When Chicago Burned

On the night of October 8, 1871, in a small barn on DeKoven Street, a fire started. Two days later, 300 people were dead, 100,000 were homeless and 3.3 square miles of Chicago were in ruins. Yet the people of Chicago did not give up; they were determined to rebuild this great city by the […]

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Jon Scieszka Q & A

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor book cover

Get to know the first National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and September's Author of the Month, Jon Scieszka (rhymes with "Fresca"). He explains the inspiration behind the first book in his new Frank Einstein series, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, what got him started in writing and his love of new words. Where did you get your idea […]

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Author of the Month Jon Scieszka

John Scieszka head shot

Getting geared up for science fair? Frank Einstein and his best pal, Watson, tackle some big science questions in Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, the first book in a new series by Jon Scieszka (rhymes with "Fresca"). Scientist and inventor, Frank Einstein, plans to win the Midville Science Prize, just like his Grandpa Al Einstein […]

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Dystopian Fiction – It’s for Kids Too!

holding hands

Our collective fascination with utopian/dystopian worlds began in 1516 with the publication of Utopia by Sir Thomas More where he describes his ideal society. Fast forward almost 500 years to 1993 and the publication of The Giver, the first dystopian novel published for children. A seemingly perfect society, with no war, no pain and no […]

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Surviving Antarctica

Ship sailing in Antarctic waters

On August 8, 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set off on an expedition to conquer the last uncharted territory on Earth – a trek across the 1800 miles of ice that make up Antarctica. Aboard the Endurance were 28 men seeking adventure and fame. Six months later, they would find themselves trapped in the icy summer […]

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Everybody Plays

Dog with tug toy

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Animals have a natural need to explore and be active. People who care for animals want to keep animals interested in their environment by helping them practice behaviors specific to their species. This is called enrichment. Zookeepers might hang a piñata filled with food in a tree so the animal […]

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Conservation and You

sprouting plant

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Conservation involves taking an active role in caring for our natural resources, such as soil, water, air and plants. Zoos are important leaders in conservation efforts that help make sure living things are healthy and protected. You can be a conservation leader right here in Chicago. Planting native […]

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Animals at Work

honey bee on a flower

Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Animals work hard to find food, build their homes and care for their young. Sometimes the work that animals do affects humans, too. Did you know that the actions of bees help produce many foods humans eat, such as chocolate, apples and watermelons? As bees search for nectar, […]

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Everybody Eats

hummingbird eating

Rahm's Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder While birds vary in size, color and shape, they all have beaks. These beaks are tools that help birds gather and capture their good. You can tell what kind of food a bird eats just by looking at its beak! Hummingbirds have long, skinny beaks that help them […]

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Susan Goldman Rubin Q&A

Freedom School Class
Source: Wisconsin Historical Society

Find out more about award winning biographer, Susan Goldman Rubin, July's Author of the Month. She remembers her childhood love of books and reading, how she got her start and the inspiration behind her new book Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi. Where did you get the idea for this book? […]

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