Feminist Icon Frida Kahlo Painted Herself a Legacy

by Layla Sanchez, age 13

Famous painter Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyocoan, Mexico. Though Kahlo is one of Mexico’s most known and revered painters, she actually didn’t begin her artistic career until after she was gravely injured in a bus accident.

Kahlo was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon. Her father, Guillermo “Wilhelm” Kahlo, was a German photographer who immigrated to Mexico, where he met and eventually married Kahlo’s mother Matilde. Kahlo also grew up with three sisters: Matilde, Adriana, and Cristina.

At the age of six, Kahlo contracted polio, a very serious disease that causes paralysis. Because of this, she was bedridden for nine months. Though she recovered, the disease damaged Kahlo’s right leg and foot and caused her to limp. Her father suggested that she play soccer, swim, and wrestle to regain her strength. [Read More]

Forest Hogs are the Biggest of the World's Wild Pigs

by Avery Morford, age 11

Did you know that several generations of the giant forest hog’s offspring live with their families in extended family groups just like humans do?

The giant forest hog species lives in the humid parts of Africa; while some are scattered and inhabit Liberia in the West others are found in Southwest Ethiopia, Kenya, and Northern Tanzania in the East. All forest hogs prefer the dense shade of thickets and bushes.

These hogs are often identified by their large size and tusks. The male forest hogs' tusks can grow up to 11.8 inches long, but the females have much smaller tusks. These animals also have five toes on each foot like humans, though only four of these toes actually touch the ground when the hog walks on soft Earth. Additionally, they have long black fur but, as they age, they lose more and more fur and almost look bald. [Read More]

The Irish Have a Rich History in Wisconsin

by Cristian Avila-Velazquez, age 13

Back in the 1800s, many Irish people emigrated to Wisconsin. To this day, their descendants continue to live throughout the state and influence its culture.

Irish names starting with “Mac” or “O” first appeared in mass in Wisconsin in the 19th century. “Mac” and “Mc” mean “son” in Gaelic, while “O “means that a person is part of a specific family. For example, the town of McFarland has a lot of residents that might be Irish.[Read More]

The Beautiful Galapagos Islands: Lands of Life and Mystery

by Sharon Ruiz, age 13

The Galapagos are a group of oceanic islands made up of 15 main islands, 42 islets, and 26 rocks and reefs. Located in the Pacific Ocean, the islands were created when lava rose from the sea bed. The region also has a marine reserve of 79,900 square kilometers.

The differences between the islands' habitats are noticeable. Higher regions have ferns and sedges, or plants with triangular stems and unnoticeable flowers that primarily grow on wet ground. The hillsides are covered by evergreen forests, where humidity in the islands increases with altitude. In contrast, the lowland coastal lands are dry and arid, meaning that they don't receive much rain, and therefore don't grow much vegetation. The vegetation in these areas is mostly cacti, in fact. [Read More]

Was Bob Dylan a Poet, or Just a Singer?

by Isaiah Valdes, age 13

The question “is music poetry?” crossed my mind on a Tuesday afternoon at the Simpson Street Free Press newsroom, when I stumbled across a news release my editor Aarushi Agni had placed inside my folder. The release, a recent article from The New York Times, explained the reactions of the literature community after the iconic Folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his songwriting work. While some may find it odd for Mr. Dylan to receive such a respected award in literature for his work in Folk music, I am convinced that his lyrics have earned him a spot among the greatest writers.

“Most song lyrics don’t really hold up without the music, and they aren’t supposed to,” said poet Billy Collins. “Bob Dylan is in the 2 percent club of songwriters whose lyrics are interesting on the page, even without the harmonica and the guitar and his very distinctive voice. I think he does qualify as poetry,” Collins added. [Read More]