Los Gatos High Freshman English Class Publishes 'Windows to the Teenage Soul'

The Ebook poetry anthology -- possibly the first of its kind for a high school class -- is innovative project to help finance 2017 Senior Prom.

"Windows to the Teenage Soul" by Los Gatos High School English 9H Class of 2017.
"Windows to the Teenage Soul" by Los Gatos High School English 9H Class of 2017.

Los Gatos High School English 9 Honors students collaborated with the Los Gatos Library and Smashwords, a distributor of self-published books, to create and publish what they believe to be the first self-produced ebook by a high school class.  

Written by more than 120 freshman English students at Los Gatos High, Windows to the Teenage Soul  is an an electronic poetry anthology -- an Ebook -- available worldwide through Smashwords, on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, KOBO and Apple’s iBook store.  

Proceeds from the book’s sales, which begin May 6, will help fund the LGHS Class of 2017's future events, including senior prom. 

LGHS English Teacher Tonya McQuade decided to tackle the project after meeting with Los Gatos Town Librarian Henry Bankhead, who was looking for ways to promote authorship in the community when he teamed up earlier with Smashwords.  

“Unlike the self-publishing of the past, when an author would pay to have an unsuccessful book printed, ebook self-publishing offers a new way for authors to get their books out to a worldwide audience that is thirsty for content,” Bankhead explained. 

After a meeting with Smashwords CEO Mark Coker, an LGHS graduate who founded Smashwords in 2008, McQuade was eager to get started.  

“It is my goal every year to help my students discover the joy, beauty, and expressiveness of poetry,” she said. “Now, for the first time, they get to share that with a bigger audience.”  

Teamwork was an integral part of the project. Students served on five different teams: Editing; Layout and Design; Art and Photography; Marketing and Publicity; and Event Planning. 

 “This project provided many new experiences for me and gave me skills that I can apply later in life,” freshman Elan Friedland said. 

The students hope their book will serve as an example for many classrooms around the world who wish to publish successful ebooks.  

A book release celebration is May 6 at the Los Gatos Library with presentations of various poems. Open to the public, it is from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. 

"Windows" official release is May 6., Preorders: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431588

The book will perfectly give, as the title says, a window into the minds of many young teenagers.  

Like and follow the book on Facebook here

Erica Goss April 28, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Congratulations to Ms. McQuade's class! This is a wonderful achievement and partnership between the Los Gatos Library and Los Gatos High School.
Susan C. Schena April 28, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Agreed, Erica!
Jennifer Swanton Brown April 28, 2014 at 05:59 PM
What great great news. And just when National Poetry Month was starting to make my head hurt. Congratulations to you awesome student poets, and lucky you, too, that you've got a teacher who believes.


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