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‘The Princess Diaries’

[SEPT. 12, 2001]  The Princess Diaries," by Meg Cabot. Harper Collins Publishers, 2000, 238 pages.

Mia Thermopolis is an insecure 14-year-old who goes to private school in New York City and lives in Greenwich Village with her artist mother. She worries about passing algebra, growing breasts and if Josh Richter, the most popular boy in school, will ever "look into her soul," as she expresses it. She has a best friend named Lilly who has her own weekly cable show. She is also pretty sure that she is the only one at her school without a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance. To top everything off, her mother begins dating her algebra teacher, Mr. Giannini. All this is to say she is basically a happy teenager, but that is about to change.


Mia’s parents met in college and never married. She has spent summer vacations with her father and grandmother in France and never had a clue about their royal status.

When her father shows up unexpectedly in New York to talk to her about something, she still doesn’t have a clue. She is aware that her father had testicular cancer but was not aware that it meant he couldn’t have any more children. It is this fact that changes Mia’s life forever.

He finally tells her at the Plaza Hotel that he is the prince of Ginnovia and she is his sole heir to the throne of Ginnovia, making her the princess. He expects her to leave everything she has known behind and move to Genovia and assume her duties.


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She doesn’t take it well; in fact she really freaks out. She is angry with her parents for keeping it from her, and she doesn’t want anyone to know about it, not even Lilly. To further interrupt her life, her grandmere, the dowager princess of Genovia, arrives in New York for "princess lessons" and a makeover.

Eventually Mia’s cover is blown — by her grandmere, we later find out — and the press shows up at her high school one morning. She now goes from invisible to highly visible with her bodyguard, Lars, and her limousine.

She also attracts the attention of the before-unattainable Josh, who suddenly breaks up with his longtime girlfriend, Lana, and asks Mia to the Cultural Diversity Dance. Of course, this turns out to be a royal disaster, and Josh reveals his true self. The good thing to come out of the dance disaster is the she discovers that the loyal friend, whom she mostly ignores, turns out to be the real "Mr. Right."

Teens will enjoy the diary format because they will relate to her fears, insecurities, failures and triumphs. It is like reading your best friend’s journal. Cabot has a good grasp of the teen dialect. Her off-the-wall humor will have you laughing out loud.

The Disney movie that is based on the book is rated G, but the book is more of a PG-13, because of language and sexual innuendo. This book is recommended for age 13 and up.

For more information, visit the library at 725 Pekin St. or call (217) 732-5732.

[Linda Harmon, Lincoln Public Library]

Local arts group plans for a clown,
a classic film and a Spanish guitarist

[SEPT. 18, 2001]  The Logan County Arts Association, meeting at Lincoln Public Library on Monday night, chose officers and discussed plans for its first three events, which include a clown, a showing of "Casablanca" and a classical Spanish guitarist.

Marshall Jacobs of Lincoln, previously the organization’s acting executive director, will continue to lead as its first president. Jean Gossett as vice president, Louella Moreland as secretary and Jeanie Xamis as treasurer round out the slate of officers. Chris Gray was selected as first program chair and Marshall Jacobs as marketing chair.

Mr. Tone, a clown who presents hands-on children’s programming, will perform at the association’s first fund-raiser, to be Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. in Fellowship Hall of St. John United Church of Christ. Admission prices are $1 for children 2 to 6 years, $2 for children 7 to 12 and $3 for adults. Mr. Tone, of Atlanta Ga., is a graduate of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. Gossett’s Decorator Studio is co-sponsoring the event.

"Casablanca" will be shown at the association’s first classic film night, planned for Thursday, Oct. 11, at Lincoln Cinema. Kerasotes Theatres is the co-sponsor. Seating will be limited to 200, with ticket prices of $5 for adults and $2.50 for those 13 and under. Tickets will be on sale at the theater starting Oct. 1, as soon as the poster appears in the window. At the showing Marshall Jacobs will present a brief introduction, including cinematographic techniques and facts about the film.


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Chris Culleton, a Lincoln native, will present a classical Spanish guitar program on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. All proceeds from the three fund-raisers will go to the Logan County Arts Association.

The association is also in the midst of a logo contest, with Oct. 10 as the cutoff date. Local schools have been notified about the specifications.

Board members tentatively set a second classic film night for Jan. 10, 2002. An exhibit of paintings by Lincoln artist Leola Dowling has already been scheduled for October 2002, and other potential programs include exhibits of ceramics and watercolors.

The Logan County Arts Association is in the process of soliciting memberships, beginning at $25 for an individual, and sponsorships.

[Lynn Shearer Spellman]

Logan County Arts Association will join the celebration of Illinois Arts Week

[SEPT. 7, 2001]  Joining an annual statewide celebration of the arts, the Logan County Arts Association will host Classic Film Night on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater. Classic Film Night will feature "Casablanca," courtesy of George Kerasotes Corporation. The film is to be shown in its entirety, without commercial interruption, on the big screen.

Gov. George Ryan has proclaimed Oct. 7-13 as Illinois Arts Week 2001. "To reach out to the community and beyond, Classic Film Night will be included in the Illinois Arts Council’s statewide campaign to promote Illinois Arts Week," said Marshall Jacobs, president of the local arts association.

"The Illinois Arts Week theme, ‘The arts are all around us,’ captures the important message that the arts are present every day, in some way, in our lives. Arts Week helps to focus our attention on all the arts activities and programs that surround us in our communities," said Illinois Arts Council Chairman Shirley R. Madigan.

"Logan County Arts Association is pleased to be able to join the Illinois Arts Council to be part of this statewide initiative," said Jacobs. "We hope that the entire community and surrounding area will take the opportunity to attend Classic Film Night and join the exciting statewide celebration. "

Admission to the local event is $5 per adult and $2.50 for children.

[Logan County Arts Association news release]

Arts in Logan County

Upcoming events and logo contest

[SEPT. 1, 2001]  The Logan County Arts Association is a newly formed organization dedicated to introducing all disciplines of the arts to our area. From hands-on programs for children to classical music for adults, the spectrum is broad and entertaining. Though it is still very new and in the setting-up stages, the association has already scheduled several events. 

"Music, Magic, and More" by Mr. Tone, a professional clown, is geared to children's activities and set for Sept. 29. Classic Movie Night featuring "Casablanca" will open on Oct. 11. An afternoon performance of classical Spanish guitar by Spanish-trained Chris Culleton is scheduled for Dec. 16.

"What we don’t have," says Marshall Jacobs, director of the association, "is an identifying logo that graphically shows who we are! Here's where we hope you can be of help and have fun in the process."

The association is sponsoring a contest in Logan County schools for a logo the arts group can adopt. Jacobs says this challenge can be an exciting art project for students in middle school and high school.

The winner will be publicly recognized and receive a cash award and a free membership to the association’s first-year activities.

Entries should be sent to:

Logan County Arts Association

303 S. Kickapoo St.

Lincoln, IL 62656

Entries should be postmarked no later than Oct. 10 to be considered in the judging. For more information, please contact Jean Gossett, (217) 732-7542.

Lincoln Community Theatre website

Lincoln Community Theatre’s website serves a number of functions, from providing information on becoming a season ticket holder to showing what new productions are being planned. Pictures from past productions are also posted.

Visit LCT’s website at, e-mail LCT at, or write to Lincoln Community Theatre, P.O. Box 374, Lincoln, IL  62656.

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