Sam O.'s blog

National Suicide Prevention Week

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PHOTO: Helen Harrop

September 11–17 is National Suicide Prevention Week, a good time for conversations about mental health with loved ones. Reading about another person’s experience with anxiety or depression—two issues facing many of today’s youth—can be incredibly empowering as they learn to deal with life's problems, and remind them they're not alone.

International Literacy Day

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September 8 is the 50th anniversary of UNESCO’s International Literacy Day commemorating efforts to increase literacy rates throughout the world.  The day is also a call to action to continue making progress—and overcome the challenges that remain in closing the literacy gap worldwide. UNESCO sees increasing literacy as an important goal because it helps empower individuals and communities, and assists in closing the resource gaps in society by fostering a desire for lifelong learning.

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Today is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, and the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Today we honor the contributions of the world's indigenous peoples—the descendants of a given region's original inhabitants—and the cultural heritage with which they continue to identify.

Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan

Mega Girl was the best superhero around—until she gave up her lifestyle of punching bad guys and saving the world. Now, ex-Mega Girl Alison Green is trying to live a normal life, go to college, and figure everything out. As she works to save the world without a mask, finish her homework, and attempt to cope with the past, Alison learns that heroism can take many forms.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings is a stunningly beautiful film that tells a deeply moving story of family, belonging, and adventure through the clever stop-motion. This Oscar-nominated film takes place in a medieval, mythologized Japan where our hero, Kubo, is forced to go on a quest to recover magical armor and weapons to stop the Moon King’s sinister plans. Kubo is a very talented musician and uses a magical shamisen, a lute-like instrument, to control pieces of his environment and aid him is his quest in breathtakingly beautiful ways that are worth watching over and over.

March: Book 3 by John Lewis

Winner of the 2017 Michael L. Printz Award, the 2017 Coretta Scott King Author Award, the 2017 Sibert Medal, and several other awards, March: Book 3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell is a monumental feat of storytelling that is a must-read. March: Book 3 is the final installment in a graphic novel trilogy that chronicles the Civil Rights Movement in the American South from the perspective of John Lewis.

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan

Winner of the 2017 Stonewall Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor marks Rick Riordan’s return to the world of Asgard. Picking up right after their triumph at the end of the previous story, Magnus Chase and company must now retrieve Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, before the giants invade and destroy Earth. So overall, just your average day really.

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