#ThankATeacher during Teacher Appreciation Week (5/4 – 5/8)!

Whether it’s in the classroom, over a Zoom meeting, or on their own time, teachers are always there for their students. This list of inspiring and informative reads celebrates our educators who make a difference every single day.


Inspiring Stories:

The Class: A Life-Changing Teacher, His World-Changing Kids, and the Most Inventive Classroom in America by Heather Won Tesoriero

An unforgettable year in the life of a visionary high school science teacher and his award-winning students, as they try to get into college, land a date for the prom . . . and possibly change the world.

Andy Bramante left his successful career as a corporate scientist to teach public high school—and now helms one of the most remarkable classrooms in America. Bramante’s unconventional class at Connecticut’s prestigious yet diverse Greenwich High School has no curriculum, tests, textbooks, or lectures, and is equal parts elite research lab, student counseling office, and teenage hangout spot. United by a passion to learn, Mr. B.’s band of whiz kids set out every year to conquer the brutally competitive science fair circuit. They have won the top prize at the Google Science Fair, made discoveries that eluded scientists three times their age, and been invited to the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm.

A former Emmy-winning producer for CBS News, Heather Won Tesoriero embeds in this dynamic class to bring Andy and his gifted, all-too-human kids to life—including William, a prodigy so driven that he’s trying to invent diagnostics for artery blockage and Alzheimer’s (but can’t quite figure out how to order a bagel); Ethan, who essentially outgrows high school in his junior year and founds his own company to commercialize a discovery he made in the class; Sophia, a Lyme disease patient whose ambitious work is dedicated to curing her own debilitating ailment; Romano, a football player who hangs up his helmet to pursue his secret science expertise and develop a “smart” liquid bandage; and Olivia, whose invention of a fast test for Ebola brought her science fair fame and an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

We experience the thrill of discovery, the heartbreak of failed endeavors, and perhaps the ultimate high: a yes from Harvard.

Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.


Drama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater by Michael Sokolove

The inspiration for the NBC TV series “Rise,” starring Josh Radnor, Auli’i Cravalho, and Rosie Perez — the incredible and true story of an extraordinary drama teacher who has changed the lives of thousands of students and inspired a town.

Why would the multimillionaire producer of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Miss Saigon take his limo from Manhattan to the struggling former steel town of Levittown, Pennsylvania, to see a high school production of Les Misérables?

To see the show performed by the astoundingly successful theater company at Harry S Truman High School, run by its legendary director, Lou Volpe. Broadway turns to Truman High when trying out controversial shows such as Rent and Spring Awakening before they move on to high school theater programs across the nation. Volpe’s students from this blue-collar town go on to become Emmy-winning producers, entertainment executives, newscasters, and community-theater founders.

Michael Sokolove, a Levittown native and former student of Volpe’s, chronicles the drama director’s last school years and follows a group of student actors as they work through riveting dramas both on and off the stage. This is a story of an economically depressed but proud town finding hope in a gifted teacher and the magic of theater.

Available in Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.

Click to Watch the Trailer for “Rise.”


Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo

In this stirring memoir, 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.

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.

Convinced she can make a difference in the lives of her teenaged students, Michelle Kuo puts her heart into her work, using quiet reading time and guided writing to foster a sense of self in students left behind by a broken school system. Though Michelle loses some students to truancy and even gun violence, she is inspired by some such as Patrick. Fifteen and in the eighth grade, Patrick begins to thrive under Michelle’s exacting attention. However, after two years of teaching, Michelle feels pressure from her parents and the draw of opportunities outside the Delta and leaves Arkansas to attend law school.

Then, on the eve of her law-school graduation, Michelle learns that Patrick has been jailed for murder. Feeling that she left the Delta prematurely and determined to fix her mistake, Michelle returns to Helena and resumes Patrick’s education—even as he sits in a jail cell awaiting trial. Every day for the next seven months they pore over classic novels, poems, and works of history. Little by little, Patrick grows into a confident, expressive writer and a dedicated reader galvanized by the works of Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, W. S. Merwin, and others. In her time reading with Patrick, Michelle is herself transformed, contending with the legacy of racism and the questions of what constitutes a “good” life and what the privileged owe to those with bleaker prospects.

Available in Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.


The Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them by The Freedom Writers and Erin Gruwell

The twentieth anniversary edition of the classic story of an incredible group of students and the teacher who inspired them, featuring updates on the students’ lives, new journal entries, and an introduction by Erin Gruwell.

Now a public television documentary, Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart.

In 1994, an idealistic first-year teacher in Long Beach, California, named Erin Gruwell confronted a room of “unteachable, at-risk” students. She had intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust. She was met by uncomprehending looks—none of her students had heard of one of the defining moments of the twentieth century. So she rebooted her entire curriculum, using treasured books such as Anne Frank’s diary as her guide to combat intolerance and misunderstanding. Her students began recording their thoughts and feelings in their own diaries, eventually dubbing themselves the “Freedom Writers.”

Consisting of powerful entries from the students’ diaries and narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an unforgettable story of how hard work, courage, and determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students.

Available in Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click to Watch Freedom Writers: Stories from the Heart on PBS.


Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio Editions, and Large Print Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Click for a Discussion Guide.

Click for a Teacher’s Guide.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.


The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird by Tom Michell

A unique and moving real-life story of the extraordinary bond between a young teacher and a penguin.

