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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Google Partner to Bring Iconic Carmen Sandiego Educational Games to Today’s Kids

First caper live on Google Earth today, additional Carmen capers to follow in coming months

NEW YORK – Today, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media (HMH) announced that elusive super-thief Carmen Sandiego can be found on Google Earth, with a series of capers inspired by the original educational games. In the 1980s and 1990s, millions of children chased Carmen Sandiego around the world on computers at home and in school, as she inspired them to learn about and develop a love for geography, history and culture. Now today’s kids can find Carmen on their favorite device.

The first game, The Crown Jewels Caper, is live today, with two additional capers to follow in May and June. The capers will be available in Google Earth for Chrome, Android and iOS—complete with a Carmen version of the app’s Pegman.

The Google Earth Capers are just one of several ways that a new generation of children is learning about who Carmen Sandiego really is. In January, HMH—the home of the Carmen Sandiego property—relaunched the iconic character with an original Netflix animated series starring Gina Rodriguez, a multi-year publishing program, consumer products and classroom resources. A live-action Carmen Sandiego movie is in development, and a second season of the Carmen animated series was recently announced.

Just like the beloved classic games, the Google Earth capers will let players interact with dozens of “witness” characters in cities worldwide, who will offer clues about Carmen Sandiego’s location. Players then track Carmen across the globe to try and catch the elusive heroine. Chromosphere, the designer of the Carmen Sandiego series on Netflix, has created custom characters for the Google Earth game.

“Given Carmen Sandiego’s computer game roots, Google Earth is the perfect place to track down this super-thief in her new, 21st-century incarnation, no matter where on the globe she goes,” said Caroline Fraser, head of HMH Productions, and the executive producer of the “Carmen Sandiego” Netflix original series.

“Many of us on the Google Earth team grew up with Carmen Sandiego—she was a big part of our geography education. It has been so special for us to collaborate with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to bring the magic of this game to Google Earth, to global explorers of all ages,” said Vanessa Schneider, Program Manager for Google Earth and lead for the project. 

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media
For nearly two centuries, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has published some of the world’s most renowned novels, nonfiction, children’s books, and reference works. As part of a leading global learning company, it is uniquely positioned to offer educational and entertaining content for all audiences. Its distinguished author list includes ten Nobel Prize winners, forty-eight Pulitzer Prize winners, fifteen National Book Award winners, and more than one hundred Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Sibert Medal and Honor recipients. Current and recent authors include Tim O'Brien, Natasha Trethewey, Tim Ferriss, Amos Oz, Ursula K. Le Guin, and a celebrated roster of children’s authors and illustrators including Kwame Alexander, Lois Lowry, and Chris Van Allsburg. HMH is also home to The Best American series® The Whole30®, Weber Grill, How to Cook Everything®, and other leading lifestyle properties; books by J.R.R. Tolkien; and many iconic children’s books and characters, including Curious George®, The Little Prince, and The Polar Express. HMH Audio, a newly launched imprint, will publish audio books of HMH front list and backlist titles starting in fall 2019.   

About HMH Productions
HMH Productions, a division of HMH Books & Media, is a content incubator, production company, and brand manager with expertise across all media platforms. As part of the largest K-12 education companies in the country and one of the oldest and most celebrated publishers, HMH Productions is uniquely positioned to identify book properties with media potential while building a pipeline of original IP developed in-house. It produces TV, film, and interactive media, from conception through launch, handling marketing, product licensing, and promotions for HMH’s major franchises, which include Carmen Sandiego and The Oregon Trail.

John Sellers
Director of Publicity
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers