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All Day: A Year of Love and Survival Teaching Incarcerated Kids at Rikers Island
Peterson, Liza Jessie
(Paperback)

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A behind-the-bars, personal glimpse into the issue of mass incarceration via an unpredictable, insightful and ultimately hopeful reflection on teaching teens while they await sentencing.Told with equal parts raw honesty and unbridled compassion, All Day recounts a year in Liza Jessie Peterson's classroom at Island Academy, the high school for inmates detained at New York City's Rikers Island. A poet and actress who had done occasional poetry workshops at the correctional facility, Peterson was ill-prepared for a full-time stint teaching a full GED curriculum program for the incarcerated youth. For the first time faced with full days teaching the rambunctious, hyper, and fragile adolescent inmates, "Ms. P" comes to understand the essence of her predominantly Black and Latino students as she attempts not only to educate them, but to instill them with a sense of self-worth long stripped from their lives.


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The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
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The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan
Kanigel, Robert
(Softcover)

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In 1913, a young unschooled Indian clerk wrote a letter to G H Hardy, begging the preeminent English mathematician's opinion on several ideas he had about numbers. Realizing the letter was the work of a genius, Hardy arranged for Srinivasa Ramanujan to come to England. Thus began one of the most improbable and productive collaborations ever chronicled. With a passion for rich and evocative detail, Robert Kanigel takes us from the temples and slums of Madras to the courts and chapels of Cambridge University, where the devout Hindu Ramanujan, "the Prince of Intuition," tested his brilliant theories alongside the sophisticated and eccentric Hardy, "the Apostle of Proof." In time, Ramanujan's creative intensity took its toll: he died at the age of thirty-two and left behind a magical and inspired legacy that is still being plumbed for its secrets today.


Roughhouse Friday
Coffin, Jaed
(Hardcover)

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A beautifully crafted memoir about fathers and sons, masculinity, and the lengths we sometimes go to in order to confront our pastWhile lifting weights in the Seldon Jackson College gymnasium on a rainy autumn night, Jaed Coffin heard the distinctive whacking sound of sparring boxers down the hall. A year out of college, he had been biding his time as a tutor at a local high school in Sitka, Alaska, without any particular life plan. That evening, Coffin joined a ragtag boxing club. For the first time, he felt like he fit in.Coffin washed up in Alaska after a forty-day solo kayaking journey. Born to an American father and a Thai mother who had met during the Vietnam War, Coffin never felt particularly comfortable growing up in his rural Vermont town. Following his parents’ prickly divorce and a childhood spent drifting between his father’s new white family and his mother’s Thai roots, Coffin didn’t know who he was, much less what path his life should follow. His father’s notions about what it meant to be a man - formed by King Arthur legends and calcified in the military - did nothing to help. After college, he took to the road, working odd jobs and sleeping in his car before heading north.Despite feeling initially terrified, Coffin learns to fight. His coach, Victor “the Savage,” invites him to participate in the monthly Roughhouse Friday competition, where men contend for the title of best boxer in southeast Alaska. With every successive match, Coffin realizes that he isn’t just fighting for the championship belt; he is also learning to confront the anger he feels about a past he never knew how to make sense of.Deeply honest and vulnerable, Roughhouse Friday is a meditation on violence and abandonment, masculinity, and our inescapable longing for love. It suggests that sometimes the truth of what’s inside you comes only if you push yourself to the extreme.


Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality
Frenkel, Edward
(Paperback)

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What if you had to take an art class in which you were only taught how to paint a fence? What if you were never shown the paintings of van Gogh and Picasso, weren't even told they existed? Alas, this is how math is taught, and so for most of us it becomes the intellectual equivalent of watching paint dry.In Love and Math, renowned mathematician Edward Frenkel reveals a side of math we've never seen, suffused with all the beauty and elegance of a work of art. In this heartfelt and passionate book, Frenkel shows that mathematics, far from occupying a specialist niche, goes to the heart of all matter, uniting us across cultures, time, and space.Love and Math tells two intertwined stories: of the wonders of mathematics and of one young man's journey learning and living it. Having braved a discriminatory educational system to become one of the twenty-first century's leading mathematicians, Frenkel now works on one of the biggest ideas to come out of math in the last 50 years: the Langlands Program. Considered by many to be a Grand Unified Theory of mathematics, the Langlands Program enables researchers to translate findings from one field to another so that they can solve problems, such as Fermat's last theorem, that had seemed intractable before.At its core, Love and Math is a story about accessing a new way of thinking, which can enrich our lives and empower us to better understand the world and our place in it. It is an invitation to discover the magic hidden universe of mathematics.


