The Hoosier State


In 1848, Bartlett’s Dictionary of Americanisms defined “Hoosier” as: “A nickname given at the west, to natives of Indiana.  So, how did Indiana become The Hoosier State and how did its people become known as the Hoosiers?

The earliest known use of the term Hoosiers is found in an 1827 letter: “There is a yankee trick for you – done up by a Hoosier.”  In 1831, General John Tipton received a proposal from a businessman offering to name his boat the “Indiana Hoosier” if  General Tipton would give him business in the area.  Sarah Harvey, a Quaker from Richmond, explained in a letter to her relatives: “old settlers in Indiana are called ‘Hooshers’ and the cabins they live in ‘Hoosher nests’.  By the 1830’s, the term Hoosier was widely used.  John Finley of Richmond wrote a poem called The Hoosier’s Nest.  “With men of every hue and fashion, Flock to this rising ‘Hoosher’ nation.”  He wrote the word as hoosher and did not think it necessary to explain its meaning which led historians to believe he felt his readers were aware of and understood the term.  In his poem, Finley refers less to the pioneers of Indiana and more to the self-reliance and bravery they possessed.

No one seems to know how the word “Hoosier” came to be.  A few seem to think it was meant to mock Indiana and others feel the early settlers used the term to describe themselves as hearty and courageous.  Jacob Platt Dunn, a historian, suggested the term “Hoosier” referred to boatman who lived on the Indiana shore.  We may never know for sure but research is likely to continue concerning this mysterious term.

The following theories are known to be false:

  • It is derived from the word Hoosa, which means American Indian maize or corn.
  • Hoosier’s Men was a term used for Indiana employees of a canal contractor named Hoosier.
  • “Who’s ear?” – James Whitcomb Riley joked that this question, posed by early Indiana settlers following a tavern fight which had resulted in someone’s ear being cut off and left on the floor, which became the word “Hoosier.”
  • “Who’s yer/here?” – This was the way early Indiana settlers responded to a knock on their doors.  The story goes that it was shortened to “Hoosier.”
  • “Who’s your relative?” – Legend has it that this question was eventually shortened to “Hoosier?”

Indiana became the 19th state on December 11, 1816 when President James Madison signed the congressional resolution admitting Indiana to the Union.  The original capital of Indiana was Corydon.  Corydon remained the capital until 1825 when the capital was moved to Indianapolis.  Today, Indiana is the 38th largest state by area (36, 418 sq. mi.) and the 16th by population, with an estimated 6,619,680 Hoosiers residing in our great state.

We, Hoosiers, have celebrated Indiana’s 200th birthday with many different celebrations throughout the year.  To end the year long celebration, grab a fellow Hoosier and celebrate Indiana’s true birth date with a slice of Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie.

Learning About Patterns

A recent Storytime program was all about patterns. Learning to recognize patterns is a math skill that is usually taught in kindergarten or first grade, but my Storytime friends did an awesome job with this! We read books about animals with stripes and spots, and then we moved a bit, making clapping and stomping patterns. Here are some of the fun books we shared.

splendid-spotted-snake   a-pair-of-socks

spectacular-spots   stripes-of-all-types

After our stories, we made a snake craft from colored shapes. Each snake was very unique! This is a craft that you could easily do at home to play around with patterns.

img_4080   100_6231

You can also include patterns as part of your playtime. Try creating a pattern with blocks or even colored socks. The idea of pattern is closely related to rhythm, so tap out a rhythm while walking. Be creative in recognizing patterns; you’ll start to see them everywhere! Here are four more books that would be great to share with young children.

a-bad-case-of-stripes   swirl-by-swirl

colors-and-patterns   lots-of-spots

The rest of the books shown below are better for older kids; they have more difficult concepts and vocabulary.

bees-snails-peacocks   mysterious-patterns

The last book is a picture book biography about the man who discovered the Fibonacci sequence. Don’t let that intimidate you. The book is very much about perseverance and following your interests.

growing-patterns  blockhead

I hope you have lots of fun investigating patterns with your children! Remember that books are a springboard for self-directed learning, so be flexible and willing to follow your child’s interests for more great reading experiences.




Author Biographies: Jeffrey Archer

I thought it would be interesting to do a series of blog posts about the biographies of different authors. It is always fascinating to see what lies outside of the novels that authors write. What gives them their inspiration? Is each novel really just a tiny autobiography of the author? Are there pieces of the author’s own personality and story in each book he or she writes?


