Virginia Johnson

07/20/2010 - 3:16pm

Most books set in the time of King Arthur are fantasies focusing on Merlin's magicks, glittering armor, and tragic, high-flown affairs of the heart.  As the title implies, The Killing Way is not one of those books.

Our hero is not a king's son like Lancelot or a wily wizard. His name is Malgwyn ap Cuneglas, and before the Saxons overran his village, killing his beloved wife, he was simply a farmer.  For revenge, he gladly and madly joined up with young Lord Arthur's band to slay as many Saxons as possible. He proved an able and trusted lieutenant and for a while peace is restored to the land though at a terrible price for Malgwyn.

06/29/2010 - 3:27pm

This week, three "new" breeds were recognized by the American Kennel Club to the 164 already recognized. All three could be good family dogs for the right family, but each one requires firm training, early socialization, and lots of activity to allow it to lead the best life possible. From Iceland to Germany to Italy, these breeds' official American recognition has come slowly but is certainly sweet as all three have been the verge of extinction.

06/23/2010 - 3:52pm

From a Scottish port to colonial Fredericksburg to the royal courts of France and Russia, the little man who famously refused to give up the fight was perfectly at home in both cottages and elegant salons, but he was always eager to set sail for adventure and glory.

06/22/2010 - 2:59pm

Between April and September 1862, an estimated 10,000 slaves fled the South through our region. As part of the local Civil War Sesquicentennial commemorations, the Trail to Freedom project was designed to give the public a better understanding of the experiences of those whom the war impacted greatly but are often only a footnote in history books.

06/15/2010 - 10:13am

Whether you call them graphic novels or comic books, adventure stories told with a lot of pictures are a fun way to laze away a hot summer afternoon. You can journey on the high seas with Greek heroes, go on the hunt for Bigfoot, outwit forty thieves, or find your own way in a Twisted Journey with these colorful tales. The CRRL has many from which to choose, but this sampling is a good place to begin:

06/04/2010 - 7:09am

Before you finally finish your grade and head out for a summer of fun, there’s still one more thing to do. Your teachers have worked hard all year to get you ready for your future. So now it’s time to think about a little way to say thanks for all they do. Teachers are special people. They do not go into the job for the money they can make. The best teachers are there because they love to teach.

As the school year winds down into lazy summer days, take a little time to thank your teachers. Not everybody can afford to hand out gift certificates, so here are some thoughtful, inexpensive ways to let your teachers know you care.
06/03/2010 - 8:22am

“Alec heard a whistle—shrill, loud, clear, unlike anything he had ever heard before. He saw a mighty black horse rear on its hind legs, its forelegs striking out into the air. A white scarf was tied across its eyes. The crowd broke and ran.”

Walter Farley first imagined the Black Stallion, a wild creature of blazing speed and mysterious origins, when he was a teenager and high school track star in 1930s. He kept working on the story, sometimes turning parts of it into class assignments at college. After graduation, he began writing for a New York advertising agency, but he still kept working on his horse stories.

06/01/2010 - 11:05am

You see a bug with a cool green body skittering across a picnic table. It stops and seems to be staring at you.

The first thing out of your mouth is:
A. Eww! A bug!
Or
B. Oooh! A bug!
 
If you are the kind of kid who thinks bugs are cool, summertime was made for you. In summer, bugs are most active. You can learn a lot about bugs by capturing them and studying them for a while before letting them go.
 
06/01/2010 - 10:58am

Down the old plank road from Fredericksburg towards Culpeper--today's Route 3 West, you'll find the still-standing and ruined remains of many a grand Virginia plantation. One of these was home to Charles Nalle, who escaped from slavery in hopes of reuniting with his already-freed wife and children. In 1860, the streets of Troy, New York, became the scene of a struggle between the  Harriet Tubman's Underground Railroad supporters and the slave hunters who had been sent to retrieve him.

06/24/2010 - 4:04pm

Or at least its harmful rays.
Spending the afternoon outdoors without sunscreen is asking for trouble now and way into the future. Burn marks are not attractive. Wrinkles--or worse yet, possibly skin cancer--will eventually be a problem if you don't protect your skin now. You will definitely need sunscreen so go ahead and get it now before you're spirited off on a picnic or a trip to the beach. Look for the SPF rating of at least 15 and also make sure it has UVA protection. Apply it half an hour before going out and reapply it after getting in the water or sweating.

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