Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

Alice Bliss Growing up is tough. Your dad getting deployed to Iraq can make it even tougher. Alice Bliss, her sister and mother must adjust to life without their father, Matt, when his Army reserve unit gets called up. Letters take a long time to arrive and telephone calls are much too short. Alice must navigate the start of high school, her first dance, and all the uncertainties of adolescence without the supportive presence of her cherished father. Then the devastating news: Matt is missing in action. For additional reading about experiences in…continue reading →

Go Team GO!!!

Ahh football. Whether you follow the NFL, college or the Central Region, the beginning of the football season brings the promise of cooler weather, the start of a new school year and the hope of a winning a championship! While you are enjoying the thrill of competition ponder these: Is there such a thing as momentum? What about home field advantage? Why don’t coaches “go for it” on 4th downs? Economist Tobias J. Moskowitz and Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim give you the answers in Scorecasting: the hidden influences behind how sports…continue reading →

World’s Newest Country: South Sudan

On July 9, 2011 just 5 days after the U.S. celebrated its 235 birthday the newest country, South Sudan, declared independence from its northern neighbor, Sudan. According to the CIA World Factbook, “when Sudan gained its independence in 1956, it was with the understanding that the southerners would be able to participate fully in the political system.” Unfortunately that has not always been so. After 2 conflicts and more than 2.5 million deaths the South Sudanese voted in January 2011 to form their own country. Located near the horn of Africa, South Sudan…continue reading →

Retirement Planning for Millennials (no kidding!)

The U.S. Census Bureau has released population predictions for 2050. If you are a Millennial, the generation defined by Pew Research as being born between 1981 and 2000, you can expect to retire about that same time. What changes can you expect? The world will definitely be more crowded, the population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2040. Due to lower fertility rates China will no longer be the most populous nation. It will be replaced by India by 2025. The U.S. will remain at number three and the only country in…continue reading →

Fiction Fridays: Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

“I was sixteen and I had the confidence then of a teenager who’d had to act like an adult for too long.” Girl In Translation (Jean Kwok, p. 290) In this debut novel, Kimberly Chang and her mother immigrate to New York City from Hong Kong knowing very little English but owing lots of money. To alleviate their horrible living and working conditions Kimberly realizes it is up to her to change her circumstances using her one talent:  “a knack for school.”  She becomes gifted scholar by day and sweatshop worker by evening and…continue reading →