Jeffrey Archer was born in London, England and raised in Somerset. He attended Wellington School in Somerset and also Brasenose College, Oxford, where he excelled in sports and became President of the University Athletics Club. At the age of 29, Archer was elected as a Member of Parliament for Louth. However, after only five years of serving on Parliament, Archer resigned after becoming victim to a fraudulent scam and losing almost £500,000. Fearing bankruptcy, Archer began writing his first novel, which was then made into a BBC radio serial and later a television show for the BBC in 1990.


Jeffrey Archer returned to politics in the 1980’s, where he became Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1985. However, he once again resigned after only a year in office due to another scandal that ended in a trial in 1987. In 1999, Archer was selected by the Conservative Party as a candidate for the London mayoral election in 2000. After a few months, Archer withdrew his candidacy after it was discovered that he committed perjury in his 1987 court case. In February 2000, Archer was expelled from the Conservative Party for 5 years. Later that year in September, Archer was charged with “perjury and perverting the court of justice” from his 1987 libel trial. He was sentenced to four years in prison, but was released in 2003 after serving half of his sentence.

Throughout his tumultuous life, Archer continued to write, publishing over twenty-five novels, short stories, and plays over the years. Archer writes political thrillers as well as historical fiction and family sagas. His novels will keep readers second-guessing every detail, right up until the very end. Start with The Eleventh Commandment.

Happy Reading!

Cross-over Authors

One of the trends that you may notice as you browse our shelves is that many authors write books for 2 or more different age groups. Several best-selling adult authors have entered into the Young Adult market recently. James Patterson has been writing for adults and teens for many years. His popular teen titles include the Maximum Ride and Confessions series.

maximum-ride    confessions

More recently, Harlen Coben, David Baldacci, and Sherrilyn Kenyon have launched Young Adult series.

shelter    finisher    infinity

Richard Paul Evans is probably best known for his gentle adult reads, many set at Christmastime. Did you know Evans also writes a science fiction series about a teenager with Tourette’s Syndrome? The Michael Vey books have been very popular at our branches and at the South Dearborn High School.


Adrianna Trigiani, author of The Big Stone Gap series for adults, has two teen books to her credit. Jodi Picoult has taken a different approach to writing for teens; she shares the writing responsibilities with her daughter Samantha Van Leer.

viola-in-reel-life    between-the-lines

The cross-over trend is not limited to teen and adult books. Carl Hiaasen has been writing both adult and juvenile fiction for a long time. You may be familiar with his book Hoot which was turned into a popular movie. Hiaasen’s books for children almost always have an environmental theme, but with lots of humor, just like his adult books. They make great books for upper elementary or middle school kids who like fast-moving stories that will also make them laugh. Hiaasen also has one book in our Teen area.

scat     chomp     skink

In addition to adult and teen books, James Patterson has several series for middle grade readers. The covers shown below are the first books in three of these series.

i-funny   house-of-robots   treasure-hunters

John Grisham and Alexander McCall Smith have also written series of juvenile fiction.

theodore-boone     great-cake-mystery

Judy Blume is probably most famous for her children’s books like Fudge-a-mania, but also has written for adults, including In the Unlikely Event (2015). Neil Gaiman is a bit unique because he has books in our adult, teen, juvenile fiction and picture book areas. His chapter book The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal in 2008 and he has written picture books featuring a panda named Chu.

graveyard-book    chus-day

Are there other cross-over authors you would recommend to our readers? Let us know, so we can add them to the list!

Travel to Section 910

Are you planning a trip sometime soon? Let the Aurora Public Library District help! Let’s take a short trip to the 910’s in the Nonfiction section of the Library.


Section 910 is the beginning of the Geography and Travel section of the Library. In this section, you’ll find books on the geography of our world and the cultures of peoples living in certain areas of the world, such as Great Lakes Island Escapes by Maureen Dunphy and Peoples and Nations of the Far East and Pacific by Sheila Fairfield. This would be a great section to start if you are interested in the culture of the people of the region of which you are traveling.

Section 911 contains Historical Geography. This area includes titles about the history that took place in a certain region, such as Where History Was Made by Ben Dupre and London: A Life In Maps by Peter Whitfield. If you want the historical significance of where you’re traveling to, this would be the spot for you.

Section 912 holds books about the Graphic Representations of the Surface of the Earth. In other words, this section is filled with atlases. In this area, you’ll find the National Geographic’s Atlas of the World and more. We also have several road atlases that can be checked out, or we can help you copy certain pages and print them out, too.

Section 913 is Geography of and Travel in the Ancient World. In this area, you’ll find a few different items pertaining to the geography of the world in years past. Some titles include Ancient Ruins and Archaeology by L. Sprague De Camp, Red Land, Black Land: The World of Ancient Egyptians by Barbara Merz, and An Archaeological Survey of Dearborn County, Indiana by Cindy K. Parish.

