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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Happy Bloomsday: Novels Set in Just One Day

statue with buildings and boats in the background

Observed annually on June 16, Bloomsday is celebrated in Dublin and elsewhere to commemorate the writer James Joyce and the characters and events of his famous novel Ulysses, which takes place over only one day, June 16, 1904. Here are other novels set during just one day. On Chesil Beach: The main sequence in this novel takes […]

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The Books of Our Fathers

Celebrate dads of all types with these preteen reads to get you thinking about that all-important father figure in your life. Bud, Not Buddy: 10-year-old Bud has had a rough go of it as a black kid growing up in foster homes in Depression-era Flint, Michigan. He expects his luck to change when he meets his father, […]

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For Your Health: Mental Health Awareness Month Reads

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Whether or not mental health issues have personally affected you, it is important to understand them and gain empathy through other perspectives. Here are some teen books that shed some light on a complex issue. Get Well Soon Depressed, overweight Anna Bloom's parents commit her to a teen psychiatric […]

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