In 1975, twenty-three-year-old Englishman Tom Michell follows his wanderlust to Argentina, where he becomes assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. But Michell’s adventures really begin when, on a weekend in Uruguay, he rescues a penguin covered in oil from an ocean spill, cleans the bird up, and attempts to return him to the sea. The penguin refuses to leave his rescuer’s side. “That was the moment at which he became my penguin, and whatever the future held, we’d face it together,” says Michell in this charming memoir.

Michell names the penguin Juan Salvador (“John Saved”), but Juan Salvador, as it turns out, is the one who saves Michell.

After Michell smuggles the bird back to Argentina and into his campus apartment, word spreads about the young Englishman’s unusual roommate. Juan Salvador is suddenly the center of attention—as mascot of the rugby team, confidant to the dorm housekeeper, co-host of Michell’s parties, and an unprecedented swimming coach to a shy boy. Even through the collapse of the Perónist government and amid the country’s economic and political strife, Juan Salvador brings joy to everyone around him—especially Michell, who considers the affectionate animal a compadre and kindred spirit.

Available in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.


For Our Teachers <3:

Love, Teach: Real Stories and Honest Advice to Keep Teachers from Crying Under Their Desk by Kelly Treleaven

Hopeful, hilarious musings and serious advice for new teachers from the formerly anonymous blogger behind Love, Teach.

Every teacher will tell you the first years are the hardest, and even the most confident of the pack sometimes ask themselves, Am I cut out for this? Kelly Treleaven, the teacher and once-anonymous blogger behind Love, Teach, wants you to know that you’re not alone, and that yes, she has cried under her desk, too. Treleaven’s blog has become a sensation in the education world, known for its heartfelt, high-spirited dispatches straight from the trenches and its practical advice.

In Treleaven’s book, she gives rookie teachers the advice she wishes she’d had when she started out in a large district in Houston. From logistical questions like how to prep and organize a classroom, to deeper issues like how to build relationships with students, navigate administration, and avoid burnout, Love, Teach is an essential book for anyone working in education today or considering the profession.

Coming in July!

Available in Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.


Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare

The first official, authoritative manual of the Thich Nhat Hanh/Plum Village approach to mindfulness in education. Spanning the whole range of schools and grade levels, from preschool through higher education, these techniques are grounded in the everyday world of schools, colleges, and universities.

Beginning firmly with teachers and all those working with students, including administrators, counselors, and other personnel, the Plum Village approach stresses that educators must first establish their own mindfulness practice since everything they do in the classroom will be based on that foundation. The book includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step techniques perfected by educators to teach themselves and to apply to their work with students and colleagues, along with inspirational stories of the ways in which teachers have made mindfulness practice alive and relevant for themselves and their students across the school and out into the community.

The instructions in Happy Teachers Change the World are offered as basic practices taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, followed by guidance from educators using these practices in their classrooms, with ample in-class interpretations, activities, tips, and instructions. Woven throughout are stories from members of the Plum Village community around the world who are applying these teachings in their own lives and educational contexts.

Available in Trade Paperback and eBook Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.


The Best Teacher in You: How to Accelerate Learning and Change Lives by Robert Quinn, Katherine Heynoski, Mike Thomas, and Gretchen Spreitzer

“In the same way that transformational leaders make a difference in the lives of their employees, transformational teachers create the platform upon which inspired and committed students exceed expectations.” —Julian Barling, PhD, Borden Chair of Leadership, Queen’s School of Business, and author of The Science of Leadership

What does teaching look like at its very best? How are great teachers able to ignite a love of learning and change students’ lives? In this book you’ll learn from seven remarkable teachers who stretch beyond the conventional foundations of good teaching to transform their classrooms into exciting, dynamic places where teachers and students cocreate the learning experience. Based on six years of extensive work, the book outlines a framework that identifies four dimensions of effective teaching and learning that are integrated in these highly effective teachers’ classrooms—and that all teachers can use to recognize and release the potential in themselves and their students.

Available in Trade Paperback.


A Read Teachers Will Appreciate:

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

A sharp, funny grammar guide they’ll actually want to read, from Random House’s longtime copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus.

We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.

As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike—not to mention his followers on social media—for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.

As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with “And” or “But” and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including “very,” “rather,” “of course,” and the dreaded “actually.” Dreyer will let you know whether “alright” is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling—though, as he notes, “The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them.”

Keep an eye out for the companion game coming in July: Stet! Dreyer’s English: A Game for Language Lovers, Grammar Geeks, and Bibliophiles.

Available in Hardcover, Trade Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions.

Click to Read an Excerpt.

Listen to a Clip from the Audiobook.

Follow Benjamin Dreyer on Twitter.


Great Listens for Teacher Appreciation Week:

These adored audiobooks all feature very special teachers and librarians who make a difference in their students’ lives (both fictional and real!)

Click for Must-Listens for Teacher Appreciation Week.


Send a Digital Hug with Out of Print:

A little gift goes a long way.
From April 18 – 24 Out of Print is celebrating National Library Week by offering 30% off eGift cards—the perfect way to show love and support for our teachers and librarians right now. And when someone orders an eGift card, they will receive an email from Out of Print containing a $10 discount code for use on their next order.

Shop Now Using Discount Code: EGIFT30


 

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