We All Scream for Lillian Dunkle!

scoop of strawberry ice cream

July is National Ice Cream Month, and my vote for this year's spokesperson is Lillian Dunkle from Susan Jane Gilman's novel, The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street. Lillian begins her story as Malka Treynovsky, a young Russian child who immigrates in 1913 to New York City, where she finds herself suddenly crippled by a […]

Read More

Can Libraries Shrink the Digital Divide?

hand touching a keyboard

The digital divide is described by Whatis.com as "the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don't or have restricted access. This technology can include the telephone, television, personal computers and the Internet." Equal access for all seems to still be light years away in some […]

Read More

HiSet and TASC: Alternatives to the GED

hand holding a pencil to take exam

Joining many other states, Illinois will offer adults alternative choices to the GED to earn their high school equivalency diploma in 2016. These alternative exams are the HiSet (High School Equivalency Exam) and the TASC (Test Assessing Secondary Completion). The announcement comes in response to the huge amount of adults who did not take or did not […]

Read More

The New GED: Boost or Barrier?

Diploma rolled up and tied with ribbon

According to a 2014 Chicago Tribune article, an astonishing 1.3 million Illinois adults lack high school diplomas. With the majority of those adults living in the city, this affects the entire Chicago community, contributing to increasing violence, job growth and tax revenues. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to prevent this in the future with his Chicago […]

Read More

The Tale of the Nutcracker Isn’t Hard to Crack

Various nutcracker figurines

I have probably seen some version of The Nutcracker ballet every year since I was a child. There was the annual holiday field trip to the Auditorium Theater to see the Joffrey Ballet production in elementary school. Sometimes my family would cozy up in the living room to watch whatever ballet version was playing on PBS. […]

Read More

Baby Boomers vs. Millennials: Who Will Win The Next America?

In the revolutionary war, America fought and won against the British. During the Civil War, it was North versus South. Today and in the not too distant future, it will be Baby Boomers versus Millennials. In The Next America by Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center, Taylor lays out through facts and figures, the demographics […]

Read More

Not Your Average Supermodel

What happens to the models when a season of America's Next Top Model ends? That is the question Melda Beaty tries to answer in her debut novel, Lime. Follow Lime Prince, a young woman of Ethiopian and Jamaican descent, as she enters the world of the New York fashion industry. Lime isn't your stereotypical supermodel- […]

Read More

Having Children Can Be A Challenge

In honor of Mother's Day, let's take a look at two different mothers in the world of fiction. In The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis, follow the Shepherd family through multiple decades of the African-American Great Migration. Starting with the death of her newborn twins, each of Hattie's children has a chapter in this novel […]

Read More

Classic Romantic Comedy Back on the Big Screen

red seeds form shape of heart

The first movie I ever saw about adult relationships was Sleepless in Seattle. I remember my mother dragging me with her to a random movie theater in the western suburbs to see some movie with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan that in my mind was for "old people." I was 13 years old and hadn't […]

Read More

Two Books to Get You through Valentine’s Day

Leaf with a heart-shaped hole in it

Don't worry. I'm not going to suggest a Sex-and-the-City type novel or a 18th century romance for my top picks for February. Instead I thought I would take a realistic approach to the month of love. The lead character in Hilma Wolitzer's An Available Man isn't a 30-something single woman or a man who just can't […]

Read More