June 10, 2023

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Partners with B&N to Offer Pre-Loaded Nooks for K-12


K–12 school libraries looking to jumpstart their ebook collections can now order pre-loaded Nooks through a new partnership between Barnes & Noble and publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).

The new bundle—including titles ranging from Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House to Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins—comes just as students are gearing up to leave school—a time when librarians often see kids trading books for summer activities. The convenience of an ebook may encourage students to read, or help those who lose access to reading material outside of school.

“While this offering is not limited to the summer timeframe, we know that children who have easy access to books read more and numerous studies have shown that students lose ground during the summer months,” says Stephen Gilmer, vice president, global strategic alliances for HMH by email. “Research shows that reading 4 to 5 books during the summer can prevent a decline in reading achievement scores from the spring to the fall.”

The bundles come with one device pre-loaded with 10 ebooks, which are grouped by grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12. Schools can choose between a new Nook, or a pre-owned, certified device. Prices start at $129 for a pre-owned Nook Simple Touch with 10 ebooks, going up to $209 for a new Nook Color device.

Titles range from Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue for high school readers to Chris Van Allsburg’s Jumanji for K–2 students, Glimer says the titles are bundled on Nook Color devices as the graphics and colors in the pictures books do not “translate as well onto the non-colored devices.”

Many books come from International Reading Association (IRA) recommendations, while HMH selected others. Educational apps are not included in the current offer, but Gilmer adds that additional titles, supplementary content, and even apps will be considered in the future.

HMH would not comment on how many schools have ordered the new bundle since last week’s launch.

Interested schools can inquire about the pre-bundled Nooks at (855) 592-2997.


Lauren Barack About Lauren Barack

School Library Journal contributing editor Lauren Barack writes about the connection between media and education, business, and technology. A recipient of the Loeb Award for online journalism, she can be found at www.laurenbarack.com.