Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Garbage Patch Twice the Size of Texas

It's true: a heap of our plastic discards is floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean--and it is TWICE as big as the state of Texas.

Thomas M. Kostigen, author of You Are Here, shows students how their everyday actions have huge consequences for our planet.
With Kostigen as their guide, your students will take a round-the-world tour with stops in Israel, India, Borneo, China, Alaska, the Amazon Jungle, Staten Island's Fresh Kills Landfill, the Eastern Garbage Patch, the Great Lakes, and Santa Monica, California. Along the way, he'll show them how small changes can have a big impact on the health of our world.

I haven't purchased one plastic bottle since I've read this book. And, I've become a tote-bag user. What changes have you made in your everyday life?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books Week Is September 27th - October 4th

It is a sad commentary that in 2008 we still have to grapple with the ugly matter of censorship of books. To raise awareness of this issue the last week of September has been dubbed "Banned Books Week." Currently hundreds of libraries and bookstores around the country are drawing attention to the problem of censorship by mounting displays of banned books and hosting a variety of events. Please visit the Banned Books Week website to see which books are currently being challenged and to find out how you can exercise your first amendment rights to fight censorship in your community.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nominate a Teacher Who Changes Lives

Baylor University's Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching presents $200,000 to the winning professor. The deadline is November 3.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Day to Celebrate How to Punctuate. Well, Why Not?

Every day is National Punctuation Day here in the Academic Marketing department at HarperCollins Publishers--we don't need a special day to remember that in the end it's all about the punctuation. However, most other people do need a reminder to appreciate the esoteric beauty of the semicolon and the simple ease of the comma. So on that note, we wish you on this September 24th a very happy National Punctuation Day, and please remember not to over use the exclamation point--that drives us crazy!

Students Post Their Notes--and Get Paid for It

An online service, Knetwit, is attempting to serve as a hub for class notes, papers, and other materials—and the site is paying students who supply them.

I think this sounds like an invitation to cheat. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Free Download of Michael Moore's Slacker Uprising

Michael Moore, author of Stupid White Men and Downsize This!, is offering a free download of his forthcoming film Slacker Uprising. University and school libraries can get a free DVD, too. Click here to sign up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The 75 Books Every Man Should Read

Esquire has posted what it thinks are the 75 Books Every Man Should Read. Among them are Native Son by Richard Wright and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor is the lone book by a woman.

I've only ready twenty of them--but I'm not a man
. How many have you read?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Da Chen at NC State Convocation 2008

Da Chen, author of Sounds of the River and Colors of the Mountain, sent me the video of his convocation speech at North Carolina State. Student reaction to Da's talk has been posted on the NCSU website.

Da will be busy traveling to the following college campuses throughout the fall: Waldorf College, Oklahoma City University, Spring Hill College, Florida Southern College, and Belmont Abbey College.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Perfect High School Read: Goldengrove by Francine Prose

Acclaimed author Francine Prose, whose previous books include such titles as A Changed Man and Reading Like a Writer, recently received a terrific review in the New York Times for her current fiction title, Goldengrove. Prose's heartwrenching tale is a mature, intelligent coming-of-age story about love and loss that echoes classic works such as Vertigo and Pygmalion. Many times we have heard from teachers throughout the academic year seeking contemporary literary fiction for their high school students. Goldengrove fits the bill perfectly.

Don't Know Much About...

When Ken Davis--author of America's Hidden History and the Don't Know Much About series--brings his quiz show to the National Council for the Social Studies, he always draws a crowd.

Now, you can see what all the fuss is about.

Here, Ken takes viewers “Around the World in 80 Seconds” with a fun interactive quiz.

Next, in this timely video, Ken explains the mysteries of the electoral college.

Want more? Listen to an interview with Ken on the Library Love Fest radio show.

Colleges Spend Billions on Remedial Classes to Prep Freshmen

Millions of students are arriving on college campuses unprepared for the work they have ahead of them. See the report Diploma to Nowhere by Strong American Schools. There's also an article in USA Today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Common Reading

Which books are college freshmen reading this fall?

Grace College chose David Batstone's Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight It as their common book. The Not For Sale Campaign has already inspired thousands of students to work towards ending human trafficking.

Every freshman at Tufts University is reading The Blue Death: Disease, Disaster, and the Water We Drink by Dr. Robert D. Morris.

California State University, Chico and Adams State University are among the many colleges that have chosen Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Appalachian State freshmen are reading The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

Barbara Fister of Gustavus Adolphus College has put together a
comprehensive list of freshmen common books.