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Freelance writer, editor & content provider. Former social media manager for RRKIDZ Reading Rainbow.
An old cassette tape thrown away in the dirt
“Discarded Transformers Cassette Tape At The Side Of The Road, Clarach Valley, 23–07–06” by DG Jones is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

(This is an assignment from Malcolm Gladwell’s MasterClass on writing. We were to click a link that would take us to a random Wikipedia page, take notes on anything of interest on that page, and write about it. So when you think this is maybe an odd subject to write about, remember I started off thinking the same thing.)

There are people out there who take their headphones very seriously. I am not one of them. I love music, but headphones have never been of interest to me. I’ve never thought much about how music enters my ears. Earbuds, headphones…

Neil Gaiman with his book INSTRUCTIONS (Image from the Associated Press)

In March of 2015 I was privileged to interview Neil Gaiman for the RRKidz Reading Rainbow website. We spoke about the books that turned young Neil into an avid reader, how he tried to encourage his own kids to love reading, his favorite fairy tales, comfort books, and so much more! Today, RRKidz is no longer around, and neither is their website, but that doesn’t mean Mr. Gaiman’s interview should disappear into the ether. As it was one of our most popular interviews on the website — and one of my very favorite interviews to do! — I hope you…

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A thought, a word, a sentence… these have the power to change the world. Which is why so many powerful books have been banned over the years. You are what you read, and if you’re reading revolutionary literature then you might just become a revolutionary yourself.

If you, like me, are unhappy with what you see in politics lately and think it’s time for a change, the following list of reading (mostly) material will educate, inspire, and possibly frighten you, but mostly I hope these will light a fire under you.

As with just about any great literature, these are…

Image by Benson Kua

For a brief moment in time I’ve found myself with a long commute to work. As an avid reader (actual reader, not audiobook lover–no judgment on audiobooks, just my personal preference) I quickly became frustrated with this “wasted” time. I’m used to reading a book a week. Ever since I started this commute, I’ve dropped down to a book a month. I’ll be honest, it’s a blow to my ego. But more than that, it was a blow to my ravenous need for constant learning.

But no more! I’ve found myself a small group of podcast connoisseurs and they have…

An Interview with Linda Offray, Executive Director of Shepherd’s Door

By Jenni Buchanan, for Pacific Reentry Career Services

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“We are proud of every victim that comes to us seeking help; it is the first step to recovery.”

— Linda Offray

Anyone who has ever been in the business of helping others knows that we don’t do it alone. We live in an interconnected web of society, each of our individual strands touches thousands of others in subtle and obvious ways. Shepherd’s Door, the Domestic Violence Resource Center in Pasadena, California, is a strand on the web that we recently found…

At the March for Justice in Ventura. Photo by Jenni Buchanan

These next few years will be an opportunity for some of us to rise up and become leaders, revolutionaries, and heroes.

I’m an optimist and a dreamer, the kind who puts presents under the tree in Santa’s name for my kids, but still somewhere deep down believes that this magical symbol of goodwill and charity actually exists out there. So I’m not exaggerating when I say that up until the very last minute, I truly believed something would happen to prevent the inauguration last Friday.

It didn’t. And now the hard work of learning to live in this new and…

Everyone tells you about the diapers and sleepless nights, but parenthood doesn’t end at the first birthday. No one ever tells you about the hard bits that come later.

1.Setting a good example

Sure, I want to drink wine, be glued to my phone, and binge-watch Netflix all week long, but I want my kids to eat healthy, be active, and read books. Do you think they’ll notice the discrepancy?

2. Junior High

When my kids come home from school and tell me about all the mean, painful, confusing things they experienced, it feels like it happened to me. I…

(My blog post originally published on the Reading Rainbow Blog)

It has recently been suggested by Graeme Whiting of The Acorn School that certain beloved fantasy novels are “dark,” “can damage the sensitive subconscious brains of young children,” and even lead to brain damage or mental illness! He suggests that these books should be banned, or perhaps require a special license to purchase and read. While Reading Rainbow firmly believes that parents are the best curators of (and partners in) their children’s early personal libraries and reading experiences, we have never supported sweeping censorship. On the contrary, we know for…

Jenni Buchanan

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