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Los Gatos High Students' Poetry Book Hits No. 1; Launch Party Is Success

LGHS English Teacher Kathleen Wehr, Town Librarian Heidi Murphy, LGHS English  Teacher Tonya McQuade, Smashwords Marketing Manager Henry Azevedo,  Town Librarian Henry Bankhead, and Smashwords CEO Mark Coker.
LGHS English Teacher Kathleen Wehr, Town Librarian Heidi Murphy, LGHS English Teacher Tonya McQuade, Smashwords Marketing Manager Henry Azevedo, Town Librarian Henry Bankhead, and Smashwords CEO Mark Coker.

Los Gatos High School students' poetry ebook, Windows to the Teenage Soul, reached #1 on the Apple iBookstore's list of the Top Fifty Poetry Ebooks on the same day of the Book Launch Party at Los Gatos Library. 

This student-organized event celebrated the ebook becoming available through publisher Smashwords, as well as Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.  The book became available for preorder through Apple iTunes last week.

[Previous: Los Gatos High Freshman English Class Publishes 'Windows to the Teenage Soul']

The fun launch party, which drew approximately 150, featured student emcees, poetry readings, award announcements and explanations about how the ebook came into existence.  

Produced over a five-week period by LGHS's English 9 Honors students, the poetry anthology features poems by approximately 120 students on a wide variety of topics, truly providing a "window" into the thinking of teens today.

Students enjoy refreshments before the evening's program begins.

As part of the program:

  • Smashwords CEO Mark Coker discussed his involvement with the project and explained how his company came to partner with Los Gatos Library and Los Gatos High School; 
  • Town Librarian Henry Bankhead described the grant his library team secured to help promote authorship within the community; 
  • LGHS English 9H Teacher Tonya McQuade described how she decided to take on the project and get her students – as well as the students of fellow English 9H Teacher Kathleen Wehr - involved in self-publishing.

"I've always loved poetry, and year after year I am amazed at the poetry my students are able to produce," McQuade said.  "It's wonderful that this year, they can share it with a larger audience."

Several students read their poems and emcees Audrey Somers and Korie Seandel – both LGHS freshmen – provided commentary, jokes and explanations to entertain the audience between presentations.  

Other students spoke to explain the roles their various teams – Layout & Design, Editing, Art & Photography, Marketing & Publicity, and Event Planning – played in the production process. 

Top poetry honors were awarded to freshmen Katie Winkleman, Joey Garber, Thomas Culwell, and Jadon Jin.

Windows to the Teenage Soul is now available for purchase at various sites, including:

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431588
Apple Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/x/id871049021
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K60NEF2
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/windows-to-the-teenage-soul-los-gatos-high-school-english-9h-class-of-2017/1119370334?ean=2940045855914

For more insights on Tuesday's event, visit Smashwords CEO Mark Coker's Blog at http://blog.smashwords.com/2014/05/ebook-publishing-in-classroom-los-gatos.html



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