It's not much of a secret of Lois Leveen that I love teaching. In fact, I wrote The Secrets of Mary Bowser
to share what I was teaching at UCLA and Reed College with a broader audience.
So it's THRILLING to know that teachers are starting to use the book in their high school and college courses. The teaching guide for the novel (download it for free here
) includes over 100 assignments for using Mary's story to teach school success skills and current events, as well as teaching content from history, literature, and many other humanities, social science, math and hard science, and arts and performing arts subjects. Why? Because Mary's story of giving up her family to seize an education, and of using that education to change the course of history, is a powerful hook for high school and college students today. As an all-school read, The Secrets of Mary Bowser
can get teachers and students talking about some of the most important topics in education.
This very blurry picture is from my fantastic team at HarperCollins, who were just at the First Year Experience conference, sharing The Secrets of Mary Bowser
with faculty and program directors. FYE programs help students transition into college successfully. In a previous life, I worked on several projects to increase high school and college graduation rates, and I'm thrilled that The Secrets of Mary Bowser
will be part of programs to increase student's engagement with and success in school.