3 Important Ways to Brighten the Future of Reading in the U.S.

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Reading a great book for pleasure can be a magical experience for kids. It takes them to new places, lets them relive history, and teaches them about worlds they would never encounter in real life.

Unfortunately, a study on the state of reading in the United States has recently revealed some disheartening statistics: did you know 66 percent of 8th graders tested below proficient in reading, according to The Nation’s Report Card? The problem: reading is one of the most important skills for a child to have—it will follow them through the rest of their schooling and career, in every way. Continue Reading ›

Now What, Freshmen and Fellow Grads? Some Advice From a Recent College Graduate

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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 ›

15 Books to Give You the Feels

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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 ›

Scholarship Spotlight: June 2016

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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.

Visit eNotes Essay Lab if you’re looking for a writing expert to review and provide feedback on your scholarship or college application essays! Continue Reading ›

Louise Erdrich: Read to Live

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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.

Check out the inscription below, and let us know in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram if you want this special copy. We’ll pick one lucky eNoter at random.

Many thanks to Town Hall Seattle and Elliott Bay for sponsoring the event and letting us attend!


10 Must-Read Graphic Novels (for the Graphic Novel N00b)

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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 ›