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  1. 8/30/2016 • Unabridged

    The inspirational account of the creation of a pathbreaking inner-city middle school in Brooklyn, New York, by the magnetic young principal who rocketed to national fame via Humans of New York When thirteen-year-old Vidal Chastanet told photographer Brandon Stanton that his principal ,“Ms. Lopez,” was the person who most influenced his life, it was the pebble that started a whirlwind for Nadia Lopez and her small, new public school in one of Brooklyn’s most wretched communities. The posting on Stanton’s wildly popular site Humans of New York (HONY) went mega-viral. Lopez—not long before on the verge of quitting—found herself in the national spotlight and headed for a meeting with Obama, as well as the beneficiary of a million-dollar IndieGoGo campaign for the school. Here is her first-person account of what it took to get to that moment.Mott Hall Bridges Academy isn’t just a hallway inside a typically underserved public school in one of New York City’s most underprivileged communities—it is a school that glows with energy and excitement. Lopez tells the kids every day that they’re extraordinary and that she loves them. When trouble stirs, she asks: “Would I have been proud to see what happened in that classroom? No? Then why did it happen?” She tells her teachers: “Don’t tell me our scholars can’t learn; because if you can’t teach them, then I’ll come teach your class for a couple of weeks.”Everything was an uphill battle—to get the school launched, to recruit faculty and students, to solve a million new problems every day, from violent crime to vanishing supplies, but Lopez illustrates how leadership often means just picking the right people to support you. In middle school, one year lost with an unengaged teacher is a year that can send a kid down a terrible path. And then, of course, there is the educational system itself, how “teaching to the test” is an enormous problem, particularly in schools with kids who are already disadvantaged and underprepared. The Bridge to Brilliance is a book filled with common sense and caring that will carry her message to classrooms far from Brooklyn. As she says, modestly, “There are hundreds of Ms. Lopezes around this country doing good work for kids. This honors all of them.”

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    The Bridge to Brilliance

    8/30/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.6 hrs • 2/9/2016 • Unabridged

    In a fit of idealism, Ed Boland left a twenty-year career as a nonprofit executive to teach in a tough New York City public high school. But his hopes quickly collided headlong with the appalling reality of his students’ lives and a hobbled education system unable to help them: Freddy runs a drug ring for his incarcerated brother; Nee-cole is homeschooled on the subway by her brilliant homeless mother; and Byron’s Ivy League dream is dashed because he is undocumented. In the end, Boland isn’t hoisted on his students’ shoulders and no one passes AP anything. This is no urban fairy tale of at-risk kids saved by a Hollywood hero, but a searing indictment of schools that claim to be progressive but still fail their students. Told with compassion, humor, and a keen eye, Boland’s story is sure to ignite debate about the future of American education and attempts to reform it.

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    The Battle for Room 314

    Read by Ed Boland
    7.6 hrs • 2/9/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 10.2 hrs • 10/1/2013 • Unabridged

    Strings Attached is the story of a brilliant but ferocious music teacher who came to be known as “Mr. K,” told in the alternating first person perspectives of his former student—award-winning journalist Joanne Lipman—and his daughter—Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist Melanie Kupchynsky. A Ukrainian immigrant who survived an abusive childhood, Mr. K used music as a means of escape. The authors bring the extraordinary character of Mr. K to life—from his days as a forced Nazi laborer to his home life as a husband to an invalid wife to the terrifying challenges he hurtled from behind the music stand, in a thick Ukrainian accent. Mr. K pushed his students harder than their parents, harder than their other teachers and coaches, and through sheer force of will made them better than they had any right to be. It wasn’t until years later that his students realized how much they loved him for it. At Mr. K’s memorial service, three generations of students flew in from all over the country to play a concert in his memory, having finally understood his tough lessons. Mr. K’s subject was music, but the lessons he taught were universal ones about resilience, the power of a can-do attitude, and achieving excellence in life. Strings Attached tells Mr. K’s story—a narrative that is itself as absorbing as fiction—giving readers the opportunity to experience the lessons of the world’s toughest teacher for themselves.

