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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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, […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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? […]

Read More

Author of the Month Susan Goldman Rubin

Photo of Susan Goldman Rubin

On July 2, 1964, President Johnson signed of the Civil Rights act, making segregation, the practice of having separate facilities, such as bathrooms or drinking fountains, for African Americans, illegal. During that same summer, white college students from across the United States traveled to Mississippi to register African American voters and set up schools to […]

Read More

Spark Your Independence


With a pop, sizzle and boom the 4th of July announces itself every year. American’s love their independence and celebrate it every year with parades, picnics and, of course, fireworks. What is the science behind these colorful loud presentations that we all love so much? Susan Kuklin does a bang up job of explaining this […]

Read More

Build the Ultimate Predator

Ultimate predator model

Rahm's Readers Summer Learning Challenge Brain Builder Living things share habitats and interact with each other, and this is especially true at mealtime! Animals that hunt and eat other animals are called predators. The animals they eat are called prey. Predators and prey have adaptations to help them hunt and evade each other. For example, […]

Read More