Girls Can Do Anything! Female STEM Pioneers

girl climbing on lava bed

March is Women's History Month, a perfect time to celebrate women's contributions to the sciences. You never know where keeping your eyes open, and a nature journal handy, will lead. Here are some female heroes beyond Marie Curie who demonstrate the power of observation and imagination. Women were not historically encouraged to pursue the sciences. The pioneering naturalists […]

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Super-Real: Real-Life Heroes for Kids

I Am Malala book cover

This year's One Book, One Chicago selection asks us to look at the creation of the American superhero. But what really defines a hero? Is it someone who has a magical power? These real-life role models for kids made do with courage and ingenuity. Malala Yousafazi does not have super strength or X-ray vision, but what she does […]

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Beyond Superheroes: Comics for the Youngest Readers

One of the great side effects of the growth of the library's comic collection is the availability of titles for even the youngest patron. Beyond the widespread superhero readers, here are some books that can be enjoyed by beginning readers: Dragon Puncher: Don't discount the abilities of the Dragon Puncher simply because he's an adorable kitten; […]

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Never Fear, B-Fest Is Here

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians DVD cover

If you dare to partake in B-Fest, the annual 24-hour festival of bad movies (January 23-24 in Evanston), here are some titles to give you a taste of what you're in for. In Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the people of Mars decide to bring joy to their planet by kidnapping Kris Kringle. Complete with an undeniably […]

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Happy December…Dark Seasonal Reads

drearydecember

I'm probably not the only contrarian who gets a little blue in dreary December. To satisfy your inner miserablist streak, why not try some of these dark reads to match the rapidly encroaching darkness outside? Tenth of December is a bleak but often hilarious collection of short stories blending the mundane and the surreal. George Saunders […]

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You Can’t Catch Me…

Gingerbread cookies

Celebrating the holidays wouldn't be complete without decorating gingerbread men. Just be sure your gingerbread men don't run away before you slide them into the oven or you won't have any to frost on December 13 for Gingerbread Decorating Day. This classic story of the runaway cookie is so loved that there are many different flavors of […]

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Happy Turkey Day (Not That Kind Of Turkey)

The day after Thanksgiving, some film nerd friends I have get together to celebrate Turkey Day, except their "turkey" is defined by bad taste rather than good. These movies, however, are just so bad they may be good when enjoyed in witty company. If you need some fine examples of B-roll entertainment to go with […]

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Even Kids Can Recycle

Source: Steve Snodgrass, Flickr

Hey kids, did you know America Recycles Day is on November 15? Recycling is an important way to re-use items that would otherwise end up as garbage. Take the pledge to "give your garbage another life" and learn how you can reduce, reuse and recycle. What Happens to Our Trash?: Did you know that the average […]

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I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts

Ghost_of_Maria_Marten (2)

With the 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters recently celebrated in theaters across the country and Halloween season upon us, it seems like a perfect time to investigate the paranormal for curious kids. Scary stories are fine, but some children may want "real ghost" books and for them these nonfiction titles may satisfy that need. In A Dark, Dark […]

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No One Ever Sees Natives: Natives in Film

Reel Injun DVD cover

We are about to embark on CPL's first Native American Heritage Month, which includes a number of interesting events. Some of these are film screenings, which I had the honor of helping select. It is rare to see Natives creatively controlling or centrally featured in films. However, here are a few gems you could check out: […]

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