Ruth Siburt: Story centers around canine connections

The brown eyes and toothy grin of the cover photograph on "Boy's Best Friend" by Kate Banks and Rupert Sheldrake made me pick up the 2015 novel for middle grades.

Kathy Wicks: It's a great time to be a 'Star Wars' fan

It is a great time to be a "Star Wars" fan. There are at least four theatrical films in the works and more planned within the next decade.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, March 20, 2016

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

Philip Terman is a Pennsylvania poet who, with his family, lives in a former one-room schoolhouse. And whenever there's a one-room schoolhouse, you can count on just a little wilderness around it. This is from his new and selected poems, "Our Portion," from Autumn House Press.

Deer Descending

Library events, March 13-20, 2016

Selected upcoming events at local libraries.

Champaign Public Library

Main library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglass Branch, youths can attend DIY Kids: Spring Planting to learn about growing plants. Participants get to take home a plant.

C-U haiku, March 13, 2016

Edited by Lee Gurga/For The News-Gazette

Winter blizzard howls.

Snug, I look through my window.

Stray fox hunts for food.

— Sybelle Timberlake, Urbana

Susan McKinney: NBA legend delivers an intriguing story

Mycroft Holmes, to all Sherlock Holmes fans, is the older, smarter brother that Sherlock reveres. Mycroft shows up in a few of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories.

What we know about Mycroft from Doyle is that he is smarter than Sherlock, and he is well-placed in the British government.

Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, March 13, 2016

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

In my limited experience, mothering and worrying go hand in hand. Here's a mother's worry poem by Richard Jarrette from his fine book, "A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances," Green Writers Press. He lives in California.

My Mother Worries About My Hat

Every spring my mother says I should buy a straw

That's Entertainment: Spotlighting events in the area

Music scene

Creole Carnival Tour at Krannert

Kelly Strom: The dark side of literary suspense

There's a difference between literary fiction, thrillers and romantic suspense. While it may seem slight to some, it is a crucial distinction among others. In the following three titles, there is a gentle blending of boundaries.

Patricia Hruby Powell: Author writes of another hidden chapter of history

Ruta Sepetys writes books for teens and adults about "hidden chapters of history."

That perfectly describes her latest, "Salt to the Sea" (Philomel, 2016).

Set in Germany at the end of World War II, citizens flee Germany, while Russian forces invade from the east, Allied forces approach from the west and bombs occasionally rain down from above.