Sections 914-919 pertain to traveling the world as we know it now. 914 includes DK Eyewitness travel guides from Amsterdam to Warsaw and everywhere in between. This part of the Library collection is the best place to begin as you plan your vacation. Travel and information books on specific continents are also easy to locate because they are separated by call number and location by continent:


914: Europe

915: Asia

916: Africa

917: North America

918: South America

919: Australia, Pacific Ocean islands, Arctic islands, and Antarctica

Stop in the Library today to check out some of these great travel resources. Books check out for two weeks, but you can always call and have them renewed if you are unable to stop in. And if you don’t have time to stop in and browse our physical travel collection, be sure to check the Indiana Digital Download Center to view our digital travel collection (and cut down on the weight of your luggage to save you some money!). You can also check out our different online travel resources, too, on our website. We have several links to travel databases, like A to Z in the USA, A to Z World Travel, and Global Road Warrior. These resources are great to use when you’re on the go and need to plan activities, look at maps, and learn information about where you’re traveling to. All you need to log on is your library card and pin number! And if you’re unsure about your pin number, call the library today for more information.

Happy Traveling! Also, do you have room for one more?

Mystery Fiction

Mystery Fiction is so broad that it is able to hold many subgenres and also manages to blend in with other genres. Mystery Fiction continues to be extremely popular. The Aurora Public Library District has both Mystery books on its shelves and through the Indiana Digital Download Center available to check out.


Agatha Christie, the Queen of Mystery herself, really shaped the genre into what it is today. She perfected the “fair play” Mystery, where readers are given the same clues as the protagonist to try to figure out the mystery for themselves. Many Mysteries are modeled after Christie’s unique style. Start with The Murder at the Vicarage.

A Cozy Mystery is a subgenre of the Mystery genre that downplays or treats humorously the violence that typically comes with a crime novel. Generally, Cozy Mysteries take place in smaller communities where characters are on a first-name basis with everyone in town. Here are some popular Cozy Mystery authors you can check out from the Aurora Public Library District:


M.C. Beaton is known for two main series starring Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth, respectively. She also styles her books in the manner of “fair play,” or classic “whodunit” Mysteries. Start with Death of a Gossip.


Joanne Fluke is best-known for her Culinary Mysteries, which is a subgenre of the subgenre of Cozy Mysteries. Fluke’s novels feature some kind of food in the title as well as recipes throughout the book. Start with Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder.

Other Cozy Mystery authors include Mary Kay Andrews, Rita Mae (and Sneaky Pie) Brown, Barbara Allan, and Chris Cavender.

Another popular subgenre of Mystery Fiction is the Crime Mystery. This type of Mystery is exactly what it sounds like; the protagonist is usually a detective, or other criminal justice professional, who solves a crime or a series of crimes within the pages of the book. Crime Mysteries usually do not downplay the violence in the way that a Cozy Mystery would. Here are some popular Crime Mystery authors you can look into:


James Lee Burke is also known for two separate series featuring Private Investigator Dave Robicheaux and ex-Texas Ranger Billy Bob Holland. Burke writes “police procedurals,” which are novels about police officers doing police work. Start with The Neon Rain.


Sue Grafton is another popular Crime Mystery writer known for her “Alphabet Mysteries” series featuring Kinsey Millhone. Grafton is known for being one of the first women to enter into the previously predominately male Crime Mystery. Start with A is for Alibi.

Other notable Crime Mystery authors include Janet Evanovich, Harlan Coben, Mary Higgins Clark, Patricia Daniels Cornwell, and Lawrence Block.

Happy Reading!

Gail Gibbons – Master of Easy Non-Fiction Books

“Gail Gibbons has taught more preschoolers and early readers about the world than any other children’s writer-illustrator.”

–Washington Post

Time after time, when teachers want an informational book about a particular subject, they turn to the work of Gail Gibbons. However, these are not just great for schools. Many children love to read or listen to “real” books. Sharing easy non-fiction with children reinforces their natural curiosity about the world around them. Non-fiction books show children that reading is the way we learn new things, and it introduces children to all kinds of experiences that might not be available in the local area. Gail Gibbons has written and illustrated over 170 children’s books and many of these are available at our branches. You can find lots of information about Gail Gibbons on her home page. Remember that if we don’t have the book you would like, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request by phone or on our web page.

Here are some of my favorite Gail Gibbons books. These titles show the wide variety of subjects her books cover.

mummies     penguins

sunken-treasure     the-berry-book


There is truly something for everyone! My all-time favorite Gibbons book is Behold . . . the Dragons, an overview of dragon folklore from around the world.


Check out a few of these terrific titles to explore with your children! Once you’re hooked on Gail Gibbons, you might want to watch this video interview.