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Strings Attached
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Strings Attached
Lipman, Joanne
(Paperback)

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Strings Attached is a powerful memoir about resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy, an inspiring and poignant tale of how one man transformed his own heartache into a legacy of joy for his students. His students knew Jerry Kupchynsky as "Mr. K" - the fierce Ukrainian-born music teacher who rehearsed them until their fingers almost bled and who made them better than they ever expected to be. Away from the classroom, though, life seemed to conspire against him at every turn. Strings Attached takes you on his remarkable journey, from his childhood on the run in Nazi Germany, to his life in America caring for his disabled wife while raising their two small daughters, to his search for his beloved younger daughter after she mysteriously disappeared - a search that would last for seven years. His unforgettable story is lyrically told in alternating chapters by two childhood friends who reconnected decades later: Melanie Kupchynsky, his daughter, and Joanne Lipman, a former student. Heartbreaking yet ultimately triumphant, Strings Attached is a testament to the astonishing power of hope - and a celebration of the profound impact one person can have on the lives of others.


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Front Of The Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me The Teacher I Never Had
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Front Of The Class: How Tourette Syndrome Made Me The Teacher I Never Had
Cohen, Brad
(Paperback)

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As a child with Tourette's, Brad was ridiculed, beaten, mocked, and shunned. This story of unwavering determination proves anyone can make their dreams come true. Ends with 20+ motivational tips on living with a disability.


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My Freshman Year
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My Freshman Year
Nathan, Rebekah
(Paperback)

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After fifteen years of teaching anthropology at a large university, Rebekah Nathan had become baffled by her own students. Their strange behavior - eating meals at their desks, not completing reading assignments, remaining silent through class discussions - made her feel as if she were dealing with a completely foreign culture. So Nathan decided to do what anthropologists do when confused by a different culture: Go live with them. She enrolled as a freshman, moved into the dorm, ate in the dining hall, and took a full load of courses. And she came to understand that being a student is a pretty difficult job, too. Her discoveries about contemporary undergraduate culture are surprising and her observations are invaluable, making My Freshman Year essential reading for students, parents, faculty, and anyone interested in educational policy.


One Day, All Children...
Kopp, Wendy
(Paperback)

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From her dorm room at Princeton University, twenty-one-year-old college senior Wendy Kopp decided to launch a movement to improve public education in America. In One Day, All Children... she shares the remarkable story of Teach For America, a non-profit organization that sends outstanding college graduates to teach for two years in the most under-resourced urban and rural public schools in America. The astonishing success of the program has proven it possible for children in low-income areas to attain the same level of academic achievement as children in more privileged areas and more privileged schools. One Day, All Children... is not just a personal memoir. It's a blueprint for the new civil rights movement - a movement that demands educational access and opportunity for all American children.


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

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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, 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 Miserables? 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 like 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.


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A Life in School
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A Life in School
Tompkins, Jane
(Paperback)

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Here, one of our leading literary scholars looks back on her own life in the classroom, and discovers how much of what she learned there needs to be unlearned. Jane Tompkins' memoir shows how her education shaped her in the mold of a high achiever who could read five languages but had little knowledge of herself. As she slowly awakens to the needs of her body, heart, and spirit, she discards the conventions of classroom teaching and learns what her students' lives are like. A painful and exhilarating story of spiritual awakening, Tompkins' book critiques our educational system while also paying tribute to it.


Sit Down and Shut Up: How Discipline Can Set Students Free
Henderson, Cinque
(Hardcover)

