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A note from William

Friends! It is happening! The featured image is one of half a dozen educator pages that our web developers are promising will go live on Monday, April 24. The beautiful photograph is by the fabulous Stone Soup contributor and photographer, Sage Millen.

Now that the educator pages we have been developing since October are actually going to go live, we need teachers who will beta test this new material. I had hoped to have had more time before school ends, but, we are where we are. Two or three weeks of testing will itself be a huge help.

We currently have twelve beta testers. I'd like to have another twelve. What we need is feedback.

If you are a teacher grades 4-8, please write to us at education@stonesoup.com and ask to be a beta tester. If you are a child in school and are reading this, and if you think your teacher might be interested, then please talk to one of your parents about asking your teacher to become a beta tester. For everyone else, please reach out to the teachers in your life. This beta testing program is hugely important to us. Long term, Stone Soup needs site licenses in schools in order to thrive

Writing Workshops
EventBrite registration is still open for the spring session of writing workshops by Conner Bassett and by me, William Rubel. The dates are April 23 to June 4. My class is 9 AM Pacific. Conner's class is 11 AM Pacific. Yes, you can try a class for free. Write to Tayleigh@stonesoup.com. We want any and all students who want to take the classes, so please get in touch if you need a scholarship.

We used to publish book reviews in Stone Soup Magazine. Then, we realized that there was much more demand for writing reviews than we had space, and that many reviewers had a lot of insightful things to say about the books they read. This review by Anirudh Parthasarathy of the classic science fiction book, Fahrenheit 451, is an example of the best of the best of Stone Soup reviews.

Thank you, Anirudh. This is a brilliant insightful analysis of the book. You show why Fahrenheit 451—published when I was one-year-old (1953)—remains an important book. Please, all of you, read this review.

If you like reading and if you would like to review a book (or books) for Stone Soup, please follow in Anirudh's footsteps and submit a review to our Book Review & Blog editor, Caleb Berg. You do that by clicking on the link, below, "Submit to the Stone Soup Blog."

Until next week,

From the Stone Soup Blog
April 2022

The Relevance of Fahrenheit 451

By Anirudh Parthasarathy, 13 (San Jose, CA)

Fahrenheit 451 has never been more relevant than it is today. The parlor walls that Ray Bradbury envisioned in his iconic story are similar to the large wall-mounted TV screens with continuous streaming content available for binge-watching. Video games have become immersive with Oculus and Metaverse. Many people (especially children) are addicted to video games, and some play them for a living. City planning often bolsters car culture, with the assumption that everyone has a car, which, majoritively, they do. People either rush to shops in cars through freeways to make good time or order in through Amazon, Instacart, and/or Doordash. A pedestrian walking to a grocery store is a rare sight indeed! As more and more books are made into movies, people prefer to consume the movie version rather than read the same book, which requires a lot more work and time. Movies lack richness, detail, and the nuances of a book, and there’s less power of imagination involved when everything is shown exactly as it is. Beatty summarizes this well when he says “Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests. Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending. Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume” (26). In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury demonstrates how mindless consumption of entertainment over the pure joy and fulfillment of reading and existing as one with nature leads to addiction to technology.


Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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