Funny Women, Funny Lives

Need a break from all the holiday hoopla? Then have a laugh with some of the funniest women around.

When you’re stressed and can’t laugh at your own life, spend some time laughing at the lives of the funny women of comedy and turn that frown upside down.

the-girl-with-the-lower-back-tattooThe most in-demand comedian of the moment is Amy Schumer, who started her comedic career in stand-up and earned her first break on the reality show “Last Comic Standing.” She continued that success with a Comedy Central Stand-up special and skit show “Inside Amy Schumer.” In her first foray into non-fiction writing, she chronicles some hilarious, heart-wrenching, and explicit experiences in a collection of essays. From her observations as a child of divorce and love of New York City to working with her siblings to create her first feature-length film, Trainwreck, which won the Hollywood Film Award for “Comedy of the Year” in 2015. Just like her stand-up, Amy’s sarcastic, snarky, uproarious, and ultimately genuine voice is center stage in The Girl with the Lower Back TattooAmy reminds us that we can find the funny in any situation, no matter how awkward, sad, or just plain disgusting. Ultimately, Amy reveals how she received and now feels about that crooked lower back tattoo, and expresses her opinion about what she thinks that tattoo conveys to society. This collection of essays is not just a narcissistic way for Amy to talk more about herself, but a full-fledged attempt at displaying who she really is, how she came to be who she is, and the causes she is passionate about. Also, by the time you finish the audio book of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo recorded by Amy herself, you will feel like you have spent an evening getting to know Amy at her beautiful New York City apartment: sipping wine, eating pasta, sharing entertaining stories of the past, and discussing current events and social issues.

More Funny Women Found on Our Shelves

yes-pleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

Bossypants by Tina Feybossypants







By Chelsea Handler

chelsea-handlerAre You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

chelsea-chelsea-bang-bangChelsea Chelsea Bang Bang






Uganda Be Kidding Meuganda-be-kidding-me

More Funny Women Found on the

Indiana Digital Download Center

More from Chelsea Handler

my-horizontal-life My Horizontal Life

Audio book

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me lies-that-chelsea-handler-told-me

Audio book

by Chelsea’s Family,


and Other Victims.

is-everyone-hanging-out-without-meBy Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?: And Other Concerns

Audio Book.

Why not me?why-not-me

Audio Book




self-inflicted-woundsSelf-inflicted Wounds:

Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation

by Aisha Tyler


More Funny Women Coming Soon

talking-as-fast-as-i-canTalking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between by Lauren Graham

Release Date: November 28, 2016


scrappy-little-nobodyScrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Ten Things You Need to Know About Rogue One: A Star Wars Story



The day is nigh. On December 16, the new Star Wars series is set to be released into theaters, and I personally cannot wait for it! So here’s ten things you need to know about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

  1. This is the first stand alone film revolved around the Star Wars world.
  2. This movie takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It essentially creates the story we read on the opening crawl of A New Hope.
  3. No Jedi’s. Rogue One will focus on the human side of things. So the force will not be with us.
  4. The main character: Jyn Erso is speculated to be Rey’s mother from episode seven.
  5. No C-3P0, instead we have K-2S0. He’s supposed to be fun and more witty than his counterpart.
  6. New movie, new planet. This movie focuses on a new planet called Scariff, in which the death star orbits as it’s being created.
  7. If you’re an Anakin lover, then you’ll be happy because Darth Vader is back!
  8. Gareth Edwards is the director instead of George Lucas, though George Lucas approves of the movie!
  9. There is a chance that Rogue One will tie in with the television show Star Wars: Rebels, as they take place in the same time.
  10. Jyn Erso’s father is played by Mads Mikkelson whose character is a scientist who is believed to have created the Death Star.

Though all of our long time favorite characters won’t be with us in this film, it aspires to be just as amazing as the original Star Wars.

A Christmas Short Story Discussion & Book Talk

What do you look for in a good Christmas story? What are some of your favorite holiday books? We know that you’re a lot busier than normal during this time of year, so the Aurora Public Library District is here to help you relax.


Stop by the Aurora Public Library on Thursday, December 15 at 1:30 p.m. for “A Christmas Short Story Discussion & Book Talk” hosted by Merlee Adkins. The discussion will feature the short story “Christmas Day in the Morning” by Pearl S. Buck, which you can pick up for free from the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library. Spend a relaxing afternoon at the library listening to the short story and join in on the discussion. Instead of feeling pressured to read yet another holiday book in the span of a few short weeks, you can pick up a copy of the short story that is being featured in the book discussion for free, even if you aren’t planning on attending the book discussion.

No registration is required for this event. Special door prizes will be given out, so make sure you get here early!