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About Us

Getting students to read anything longer than an Instagram caption has become increasingly difficult. Who can blame the students when their textbooks read like a boring litany of facts and dates?

It’s no wonder reading skills are at an all-time low. Only one out of four of middle school students are proficient in American history and many perceive history and literature as “irrelevant.”

Midgard Education Publishing is changing that. We feel it is essential for young people to understand the past in order to succeed in the future. Being a good citizen means being an informed citizen, aware of the complex historical and cultural context that forms the basis of our society.

Our mission is to engage students with compelling content that encourages critical thinking skills and inquiry-based learning. Our middle school history books—combined with the project-based lessons in our Teacher’s Guides—hook students with exciting, accessible, and inclusive storytelling meant to get them motivated by history—and the agency sparked by their own imaginations.

It’s no wonder reading skills are at an all-time low. Only one out of four of middle school students are proficient in American history and many perceive history and literature as “irrelevant.”

It is urgent that we reach middle school students before they lose the ability to read with depth and complexity. Our books are vital tools that help students develop 21st century critical thinking and communication skills.

It's simple, really. Midgard is putting the story back into history.

See Midgard in Action
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Jay Gissen

Chief Executive Officer

Meet the Team

Jay is a veteran media, marketing and content executive. He has created and led major publications and websites, developing content and marketing strategies for media, consumer products, and service companies, as well as for philanthropies and museums.

Jay began his career as a business journalist, writing and editing for Forbes Magazine, and spearheading the Forbes Four Hundred. He went on to senior editorial positions at Wenner Media and News Corp, where he also assumed marketing duties and integrated print and digital content. Jay later worked in senior marketing/content/digital roles at Gemstar, Northern & Shell, and Manhattan Media.

Recognized for his expertise on family and youth, Jay has focused in recent years on youth media literacy and consumption in a shifting media landscape. Jay has four children and one grandchild, and lives in New York.

Stuart has taught history and language arts to middle school students for more than fifteen years. He was featured in recent documentaries about teaching gifted children with learning challenges (2e: Twice Exceptional).

In addition to authoring Midgard’s textbooks, he wrote an award-winning film about a Holocaust survivor, A Man of the World, starring Ed Asner, and directed a documentary on natural sciences for the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Previous to becoming a teacher, Stuart served as a managing editor of SAGE academic journals. An award-winning journalist, he wrote for Rolling Stone, Maxim, Stuff, TV Guide, Us, Starlog, and several other publications. Included among the prominent people he has interviewed are Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, Katherine Hepburn, Walter Cronkite, Neil Young, Barbara Walters, and Bill Clinton. A father of three, he lives in Los Angeles.

Stuart Matranga

Editor-in-Chief

Karen Viola

Creative Director

Karen brings a wealth of experience in children’s publishing. She was art director at Studio Fun International (formerly Reader’s Digest Children’s Publishing) for twenty years, where she was instrumental in developing best-selling nonfiction books paired with engaging, hands-on learning material. She is also the owner of Climbing Tree Studio, with clients such as Scholastic and Benchmark Education.

Karen is both a designer and book artist, with expertise in all aspects of book-making including graphic design, writing, illustration, and production. She is driven by a fascination with the human story and a passion for inspiring and empowering children and those who care for them. Karen has learned the most from her two children, but also earned her BFA at Parsons School of Design, in New York City.

Bruce Bernstein

Chairman

The future of our nation and world is in the hands and minds of our children. Midgard Education Publishing’s obligation, and our commitment, is to provide the very best, most effective tools and methods to educate them well. To do that our books make learning interesting and really fun! The Midgard team of writers, editors, designers, and sales and marketing professionals welcome your comments, suggestions and contributions to the ongoing development and delivery of our teaching systems and products. Thank you and let us hear from you.

OUR CUSTOMERS

Midgard Acclaim

— Brilliant, compassionate, and engaging, Stuart Matranga presents history through the eyes of diverse populations — the under-represented and the power-holders — and invests students with the agency to create new perspectives.

Cynthia Cornell Novak, Ph.D

Pepperdine University, Emeritus

— Brilliant, compassionate, and engaging, Stuart Matranga presents history through the eyes of diverse populations — the under- represented and the power holders — and invests students with the agency to create new perspectives.

Cynthia Cornell Novak, Ph.D

Pepperdine University, Emeritus

— Brilliant, compassionate, and engaging, Stuart Matranga presents history through the eyes of diverse populations — the under- represented and the power holders — and invests students with the agency to create new perspectives.

Cynthia Cornell Novak, Ph.D

Pepperdine University, Emeritus

— Brilliant, compassionate, and engaging, Stuart Matranga presents history through the eyes of diverse populations — the under- represented and the power holders — and invests students with the agency to create new perspectives.

Cynthia Cornell Novak, Ph.D

Pepperdine University, Emeritus

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