9780307887443In this essay, Gillian King-Cargile shares how Ready Player One is being used by Northern Illinois University’s STEM Read to explore STEM concepts and build computational thinking skills in students. Teens are participating in hands-on, game-based learning to dig deeper into Ernest Cline’s novel while challenging themselves to build a better reality.  

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.

The first time I read Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, I was obsessed with it. What’s not to love about a book that wraps the classic hero’s journey into a futuristic tale of love, video games, and virtual reality? As soon as I finished, I wanted to flip right back to the first page and relive the ways the main character used his wits to solve puzzles, stop evil corporations, get the girl, and save the day. (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…)

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In August 2017, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) released its Social Justice Book List, containing over 200 titles spanning all levels of education. Over sixty educators hand-selected these books, nominating those that they have successfully used in the classroom to teach social justice skills and concepts to their students. We are proud to report that over a quarter of the books that appear on the list are published by Penguin Random House. Click here for a compilation of all PRH titles featured on NNSTOY’s list. (more…)

9780804189354By Karen Kingrea, STEM Director at Immaculata Catholic School

Growing up outside Houston, Texas in the ’60s and ’70s, it is no surprise that I developed a love of space exploration and NASA. During my thirty-five years in education, I have furthered this passion whenever possible by attending NASA workshops and conference sessions across the country. Thus, it was with great excitement that I read The Martian by Andy Weir last summer. The book was everything I hoped it would be and more. My only regret was that it was not appropriate for my middle school students to read. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to learn that a classroom edition of The Martian exists. After seeing the movie as well, I knew that Mars would be our theme for the 2016–2017 school year. (more…)

9781101907290The Universal Academy for the College Bound (UACB) High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is launching a City-Wide Community Engagement book club for youth and adult mentors and has chosen several Penguin Random House titles for the inaugural program: Jay Z’s Decoded (Spiegel & Grau), Wes Moore’s The Other Wes Moore (Spiegel & Grau), and Shaka Senghor’s Writing My Wrongs (Convergent Books).

In total, the school’s English department selected eleven fiction and nonfiction titles by African American authors that, according to their press release, “highlight Social Justice issues that parallel youth’s lives across the city, poverty, homelessness, and being raised in single-parent households.” UACB is led by Universal Companies, the only African American charter school management company in the country, and aims to promote literacy, increase reading ability, and provide mentorship opportunities for its students through the book club program by exposing them to books that they can relate to. (more…)

9781594746376T. S. Eliot famously wrote that “April is the cruelest month”—and William Shakespeare may be apt to agree with him, as he died on April 23, 1616 in Stratford-upon-Avon shortly after his fifty-second birthday. However, though the Bard himself passed away, his work and his words have proven immortal. It’s impossible to know if Shakespeare was cognizant of the way in which his tragedies, comedies, and histories would persist throughout the centuries. Who knows? Maybe he wouldn’t have been surprised in the least that in the twenty-first century he still takes center stage in English classes across the globe (or that his plays are still performed at that other Globe). Still, could he, in all his wisdom and piercing insight into humanity, ever have predicted that someday there would be a Shakespearean retelling of Star Wars? Probably not. (more…)

9780307464972A letter of appreciation from Sara Brown, Library Media Specialist at Portage High School in Portage, Michigan.

It is my honor to write in behalf of Mr. Max Brooks, the guest speaker at our first ever Portage CommuniTEEN Read event on November 12, 2015.

We asked Mr. Brooks to be part of this inaugural event in our community to help lay a solid foundation for years to come. He is a fantastic speaker who engages his audience by lacing important topics with humor. We had almost 1,000 students attend his presentations; many were 9″‘ graders. Max kept them engaged and interested which was evident by the 20-30 hands that were raised anytime he asked if there were more questions. Based on participation, adults were no less engrossed. (more…)

9780307464972By Andrew Warner, Rolla High School (Rolla, MO)

For struggling readers, the simple act of finishing a book can be a challenge. In addition to obstacles that reading ability may present, some students are so discouraged by past classroom experiences that the sight of a high school textbook instantly turns them off. Additionally, the emphasis that Common Core places on complex and nonfiction reading leaves many students, and even some teachers, feeling that nothing they read in class can be interesting or relevant.

To help these students, my department created a class focused on graphic novels. We wanted to provide students with accessible—and relatable—nonfiction that would align with CCSS standards. After reading Max Brooks’s The Harlem Hellfighters last year, I decided to include it in our class. I was intrigued to learn about a part of history that was previously unfamiliar to me, and I admired the author’s honest depiction of war and its portrayal in the media. It seemed like the perfect complement to a more traditional graphic novel like Art Spiegelman’s Maus. (more…)

FREEDOM INVITE HTML v6On Tuesday, April 7th Broadway Books and The Freedom Writers Foundation are hosting a free screening of the forthcoming Freedom Writers Foundation documentary “Freedom Writers: Stories from an Undeclared War” for educators. The event will include a book signing and comments by guest speaker Erin Gruwell, teacher and founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. To RSVP, click here.

Space is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.   Please note that children and students will not be admitted.

Date/Time: Tuesday, April 7th at 2:00 PM

Location: Penguin Random House Building | 1745 Broadway | (Between 55th & 56th Streets) | 2nd Floor Café Auditorium

To read more about Erin Gruwell’s The Freedom Writers Diary, click here.

9780307464972By Lakeya Omogun, New Design Middle School (Harlem, New York)

 Whose perspective is told? Whose perspective is missing? Whose voice is heard? Whose voice is missing? What might this person say if they had a voice? These were some of the questions my students explored while performing critical readings of various historical texts.

After learning about World War I, my students were also challenged to consider the missing perspectives and voices in the stories of this historical event. What better way to learn about them than from an author? On Friday, December 12th, 2014, Max Brooks visited my seventh-grade classroom in Harlem, New York, at New Design Middle School to tell my students about one missing perspective in the stories of World War I, The Harlem Hellfighters. (more…)