Sometimes it's good that you can't judge a book by its cover. This month, for the "Little House" books' 75th anniversary, the first eight stories appear with photos of models as Laura instead of with the Garth Williams illustrations. (The text is unchanged.) "Girls might feel the Garth Williams art is too old-fashioned," says Tara Weikum, executive editor for the "Little House" series. "We wanted to convey the fact that these are action-packed.
The best ideas are often bred in desperation. A decade ago, Father John Foley and his Jesuit colleagues were in the midst of creating a new college-prep high school for students from Chicago's Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods, a low-income area largely populated by Mexican immigrants.
Symeohn Fuqua, 14, and his brothers don't play videogames anymore. This wasn't their idea; Symeohn had the bad luck to participate in a study by researchers at Indiana University that found that 30 minutes of slaying enemies on the screen affected the brain for up to an hour afterward.
Each year, about 300,000 Americans have surgery for herniated disks, at a cost of $10,000 to $15,000 per procedure. Is it worth it? Maybe. And maybe not. A report in last week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that patients with severe leg pain who did not have surgery improved nearly as much as those who went under the knife.
The University of Chicago is known for its "Uncommon Application," filled with quirky questions like "How do you feel about Wednesday?" So when word got out in November that the school is expected to switch to the more staid Common Application, Illinois high-school junior Amy Allen wrote the dean of enrollment, Michael Behnke, in dismay: "The questions I saw on the Uncommon App were fun and interesting.
Meet the fourth R: reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic--and a reward. The Department of Education just launched the first federal program that uses bonuses to motivate teachers who raise test scores in at-risk communities, awarding $42 million this month to 16 school systems in places like Chicago, Dallas and South Carolina.Similar ideas are used in the private sector all the time. "In any other profession, when you do well, you get rewarded," says Lewis Solmon, whose National Institute for Excellence...
For the past few years, Dr. Eric Mizuno and his colleagues at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group have banned pharmaceutical-company freebies like sticky pads and calendars from their offices. "It just felt right to not contaminate the environment," Mizuno says.
For a lot of kids, writing is a chore. Essays. Journal entries. Book reports . But this month Newbery Honor winner Gail Carson Levine, author of "Ella Enchanted," comes to the rescue with "Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly," a how-to-write guide for kids 10 and up.The book's advice covers the basics: add a mix of narrative and dialogue; don't solve all the problems until the end; pay attention to details.
A forthcoming HarperCollins book is a real whodunit--but not because it belongs on the mystery shelf. The publishing house is shopping a new title to booksellers--with a 300,000 initial press run--but the company's not saying who wrote it, what it will be called or even what it's about.
Young readers, already worried about Harry Potter, now face a new threat. Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler, 36) says at least two characters will die in his 13th and final "A Series of Unfortunate Events" book, "The End." The fate of the Baudelaire orphans and their nemesis, Count Olaf, will be revealed when 2.5 million copies go on sale at 12:01 a.m.