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    Strings Attached

    10.2 hrs • 10/1/13 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 3 3 out of 5 stars 3/5
    8.9 hrs • 4/2/2013 • Unabridged

    Nine-year-olds can solve the world’s toughest problems. In John Hunter’s classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking “World Peace Game.” These kids—from high school to fourth grade, in schools both well-funded and underresourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change. In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he’s gleaned from more than thirty years of teaching his game. Here he reveals the principles of successful collaboration that people of any age can apply anywhere. His students show us how to break through confusion, bounce back from failure, put knowledge to use, and fulfill our potential. Hunter offers not only a forward-thinking report from the front lines of American education, but also a generous blueprint for a world that bends toward cooperation rather than conflict. In this deeply hopeful audiobook, a visionary educator shows us what the future can be.

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    World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements

    8.9 hrs • 4/2/13 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.1 hrs • 12/20/2012 • Unabridged

    Booker T. Washington fought his way out of slavery to become an educator, statesman, political shaper, and proponent of the “do it yourself” idea. In his autobiography, he describes his early life as a slave on a Virginia plantation, his steady rise during the Civil War, his struggle for education, his schooling at the Hampton Institute, and his years as founder and president of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which was devoted to helping minorities learn useful, marketable skills. He gives an account of his travels, speeches, and meetings with various leaders, including Theodore Roosevelt in the White House. Employing a didactic tone, Washington deftly sets forth his belief that the black man’s salvation lies in education, industriousness, and self-reliance. This is the true-life story of a man of real courage and dedication.

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    Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington

    Up from Slavery

    6.1 hrs • 12/20/12 • Unabridged
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  6. 6.9 hrs • 9/11/2012 • Unabridged

    Long before he starred on some of television’s most beloved and long-running series, such as Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, and went on to distinguish himself in a variety of film and stage roles, Tony Danza was a walking contradiction: an indifferent student who dreamed of being a teacher. Inspiring a classroom of students was an aspiration he put aside for decades until one day it seemed that the most meaningful thing he could do was give his dream a shot. What followed was a year spent teaching tenth-grade English at Northeast High—Philadelphia’s largest high school with 3,600 students. Entering Northeast’s crowded halls in September 2009, Tony found his way to a classroom filled with twenty-six students who were determined not to cut him any slack. They cared nothing about “Mr. Danza’s” showbiz credentials, and they immediately put him on the hot seat. It was only after experiencing abject terror for several weeks—and even dissolving into tears on several occasions—that Tony began to pick up the tricks of how to get kids to learn. Featuring indelible portraits of students and teachers alike, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had reveals just how hard it is to keep today’s technologically savvy—and often alienated—students engaged, how impressively committed most teachers are, and the outsized role counseling plays in a teacher’s day, given the psychological burdens many students carry. The audiobook also makes vivid how a modern high school works, showing Tony in myriad roles—from lecturing on To Kill a Mockingbird to coaching the football team, organizing a talent show, leading far-flung field trips, and hosting teacher gripe sessions. Inevitably, Tony’s students steal their way into our hearts in a way that always feels authentic. A surprisingly poignant account, I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny but is mostly filled with hard-won wisdom and feel-good tears.

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  7. 16.8 hrs • 12/1/2011 • Unabridged

    Anna Leonowens, a proper Englishwoman, was an unlikely candidate to change the course of Siamese (Thai) history. A young widow and mother, her services were engaged in the 1860s by King Mongkut of Siam to help him communicate with foreign governments and be the tutor to his children and favored concubines. Stepping off the steamer from London, Anna found herself in an exotic land she could have only dreamed. It was a lush landscape of mystic faiths and curious people, and king’s palace bustling with royal pageantry, ancient custom, and harems. One of her pupils, the young prince Chulalongkorn, was particularly influenced by Leonowens and her Western ideals. He learned about Abraham Lincoln and the tenets of democracy from her, and years later he would become Siam’s most progressive king. He guided the country’s transformation from a feudal state to a modern society, abolishing slavery and making many other radical reforms.  Weaving meticulously researched facts with beautifully imagined scenes, Margret Landon recreates an unforgettable portrait of life in a forgotten exotic land. Written more than fifty years ago and translated into dozens of languages, Anna and the King of Siam (the inspiration for the magical play and film The King and I) continues to delight and enchant readers around the world. 