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On his very first day of school as a substitute teacher, Cinque Henderson was cursed at and openly threatened by one of his students. Not wanting trouble or any broken bones, Henderson called the hall monitor, who escorted the student to the office. But five minutes later the office sent him back with a note that read, “Ok to return to class.” That was it: no suspension, no detention, no phone call home, nothing.Sit Down and Shut Up: How Discipline Can Set Students Free is a passionate and personal analysis of Henderson's year as substitute teacher in some of America’s toughest schools. Students disrespected, yelled at, and threatened teachers, abetted by a school system and political culture that turned a willfully blind eye to the economic and social decline that created the problem.Henderson concludes that the failures of our worst schools are the result of a population in crisis: classrooms are microcosms of all our nation’s most vexing issues of race and class. The legacy and stain of race - the price of generational trauma, the cost of fatherlessness, the failures of capitalism, the false promise of meritocracy - played itself out in every single interaction Henderson had with an aggressive student, an unengaged parent, or a failed administrator.In response to the chaos he found in the classroom, Henderson proposes a recommitment to the notion that discipline - wisely and properly understood, patiently and justly administered - is the only proper route to freedom and opportunity for generations of poor youth. With applications far beyond the classroom, Henderson’s experiences offer novel insights into the pressing racial, social, and economic issues that have shaped America’s cultural landscape.Sure to ignite discussion and controversy, Sit Down and Shut Up provides a frank evaluation of the broken classrooms of America and offers a bold strategy for fixing them.


It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Success Story That Is Changing a Nation
Starr, Jonathan
(Paperback)

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Jonathan Starr, once a cutthroat hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. “Why,” they wondered, “would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state?” To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff.It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it’s the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso.Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: “If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?”


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Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education
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Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education
Dickstein, Morris
(Hardcover)

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At once a coming-of-age story, an intellectual autobiography, and vivid cultural history, Why Not Say What Happened is an eloquent, gripping account of an intellectual and emotional education from one of our leading critics. In this "acutely observed, slyly funny memoir" (Molly Haskell), Morris Dickstein evokes his boisterous and close-knit Jewish family, his years as a yeshiva student that eventually led to fierce rebellion, his teenage adventures in the Catskills and in a Zionist summer camp, and the later education that thrust him into a life-changing world of ideas and far-reaching literary traditions. Dickstein brilliantly depicts the tension between the parochial religious world of his youth and the siren call of a larger cosmopolitan culture, a rebellion that manifested itself in a yarmulka replaced by Yankees cap, a Shakespeare play concealed behind a heavy tractate of the Talmud, and classes cut on Wednesday afternoons to take in the Broadway theater.


How We Did It: The Subban Plan for Success in Hockey, School and Life
Subban, Karl
(Paperback)

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The ultimate hockey dad, Karl Subban is a former school principal and father of five, including three sons--P.K., Malcolm and Jordan--who have been drafted to the NHL. Karl's inspirational and moving story follows the hockey journey from house league to the big leagues and shows how to grow the unlimited potential that is in every child.


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Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools
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Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools
Klein, Joel
(Paperback)

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In this revealing and provocative memoir, the former chancellor of the New York City schools offers the behind-the-scenes story of the city’s dramatic campaign to improve public education and an inspiring blueprint for national reform.In 2002 New York City’s newly elected mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made a historic announcement: his administration had won control of the city’s school system in a first step toward reversing its precipitous decline. In a controversial move, he appointed Joel Klein, an accomplished lawyer from outside the education establishment, to lead this ambitious campaign.Lessons of Hope is Klein’s inside account of his eight-year mission of improvement: demanding accountability, eliminating political favoritism, and battling a powerful teachers union that seemed determined to protect a status quo that didn’t work for kids. Klein’s initiatives resulted in more school choice, higher graduation rates, and improved test scores. The New York City model is now seen as a national standard for meaningful school reform. But the journey was not easy. Klein faced resistance and conflict at every turn.Lessons of Hope lays bare the problems plaguing public education and shows how they can be solved. At its core lies Klein’s personal story: his humble upbringing in Brooklyn and Queens, and the key role that outstanding public school teachers played in nurturing his success. Engaging and illuminating, Lessons of Hope is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of American public education.


Lost Child: The True Story of a Girl Who Couldn't Ask for Help
Hayden, Torey
(Paperback)

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In a forgotten corner of Wales, a nine-year-old girl has been abandoned by her parents because of her violent streak and is at risk of becoming just another lost soul in the foster system. Precocious, bold, and convinced she is possessed by the devil, Jessie is utterly unprepared for the arrival of therapist Torey Hayden. Hayden, armed with patience, compassion, and unconditional love, begins working with Jessie once a week. But when Jessie makes a stunning accusation, Hayden's work doubles: now she must not only get to the root of Jessie's troubles, but also find out if what the girl alleges is true.A moving and inspiring account, Lost Child is a powerful testament of Torey Hayden's extraordinary ability to reach children on whom many have given up, and a reminder of how patience and love can ultimately prevail.


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