How To Live Forever (Or Maybe Not)

Old People 1

Bill Gifford loves his dog. He'd like her to live a little longer. Gifford would like to live longer, too. This is the impetus for the lively Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (Or Die Trying). Going forward in history as well as efficacy, Gifford talks about all the ways humanity has tried to beat nature and the […]

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Can’t We Talk About Something More Graphic? Memoirs With Pictures

Wheelchair

Roz Chast's Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? is her memoir of caring for her ailing parents, who in general do not think death will occur if it isn't talked about. Chast, a cartoonist for the New Yorker, combines text with graphics to tell the story of her parents' decline and its effect on her, their anxious, […]

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Trapped

Trapped

It's easy to feel trapped by circumstance. Something goes wrong in your personal life, and suddenly you have nowhere to go and there's nothing you can do about it. But books about people who were actually trapped can teach you how lucky you are. In 2010, reporters all over the world were enraptured by the story of 33 Chilean […]

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Growing Up With Asperger’s and Autism

eyes shut 2

April is Autism and Asperger's Syndrome Awareness Month. There are plenty of books about what to do if a loved one is diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, but I am going to focus in this post about the personal experiences of those effected. John Elder Robison is the elder brother of Augusten Burroughs, of Running With […]

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Wannabe Librarians

Wannabe Librarians

It's a plain fact that everyone wants to be a librarian. The job brings such fantastic excitement and wealth, schoolchildren spend their waking hours dreaming of one day curating the glistening temples of knowledge known to the layman simply as Libraries. But not everyone has what it takes to be a librarian. We can only mourn […]

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Fallen Idols

Fallen Idols

Athletes make for the best tragedies. There's something about an overpowered beast wrecking himself for your petty entertainment that brings out the epic glory of success and failure. The sheer potential of it has produced a host of biographies about big, strong people and their weaknesses. Mickey Mantle may have had more natural talent than anyone […]

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Super-Real: Real-Life Heroes for Kids

I Am Malala book cover

This year's One Book, One Chicago selection asks us to look at the creation of the American superhero. But what really defines a hero? Is it someone who has a magical power? These real-life role models for kids made do with courage and ingenuity. Malala Yousafazi does not have super strength or X-ray vision, but what she does […]

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I Don’t Like Nazis

I Don't Like Nazis

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and I'm sure I'm going to offend somebody, but sometimes a man just needs to take chances. I have to say it. I don't like Nazis. They rub me the wrong way, and for some reason, they have a bad habit of turning up everywhere. Swastika […]

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Studs Terkel: A Chicago Hero

Source: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

"Why are we born? We’re born eventually to die, of course. But what happens between the time we’re born and we die? We’re born to live." —Studs Terkel, 2003 I didn't know much about Chicago's history before I moved here in 1996. Someone told me I should read Division Street and I'd know everything. While that […]

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Teen Winners of 2015 Youth Media Awards

I'll Give you the sun book cover

Every year at ALA's Midwinter Conference, youth librarians across the country look forward to the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards, and today was no different. So without further ado, here are the winners and finalists for literature for teens. Michael L. Printz Award I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson won the Michael […]

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