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Teen Boy Translating Ancient Texts Turned a 4,000-Year-old Scribe From Egypt into Advice for Modern Age

in Uncategorized 240 views

Michael Hoffen is a new author, and like him, the protagonist of his book is a teenager. But there’s quite an age gap between them—about 4,000 years.

That’s because Hoffen brought to life the story of a young Egyptian from ancient times named Pepi, whose father, Kheti, is intent on getting his son a job in the royal court.

Hoffen, who has been translating ancient texts since middle school, became fascinated by a 4,000-year-old or so piece of literature from ancient Egypt’s Middle Kingdom known as The Instruction of Khety, or The Satire of the Trades.

The Instruction/Satire was written on papyrus, one of the earliest writing materials, that was typically made from reeds. Papyruses have yielded vast amounts of information about ancient societies from the Judean tribes, Egypt, Greece, and Classical Rome.

Under the guidance and collaboration of his two co-authors, Egyptologists Christian Casey and Jen Thum, Hoffen spent three-and-a-half years translating hieroglyphics into modern-day prose and gathering images to tell the story of Kheti and Pepi.

Put together, he published a book called Be A Scribe! Working for a Better Life in Ancient Egypt.

This young author, a scribe himself, shows just how little the human condition has changed in thousands of years.

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Meet the Street Librarian Changing the Lives of Baltimore Youth and Beyond

in People 269 views

Three years ago, Araba Maze was reading a book to her niece on the front stoop of her Baltimore home in a perfectly ordinary fashion.

But as the pages turned, the number of local children gathered around for “stoop storytime” increased until Maze had to take notice. ‘What are they doing?’ she thought.

When she had finished reading to them, they asked her to read another. “Go home and read,” she said. “We don’t have any books,” they replied.

Little did she know, but those fateful minutes of reading time launched Maze’s career as a librarian and influencer who champions a cause of getting books into the hands of urban children with no access to libraries.

Now known as Storybook Maze, she started work at the nearest library, which wasn’t that near since her neighborhood is one of the worst ‘book deserts’ in Baltimore. Using her training, she began to curate collections of books and get them into the hands of children using three creative methods.

The first is a free book vending machine. Using her extreme popularity on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, she gathered funds to install a book vending machine for kids on the street in 2023. Through her efforts in opening pop-up bookstores, she’s distributed over 7,000 books to children.

Throughout the process, she routinely hosted more ‘stoop storytimes’ where she would read to children throughout the city, driving publicity through her social media channels.

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US Bookstores Coming Back as Barnes & Noble Celebrates 31st New Store and Indie Shops Dominating

in Entertainment 397 views

Ask most people around the country about the number of bookstores in their town over the last 20 years and the answer will almost inevitably be that it’s gone down, but the new Barnes & Noble in Papillion, Nebraska is no anomaly—corporate bookstores are returning.

The new Nebraska location is part of a slate of openings envisioned to reach as high as 50 to 60 this year alone, to follow up on the 31 openings from last year to match booming book sales born during the pandemic and which carried on into the post-pandemic world.

But the great news is that it’s more than just corporate bookstores that economic reports suggest are flourishing; as the US book sales market continues to both grow and diversify, the majority of the retail book market is controlled by small stores.

Yet further, this isn’t a trend limited to the US, but continues around the world, with 50% of all retail book sales, whether in Germany, India, or Nebraska, coming from the proverbial Shop Around the Corner.

“It’s so exciting,” said Janine Flanigan, Senior Director of Store Planning and Design with Barnes & Noble, when interviewed about the Papillion store opening. “We came to a screeching halt in terms of opening stores. We hadn’t opened stores in a very long period of time.”

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Book vending machines come to Watertown elementary schools to reward students for good behavior

in School 71 views

Some schools in the Watertown City School District are beginning to offer a book vending machine as a reward for students’ good behavior.

So far the district has the vending machines in North Elementary and Ohio Elementary.

Students earn tokens through good behavior which can be redeemed at the vending machines. They walk down from their classroom independently and meet an adult at the vending machine. Students get to keep their selection.

Students who are recognized as the “Star Student of the Week” receive the token. This is given out in every classroom every week at North Elementary.

Sandra K. Cain, North Elementary principal, said school leaders loved the idea at Ohio Elementary. The school then reached out to the district office about getting a book vending machine. North Elementary received it in September.

Gail E. Bassett, school counselor, said students are really enjoying the vending machine.

“They love it,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a motivator for doing your job in class and getting that Star Student of the Week.”

Bassett said the award is given to students who may have been the most improved that week in the classroom or to a student who has done something kind for friends. It’s not usually an academic award.

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Business owner’s mural a case of inspiration, for the books

in Art 551 views

The new mural making a splash at Creative Minds of Northern New York at 646 Coffeen St., appears, at first glance, to be just a portrayal of a bunch of books, quite appropriate for the learning center.

But not if you read into the matter.

The mural, approximately 12-by-15-feet, which faces Sill Street and is created by Kelly Curry, is a standout statement about the love of reading and the power it can have, commissioned by someone who has devoted her life to teaching the written word.

“Reading has pretty much been my life,” said Creative Minds owner Paula J. Amato, Sackets Harbor, who taught reading for 32 years at Carthage Central School District. “It’s shaped who I am.”

The mural features a dozen books.

“I picked half the books that influenced me and half that influenced my daughter,” Amato said. “Half are valuable to me, half are valuable to her, and with a few in there which I hooked my students with.”

Her daughter, Natalli M. Amato, is a freelance writer who lives in Saratoga. She has written for several publications, such as Rolling Stone, Spirituality & Health, Taste of Country and Saratoga Living.

Natalli began releasing poetry in 2019, when her debut collection “On a Windless Night,” was published by Ra Press.

Her mom “snuck” that book into the Creative Minds mural; third from left. “It’s beautiful north country poetry,” Paula said. “She loves to write about the north country and her roots.”

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New York Libraries Are Giving Away 500,000 Books for Keeping Kids Engaged This Summer

in Uncategorized 309 views

At New York Public Libraries this summer, kids and teens will get to participate in a giveaway of half a million books.

Drop by neighborhood NYPL locations in the Bronx, Manhattan, or Staten Island anytime to choose between 500,000 new and diverse tomes: they’re to take home and keep forever, the idea being that “a lifelong love of reading—and your own home library—begin with choosing your first book.”

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