Critical Linking: October 4, 2014

The former headmaster of a private school founded by Nicholas Sparks alleges in a lawsuit filed Thursday that the best-selling author, along with other school officials, forced him out of office after he tried to recruit black students and faculty.

That’s not good.


Songwriting is a competitive business, with each artist keen to prove that they’re more knowledgeable and artistic than their peers. So what better way to do that than to namecheck, or draw inspiration from, a respected book?

How about songs that reference books? And yes, the soundtrack is included.


“For reasons that are not entirely clear, there is a distinct bias toward print when parents are self-reporting,” the study says. “We believe this may be because they visualize ‘a book’ as being a print book when we ask, or because of subtle biases relating to their own self-view of themselves as quality parents.”

This study says that parents who buy books for their kids have an attachment to print, rather than one to e-books (maybe handing your kid a print book is safer than handing them a pricey electronic device?). Study also says that teens tend to be influenced by what their peers are reading.


A poll of the nation’s most beloved children’s poems reveals that the three most popular verses are each over 100 years old. The Owl and the Pussycat was voted number one, with Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star coming second and Humpty Dumpty third.

So what was your favorite children’s poem? Here are the top picks from readers of The Guardian.


With 300-plus titles in print and more than 260 million books sold, the Berenstain Bears are bound to come up in conversation. Here’s how to steer a predictable discussion about teamwork and manners to one on sex and panda discrimination.

Fun facts about the creators of the Berenstain Bears (and the stories). Never knew they had ties to Dr. Seuss.

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