When I look back over the past sixteen years (whoa) of education, I find that I have a lot of mixed feelings. I recall that back in elementary and middle school—and even in high school to some extent—all I wanted was to grow up and be treated as an adult. I felt that what I was learning had little to no basis in what I would need to know in the real world, and I was endlessly jealous of my brother, three years older and living it up in college, being all self-sufficient and whatnot. And so I slogged my way through high school, doing my homework, making the grade, playing the team sports, and waking up every morning to do it all over again. It’s safe to say I took high school for granted, not considering that life outside my parents’ house was a little less glamorous than I’d imagined. Continue Reading ›
Let’s face it: sometimes you need to cry it out. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a lighthearted beach-read, and that’s all well and good, but there are other times when you’re looking for a deep story that can really get you going and start the tears flowing. Then again, even if you’re not the kind of person who cries a lot (there are some who express their emotions in other ways, to be sure), then at the very least, we can all but guarantee you’ll find yourself moved by the following titles. Continue Reading ›
Every month, we select some of the best scholarships around and post them here on our blog. When you are ready to apply, check out our tips on how to write a scholarship essay.
On Monday the 16th a couple of us went to see Louise Erdrich give a reading from her new novel, LaRose, out now in hardcover from HarperCollins. This novel is set in Ojibwe territory in North Dakota and draws inspiration from a story Erdrich’s mother told her about a family who shared their son with the parents of a child they’d accidentally killed. LaRose, the young boy who is given to the wronged family in Erdrich’s novel, is the fifth of his name, the favorite child of his father, Landreaux. He’s a spiritual boy who communes with his ancestors and has a strong relationship with the young girl Maggie, who thinks he’s a saint. When we saw her, Erdrich read two passages about Maggie, one a harrowing passage of violence narrowly escaped, the other a tense yet hilarious account of a volleyball game Maggie’s team wins. After the reading, the audience had the opportunity to ask questions about where Erdrich draws inspiration for her novels (from her rich heritage and her ancestors), how she feels about the education system on reservations (we need to celebrate Native American teachers and build more immersion schools where children can learn traditional Native American languages), and what books she would recommend (works by Tracy K. Smith, Marlon James, and Ocean Vuong, among others).
Win a Signed Copy of Love Medicine!
We were lucky enough to meet Erdrich briefly and get a signed copy of one of her most popular books, Love Medicine. Since this book is often taught in high school, we thought we would give a student a chance to win this autographed copy of Love Medicine, which includes a personalized message from Erdrich herself: “Read to love.” It’s good advice for readers of any age.
If you’re a graphic novel newbie, chances are that when you hear the term “graphic novel,” you immediately think, “Oh, a comic book!” or something else to that effect. And who could blame you? With the ever-growing popularity of the Marvel Universe and the continuous makes and remakes of the Batman franchise, it seems that comic books are everywhere—and they certainly are graphic novels. But as it turns out, there’s more to this variety of storytelling than colorfully-dressed, muscly people with inhuman powers! In fact, while superhero comics have their place (and it’s a big place, mind you), there are a whole host of graphic novels about real-world issues that delve into intriguing, funny, mysterious, and even downright scary stories. Continue Reading ›
“There once was a man named Lear
Who wrote poems that pleased the ear,
He lived long ago,
But his name we do know,
Because his work still brings us great cheer!”
Why do we love limericks? It might be the light language, the funny words, and the clever rhymes, all nicely pieced together with a happy bit of nonsense. But limerick-lovers today may not be immediately familiar with Edward Lear—though he is the man who championed the limerick over 150 years ago. (Believe it or not, there was a time before the creation of limericks, and it must have been a dark time at that.) Continue Reading ›
When people talk about influential pieces of American literature, there are a few titles you can just about guarantee will be thrown into the discussion, i.e. To Kill a Mockingbird, Grapes of Wrath, Huckleberry Finn, and oh yeah, Of Mice and Men (kudos to Steinbeck for making my off-the-cuff list twice). Chances are that even if you haven’t read any of these titles (though that is unlikely, knowing how popularly they are assigned as staples of high school reading lists), you have at the very least heard of them. Continue Reading ›