Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Brings Back Iconic Globetrotting Super-Thief Carmen Sandiego for a New Generation

Netflix animated series to launch on Jan. 18 followed by HMH middle grade novels, new Carmen in the Classroom program, and more

BOSTON – Learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) is introducing iconic globetrotting super-thief Carmen Sandiego to a new generation, beginning with the launch of a brand new animated series debuting Jan. 18 on Netflix and produced by HMH.

To celebrate Carmen’s return, HMH partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools this week to bring nearly 2,000 students together for a live event with superstar Gina Rodriguez, the new voice of Carmen. Thousands of students nationwide, from Boston to Milwaukee to Chicagoland, joined the fun virtually via live stream.



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At the event, fifth and sixth graders from Miami competed in a Carmen-themed game show while connecting with Gina and learning more about geography and global exploration. Each student in attendance received the new Who in the World is Carmen Sandiego? hardcover book, and HMH is donating an additional 6,000 copies to classrooms across Miami-Dade County.

“Carmen is a cultural touchstone who needs little introduction—the star of multiple computer games, TV shows, and educational resources used at school and at home, the mysterious heroine in the red fedora was inescapable for those who grew up with her,” said HMH’s Caroline Fraser, head of HMH Productions. “We are thrilled to be expanding her story and sharing her with kids today—and reconnecting with their teachers and families as well!”

“Miami-Dade County Public Schools is elated to partner with HMH to mark the return of Carmen Sandiego, introducing this mastermind of mischief to a new generation of students,” said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. “An additional resource for learning at school and at home, the Carmen Sandiego series is replete with worldwide adventures that provide lessons in geography, and the central character exhibits strength and intelligence—all of which make watching and learning from the series fun and exciting for students.”

Carmen’s return will include:

  • Netflix Animated Series: In the 1990’s, Carmen Sandiego inspired millions of kids to learn and love geography, history and culture. On Jan. 18, the new Carmen Sandiego series, starring Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) as Carmen and Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) as her tech-whiz sidekick, Player, will capture the hearts and minds of a new generation by bringing viewers inside Carmen’s world, revealing for the first time her identity as a modern day Robin Hood traveling the globe and stealing from V.I.L.E. and giving back to its victims. Caroline Fraser, head of HMH Productions, is Executive Producer of the series, and Duane Capizzi, known for Transformers Prime and The Batman, is the showrunner.

  • Book Series: HMH’s Carmen Sandiego 2019 publishing program will kick off with Who in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? on Jan. 22. Available in both Spanish and English and featuring a foreword by Gina Rodriguez, this novelization based on the Netflix series uncovers the story behind the enigmatic thief. This summer, HMH will publish The Sticky Rice Caper, a graphic novel, and Clue by Clue, an original middle grade story. Four additional Carmen books in a range of formats will follow later in 2019.

  • Carmen in the Classroom: As one of the first-ever “ed tech” brands, Carmen’s legacy in the classroom is unmatched. This week’s announcement signifies Carmen’s return to schools, including a host of high-quality resources and opportunities to leverage Carmen’s global capers as teaching tools connected to her focus on geography, history and culture. These include lesson plans mapped to Carmen episodes, Google Earth and Google Expeditions games, original digital content and Carmen-themed instructional videos designed for classroom settings, a school-focused Carmen Sandiego webpage with free resources, downloadable activities and more. 

  • Live-Action Movie: Netflix has announced a Carmen Sandiego live-action feature film starring Gina Rodriguez, written by Mark Perez (Game Night), and produced by Kevin Misher, Gina Rodriguez and Caroline Fraser of HMH. Release is slated for 2020.  

“Carmen Sandiego has always inspired children to learn about, respect and celebrate other cultures, and those values are core to who we are as a learning company here at HMH,” notes Amy Dunkin, Chief Marketing Officer, HMH. “Carmen’s adventures are an engaging complement to the classroom experience for a new generation of students and their teachers. As a whip-smart, creative and brave Latina heroine, Carmen is a special role model for students who may not often see themselves represented in books and on screen.”

“As the voice of Carmen, I have the opportunity to portray the type of fearless and empowered woman that I want to be,” writes Gina Rodriguez in her foreword to Who in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? “Carmen stands up for what she believes in. She gives opportunity to those who have none, and that’s why she is a role model to me.”

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) is a global learning company committed to delivering integrated solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students’ potential and extend teachers’ capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.

About HMH Productions
HMH Productions 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.

Leah Riviere
Senior Communications Manager
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt