Open Books

9 notes

Concert at Open Books River North on August 13th!

Join us at our River North Store on August 13th at 6 p.m. for a intimate acoustic concert from singer-songwriters Ashley Hamel and Grace Kendall! The performance is free and open to the public, and will combine the singers’ love of music with literary themes.
Ashley Hamel is a singer-songwriter, improv comedian, and wizard rocker. She incorporates her diverse stage experience into a live performance full of emotion and humor, expressed through a powerful voice and energetic stage presence.

Grace Kendall is an singer/songwriter and traveler who toured the country for several years singing songs about the Harry Potter books. Now she performs intimate, heartfelt songs on her ukulele, often bringing crowds together to snuggle on the floor and sing sweet harmonies.  Her favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Lemony Snicket and Henry David Thoreau.

Hope to see you there!

Filed under Open Books Ashleyhamel Grace Kendall

0 notes

Our Publishing Academy authors recommend their favorite books


Drumroll, please…..

It’s time again for our annual book recommendation list, carefully curated by our Publishing Academy authors and their coaches.

Open Books Publishing Academy is a unique opportunity for teen writers to spend their summers with us on a magical quest: writing and publishing their very own novel! This July, we’ve been fortunate to foster the talents of nineteen scribes from all over Chicago, who are diligently working to publish graphic novels and fantasy fiction.

It turns out that the Publishing Academy authors are also the best, smartest, and most eclectic readers around. Without further ado, we present you with their favorite reads, many of which you can conveniently find at Open Books River North or at Open Books Pilsen.

  • Vincent recommends Kaffir Boy by Mark MathabaneA very inspiring story of a black boy growing up in South Africa during apartheid. It shows how the human spirit can prevail even in the worst conditions.
  • Amanda recommends The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.  This has to be my favorite series since Harry Potter!
  • Olivia recommends Magyk by Angie SageIt’s a very well-written story with a very unique look at magic.
  • Chloe recommends Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry PratchettFirst off, it’s by two brilliant writers and it’s a fun, interesting view of the end of the world. It also has hilarious and dynamic characters. 
  • Dominic recommends The Percy Jackson series by Rick RiordanIt is full of adventures, comedy, and action. The main character, Percy, needs to figure out how to overcome problems like fighting monsters. As long as you don’t watch the movies, the books will be fine.
  • Maryam recommends Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements.  It’s a good, quick read about a kid who turns invisible.
  • Lou recommends World War Z by Max BrooksI don’t even like zombies and this is my favorite book. It’s funny, intense, realistic and amazingly well-written. Read it!!!
  • John and Alexis recommend The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsIt’s a thrilling, action-packed joy ride of betrayal, violence, and complicated romance. It’s a tale of courage, strength, surviving, and triumph.
  • Lucy recommends The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. A heart-breaking tale of romance that will leave you wanting to read more until the end.
  • Hope recommends Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. A high-fantasy book that it great as its own novel, but also a really good start to a fantastic series. Its protagonist is one of the strongest female characters I’ve ever read — who can hold her own and carry the story. 
  • Perlita recommends Cirque Du Freak #1 by Darren ShanIt’s so exciting it makes you want to read all of the books. It’s filled with unexpected twists, action, and vampires…an amazing start to a series!
  • Jamie (coach) recommends We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. It’s hard to describe what the book is about without giving everything away, but you won’t regret this quick summer read. 
  • Noel (coach) recommends Wildwood by Colin MeloyThis is a fantastical tale of a young girl, her friend, and her brother, who stumble upon a magical world of talking animals, beginning-of-time mystics, and the age-old struggle of good vs. evil.
  • Kaira (coach) recommends American Splendor by Harvey Pekar. Reading Harvey Pekar always reminds us that everyone’s life can be a comic book, and that real life can be just as interesting as a super hero. 

Want more guidance? Read last year’s recommendations!

Filed under Open Books publishing Academy

61 notes


It’s the last day to sign up to get in on the Riot Read in time for August’s pick. The Riot Read brings you one book each month to your door, along with a pile of extra content special to that book. Check it out.


It’s the last day to sign up to get in on the Riot Read in time for August’s pick. The Riot Read brings you one book each month to your door, along with a pile of extra content special to that book. Check it out.

2 notes

Math and Reading Skills Aren’t Mutually Exclusive

A study this week in Nature Communications shows a positive link between children’s math and reading skills. If a child is good at math, it’s more likely than not he or she is also a good reader, and vice versa.

Language and math skills are cognitively related, and need a supportive environment to grow. Parents who see their children excelling in one direction should take heart to know that with the right support, they can make sure those kids thrive in other areas as well.

Filed under Math literacy