Diversity, Intersectionality, and Inclusivity: #YANeedsMore

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Yesterday the hashtag #YANeedsMore started trending, and we jumped in to watch the conversation unfold.

Not surprising was the number of calls for more intersectionality and diversity; we were pleasantly surprised by the rich insight, feedback, ideas, and personal experiences from hundreds of young adult, and proper adult, tweeters.

The YA genre and particularly its older readers have been criticized for a gamut of faults and short-comings. This trending tag was a cry for a more varied genre, and hopefully writers and publishers will follow to match their readers’ experiences, cultures, stories, and relationships.

Here are some of our favorite #YANeedsMore. Continue Reading ›

The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes

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In honor of the Mr. Holmes movie release this weekend, starring Gandalf Sir Ian McKellen, we wanted to look back at the various faces of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s infamous detective.

The original text describes Holmes as “over six feet” tall and “excessively lean”, with sharp, piercing eyes and a “hawk-like nose” (A Study in Scarlet). But his incarnation on screen has run the gamut from young to old, bookish to brawny. No other character has been portrayed more often on the big screen – over 250 times, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Continue Reading ›

Chapter One Unveiled for Harper Lee’s Wildly Anticipated “Go Set a Watchman: A Novel”

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Fellow literature lovers, take a small sigh of Scout Finch-deprived relief.

We’ve all been holding our breath since Harper Lee’s announcement of Go Set a Watchman early February. This book comes more than 50 years after everyone’s favorite English class novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee’s second novel is scheduled for release July 14, and the first chapter (excerpt below) has been published, alongside beautiful animations, on The Guardian.

Since Atlanta, she had looked out the dining-car window with a delight almost physical. Over her breakfast coffee, she watched the last of Georgia’s hills recede and the red earth appear, and with it tin-roofed houses set in the middle of swept yards, and in the yards the inevitable verbena grew, surrounded by whitewashed tires. She grinned when she saw her first TV antenna atop an unpainted Negro house; as they multiplied, her joy rose.

Continue reading on The Guardian

Pre-order the novel, $15.95 for hardcover or $13.99 for Kindle, on Amazon.

Top E-learning Trends You Can Implement Immediately in Your Classroom

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What do we talk about when we talk about e-learning?

In the past, most courses and learning activities fell on one side of a dichotomy: they were either instructor-led or computer-based, either online or off, either synchronous or asynchronous. Today, the distinction is not quite so clear. Although there are still plenty of e-learning-only courses, blended courses are becoming increasingly popular from elementary to corporate classrooms. Even courses that may not specifically be “blended” are incorporating more digital elements and activities. In this new environment, e-learning is becoming less of a special category and more just a way to describe what happens in classrooms everywhere, every day. Continue Reading ›

Scholarship Spotlight – July 2015

Every month, we select some of the best scholarships around and post them here on our blog. When you are ready to apply, check out our tips on How to Write a Scholarship Essay!


Vegetarian Video Scholarship 

Amount: $250

Eligibility: Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.

Requirements: Applicant must create and submit a video relating what they want to tell others about vegetarianism and/or veganism.

Due Date: July 15, 2015 Continue Reading ›

Where the Queer Characters at?

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I’m a character-driven reader: it’s the characters that suck me into the plot and make me want to keep turning the pages.  I especially love finding characters who resemble me in some way, from hair texture to musical inclinations. But what happens when you almost never see a key component of your identity mirrored in the characters you love?

I identify as bisexual, and I want to know where the queer characters are in mainstream literature.

To be clear, I’m not talking about the characters you find in the LGBTQ+ section of the bookstore. I hate browsing in that section and feeling that I have to seek out these characters, and that when I do their narratives are only focused on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  I just want queer characters to exist organically in the books read by the mainstream public. Continue Reading ›

Infographic: Death in The Odyssey

Sure, everyone sympathizes with Odysseus, the man who got dragged off to fight a ten-year war and then had to face a journey home so filled with obstacles it took another ten years to make it back. That’s rough.

Except you know what’s rougher? Being one of Odysseus’s crewmen. If you’re a crewman in The Odyssey, you don’t get a book written about you, you probably don’t get a name, and you have an 81.2% chance of being eaten.

Check out how this epic poem’s men met their epic demises.

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