“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Nicholas Sparks
Available now  Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group  ▪ Ages 12 and up
Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks creates the brand new NOVEL LEARNING SERIES to assist teachers in aligning to the English Language Arts (ELA) Common Core Standards and help teens prepare for college entrance exams.
Story:  We know that teens don’t like to be told what to read or how to prepare for exams.  When it comes to both reading and prepping for national tests, many teens groan over both.  We do know, though, that when kids like what they’re reading, they’re more likely to have reading and writing success.  They need 
to be moved by a book and its characters.

With over 80 million copies of his books sold worldwide, Nicholas Sparks is a household name to a generation of teens who have grown up devouring his books and eagerly seeing his films upon release.  With accessible language, emotionally resonant storytelling, and compelling moral questions, his books make excellent reading choices for both struggling and advanced teen readers.

Now four of Sparks' acclaimed and bestselling titles -- THE NOTEBOOK, THE LAST SONG, A WALK TO REMEMBER and THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER -- have been reissued in special Student Guide Editions which feature the full text of the beloved works along with learning guides interspersed throughout the text, providing ELA skill-building questions for the students while introducing and familiarizing them with SAT and ACT style question-and-answer formats.  Developed in conjunction with a high school English teacher, THE NOVEL LEARNING SERIES also addresses the needs of teachers as each title in the series has been aligned with the ELA Common Core State Standards and fulfills protocol requirements used by 
almost every state.

Each of the editions includes:
·      questions and explanations about the text after every few chapters to check comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and usage, style and characterization and literary terms
·      standard test questions format style throughout to help students prepare for standardized tests with SAT- and ACT-style questions using vocabulary and grammar from the books
·      step-by-step sample writing prompts and essays and evaluation rubrics to guide students through the elements of an above-average, average and below-average essay – and explain why
·     ELA Common Core State Standards alignment

Story behind the story:  Research has shown that students who read for enjoyment become more proficient readers.  Motivated readers tend to read more, which, in turn, leads to improved vocabulary and comprehension skills.  "Part of the way to get students to love to read is to get them reading novels they're familiar with, novels with language and themes similar to what they find in real life or in the movies, and ones where they feel they can related to the characters," says author Nicholas Sparks.  "We hope that the NOVEL LEARNING SERIES student guide editions make it easy for the teacher and delightful for the student."

Perhaps you'll hear Nicholas Sparks talking about his work and this series when he delivers the keynote at this year's National Council of Teachers of English conference (November 18, Las Vegas)?  If not, take a peek at this video: 

"The Novel Learning Series ... goes far beyond regular study guides or Cliff's Notes type of stuff. It encourages students to think on a deeper level thematically and analytically, not just in terms of plot memorization and obvious interpretations. It guides them toward asking the right types of questions, which is much more important than finding oversimplified answers."
 -- Steve McGill, English teacher, Ravenscroft School, Raleigh, NC
By using relatable, high interest high school level novels, the NOVEL LEARNING SERIES can help English teachers overcome their first big obstacle with students—getting them to read.  The series can also add value and help teachers with their 
second hurdle—teaching students ELA skills.

Order your reviewer's copy now.