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150 Years Ago: The Great Chicago Fire

Did Mrs. O'Leary's cow really start one of the most devastating fires in American history, the Great Chicago Fire? Did you know that the deadliest fire took place about 250 miles north on the very same day in Peshtigo, Wisconsin? It's been 150 years since that dry fall day and we've compiled a list of some books about these tragedies (including some fictional accounts). 

Story Cube

Introducing our latest way to encourage reading with the Story Cube!

What's a Story Cube? It's a portable story dispenser for kids, teens and adults. Just wave your hand over the button and out pops a short story or poem on eco-friendly paper (kind of like a super long CVS receipt, except you actually want this one!).

A Year in Review

Time seems to have blurred: there's time before COVID, and time with it. In this review, we're focusing on our 2020-21 fiscal year - that's July 2020 through June 2021. A full year of masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing. But also a year of innovation and forward progress at our Library.

Short Story Staff Picks

As part of the introduction of our new Story Cube, we're recommending some of our favorite short stories. What's a Story Cube? It's a portable story dispenser for kids, teens and adults. Just push a button and out pops a short story or poem on eco-friendly paper (kind of like a super long CVS receipts, except you actually want this one!).

The Story Cube will be available throughout October in the Central Library Commons before moving to the Hoffman Estates and Hanover Park branches. In the meantime, take a look at these short story collections, including a few movie adaptations.

Harry Potter Read Alikes

For many kids (and adults, too!), the Harry Potter series is the best of the best when it comes to books. Suspense, action, a bit of romance ... it appeals to both diehard and casual readers. We know the feeling of reading your absolute favorite book can't necessarily be replicated, but we'll certainly give it a try! Here are some staff picks for Harry Potter read alikes.

Willy Wonka Read Alikes

It's been 50 years (yes, 50!) since the release of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's book of a slightly different name, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is about a young boy winning a golden ticket that allows him to tour the eccentric chocolatier's factory alongside a group of not-so-well-behaved kids.

If you loved the movie or the book (or both), we've got some suggestions for your next pick.