Algonquin's New Releases
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I've got a report on some new books that we have out--a few brand new ones and one now out in paperback--let's begin!
Work Hard. Be Nice. by Jay Mathews (in stores now): Highlighting the unconventional teaching, schedule, and everything else that goes along with KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program), this book is a strong argument for what IS possible in education. Started by two young men, Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg, the KIPP program is evidence that the squeaky wheel gets the oil--deservedly so! A few months ago Dave Levin was on the Colbert Report, you can watch the video here: http://www.colbertnation.com/video/tag/Dave+Levin
The Children in Room E4 by Susan Eaton (in stores January 27): Another book to serve as inspiration to educators of all kind, Eaton gives us the story of one student, Jeremy, who faces tremendous challenges to succeed. E4 provides us with even more reasons why urban schools cannot be cut off from mainstream America.
A Rose by Any Name: A Flower's Entanglement in Love, War, Politics, Show Business, Poetry, Folklore, Fashion, Sports, and other Matters Sacred and Profane by Stephen Scanniello and Douglas Brenner (in stores February 3): Now how's that for a title?! I'm not a gardener. I wish I were, but I can't. I've tried. And I've accepted my place as a dish washer, tub scrubber, and all things housekeeping. But gardening? No. Yet I can certainly appreciate a beautiful book on flowers when I see one, and I thoroughly appreciate this one! One word: GORGEOUS! Seriously, this book is simply beautiful. It's exactly as the title says--a book about roses and their various names--such as, the Phyllis Diller, Peanut Butter & Jelly and Mint Julep. But it also has these amazing illustrations that are vibrant and burst from the pages. I was stunned when I saw this one, so if you're a flower lover, it's worth checking out.
The Music Teacher by Barbara Hall (in stores February 10): Barbara knows writing, which is evident from her resume--Moonlighting, Hill Street Blues, NORTHERN EXPOSURE! I mean, what a great lineup, huh? So with credentials like those, she definitely can reel it in for a novel...and she has. A "High Fidelity" for the musician crowd--it goes beyond what band you like, it's always what instrument you play. Built around an instrument store, Barbara tells the story of Pearl, a failed musician relegated to music teacher. When she takes living vicariously through a star student too far, her world, and her student's world, implodes. Great sentences, great dialogue, and plenty of room for your own opinions (really, who is the greatest lyricist--Bruce Springsteen or Steve Earle?)