Posts Tagged ‘Ultimate Battle of Smarts’

Press Release: The New Cool by Neal Bascomb

March 7th, 2011


Contact: Jill Browning










“Gripping…Bascomb gives us plenty of suspense and pathos…An inspiring homage to the spirit of invention and a genuine sports epic, to boot.” Publishers Weekly 



A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts


By Neal Bascomb

Author of the New York Times bestseller

The Perfect Mile 



An unabashedly feel-good story.” Booklist 


Called “a nail-biting thrill ride for techies and armchair engineers” by Kirkus Reviews, THE NEW COOL: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts (Crown; on sale March 1, 2011) by veteran journalist and bestselling author Neal Bascomb is the astonishing and inspiring story of a team of high school seniors and their mentor, who come together—not to exercise their athletic prowess but to build a machine that will compete in the most heated, sophisticated robotics competition in the world. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, sponsored by genius inventor Dean Kamen in hopes of jump-starting American innovation for the next generation, has become a worldwide phenomenon—and regularly spurs students and teachers to accomplishments they never dreamed possible.


Amir Abo-Shaeer, the remarkable teacher who leads this group of students, was recently awarded a MacArthur genius award (the first public high school teacher ever to receive this honor). THE NEW COOL chronicles the inspired efforts that Amir’s team, the Dos Pueblos D’Penguineers, puts into creating their robot—overcoming their lack of experience, resources, and time (not to mention the Bad News Bears quality of their team). Their success against the best of the best is an epic sports story, and it heralds a new kind of cool, one that rewards brains over brawn and just might usher in a new generation of innovators and leaders.


THE NEW COOL is also a guide to what the future of education needs to be and how the United States can marshal its young in the fields of science, technology, math, and engineering. It is a crucial book for anyone concerned with the state of education in this country (most recently highlighted in Waiting for Superman) and how we reignite the American economic engine.


NEAL BASCOMB has published a number of international and national bestsellers, including The Perfect Mile and Hunting Eichmann. His books have been optioned for film, featured in several documentaries, and translated into ten languages. He has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times. He and his wife and their two daughters make their home in Philadelphia. Visit Neal on the Web at


To learn more about the FIRST® organization, please visit




THE NEW COOL: A Visionary Teacher,

His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts

By Neal Bascomb

Crown • Price: $25.00

On Sale: March 1, 2011 • ISBN 978-0-307-58889-0


For more information on the book and Neal Bascomb, please contact:

Jill Browning, Crown Publicity, at 212-572-6182 or

Crown Publishing Group logo

The Crown Publishing Group