Videos from the 2021 First-Year Experience® Conference are now available

By Spenser Stevens | April 16 2021 | First-Year Reading General

We’re pleased to share videos from the 2021 First-Year Experience® Conference. Whether you weren’t able to join us at the conference or would simply like to hear the talks again, please take a moment to view the clips below.


Penguin Random House Monday Event

Monday, February 15, 2021 | 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST


This event featured authors Michele Harper (THE BEAUTY IN BREAKING), Kim Johnson (THIS IS MY AMERICA), Megha Majumdar (A BURNING), Jim McCloskey (WHEN TRUTH IS ALL YOU HAVE), and Isabel Wilkerson (CASTE).


View the video clips below:


Michele Harper (The Beauty in Breaking)



Kim Johnson (This Is My America)



Megha Majumdar (A Burning)



Jim McCloskey (When Truth Is All You Have)



Isabel Wilkerson (Caste)


Penguin Random House Tuesday Event

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 | 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm EST


This event featured authors Ishmael Beah (LITTLE FAMILY), Emily Bernard (BLACK IS THE BODY), Erin Brockovich (SUPERMAN’S NOT COMING), Lan Cao & Harlan Margaret Van Cao (FAMILY IN SIX TONES), and Kathryn D. Sullivan (HANDPRINTS ON HUBBLE).


View the video clips below:


Ishmael Beah (Little Family)



Emily Bernard (Black Is the Body)


Erin Brockovich (Superman’s Not Coming)



Lan Cao & Harlan Margaret Van Cao (Family in Six Tones)


Kathryn D. Sullivan (Handprints on Hubble) 

Penguin Random House Thursday Event

Thursday, February 18, 2021 | 12:15 pm – 1:45 pm EST


This event featured authors Brittany K. Barnett (A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT),  Ta-Nehisi Coates (THE WATER DANCER), Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (THE UNDOCUMENTED AMERICANS), Chanel Miller (KNOW MY NAME), and Gabby Rivera (JULIET TAKES A BREATH). 


View the video clips below:


Brittany K. Barnett (A Knock at Midnight) 



Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)



Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans)



Chanel Miller (Know My Name)



Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)


A Memoir
Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs
Body, Mind & Spirit - Inspiration & Personal Growth
Medical - Emergency Medicine
The New York Times Bestseller An emergency room physician explores how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.
$27.00 US | $36.00 CAN
Jul 07, 2020
5-1/8 x 8
304 Pages
Riverhead Books

Young Adult Fiction - People & Places - United States - African American & Black
Young Adult Fiction - Social Themes - Prejudice & Racism
Young Adult Fiction - Diversity & Multicultural
"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.
$17.99 US | $23.99 CAN
Jul 28, 2020
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
416 Pages
Random House Books for Young Readers
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

A novel
Fiction - Literary
Fiction - Thrillers - General
Fiction - Political
A Burning is a novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.
$25.95 US
Jun 02, 2020
5 x 8-1/4
304 Pages
US, Opn Mkt (no CAN)

The Origins of Our Discontents
Social Science - Social Classes & Economic Disparity
History - Social History
Social Science - Sociology - Social Theory
Selected for common reading at Georgia State University Honors College and Tufts University School Of Medicine
$32.00 US | $42.00 CAN
Aug 04, 2020
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
496 Pages
Random House
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Stories from My Grandmother's Time, My Mother's Time, and Mine
Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs
Literary Collections - Essays
Literary Criticism - American - African American & Black
In these twelve deeply personal, connected essays, Bernard details the experience of growing up black in the south with a family name inherited from a white man, surviving a random stabbing at a New Haven coffee shop while taking graduate studies at Yale, marrying a white man from the north and bring him home to her family, adopting two babies from Ethiopia, and living and teaching in a primarily white New England college town. Each of these essays goes beyond a narrative of black innocence and white guilt and sets out to discover a new way of telling the truth as the author has lived it.
$16.00 US | $22.00 CAN
Dec 03, 2019
5-3/16 x 8
240 Pages
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It
Political Science - Public Policy - Environmental Policy
Nature - Environmental Conservation & Protection
Biography & Autobiography - Environmentalists & Naturalists
From environmental activist, consumer advocate, renowned crusader, champion fighter-maverick, whose courageous case against Pacific Gas and Electric was dramatized in the Oscar-winning film—Superman’s Not Coming is a book to inspire change that looks at the present situation with water and reveals the imminent threats to this most precious, essential element, and shows us how we can each take action to make changes in our cities, our towns, our villages, before it is too late.
$28.95 US | $38.95 CAN
Aug 25, 2020
6-1/4 x 9-1/4
384 Pages

A Refugee Mother, an American Daughter
Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs
Social Science - Refugees
History - Military - Vietnam War
"A brilliant duet and a moving exploration of the American immigrant experience."--Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being A dual first-person memoir by the acclaimed Vietnamese-American novelist and her thoroughly American teenage daughter
$28.00 US | $37.00 CAN
Sep 15, 2020
6 x 9
320 Pages

An Astronaut's Story of Invention
Science - Space Science - Astronomy
Biography & Autobiography - Science & Technology
The first American woman to walk in space recounts her experience as part of the team that launched, rescued, repaired, and maintained the 30-year-old Hubble Space Telescope.
$17.95 US | $23.95 CAN
Dec 01, 2020
6 x 9
304 Pages
The MIT Press

A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom
Biography & Autobiography - Cultural, Ethnic & Regional - African American & Black
Law - Criminal Law - Sentencing
Social Science - Discrimination
An urgent call to free those buried alive by America's legal system, and an inspiring true story about unwavering belief in humanity--from a gifted young lawyer whose journey marks the emergence of a powerful new voice in the movement to transform the system.
$28.00 US | $37.00 CAN
Sep 08, 2020
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
336 Pages
US, Canada, Open Mkt

A Novel
Fiction - African American & Black - Historical
Fiction - Fantasy - Historical
Fiction - Magical Realism
Selected for common reading at Bucknell University
$18.00 US | $24.00 CAN
Nov 17, 2020
5-3/16 x 8
432 Pages
One World
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Social Science - Emigration & Immigration
Biography & Autobiography - Cultural, Ethnic & Regional - Hispanic & Latino
History - Latin America - Central America
One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.
$26.00 US | $35.00 CAN
Mar 24, 2020
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
208 Pages
One World
US, Canada, Open Mkt

A Memoir
Biography & Autobiography - Women
Biography & Autobiography - Personal Memoirs
Social Science - Sexual Abuse & Harassment
She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.
$18.00 US | $24.00 CAN
Aug 18, 2020
5-1/2 x 8-7/16
384 Pages
Penguin Books
US, Canada, Open Mkt

Young Adult Fiction - LGBTQ+
Young Adult Fiction - Coming Of Age
Young Adult Fiction - Romance - LGBTQ+
A People magazine Best Book of Fall 2019 An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of 2019 "F***ing outstanding."--Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author
$17.99 US | $23.99 CAN
Sep 17, 2019
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
320 Pages
Dial Books
Age 14 and up
Grade 9 & Up
US, Canada, Open Mkt