Kelly Strom: A good escape plan

It's time to fight the masses in the school-supply aisles (where is the wide-ruled filler paper; why can't we just buy 18 color pencils; what if my kids want erasable ink?), and there is a flurry at the mall for the latest cute jeans and tees.

Susan McKinney: 'Meddling Kids' is a tribute to 'Scooby Doo'

"Meddling Kids" by Edgar Cantero is a tongue-in-cheek tribute to "Scooby Doo" and HP Lovecraft.

In 1977, four teens and their dog (Sean) captured a man in a monster costume who had been terrorizing the town of Blyton Hills, Ore. They were hailed as heroes, but after that summer, never worked together again.

Ask 'Mimi,' Aug. 20, 2017

What will Kathleen Harleman do after she retires?

The director of Krannert Art Museum for the past 13 years and former acting dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts will move to Philadelphia; she will retire Aug. 31. She has no plans as of yet, but I'm sure she will see a lot of art.

C-U haiku, Aug. 20, 2017


Ancients quite frightened;

Phenomenon in the sky.

Total sun shadow.

— Barbara J. Wood, Paxton

Submissions may be made to with C-U haiku in the subject line. Include your name and city, which will be published with your haiku. Submissions may be edited.

Library events, Aug. 20-26, 2017

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

From noon to 2 p.m. Monday at the main library, attend a solar eclipse viewing party with music by the Etherphonic Theremin Orchestra. Take part in eclipse-themed games and crafts. Glasses for safe viewing will be available.

Patricia Hruby Powell: Siblings reunite, take on challenges in 'Forest World'

Cuban-American poet Margarita Engle tells the story of a pre-teen sister and brother reunited in Cuba in "Forest World" (Atheneum 2017).

Hot stock tip: Chicken Soup for the Soul

NEW YORK (AP) — "These are the times that try men's souls," was written more than two centuries ago, but given events this week, they could have popped up in any blog or tweet in recent days.

What better time then, for a little Chicken Soup for the Soul?

The provider of positive vibes is becoming a publicly traded company Friday, and not a moment too soon.

Entertainment listings, Aug. 17-24, 2017


This weekend


Library events, Aug. 13-19, 2017

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 7 p.m. Monday at the main library, learn about astronaut training and space flight from retired NASA astronaut and U.S. Navy pilot Mike Foreman.

Ruth Siburt: New author arrives on scene with inspirational story

There are few things a book reviewer loves more than finding a new and promising author. OK, discovering the pie pixies left a warm rhubarb pie on her counter is close. Still, count me delighted to introduce debut author Kate Beasley's 2016 middle-grade novel from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, "Gertie's Leap to Greatness."