Giving Back

Dutton and Razorbill Announce New Book, GLIMMER OF HOPE, by March For Our Lives Founders, to be Published in October

The students from Parkland, Florida who founded The March For Our Lives after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, are now adding a book to their movement. GLIMMER OF HOPE: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement will be the official, definitive book from the founders and will document the ongoing fight for sensible gun control legislation and their journey on the road to change. In a rare move, Razorbill, a Penguin Young Readers imprint, and Dutton, an adult imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, have teamed up to sell this single title together and jointly market the book, which will go on sale on October 16.

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The announcement was made on Monday by Ben Schrank, President and Publisher of Razorbill, and Christine Ball, Senior Vice President, Publisher of Dutton, who acquired North American rights from Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Razorbill Associate Publisher Casey McIntyre and Dutton Vice President, Executive Editor Jill Schwartzman, are co-editing. The full advance, all author royalties, and the agency’s commission will be donated to the March For Our Lives Foundation. In addition, Penguin Random House will donate a portion of its profits to March for Our Lives Foundation and during the week of on-sale, Penguin Random House will also match all employee donations to March for Our Lives Foundation by its employees. GLIMMER OF HOPE will feature original first-person essays by the founders, including Emma González, Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, and Matt Deitsch, and include oral histories and other contributions from twenty other founders and members of the group. It will also highlight key policy initiatives that the founders support. Despite still being in high school, the founders of The March for Our Lives have not stopped working since the march. Leading up to the midterms, their work is more important than ever: since the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in February, there have been eleven more school shootings across the United States. Currently they are on the Road to Change Tour where they are making over 50 planned stops across America to motivate and register young people to vote. Collectively the founders have said: “GLIMMER OF HOPE will be a permanent, tangible way to document the events we’ve endured and the journey we have lying ahead. March For Our Lives began organically, just a couple dozen teenagers on a living room floor, using trial-and-error processing and self-governing tactics. It’s important that we write this book collectively, because we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the differing efforts of each and every one of us.” March For Our Lives was created by, inspired by, and led by the students of Parkland, but has since curated student allies of all ethnicities, religions and sexualities across the country. The mission and focus of March For Our Lives is to assure that no special interest group or political agenda is more critical than the timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country. We demand morally-just leaders to rise up from both parties in order to ensure public safety. The full list of contributors, in alphabetical order, are: Adam Alhanti, Dylan Baierlein, John Barnitt, Alfonso Calderón, Sarah Chadwick, Jaclyn Corin, Matt Deitsch, Ryan Deitsch, Sam Deitsch, Brendan Duff, Emma González, Chris Grady, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Jammal Lemy, Kirsten McConnell, Charlie Mirsky, Diego Pfeiffer, Kyrah Simon, Delaney Tarr, Bradley Thornton, Kevin Trejos, Naomi Wadler, Sofie Whitney, Daniel Williams, and Alex Wind.

Honoring Our 2018 Library Awards for Innovation Grant Winners

Penguin Random House continues to honor its dedication to literacy at the annual American Library Association Conference and Exhibition, where our 2018 Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation grant winners were announced. Skip Dye, Vice President & Director of Operations and Library Sales, Penguin Random House, presented the awards at the Penguin Random House Librarian Reception, held on the opening day of last month’s ALA conference at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

