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Jumpstart and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Partner to Promote Early Literacy Through Jumpstart's Read for the Record®

Maybe Something Beautiful named 2018 Read for the Record selection

BOSTON - Jumpstart is pleased to announce a new partnership with global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Books for Young Readers division to celebrate the power of reading with young children through Jumpstart’s 13th annual Read for the Record campaign. Read for the Record is a national effort to raise awareness about the need for high-quality early learning for all children and the transformative power of books and reading to impact student learning and engagement.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, this year’s book selection, Maybe Something Beautiful, by F. Isabel Campoy and‎ Theresa Howell, and illustrated by Rafael López, celebrates the magic that can happen when a community comes together to create something beautiful and bring about change – a fitting metaphor for a campaign that features thousands of events in communities across the country each year. Home to award-winning adult and children’s literature, HMH is also a leading K-12 provider, building learning solutions that impact millions of teachers and students daily.

The Read for the Record campaign culminates on Oct. 25, 2018, when adults will come together to celebrate Read for the Record Day by reading Maybe Something Beautiful to young children in their communities and being part of an attempt to beat the world record for most people reading the same book at the same time. Since 2006, this 24-hour celebration has mobilized over 19 million people in support of early education and literacy, including celebrity ambassadors such as Josh Duhamel, Bridget Moynahan, LL Cool J, Maya Angelou, Mandy Moore, Julianna Margulies, and more.

The book’s illustrator, muralist Rafael López, helped to kick off the Read for the Record announcement today with a live broadcast from downtown San Diego in front of the very mural that helped to inspire the creation of this wonderful children’s book. “Isabel, Theresa, and I are so honored that Maybe Something Beautiful has been selected for the Read for the Record program!” says López. “After reading, I hope children find their own creative ways to make something beautiful in their communities. There are so many ways they can make the world beautiful.”

A limited number of special-edition copies of Maybe Something Beautiful will be sold exclusively by Jumpstart. Special editions will be available in paperback in both English and Spanish and will feature reading tips, vocabulary words, reading comprehension questions, and activity guides developed by Jumpstart’s team of early education experts. All proceeds help bring Jumpstart’s program to preschool children in under-resourced communities across the country.

“Read for the Record shines a bright spotlight on the invaluable role adults can play to support children’s learning and relationships by reading aloud with them – helping children to make sense of the world around them, develop empathy, and ignite their imaginations,” explains Naila Bolus, President and CEO of Jumpstart. “This year’s book selection celebrates that imagination and creativity in such an inspiring way, and I can’t wait to see this story come alive during the campaign this fall.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Jumpstart on this year’s Read for the Record campaign, and to play a role in its crucial mission to build children’s literacy skills,” says Catherine Onder, SVP and Publisher of HMH Books for Young Readers. “The ideas expressed in Maybe Something Beautiful, about the transformative power of art and how small actions can bring people together, couldn’t be more timely or important. With its real-life inspirations, this is a story that lets children know that they have the ability to make a difference.”

To learn more about Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, visit



Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. By participating in Jumpstart’s yearlong program, children develop the language, literacy, and social and emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained 47,000 college students and community volunteers to transform the lives of 110,000 preschool children nationwide. Jumpstart is a proud member of the AmeriCorps service network. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.


For nearly two centuries, HMH Trade Publishing 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. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O'Brien, and Amos Oz, 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, Betty Crocker®, Better Homes and Gardens®, How to Cook Everything®, and other leading lifestyle properties; the Peterson Field Guides®; CliffsNotes™; 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 Productions, its newly launched division, develops and produces media and licensed products related to brands such as Carmen Sandiego and Oregon Trail.   For more information, visit

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

Carly Stearnbourne
Director of Communications