Tag Archives: 2016

Spare Parts

Spare Parts

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Paperback
240 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374534981
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Los Inventores
Spanish Language Edition
Paperback
224 pages • $14.00
ISBN: 9780374284503

Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Joshua Davis

Finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize

Spare Parts is a delightful book . . . Davis writes well, and he keeps his plot moving swiftly . . . A great American story.”

—Peter Carlson, The Washington Post

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much—but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did.

They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition—and yet, against all odds . . . they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story—which became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement—will go on to include first-generation college graduations, deportation, bean-picking in Mexico, and service in Afghanistan. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country—even as the country tried to kick them out.

Spare Parts is an unforgettable tale of hope and human ingenuity. Joshua Davis offers a moving testament to how teamwork, perseverance, and a few good teachers can lift up and empower even the humblest among us.”—Héctor Tobar, author of Deep Down Dark

“It’s the most American of stories: how determination and ingenuity can bring triumph over long odds. There are too few stories like these written about Latino students. Poignant and beautifully told, Spare Parts makes you feel their frustration at the obstacles and indignities faced by Cristian, Lorenzo, Luis, and Oscar—and to cheer as they rise to overcome each one of them.”—Sonia Nazario, author of Enrique’s Journey 

“This is important reading . . . Young adults will benefit from from reading and discussing this realistic, eye-opening chronicle . . . Davis pulls no punches as he describes the grim sociopolitical atmosphere that allows the oppression of talented people for no morally acceptable reason. The four young inventors and their struggles helped spur the DREAMers movement.”—Donna Chavez, Booklist (starred review)

“A gratifying human interest story that calls attention to the plight and promise of America’s undocumented youth.”Library Journal

“Davis takes what could have been another feel-good story of triumphant underdogs and raises the stakes by examining the difficulties of these young immigrants in the context of the societal systems that they briefly and temporarily overcame.”Publishers Weekly

Joshua Davis © Sebastian Mlynarski

© Sebastian Mlynarski

Joshua Davis is a contributing editor at Wired and a cofounder of Epic magazine. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

Spare Parts has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Alamo Heights High School (TX); Broward College (FL); The Browning School (NY); Cedar Valley College (TX); Chemeketa Community College (OR); Concordia University (TX); Hesston College (KS); Hood College (MD); Johns Hopkins University (MD); Kansas State University; Lafayette Public Library and School District (LA); Lewis University (IL); Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods (MO); Miami University (OH); Monroe Community College (NY); Naugatuck Valley Community College (CT); Nash Community College (NC); North Iowa Area Community College; North Lake College (TX); Norwalk Community College (CT); Oakland University, The Honors College (MI); Pasadena City College (CA); Providence College (RI); Queensborough Community College (NY); Rutgers University, Honors College (NJ); Salem State University (MA); Santa Ana College; Stony Brook University (NY); Texas A&M University, University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science; University of Michigan College of Engineering; Washington State University, Vancouver; Winthrop University (SC)

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Dreamland

Dreamland

Bloomsbury
Paperback
384 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 978-1-62040-252-8

The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

Sam Quinones

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

“A brisk and startling new book on painkiller and heroin addiction in the United States.”

Los Angeles Times 

In 1929, in the blue-collar city of Portsmouth, Ohio, a company built a swimming pool the size of a football field; named Dreamland, it became the vital center of the community. Now, addiction has devastated Portsmouth, as it has hundreds of small rural towns and suburbs across America. How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland. Acclaimed journalist Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of capitalism run amok whose unintentional collision has been catastrophic. The unfettered prescribing of pain medications during the 1990s reached its peak in Purdue Pharma’s campaign to market OxyContin, its new, expensive—extremely addictive—miracle painkiller. Meanwhile, a massive influx of black tar heroin—cheap, potent, and originating from one small county on Mexico’s west coast, independent of any drug cartel—assaulted small town and mid-sized cities across the country, driven by a brilliant, almost unbeatable marketing and distribution system. Together these phenomena continue to lay waste to communities from Tennessee to Oregon, Indiana to New Mexico. Introducing a memorable cast of characters—pharma pioneers, young Mexican entrepreneurs, narcotics investigators, survivors, and parents—Quinones shows how these tales fit together. Dreamland is a revelatory account of the corrosive threat facing America and its heartland.

quinones, sam

Sam Quinones is a journalist, author and storyteller whose two acclaimed books of narrative nonfiction about Mexico and Mexican immigration—True Tales From Another Mexico and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream—made him, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the most original writer on Mexico and the border.” He lives in Los Angeles.

Dreamland has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Catawba Valley Community College (NC); College of Southern Nevada; Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science (OH); Ohio Northern University; Virginia Commonwealth University

A More Beautiful Question

A More Beautiful Question

Bloomsbury
Paperback
272 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9781632861054
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The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas

Warren Berger

“Berger presents a simple three-part framework, the ‘Why-What If-How’ model, to guide effective inquiry . . . One closes Berger’s book newly conscious of the significance of smart questions.”

The New York Times Book Review

Warren Berger shows that one of the most powerful forces for igniting change in business and in our daily lives is a simple, under-appreciated tool—one that has been available to us since childhood. Questioning—deeply, imaginatively, “beautifully”—can help us identify and solve problems, come up with game-changing ideas, and pursue fresh opportunities. So why are we often reluctant to ask “Why?” As Berger shows, the most creative, successful people tend to be expert questioners. They’ve mastered the art of inquiry, raising questions no one else is asking—and finding powerful answers. The author takes us inside red-hot businesses like Google, Netflix, IDEO, and Airbnb to show how questioning is baked into their organizational DNA. He also shares inspiring stories of artists, teachers, entrepreneurs, basement tinkerers, and social activists who changed their lives and the world around them—by starting with a “beautiful question.” A More Beautiful Question outlines a practical Why / What If / How system of inquiry that can guide you through the process of innovative questioning—helping you find imaginative, powerful answers to your own “beautiful questions.”

For more information, please visit www.amorebeautifulquestion.com.

Warren Berger © Jerome Levine

© Jerome Levine

Warren Berger, an expert on design thinking and innovation, is author of the acclaimed book Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Business and Your Life, which was named one of Business Week‘s “Best Innovation & Design Books of the Year.” Berger also writes for Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and was a longtime contributing editor at Wired magazine. He lives in New York.

A More Beautiful Question has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Bowling Green State University (OH); North Central College (IL); Quinnipiac University (CT); University of South Carolina

The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction

Picador
Paperback
336 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 9781250062185
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An Unnatural History

Elizabeth Kolbert

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Arresting . . . Ms. Kolbert shows in these pages that she can write with elegiac poetry about the vanishing creatures of this planet, but the real power of her book resides in the hard science and historical context she delivers here, documenting the mounting losses that human beings are leaving in their wake.”

The New York Times

Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

© Barry Goldstein

Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer at The New Yorker. She is the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe. She lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

The Sixth Extinction has been adopted for 16 First-Year Experience programs at:

Colgate University (NY); Lafayette College (PA); Linfield College (OR); Occidental College (CA); Feather River College (CA); Millsaps College (MS); Montclair State University’s Presidential Scholars Program (NJ); NYU-Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; Piedmont Virginia Community College; Rowan University (NJ); Saint Francis High School (CA); Stanford University (CA);  University of Michigan – Flint; University of Vermont; Villanova University (PA); Williams College (MA)

This I Believe

This I Believe

Picador
Paperback
320 pages • $17.00
ISBN: 9780805086584
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The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman

Foreword by Studs Terkel

Introduction by Jay Allison

“This cumulative effect of the these ‘personal credos’ is inspiring and invigorating.”

—Elizabeth Taylor, Chicago Tribune

Based on the National Public Radio series of the same name, this book features eighty essayists—from the famous to the unknown—completing the thought that begins the book’s title. Each piece compels readers to rethink not only how they have arrived at their own personal beliefs but also the extent to which they share them with others. Featuring a well-known list of contributors—including Isabel Allende, Colin Powell, Gloria Steinem, William F. Buckley Jr., Penn Jillette, Bill Gates, and John Updike—the collection also contains essays by a Brooklyn lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk from Rehoboth, Massachusetts; a woman who sells Yellow Pages advertising in Fort Worth, Texas; and a man who serves on the state of Rhode Island’s parole board. The result is a trip inside the minds and hearts of a diverse group of people whose beliefs—and the incredibly varied ways in which they choose to express them—reveal the American spirit at its best.

Included are guidelines for students writing their own This I Believe essays.

“Essays from the original series are interleaved with contemporary essays (selected from more than 11,000 submissions) to create a resounding chorus.”—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Jay Allison © Nubar Alexanian

© Nubar Alexanian

Dan Gediman © Nubar Alexanian

© Nubar Alexanian

Jay Allison is an independent broadcast journalist and a six-time Peabody Award winner. He hosted and produced This I Believe on NPR and is the founder of the public radio station on Cape Cod.

