Reduce Stress with Mindfulness

Source: morgancari, Flickr Commons

It's easy to remember to eat and sleep, but sometimes it isn't so easy to remember to take care of our bodies and minds. While we're on the topic of self-care, I've been listening to a bunch of podcasts and reading a lot of books about mindfulness, which seems like a trendy buzzword—but there's a good reason for […]

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Spoken Word Inspiration

Source: Nalleli Sierra, Chicago Public Library

If you dream about going onstage and becoming a slam poet, check out this list of recommendations to help you develop your skills as a performance artist. Take the Mic contains everything you need to know about writing, performing and building a career as a slam poet. Get inspired by reading and listening to the poetry of many […]

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Boulevards and Byways: YA Road Trips

Source: xandert, morgueFile

Dreaming of an epic getaway? Check out these road trip stories and soon enough, you'll be speeding down the open highway with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. In The Museum of Intangible Things, Hannah and Zoe have never had much except for each other. So when Zoe decides she needs to get out of […]

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School’s in Session: Teen Fiction

Source: Innovadn, Flickr

Here's your fall schedule featuring books in which teens experience extraordinary situations on the first day of school. Subject: Freshman Orientation Infinite in Between follows five friends who meet on the first day of high school and face unexpected twists and turns over the next four years. Infinite In Between is available in other formats. Subject: Ethics Another group of classmates […]

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In Search of Spanish Poets

Source: Flickr, Abdulsalam Haykal

Many Spanish-language writers are known for their unforgettable poetry, such as the nocturnal and dreamlike worlds of Federico Garcia Lorca, the warm and romantic memories of Pablo Neruda and the powerful and emotional spirit of Gabriela Mistral. Poets invite us to places filled with loss, sorrow, passion and life. If you're an aspiring poet, you might want to take a […]

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Train Journeys

Source: ranbud, morgueFile

In Chicago, we're used to the train rattling and roaring through our neighborhoods and downtown. Between the Pink, Blue, Brown, Red, Green, Orange, Metra and South Shore commuter trains, we can travel all over the city and its suburbs. But did you know that Chicago is also considered a national railway center? In addition to the […]

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Did Someone Say G-g-g-ghosts!?

Source: danxoneil, "Eternal Silence," Flickr

Have you ever wondered what really lies beneath the home plate at Wrigley Field? Chicago's history is full of scary stories, terrible fires and hard times. If you're fascinated by the unknown, venture out and explore Chicago's haunted sites. To start, you could stop by Graceland cemetery. Take a photograph or draw a picture of Lorado Taft's sculpture, Eternal […]

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Chicago Murals Speak Volumes

Source: Robin, Chicago Public Library

Street art has been around for decades and some of Chicago's murals and sticker decals (e.g. You are Beautiful) have become world-famous. I was pretty thrilled to see Chance the Rapper's Angels video inspired by Hebru Brantley's famous mural, Fly-boy, located on Wabash in the South Loop; the combination of these two artists seems so Chicago and Chance literally […]

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Finding Beauty in the City

Source: Robin, Chicago Public Library

Chicago is a bustling metropolis filled with cultural diversity, history and entertainment. Yet it also contains stunning natural sanctuaries that make you feel like you're miles away from busy city streets—places like Promontory Point, one of my favorite spots in Chicago (pictured at sunrise). City life can sometimes be draining, so it's important to rediscover the […]

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Amor: Discover Latin American Romance

Source: sierragoddess, Flickr - resized

I once thought the term "romance language” meant language about romance and love, not realizing that it refers to languages of the Roman Empire descended from Latin. I think my misunderstanding stemmed from the fact that so many of my favorite Spanish-language authors write about love. I started studying Spanish in middle school and enjoyed practicing by reading bilingual […]

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