The New GED: Boost or Barrier?

According to a 2014 Chicago Tribune article, an astonishing 1.3 million Illinois adults lack high school diplomas. With the majority of those adults living in the city, this affects the entire Chicago community contributing to increasing violence, job growth, and tax revenues. Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to prevent this in the future with his […]

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Mavis Staples: She’ll Take You There

Mavis Staples

On the occasion of the publication of Greg Kot's I'll Take You There, I thought I'd showcase some Mavis Staples' and the Staples Singers' discography here at CPL. But first, the book: Kot is a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, and it shows in his short chapters and succinct writing. While focusing mostly on the […]

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More Than Meets the Eye

More Than Meets the Eye

If I've learned anything, it's that I should never ask questions. Whenever I ask a question, I run the risk of learning things I never wanted to learn. What looks like nothing at first might actually mean something, and even when I think I know what I'm talking about, I'm likely to be wrong. I have the misfortune of being educated […]

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Lieutenant Cushing, My Favorite Whacked-Out Hero

Cushing

President Obama has Seal Team Six. President Lincoln had William Cushing. Although Cushing was expelled from the Naval Academy, he talked his way into a commission in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. He was soon promoted to lieutenant. In all navies, the higher your rank, the bigger the ship you command. Commanders command […]

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Author of the Month Kwame Alexander

Author Kwame Alexander and his novel The Crossover

Identical twins Josh and Jordan couldn’t be more different – even on the basketball court where they both shine thanks to their dad’s pro ball experience – but their bond of brotherhood has always been strong. When a new beauty starts school, both boys fall head over heels, but she's only got eyes for one. […]

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Kwame Alexander Q & A

basketball question mark

Get to know the multi-talented writer, poet, teacher, inspirational speaker and January's Author of the Month, Kwame Alexander as he debunks five myths about his new book, The Crossover, talks about what got him started in writing and what inspires him. Where did you get your idea for this book? Six years ago in New York City, at […]

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Paddington Rides into Theaters

Source: Sarah Ackerman, Flickr

Paddington, beloved star of the classic British children's book series, arrives in theaters January 16, for his feature film debut. The film promises to capture the delightfully madcap bear's London hijinks with his adoptive family, the Browns. Paddington's story began when a BBC cameraman, Michael Bond, published A Bear Called Paddington in 1958, inspired by a stuffed bear he bought for […]

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Calling All Kid Inventors!

Invention notes for a mitten for holding hands

To be an inventor, all you have to do is find a problem and create a solution. Anyone can be an inventor! Celebrate Kid Inventors' Day on January 17 by reading about inventors—real and fictional—who may inspire you to crack open your inventors' notebook and start designing something new. Did you know that earmuffs, my […]

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Monsters of the Midway Redux

Monster of the Midway book cover

OK Bears fans, another Super Bowl, another no-show for our team. It's been a rough year (actually, a rough decade) for Bears fans. Every season we hope and pray for the best, only to be devastated yet again. At first it was Lovie Smith who was going to lead us to the Super Bowl—well, we […]

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Chicago Park District Records: Behind the Scenes

This 1917 drawing shows plans to fill in Lake Michigan to extend Grant Park.

If you are anything like me, you spent much of the summer outside, soaking up what warmth you could before it was, well, now. My family was outdoors as much as possible, running, biking, walking the dog, sampling playgrounds and swimming. New to Chicago, I was thrilled by all the green space within walking distance of my Southside […]

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