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The Library Awards for Innovation recognize the nation’s most innovative public libraries and librarians for community-based library programs that engage citizens in reading and strengthen the social and cultural fabric of their community. Open to public libraries and public school libraries across the United States, the awards aim to encourage citizens to participate in and support reading initiatives that connect libraries with their communities. “More than ever before, it is vital to highlight and celebrate the profound impact libraries and librarians have on their community,” said Mr. Dye. “These awards honor the inventive and resourceful means through which libraries inspire and support diversity, tolerance, and literacy.” The 2018 awards consist of one $10,000 first-place grant, four $1,000 runner-up grants, and five $500 book grant awards for each librarian’s respective public library. In addition, book donations will be made to all of this year’s winners, listed below: Gretchen Caserotti – $10,000 Grant Recipient, Library Director – For “Tiny Library at the Hill” – Meridian Library District – Meridian, Idaho Lisa Goldstein – $1,000 Grant Recipient, Youth Wing Division Manager – For “Book Match Teen” – Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn, New York Jennifer McCormack – $1,000 Grant Recipient, Director – For “ELL Summer Reading Program” – Nashua Public Library – Nashua, New Hampshire Meghan Petersen – $1,000 Grant Recipient, Archivist – For “Amesbury Eats Equality Now” – Amesbury Public Library – Amesbury, Massachusetts Heather Weleski – $1,000 Grant Recipient, Children and Youth – For “Feed Your Minds” – Community Library of Castle Shannon – Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania
  • Christine Gramm – $500 Book Grant Award Recipient, Library Manager – For “Ged Testing Center” – Medina County District Library – Medina, Ohio
  • Elizabeth LaRosee – $500 Book Grant Award Recipient, Assistant Director/Emerging Tech – For “Community Digital Media and Learning Lab” – Turner Free Library – Randolph, Massachusetts
  • Elizabeth McIntyre – $500 Book Grant Award Recipient, Director – For “Barrow Book Partnership” – Piedmont Regional Libraries – Jefferson, Georgia
  • Maria Sewall – $500 Book Grant Award Recipient, Children’s Librarian – For “Bus Book Program” – Topsham Public Library – Topsham, Missouri
  • Myra Shindler – $500 Book Grant Award Recipient, BJE Director – For “The Veteran’s Day Teen Holocaust Forum” – Jewish Community Library and Resource Center – Scottsdale, Arizona
As part of the first-place award, conference registration, travel, and lodging expense was included. Meridian Library’s Youth Services Librarian Skye Corey accepted the award on behalf of Gretchen Caserotti at the Penguin Random House reception. For more about the Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation and this year’s recipients, please visit our website at https://foundation.penguinrandomhouse.com.

Penguin Random House Ireland Partners with Fighting Words Charity to Release Student Anthology

Penguin Random House Ireland partnered with the Fighting Words charity, an organization in Dublin dedicated to helping youth and young adults discover and cultivate their passions for creative writing. The charity recently launched its latest anthology, BEYOND BOUNDARIES, an inspired collection of short stories written by fourth year students at the Manor House School and edited by the PRH Ireland editorial team. The anthology features a written introduction by Penguin Ireland author, Sinéad Moriarty, in which she writes: In a year where women have stood up, spoken out and no longer been afraid to call out bad behaviour, it’s lovely to see a short story compilation from a group of young, fresh-faced and talented girls. The stories cover a wide range of subject matters and plots that will make you sit up and pay attention. Some will move you to tears, others will make you laugh and some will make you gasp out loud.

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Fighting Words is a charity working throughout Ireland to help children, young people and adults discover and harness the power of their own imagination and creative writing skills. Fighting Words volunteers provide free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts. Each year, an anthology of students’ work is published, with the students at the center of the project drafting and editing the stories, choosing the title of the book and working with a designer on the cover. PRH Ireland editors devote their time to editing the stories in the anthology and support the efforts by talking to the students about the process of publishing a book. Penguin Ireland author, Sinéad Moriarty wrote the introduction for this year’s anthology and also helped launch the book with the students. Vintage author, Roddy Doyle, is a member of the board and actively supports and promotes the work of Fighting Words.  

Penguin Random House Donates Books to Save the Children as Part of “Grand Central Reads”

Penguin Random House has launched a limited-time charitable-giving opportunity as part of our Grand Central Reads partnership with MTA Metro-North Railroad and Grand Central Terminal, a brand new program that allows commuters and visitors to use their mobile devices to download free Penguin Random House book excerpts.

In celebration of Penguin Random House’s five-year anniversary, the company is offering Grand Central Reads users a special 5-minute Reads section on the mobile platform, which will trigger book donations from Penguin Random House to its charitable partner, Save the Children, empowering New Yorkers to give back to those in need. For every five minutes read in this section, Penguin Random House will donate one of its book to global humanitarian organization Save the Children, up to 25,000 books, which will be distributed during community events, family activities and holiday celebrations at parks, schools, and libraries in the areas the organization serves.

