The Late Movies: Wonderful Book Trailers

I love how creative the book industry's marketing efforts have become. Gone -- well, mostly gone -- are the boring advertisements of old in which the author simply says a few words imploring you to read their book. Today, the marketing medium of choice is the ever-popular book trailer; book trailers are becoming increasingly longer, more complex, and more creative. These are just some of our favorites...

Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet

Published by The Cooking Lab, March 2011

Room by Emma Donoghue

Published by HarperCollins (Canada), August 2010

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

Published by Gotham, October 2011

When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic and Wes Hargis

Published by HarperCollins, February 2011

Post-It Note Diaries by Arthur Jones

Published by Plume, October 2011

Nina in That Makes Me Mad! by Hilary Knight and Steven Kroll

Published by Toon Books, September 2011

Unaccountable by Marty Makary, M.D.

Published by Bloomsbury Press, September 2012

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Published by Dial Press (UK), July 2009

Instant: The Story of Polaroid by Christopher Bonanos

Published by Princeton Architectural Press, September 2012

The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu

Published by Flammarion (in French), October 2007

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What's the best book trailer you've seen? Let us know in the comments!

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College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy
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One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

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North America: East or West Coast?
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