Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

I knew that my novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was making its way onto high school reading lists when curious emails began popping up in my inbox. They tended to go something like this:

“Um, you know, your book, Motel on the Corner of Sweet and Sour—dude, it’s like m favorite novel of all time!! And I’m kinda wondering if you could, like, answer these twelve questions for me? (In my mind, I always hear this question coming from a nasally, voice-cracking, pre-pubescent 14-year-old boy wearing a Hot Topic hoodie with his ear buds in, listening to “Bring Me the Horizon”).

And just like that, I was suddenly someone’s homework. Right up there with Of Mice and Men, the Pythagorean Theorem, and building dioramas out of old shoe-boxes and craftpaper.

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how my novel would be received.

So then I asked myself why so many students embrace books like The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird—because they’re amazing novels? Sure. But moreover, these are books with young protagonists. They offer voices that are readily absorbed by the intrepid imaginations of young adults. (more…)

On Friday, October 14th, 2011, Beacon Press and the Random House, Inc. Academic Marketing Department will co-host a unique and collaborative publisher-educator summit focused on the acclaimed “The King Legacy” series, a partnership between Beacon Press and the Estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   

Editors and teachers participating in this intensive one-day workshop are tasked with developing new anthologies to make Dr. King’s own writings accessible for the 21st Century curriculum.  The summit is to be held in Random House, Inc’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan.  To learn more about “The King Legacy” series, go to: http://www.thekinglegacy.org/

Beacon Press is distributed by Random House Publisher Services.

Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie

Did you and your students tune in this past weekend to the premiere of HBO’s new miniseries, The Pacific? We did, and we’re hooked! Reissued to coincide with the start of this series are two bestselling World II classics, Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie, and With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by E.B. Sledge. Leckie and Sledge (portrayed in the series by actors James Badge Dale and Joseph Mazello) were two young marines who participated some of the greatest battles in the Pacific War. Their vivid, first-person narratives of combat and survival served as the primary sources for the miniseries, along with unpublished accounts from John “Manila” Basilone (portrayed by actor John Seda). Pick up copies of their books today, and enjoy the rest of the first season of The Pacific! Also of interest: The Pacific War: From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima edited by Daniel Marston and War in the Pacific 1941-1945 by Richard Overy; foreword by Dale Dye.