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“Inspiring a culture of reading in communities is central to who we are and what we do as Penguin Random House,” said Claire von Schilling, EVP, Director, Corporate Communications, Penguin Random House. “This special initiative on the Grand Central Reads mobile platform is a wonderful opportunity for us to come together with Save the Children and our home-town New Yorkers to give back and make a positive difference in the lives of others through books.” “Save the Children is committed to ensuring every last child gets the opportunity to learn,” said Carolyn Miles, President & CEO, Save the Children. “We know the significant impact reading can have on a child’s life, and are grateful for Penguin Random House’s support and the Grand Central Reads partnership in helping us give more children the best chance for success.” Grand Central Reads features a platform created by Penguin Random House that offers users free access to extensive excerpts from a wide range of its book content, including thrillers, nonfiction, classics and cookbooks, via free wi-fi, inside Grand Central Terminal, on terminal platforms, and in the Park Avenue Tunnel. The program highlights the works of New York authors and stories featuring the Big Apple, Grand Central Terminal, and eventful train rides. Among the featured titles are:   For more information about the GCR program, please visit grandcentralreads.com.

Our Colleagues Make Care-Cards on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Host #WearOrange Post-It Note Walls at BookCon

Last Friday, June 1, Penguin Publishing Group recognized National Gun Violence Awareness Day by organizing an event at our 375 Hudson Street offices for Penguin Random House employees to make and write care-cards for families of victims of gun violence. Over the course of two hours, dozens of our colleagues created more than 130 hand-designed and thoughtfully written cards. They’ll be distributed to members of the Everytown Survivor Network, which brings together survivors, victims, and loved ones of those affected by gun violence.

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Penguin Publishing Group’s partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety continued the next day at BookCon, where PPG and Everytown invited book lovers passing through the Penguin Random House booth to show their support for #WearOrange by writing and posting orange Post-It notes to several dedication walls labeled “I #WearOrange because…”. For every Post-It note shared, Penguin Random House donated $5.00 to Everytown for Gun Safety. Representatives from the Everytown Authors Council, including Penguin author Chris Healy, joined Penguin Random House staff in greeting and talking to visitors, many of whom wanted to share their own stories. The #WearOrange movement originated on June 2, 2015 in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago one week after marching in President Obama’s 2nd D.C. inaugural parade in January 2013. In the days and weeks following, Hadija’s friends commemorated her by wearing orange – the color many hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. There are several ways to donate to #WearOrange and its partner organizations, who are working hard every day to build a future where every American can live free from gun violence. For a full list, click here.
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How “Rev Up for Reading” Inspires Crawfordsville Students to Read

The chance to engage with a real-life Monster Truck has sparked many students’ interest in reading books at a number of elementary schools in Crawfordsville, Indiana, thanks to Rev Up for Reading, a wonderful program created by Beth Hiatt, Manager, Receiving, at our Crawfordsville distribution center, and her husband. Beth explains, “With our program, teachers challenge their students to read. They set a ‘minutes goal’ and track their progress throughout the school year. As a reward, we bring our Monster Truck to their school towards the end of the academic year.

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“We've worked with schools since 2009, usually two a year. Our first school had 330 kids who read 56,000 books in order to ride in our truck. More recently, we just do displays; let the kids see the truck; answer questions, and give away pictures, Frisbees, posters, and my favorite Penguin Random House books.” Beth branded the program Rev Up for Reading, because, “for me, this is where the rubber meets the road: My love for books and reading; and supporting reading for our youth. “When we hear the stories about kids who could not read at the beginning of the school year; but can read by the end of the year it inspires us to do more. When we hear that kids read 30,000 minutes – that's one class of 22 - 24 students – just to see our truck, it means we are doing something right.” Look at the expressions on the faces of these children – who read for 30,000 minutes – posing with the Monster Truck. Beth and her husband deserve special commendation for the remarkable results that their program has achieved. For more information about Rev Up for Reading, click here.

