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ticket books

These Books Are Also Brazilian Subway Tickets

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ticket books

On average, Brazilians only read about two books a year, according to research by Instituto Pró-Livro. To increase that number, pocket book publisher L&PM Editores worked with Agência Africa to create Ticket Books. These handy tomes are one part literature and one part subway pass.

Each special Ticket Book comes with an RFID card built right inside the cover which enables subway turnstiles to then read the covers just like a regular ticket. Now subway riders can carry a book and subway card all in one; once they're on the train, they'll already have a book in hand to entertain them on the commute.

This exciting program kicked off on World Book Day in April when L&PM Editores handed out 10,000 free books in Sao Paulo. Each book came preloaded with 10 rides. Once spent, the books can be re-upped on the Ticket Books website, or—if the commuter has finished the book—given to a friend to pass along the reading material. The event was a huge success and the project was expanded to other parts of Brazil.

So far, there are ten classic books to choose from, each with a subway-themed cover: Peanuts: Friendship. That’s What Friends Are For by Charles M. Schulz, Garfield: Sorry by Jim Davis, Hundred Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Murder Alley by Agatha Christie, Chives In Trouble! by Mauricio de Sousa, and Quintana Pocket by Mario Quintana.

[h/t: PSFK]

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Kyle Ely
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school
Dedicated Middle School Teacher Transforms His Classroom Into Hogwarts
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Kyle Ely

It would be hard to dread back-to-school season with Kyle Ely as your teacher. As ABC News reports, the instructor brought a piece of Hogwarts to Evergreen Middle School in Hillsboro, Oregon by plastering his classroom with Harry Potter-themed decor.

The journey into the school's makeshift wizarding world started at his door, which was decorated with red brick wall paper and a "Platform 9 3/4" sign above the entrance. Inside, students found a convincing Hogwarts classroom complete with floating candles, a sorting hat, owl statues, and house crests. He even managed to recreate the starry night sky effect of the school’s Great Hall by covering the ceiling with black garbage bags and splattering them with white paint.

The whole project cost the teacher around $300 to $400 and took him 70 hours to build. As a long-time Harry Potter fan, he said that being able to share his love of the book series with his students made it all pay off it. He wrote in a Facebook post, "Seeing their faces light up made all the time and effort put into this totally worth it."

Inside of Harry Potter-themed classroom.

Inside of Harry Potter-themed classroom.

Inside of Harry Potter-themed classroom.

Though wildly creative, the Hogwarts-themed classroom at Evergreen Middle School isn't the first of its kind. Back in 2015, a middle school teacher in Oklahoma City outfitted her classroom with a potions station and a stuffed version of Fluffy to make the new school year a little more magical. Here are some more unique classroom themes teachers have used to transport their kids without leaving school.

[h/t ABC News]

Images courtesy of Kyle Ely.

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literature
How the Rise of Paperback Books Turned To Kill a Mockingbird Into a Literary Classic
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Tim Boyle/Getty Images

If you went to middle or high school in the U.S. in the last few decades, chances are you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's now-classic novel (which was adapted into a now-classic film) about racial injustice in the South. Even if you grew up far-removed from Jim Crow laws, you probably still understand its significance; in 2006, British librarians voted it the one book every adult should read before they die. And yet the novel, while considered an instant success, wasn’t always destined for its immense fame, as we learned from the Vox video series Overrated. In fact, its status in the American literary canon has a lot to do with the format in which it was printed.

To Kill a Mockingbird came out in paperback at a time when literary houses were just starting to invest in the format. After its publication in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird was reviewed favorably in The New York Times, but it wasn’t the bestselling novel that year. It was the evolution of paperbacks that helped put it into more hands.

Prior to the 1960s, paperbacks were often kind of trashy, and when literary novels were published in the format, they still featured what Vox calls “sexy covers,” like a softcover edition of The Great Gatsby that featured a shirtless Jay Gatsby on the cover. According to a 1961 article in The New York Times, back in the 1950s, paperbacks were described as “a showcase for the ‘three S’s—sex, sadism, and the smoking gun.’” But then, paperbacks came to schools.

The mass-market paperback for To Kill a Mockingbird came out in 1962. It was cheap, but had stellar credentials, which appealed to teachers. It was a popular, well-reviewed book that earned Lee the Pulitzer Prize. Suddenly, it was in virtually every school and, even half a century later, it still is.

Learn the whole story in the video below from Vox.

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