The Social Evil in Chicago: Chicago History Classics

On April 5, 1911, the Chicago Vice Commission released The Social Evil in Chicago. The unusually diverse Commission included religious leaders, doctors and representatives of social service agencies. Members included a rabbi, an African--American and two women. Unlike most 400-page government reports, the report became an instant best seller. The second edition came out April…
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Twisted Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, there was a story about a princess. Does this story sound familiar to you? It's the beginning of a familiar fairy tale, one you've been told over and over again since you were little. But this time, there is something just a little bit different. Add a new twist and suddenly everything…
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Thank YOU Elephant & Piggie!

Let’s celebrate Thank-O-Rama month with the famous duo that showed us the true meaning of friendship and the person behind all the wonderful adventures these two shared. THANK YOU Mo Willems for bringing Elephant & Piggie to us.  You gave my beginning reader stories that he proudly and joyfully read aloud. Thank you for helping…
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Superb Short Stories

It's sometimes easy to overlook short stories because they often do not get as much attention as novels. Yet, every now and then I come across collections that blow me away and get me excited about short stories all over again. The eight stories in One More Year focus on the lives of immigrants in the…
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Firestarters

Politicians, activists, blowhards, pundits, loudmouths and the like all pretend to think they're on the vanguard of a glorious revolution. One quick dip into history proves it's all been done before. Just when you think you've been inspired, you hear about someone who was led by the messages of angels. Donald Spoto's Joan follows Joan of Arc…
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Books for Opera Buffs

Chicago Lyric Opera recently announced its next season, and while only subscriptions are currently on sale (tickets for individual performances become available in July), this is a good time to look at recent novels that involve operas and those who sing them. The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee is as full of drama and incident…
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