Author Jojo Moyes Rescues UK Literacy Program "Quick Reads"

Jojo Moyes, author of #1 bestselling Pamela Dorman / Viking / Penguin books such as ME BEFORE YOU, AFTER YOU and STILL ME, learned that Quick Reads, a UK-based literacy program for adults with reading challenges, was in dire financial straits and on the verge of closing. So she personally donated £360,000 in order to ensure that Quick Reads, which has distributed 4.8 million copies of short novels by big-name author since the program began in 2006, will be able to operate for at least three more years.

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“Having written a Quick Reads myself and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," Moyes told The Bookseller. She added that it is a "really effective low-cost method of improving the reading skills and enjoyment" of less confident readers. Penguin Random House UK Chair Baroness Gail Rebuck, who founded Quick Reads, commented, “I have enormous gratitude towards Jojo. You can see in all her books her faith in the human spirit and how invested she is in humanity, which is reflected in this decision. I hope she will bring fresh insight to the campaign over the next three years.” Currently run by The Reading Agency, Quick Reads was set to close after it had been unable to secure a new long-term sponsor to cover its operating costs. Reading Agency chief executive Sue Wilkinson told The Guardian: "We couldn't be more thankful to Jojo for recognizing the importance of the scheme and so generously providing the funding to enable it to continue.” Moyes said, "My aim is to buy them a window, so we can put other long-term funding in place at the end of three years … it's a win for authors, it's a win for publishers and it's certainly a win for readers."

Support the #WearOrange Movement and National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, 6/1

National Gun Violence Awareness Day is on June 1. This year, Penguin Publishing Group has partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety and the #WearOrange movement to recognize the date and to help send a powerful message to end gun violence. 

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Other ways to participate include wearing an orange piece of clothing on June 1 or creating your own #WearOrange image for social sharing. Additionally, Penguin Publishing Group and Everytown will be partnering on an in-booth activation at BookCon, at the Javits convention center, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on June 2. Attendees can participate in a dedication wall as well as a #WearOrange photo op. The #WearOrange movement originated on June 2, 2015 in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago one week after marching in President Obama’s 2nd D.C. inaugural parade in January 2013. In the days and weeks following, Hadija’s friends commemorated her by wearing orange – the color many hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. There are several ways to donate to #WearOrange and its partner organizations, who are working hard every day to build a future where every American can live free from gun violence. For a full list, click here.  

DK Supports STAR WARS’ ‘ROAR FOR CHANGE’ Challenge

DK recently participated in Roar For Change, a global challenge organized by Lucasfilm and Star Wars: Force for Change in support of UNICEF. The initiative invites fans and families to share their own version of Chewbacca’s iconic roar. For each public post, like, or share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that includes #RoarForChange through May 25, Star Wars: Force for Change U.S. will donate $1 to UNICEF USA, up to $1 million. Funds will be used to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world.

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Fans can share their best Chewbacca impersonation, don Hasbro’s Electronic Chewbacca mask, or create a Dubsmash using one of Chewbacca’s best-known roars from the Star Wars saga, which will be hosted on the app’s homepage for the duration of the campaign. The initiative kicked off with a video featuring the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story, revealing Chewbacca’s diva behavior on the set of the new movie, which hits theaters on May 25. Check out DK’s video here. DK invites PRH Star Wars enthusiasts to join the #RoarForChange challenge and support this worthy cause. Learn more about the campaign at ForceForChange.com. *Campaign hashtag: #RoarForChange Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative from Lucasfilm and Disney, harnesses the strength of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Since 2014 when it was inspired by Star Wars fans, Star Wars: Force for Change has raised over $16 million to date for charitable causes around the world.

Penguin Random House Celebrates Female Authors and Supports Women’s Rights on International Women’s Day

Today, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with our readers by highlighting many of our publishing divisions’ female authors on the Penguin Random House consumer website. On this Day, which annually honors the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally, we will showcase treasured classics, major biographies, and contemporary storytelling, and more we publish by and about women. See a title sampling here

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To further honor this International Women’s Day and recognize the importance of women’s rights, Penguin Random House will make a significant book donation to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Penguin Random House proudly partners with organizations that share in our commitment for gender equality and social inclusion.