On Tuesday, April 24, 2012, author Thomas Mullen visited Central Catholic High School in Tolelo, Ohio, where he was the featured speaker in the Central Catholic High School Reads program. Upon his visit, all students were required to read his book, The Last Town on Earth and teachers incorporated it into different class subjects.  Marie A. Arter, Director of Curriculum, said: “Author Thomas Mullen brought a fresh, intellectual and creative approach to the students and faculty of Toledo Central Catholic High School in our annual author visit event that celebrates reading and writing.  Tom meet with our community, students, and faculty to shared his love of writing, research and cultivating curiosity in life.  Indeed, he inspired our students to look at history from multiple perspectives.  Without doubt, I would recommend Thomas Mullen and his book The Last Town on Earth to any high school looking for ways to motivate their students to make curricular connections while becoming lifelong learners and readers.”

Click here for more information about the CCHS Reads program and Mullen’s visit.

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The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen

by Thomas Mullen, author of The Last Town on Earth and The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers

When reading works of fiction, students often think that there’s a right answer for how they’re supposed to respond to the book.  Surely (as they’re sometimes taught in high school) there’s a specific meaning F. Scott Fitzgerald had in mind with The Great Gatsby’s “green light,” and therefore there’s a right way to read the book and a wrong way.  A novel is a riddle, just a more creative version of a math problem, and students need to figure out the right answer, explain it in a paper, and then they’ll earn their A.  At which point they’re free to put the book away and never think about it again.

But English isn’t Algebra, and sometimes there are lots of right answers.  Or maybe—gasp—there’s no right answer.  Or perhaps it isn’t the answer that’s so important as the journey the reader takes to get there.  The travels with the characters, the experience of viewing the world through someone else’s eyes, the various lessons this act imparts—these will all lead different readers to different opinions, emotions, revelations.  This is true not only with our interpretations about whether a literary symbol has a certain meaning but also our determination as to whether characters did the “right” thing or not. (more…)

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti

Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief, recently spoke with a group of students at the Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia. The students later emailed her book trailers that they’d made for her novel as part of a class project.

We were pretty impressed by them (and wished we were given a fun assignment like this back when we were in school!) Check the trailers out on her blog.

Haven’t read the book yet? Email us and we’ll send a complimentary copy to the first TEN people who respond.