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    Anna and the King of Siam

    16.8 hrs • 12/1/11 • Unabridged
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  8. 10.2 hrs • 8/1/2011 • Unabridged

    In For the Love of Physics, beloved MIT professor Walter Lewin, whose riveting physics lectures made him a YouTube superstar, takes readers on a remarkably fun, inventive, and often wacky journey that brings the joys of physics to life. For more than thirty years as a renowned professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lewin’s lectures made physics not only accessible but fun, whether putting his head in the path of a wrecking ball, supercharging himself with three hundred thousand volts of electricity, or demonstrating why the sky is blue and clouds are white. In For the Love of Physics, Lewin takes listeners on a marvelous journey, opening our eyes as never before to the wonders of physics and its amazing ability to reveal the beauty and power embedded in our world. Could it be true that we are shorter standing up than lying down? Why can we snorkel no deeper than about one foot below the surface? Why are the colors of a rainbow always in the same order, and can we stretch a hand out and touch one? Using superbly clear and simple explanations of phenomena we’ve always wondered about, such as what the big bang would have sounded like had anyone existed to hear it, Lewin surprises and delights with physics-based answers to even the most elusive questions. Whether showing us that a flea is strong enough to pull a heavy book across a table, or describing the coolest, weirdest facts about the tiniest bits of matter, Lewin always entertains as he edifies. “For me,” Lewin writes, “physics is a way of seeing—the spectacular and the mundane, the immense and the minute—as a beautiful, thrillingly interwoven whole.” For the Love of Physics is a rare gem that will change the way listeners see the world.

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    For the Love of Physics

    By Walter Lewin, with Warren Goldstein
    10.2 hrs • 8/1/11 • Unabridged
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  9. 10.9 hrs • 1/20/2011 • Unabridged

    Here is the gritty, powerful story of Thomas Sowell’s life-long education in the school of hard knocks, as the journey took him from Harlem to the Marines, the Ivy League, and a career as a controversial writer, teacher, and economist in government and private industry. It is also the story of the dramatically changing times in which this personal odyssey took place. The vignettes of the people and places that made an impression on Thomas Sowell at various stages of his life range from the poor and powerless to the mighty and the wealthy, from a home for homeless boys to the White House, as well as ranging across the United States and around the world. It also includes Sowell’s startling discovery of his own origins during his teenage years. More than a story of the life of Sowell himself, this is also about the people who gave him their help, their support, and their loyalty, as well as those who demonized him and knifed him in the back. It is a study not just of one life but also of life in general, with all its exhilaration and pain of constant striving and deserved success.

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    A Personal Odyssey by Thomas Sowell

    A Personal Odyssey

    10.9 hrs • 1/20/11 • Unabridged
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  10. 10.1 hrs • 8/10/2010 • Unabridged

    The island is nearly deserted, haunting, beautiful. Across a slip of ocean lies South Carolina. But for the handful of families on Yamacraw island, America is a world away. For years the people here lived proudly from the sea, but now its waters are not safe. Waste from industry threatens their very existence–unless, somehow, they can learn a new life. But they will learn nothing without someone to teach them, and their school has no teacher. Here is Pat Conroy’s extraordinary drama based on his own experience–the true story of a man who gave a year of his life to an island and the new life its people gave him.

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    The Water Is Wide

    10.1 hrs • 8/10/10 • Unabridged
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  11. 7.2 hrs • 11/30/2009 • Unabridged

    For the fifty years that followed its original publication in 1901, Up from Slavery was the most widely known book written by an African American. The life of Booker T. Washington was the embodiment of the American self-made man, and his autobiography gave voice for the first time to a vast group that had to pull itself up from nothing. The well-documented ordeals and observations of this humble and plainspoken schoolmaster reveal traces of Washington’s other nature: the ambitious and tough-minded analyst. Here was a man who had to balance the demands of his fellow blacks with the constraints imposed on him by whites. Historically acknowledged as one of America’s most powerful and persuasive orators, Booker T. Washington consistently challenged the forces of racial prejudice at a time when such behavior from a black man was unheard of. While he mollified white leaders by publicly agreeing with their racist views of social parity, he also worked tirelessly to convince blacks to work together as one people in order to improve their lives and the future of their race. This story of Booker T. Washington’s rise to distinction emphasizes that a strong work ethic and excellence in whatever one is doing will be rewarded no matter what race or what position a person holds in life. As far as Washington was concerned, slavery only made the black person stronger. He also argued that both blacks and whites would benefit more from giving blacks vocational training than from encouraging the “craze for Greek and Latin learning.” While this set him at odds with other black leaders of his time, it also set the groundwork for Washington’s Tuskegee Institute to be the best-funded black educational institution of its era.