Dan Gediman is currently the Executive Director of This I Believe, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

This I Believe has been adopted for more than ninety First-Year Experience programs:

Aquinas College (MI); Avila University (MO); Baker University (KS); Barry University (FL); Bates College (ME); Bellarmine University (KY); Bethel College (KS); Bluefield College (VA); Bowling Green State University (OH); Bucknell University (PA); California State University, San Marcos; Cathedral High School (MA); Cedar Crest College (PA); Central Washington University; Clemson University (SC); Coker College (SC); College of Dupage (IL); Columbus State University (GA); Concord University (WV); Craven Community College (NC); Dakota Wesleyan University (SD); Dominican College (NY); Eastern Illinois University; Elmhurst College (IL); Endicott College (MA); Florida Atlantic University; Florida State University; Georgia College; Georgia Highlands University; Gettysburg College Ascent Program (PA); Harrison High School (NY); Jacksonville State University (AL); Jacksonville University (FL); Kaskaskia College (IL); Kent State University (OH); LIM College (NY); Lindsey Wilson College (KY); Louisburg College (NC); Louisiana Tech University; Loyola University, Chicago; Medaille College (NY); Middle Tennessee State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Mitchell College (CT); Morehead State University (KY); Northern Arizona University; Northern Kentucky University; Pace University (NY); Penn State Berks (IL); Penn State Berks (PA);  Ripon College (WI); Roberts Wesleyan College (NY); Roosevelt University (IL) (two consecutive years!); Seton Hall University (NJ); Seton Hill University (PA); Shepherd University (WV); Shorter University (GA); Southern Connecticut State University;  Southern Vermont College; Springfield College (MA); Stonehill College (MA); St. Mary’s High School (NY); SUNY, Binghamton; SUNY, Brockport; Tufts University (MA); University of Alabama; University of Central Arkansas, Honors College; University of Dayton (OH); University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of Louisiana, Monroe (two years!); University of Louisville (KY) (three consecutive years!); University of New Orleans; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; University of Vermont; Washburn University (KS); William Paterson University (NJ); William Woods University (MO)

This I Believe II

This I Believe II

Picador
Paperback
288 pages • $18.00
ISBN: 9780805090895
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More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women

Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman

With John Gregory and Viki Merrick

“By turns moving, thoughtful, cheering and heartbreaking, in an age of irony these essays offer a little something to believe in.”

—Colette Bancroft, St. Petersburg Times

This second collection of This I Believe essays gathers seventy-five more essayists—including writers known and unknown—who complete the thought that begins in the book’s title. Among the contributors are musicians Yo-Yo Ma and Bela Fleck, Elie Wiesel, the founder Craigslist.org, and an anthropology student at the University of Chicago. Each piece, whether poignant or humorous, compels the reader to think about how they have formed their own personal beliefs and about the extent to which they express them to others. This edition also contains an appendix on how to write a This I Believe essay.

Jay Allison © Nubar Alexanian

© Nubar Alexanian

Dan Gediman © Nubar Alexanian

© Nubar Alexanian

Jay Allison, the host and curator of This I Believe, is an independent broadcast journalist.

Dan Gediman is the executive producer of This I Believe.

 

 

 

This I Believe II has been adopted for more than thirty First-Year Experience programs:

Aquinas College (MI); Barry University (FL); Broward College (FL); Eastern Illinois University; Endicott College (MA); Hanover College (IN); Ivy Tech Community College, Kokomo (IN); LIM College (NY) (two consecutive years!); Lindsey Wilson College (KY); Longwood University (VA); Lynchburg College (VA); Marietta College (OH); Miami University at Ohio; Middle Tennessee State University; Middlesex Community College (MA); North Central College (IL); Northern Illinois University; Penn State University, Brandywine; Rivier University (NH); Rowan University (NJ); Stockton College (NJ); Tennessee Tech University (two consecutive years); Texas Woman’s University; Union College (KY); University of Dayton (OH); University of Wisconsin, Parkside; Virginia Tech; Washington & Jefferson College (PA)

Picking Cotton

Picking Cotton

St. Martin’s Griffin
Paperback
320 pages • $17.99
ISBN: 9780312599539
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Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo

“The story of Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton, as told in first-person voices in this gripping, well-written book, is exceptional.”

St. Petersburg Times

In 1984, Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and because she had studied his face intently during the attack, she later identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken—but Jennifer’s positive identification was the evidence that compelled a jury to put him behind bars. After eleven years in prison, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face. They forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives. In their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge ideas about memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

 

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino © Scott Witter

© Scott Witter

Ronald Cotton © Scott Witter

© Scott Witter

Jennifer Thompson-Cannino lives in North Carolina with her family. She speaks frequently about the need for judicial reform and is a member of the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission.

Ronald Cotton speaks at various schools and conferences about issues of witness identification and judicial reform. He lives in North Carolina with his family.

Erin Torneo is a Los Angeles-based writer. She was a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Nonfiction Fellow.

Picking Cotton has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Concordia University (MN); East Carolina University (NC); Florida State College, Jacksonville; Georgia Gwinnett College; Georgia Perimeter College; Hilbert College (NY); Iowa Lakes Community College; North Carolina Central University; Pitt Community College (NC); Queensborough Community College (NY); Roberts Wesleyan College (NY); Somerset Community College (KY); University of Kentucky; University of Mount Olive (NC); University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Wheelock College (MA)

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