James Baldwin, August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987

August 2 is the 90th anniversary of the birth of novelist, playwright and essayist James Baldwin. He was a friend and mentor to many icons in the creative and literary world, such as Maya Angelou, Marlon Brando and Ossie Davis. He wrote with passion and depth, taking on social issues such as Christianity, homosexuality and […]

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Paris? Oui, Oui!

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Bonjour mon amis! I’ve just realized a new month is upon us and I haven’t planned any vacations yet. A problem I will remedy as soon as I am home and can look at the family calendar! What I really want to do, though, is travel back to Paris, France and explore the culture, the clothes, the […]

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Technology that Changed Chicago: Ice

Men and Horses cutting ice

For thousands of years, people around the world have been storing winter ice and snow to use in hot summers. As Harvest of the Cold Months explains, ice storage was difficult, expensive and almost always a local effort.  In the tropics, where ice was needed the most, it was never available. Two Bostonians changed that. In […]

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Write? Right!

A cat lies on a notebook near a pencil

Just as babies babble before they can speak, young children can scribble and draw before they can write. Scribbling, drawing and writing are all important skills that will help children understand the connection between spoken and written letters and words when it's time for them to start learning to read. Try these books as a way […]

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There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters

A Hallmark holiday I was unaware of is almost upon us. It's National Sisters Day which occurs on the first Sunday in August (who knew)? And for those of you who don't have a sister, never fear, Siblings Day is April 10th. And I am sure someone, somewhere is cooking up a day for people […]

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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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In the News: Fishing for Answers

Rahm’s Readers Teen Summer Challenge – Newsworthy Animal Challenges Portland Aquarium, a newly opened aquarium in Oregon, is under investigation. READ: Portland Aquarium Deaths Under Investigation DISCOVER: Why is a new Facebook page inviting people to protest against “the grim life for animals in captivity?" Is the Portland Aquarium operating unlawfully? Portland Aquarium Opening this […]

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Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

harry potter, monster

When we were kids, all my little brother ever wanted for his birthday was a dog.  For years he asked for one – and was gifted statues of dogs, stuffed animals, and a trio of cockatiels instead – until he finally received a puppy he named Shadow. Since Harry Potter didn’t get to celebrate his […]

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The Private Lives of Pundits

What is it like to live your life convincing people that your petty opinions are worth something? Luckily for us, it's easy to find out, because pundits love talking about themselves. There are a bunch of memoirs out there about what they do and how they think. One fun exercise is to read Bill O'Reilly's […]

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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett’s Favorite Business Book

Bill Gates gestures while speaking

Bill Gates recently shared on his blog that once, when he asked Warren Buffett what his favorite business book was, Buffett instantly replied that it was Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales From The World Of Wall Street by John Brooks. Gates had never heard of it, but it became his favorite business book, too. It's being reissued […]

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