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    Up from Slavery

    7.2 hrs • 11/30/09 • Unabridged
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  12. 11.0 hrs • 4/8/2009 • Unabridged

    The exhilarating true story of how two young educators founded a nationwide middle school program that has produced the largest increase in academic achievement ever seen in inner-city schools. When Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin signed up for Teach for America right after college and found themselves utter failures in the classroom, they vowed to remake themselves into superior educators. They did that—and more. In their early twenties, by sheer force of talent and determination, they created a wildly successful classroom model that would grow into the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), which today includes sixty-six schools in nineteen states and the District of Columbia. KIPP schools incorporate what Feinberg and Levin learned from America’s best, most charismatic teachers: lessons need to be lively; school days need to be longer; the completion of homework has to be sacrosanct. Chants, songs, and slogans such as “Work hard, be nice” energize the program. Illuminating the ups and downs of the KIPP founders and their students, Mathews gives us something quite rare: hope about the future of education.

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    Work Hard. Be Nice.

    11.0 hrs • 4/8/09 • Unabridged
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  13. 13.6 hrs • 6/15/2006 • Unabridged

    In 1993 Greg Mortenson was the exhausted survivor of a failed attempt to ascend K2, an American climbing bum wandering emaciated and lost through Pakistan’s Karakoram Himalaya. After he was taken in and nursed back to health by the people of an impoverished Pakistani village, Mortenson promised to return one day and build them a school. From that rash, earnest promise grew one of the most incredible humanitarian campaigns of our time—Greg Mortenson’s one-man mission to counteract extremism by building schools, especially for girls, throughout the breeding ground of the Taliban. Award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin has collaborated on this spellbinding account of Mortenson’s incredible accomplishments in a region where Americans are often feared and hated. In pursuit of his goal, Mortenson has survived kidnapping, fatwas issued by enraged mullahs, repeated death threats, and wrenching separations from his wife and children. But his success speaks for itself. At last count, his Central Asia Institute had built fifty-five schools. Three Cups of Tea is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.

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    Three Cups of Tea

    13.6 hrs • 6/15/06 • Unabridged
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  14. 8.9 hrs • 11/15/2005 • Unabridged

    Nearly a decade ago Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of 66, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Then came 'Tis, his glorious account of his early years in New York. Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City. Teacher Man shows McCourt developing his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally-charged or indifferent adolescents. McCourt's rocky marriage, his failed attempt to get a Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin, and his repeated firings due to his propensity to talk back to his superiors ironically lead him to New York's most prestigious school, Stuyvesant High School, where he finally finds a place and a voice. For McCourt, storytelling itself is the source of salvation and in Teacher Man the journey to redemption -- and literary fame -- is an exhilarating adventure.

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    Teacher Man

    8.9 hrs • 11/15/05 • Unabridged
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  15. 5.4 hrs • 11/15/2005 • Abridged

    Nearly a decade ago Frank McCourt became an unlikely star when, at the age of 66, he burst onto the literary scene with Angela's Ashes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir of his childhood in Limerick, Ireland. Then came 'Tis, his glorious account of his early years in New York.   Now here at last, is McCourt's long-awaited audiobook about how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer. Teacher Man is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, McCourt records the trials, triumphs and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City. Teacher Man shows McCourt developing his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally-charged or indifferent adolescents. McCourt's rocky marriage, his failed attempt to get a Ph.D. at Trinity College, Dublin, and his repeated firings due to his propensity to talk back to his superiors ironically lead him to New York's most prestigious school, Stuyvesant High School, where he finally finds a place and a voice. For McCourt, storytelling itself is the source of salvation and in Teacher Man the journey to redemption -- and literary fame -- is an exhilarating adventure.

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    Teacher Man

    5.4 hrs • 11/15/05 • Abridged
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  16. 10.3 hrs • 11/1/2005 • Unabridged

    This 1870 memoir, which was the basis for the musical The King and I, vividly recounts the experiences of Anna Harriette Leonowens, who served as a governess for the sixty-plus children of King Mongkut of Siam and as translator and scribe for the King himself. Bright, young, and energetic, Leonowens was well-suited to her role, and her writings convey a heartfelt interest in the lives, legends, and languages of Siam’s rich and poor. She also tells of how she and the king often disagreed on matters domestic—this was the first time King Mongkut had met a woman who dared to contradict him, and the governess found the very idea of male domination intolerable. Her exchanges with His Majesty on topics like grammar, charity, slavery, politics, and religion add much to her diary’s rich, cross-cultural spirit and its East-meets-West appeal.

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    The English Governess at the Siamese Court by Anna Harriette Leonowens
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