Friday, July 30, 2010

Penguin's 75th Anniversary and a Giveaway


I have to admit I really love Penguin and I'm thankful for all the wonderful books they've brought us over the past 75 years, and the wonderful books they continue to bring us.

They are celebrating their 75th anniversary today!

Penguin knows how to celebrate in style:

**A bright-orange Penguin Mobile (an adorable mini-cooper with the Penguin logo) is driving to bookstores all over the US to bring some of our bestselling authors to parties in their hometowns, increase awareness of The Nature Conservancy, and promote literacy. At each event, a set of 75 Penguin Books is donated to a local library or literacy group. Each author is signing the Penguin-mobile as it makes its way across the United States, and the summer’s events will culminate with a party at the New York Public Library in September where Penguin will auction the car with the proceeds going to the New York Public Library. Penguin is also donating sets of books to numerous U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.

History of Penguin

The awesome history of Penguin can be learned about by visiting this essay on the original 10 books. (Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemingway were among the original ten!)

You can also check out a timeline of Penguin's history.

Why am I mentioning this on my blog? I'm mentioning it because I think as readers we take part in a rich heritage. We read books that have a history in how they come to us and how they endure, or slip into obscurity, over the ages. Knowing the history of our publishers helps us understand the way literacy and the reading culture has developed over time and led us to where we are today. And in troubled times, it's important for us to learn about the resiliant nature of books and to have hope that they will always play an important part in our world.

Penguin is celebrating by giving away a book here today! The book I'm giving away is The True Story of Hansel and Gretal.

About the Book: A powerful retelling of the famous fairy tale set in Nazi-occupied Poland

In the last months of the Nazi occupation of Poland, two children are left by their father and stepmother to find safety in a dense forest. Because their real names will reveal their Jewishness, they are renamed "Hansel" and "Gretel." They wander in the woods until they are taken in by Magda, an eccentric and stubborn old woman called "witch" by the nearby villagers. Magda is determined to save them, even as a German officer arrives in the village with his own plans for the children.

Combining classic themes of fairy tales and war literature, this haunting novel of journey and survival, of redemption and memory, powerfully depicts how war is experienced by families and especially by children, and tells a resonant, riveting story.

To enter just fill out this form! I'll pick a winner on August 13th.


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