give up on big dreams. I take them through the struggles I overcame to get to space: pursuing an engineering degree, failing my PhD qualifying exam at MIT, being rejected by NASA three times before being accepted on the fourth try, and overturning a NASA medical disqualification by training my eyes to “see better.”  (more…)

9780812995435By Wayne Maines, whose family is the focus of Becoming Nicole (Random House Trade Paperbacks, June 2016) by Amy Ellis Nutt.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine. Before the lecture I spent an hour walking around their beautiful campus, thinking about how to frame my discussion about equality, harassment and my family without getting too emotional. I was concerned that breaking into tears might distract from my message, which acknowledges that we have indeed come far these past five years, but further stresses that there is still a great deal of work to be done.

I am the proud father of identical twins: one is a boy and one is a girl. My beautiful daughter Nicole is transgender. This talk was important to me, a chance to meet with senior staff, middle management and students and have a conversation about transgender rights in schools. (more…)

Winners Random House Writing 2016The Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards, which annually present $112,000 in scholarships to fifty-six New York City public high school seniors for original poetry, fiction & drama, memoir, graphic novel, and spoken word poetry compositions, were held on June 7. Since 1994, more than two million dollars have been awarded to students and their schools by Random House, and now Penguin Random House, through this awards competition. In this twenty-third year for the competition, more than 1,300 entries were received from a number of diverse public high schools throughout the city’s five boroughs. (more…)

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