Virginia Johnson

09/12/2016 - 9:20am
A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories by Robin McKinley

From the moment she was born, the black-haired girl with the sad eyes never made a sound. When she was a child, her parents discovered that her true talent lay with quickening the mending of bones and quieting fevers. The local healer Jolin noticed as well, and, as she had no daughter to teach, she took Lily as her apprentice.

That was going well enough until Lily met a mage-marked stranger who brought the hope of a cure—and perhaps of happiness for them both. But what would be the cost?

09/08/2016 - 12:34pm

Do you know the difference between a subject and a predicate or between a compound sentence and a simple one? How about the differences between capital and capitol, color and colour, action verbs and passive verbs? Do your subjects and verbs agree?

Learning how to diagram a sentence will not teach you to be a great story writer, any more than learning to read music will guarantee you fame and fortune as a lead singer. However, understanding grammar will show you how English language works, which is certainly handy for every writer.

09/08/2016 - 12:15am
Cover to How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer

“How was your summer?!” That’s what friends and teachers ask when they see you again for the first time in September. Maybe it was great. Maybe it was just boring—though we, at the library, could have totally fixed that with books.

But it probably wasn’t a total ruin, was it? Chloe’s is shaping up to be very much less than stellar. It’s her first time at a sleep-away camp, and she is far from sold on its wonders. True, the boy she has a crush on is there with his goofy friend, but then there’s this:

09/29/2016 - 11:04am

Brimming with the fruits of the harvest, the cornucopia has become an important symbol of American Thanksgiving. Its origins go further back in time to the ancient Greeks. According to their myths, young Zeus gave his foster mother Amalthaea a goat's horn that could be filled with whatever she wished.

09/07/2016 - 11:43am
Virginia Women: Their Lives and Times

From the Queen of the Pamunkey tribe to Civil War officer and nurse Sally Louisa Tompkins, the Virginia Women presented in Kierner’s and Treadway’s essay collection are well worth knowing about.

09/22/2016 - 2:51pm

The First Emperor

China's first emperor was named Qin Shi Huangdi. He brought together all the warring states and made them his subjects in 221 B. C. Qin is pronounced "Chin" and ever after the country was named China. He took the name Shi Huangdi which means "first emperor." Qin was an unusual man. He standardized writing, bureaucracy, scholarship, law, currency (money), and weights and measures. He built a capital and many roads. He connected the old walls along China's northern frontier to form the Great Wall, to protect his country from invaders. But he was also cruel. He killed and banished many people who disagreed with him and destroyed books from the past.

09/22/2016 - 1:14pm

There are all kinds of puppets: marionettes on strings, hand puppets that fit like a glove, and tiny finger puppets. They can be made with so many things: paper plates, index cards, straws and yarn, and even old socks! Puppets have been around for ages throughout the world. Read on to learn more about the world of puppets and how to make your own.

09/01/2016 - 12:10am
Cover to Quiet in the Garden

In Aliki’s Quiet in the Garden, a young boy settles down in what he thinks is a quiet garden—and yet, when he is quiet, too, and listens, he hears the animals all around him. He sees what they are doing, from the robin to the fish to the worm to the rabbit.

In their company, he experiences the simple joys of the natural world. With pleasant repetition cumulating in a feast for all, the garden may not be exactly quiet, but it is a most amazing, nurturing place.

08/30/2016 - 12:08am
Cover to The Circle Unbroken: Civil War Letters of the Knox Family of Fredericksburg

In antebellum Fredericksburg, the Knox family was rather well-off and respected by their community. The family home at 1200 Princess Anne Street, now the Kenmore Inn, was nigh unto their house of worship at St. George’s Episcopal Church. They ran a successful business and had a pleasant life filled with many luxuries.

Yet by the time the Civil War was over, sons Robert and James Knox had experienced the dire consequences of battle from trench to prison camp. The rest of the family, forced to evacuate the Fredericksburg several times, learned to live as refugees and take care of themselves as well as the people they met.

08/29/2016 - 12:07am

Abi Tamper leads a very restricted life as a maid in the Greaves household. It’s the 1850s, so there’s lots for a hired girl to do around a mansion in London, and next to none of it is enjoyable.

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