The Power of Manga

Before I get to the power of Manga, let me give a little backstory on it.

Manga are comics created in Japan or by creators in the Japanese language. The writing and drawings are conformed to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. They have a long and complex pre-history in earlier Japanese Art.

They’re called manga because the term in Japan is a word used to refer to both comics and cartooning. It’s a term used outside Japan and refers to comics originally published in Japan.

Here in the United States they haven’t really been picked up on like comics, but in Japan they’re for people of all ages and is in a broad range of genres such as action and adventure to suspense and fantasy. Many of these are translated into other languages. In the 1950s, manga has steadily become a major part of the Japanese publishing industry bringing in approximately 3.6 million dollars in 2007 and 5.5 million in 2009.

Though they are typically printed in black and white, some full color manga exist. In Japan, manga are usually serialized in large manga magazines, often containing many stories, each presented in a single episode if the series is successful collected chapters may be republished in volumes, most of the time in paperback books but not exclusively.

Now, to the power of Manga.

Okay, the first manga that really made me understand the power of manga was BLACK BIRD. I was curious and decided to give it a try, I like comics so I have to like their cousins. So as I began reading, I thoroughly not having to fully imagine the characters because they were drawn right on the pages. It left little to the imagination and though readers do like imagining their characters, my brain was happy to have had a short break.

First off, they’re short and easy to read. Instead of reading six books in a series in like two months, you can read ten manga in a set in maybe 3 days if you’re committed and if not a week. It’s a sit down and finish type of deal.

Secondly, they’re not only creative and interesting but some can be knowledgeable for those of us who enjoy learning more about other cultures and their history. Not only do you learn their history but some words as well.

Thirdly, a lot of manga are dubbed into English and made into animes. Some aren’t, which of course breaks hearts, but some are and it makes us happy. Some popular examples: Pokemon, Dragonball Z and

One of my personal favorites that we have:

vampire-knight

Yuki Cross, along with her best friend Zero, attempts to keep the peace between humans and vampires at Cross Academy, but personal issues soon threaten the situation.

We have most of the manga collection.

To place VAMPIRE KNIGHT on hold, just click the picture!

naruto

Follows the struggles of three young ninjas -Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha and Sakura Haruno – as they go through their training.

 

To place NARUTO on hold, just click the picture!

On her sixteenth birthday, orphan Himari Momochi inherits her ancestral estate that she’s never seen. Momochi House exists on the barrier between the human and spiritual realms, and Himari is meant to act as a guardian between the two worlds. But on the day she moves in, she finds three handsome squatters already living in the house, and one seems to have already taken over her role!

This is our newest manga.

 

To place DEMON PRINCE OF MOMOCHI HOUSE on hold, just click on the picture!

full-metal

The Elric brothers’ deciding to perform a forbidden human transmutation to bring their dead mother back, they end up losing their bodies. Now Edward must find the chemical privileges to restore their body back.

This is one of our most popular manga.

To place a hold on FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST, just click the picture.

 

black-butler

A young boy sells his soul to a demon in order to avenge his family’s death and successfully lead their influential toy manufacturing company. The demon takes the form of a loyal butler who’s always dressed in black and is required to protect, serve and arrive whenever summoned by his young master Ciel.

 

To place a hold on BLACK BUTLER, just click the picture!

Black Butler is a popular anime.

 

 

 

The library has a small but great collection and in the years to come, we hope to build the collection. These are just a few of the many manga we currently house. Come in and check one out today!

Realistic Fiction

Realistic Fiction is a genre in which the events that take place could realistically happen in real life. In other words, the novels in this genre are realistic, with regular people and circumstances in a believable setting. Realistic Fiction often blends Romance, Drama, and Humor into the genre as well. The tone is typically conversational, making this genre easy and quick to read. Because this genre is typically predominated by female writers writing about women’s issues and relationships, it is sometimes known as “Chick Lit.” This type of fiction surfaced and became popular in the mid-1990’s and remains popular today, especially because many of these books have gone on to be popular romantic comedy movies.

The Aurora Public Library District has too many Realistic Fiction writers to count on its physical shelves as well as in digital format from the Indiana Digital Download Center. Here is a (long) list of popular Realistic/Domestic/Mainstream/”Chick Lit” Fiction authors that you can check out today:

chick-lit-1

Writers who helped to popularize the genre include Helen Fielding, Lauren Weisberger, Jodi Picoult, Anna Quindlen, Jane Green, Danielle Steel, Emma McLaughlin, Billie Letts, and Candace Bushnell.

good-in-bed-weiner

Jennifer Weiner’s novels are often described as “laugh-out-loud” funny. Her protagonists deal with average and sometimes serious issues that are not that far-fetched; they could happen to anyone. Her characters are well-rounded and likeable, with a conversational voice and compelling stories. Start with Good in Bed.

something-borrowed-giffin

Emily Giffin is another writer who writes about serious issues in a lighthearted and humorous way. Her characters are also likeable even when they are doing deplorable things. Start with Something Borrowed.

barefoot-hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand is unique because all of her novels take place on the historic island of Nantucket, but her characters and plot vary from story to story. Her novels are the ultimate summer read, filled with romance, friendship, and the beach. Start with Barefoot.

moon-shell-beach-thayer

Nancy Thayer writes about everyday, realistic women and their families and friendships, with the tone ranging from serious to hilarious from novel to novel. She writes in an engagingly, character-driven books that will move even the grumpiest person. Start with Moon Shell Beach.

distant-shores-hannah

Kristin Hannah focuses on women and their relationships with the setting of her novels often playing a crucial role. Her books are typically about characters finding their own happiness, which evokes a lot of emotion from the reader along the way. Start with Distant Shores.

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Some current and up-and-coming “Chick Lit” writers are Jojo Moyes, Jennifer Close, and Curtis Sittenfeld. And while this is a predominately women’s genre, there are some men who write “Chick Lit,” such as Nicholas Sparks and Nicholas Evans.  Other honorable writers include: Sophie Kinsella, Jane Hamilton, Joanna Trollope, Barbara Kingsolver, Jennifer Chiaverini, and Meg Cabot.

chick-lit-3

In answer to the “Chick Lit” sub-genre, some men began writing books on men’s issues and relationships from a man’s perspective. These books were dubbed “Lad Lit,” and some popular authors from this sub-genre are: Nick Hornby, Matthew Quick, Jonathan Tropper, David Nicholls, Chuck Palahniuk, and Bret Easton Ellis. Don’t forget to check out the Indiana Digital Download Center for more Realistic Fiction titles and authors!

Happy Reading!

Ideas for Snow Days

You know it’s coming! Sooner or later, there will be another snow day and your kids will need something to do. Here are some snow related books and activities that will be fun for the whole family.

April Pulley Sayre’s newest book Best in Snow will inspire you to explore the natural world. Can you safely get outside? Maybe you can try to find places in your neighborhood where the snow or ice look like the photographs in the book. Snowy days are also great for bird-watching. Fill up your feeder or throw out some crumbs and keep track of how many different birds you see during the day.

The Secret Life of a Snowflake provides a fascinating look at the science of snowflakes. This would be a good choice to read along with Snowflake Bentley. Bentley is famous for his work in photographing snowflakes. Taking a black or dark blue paper outside will make it easier for you to see the shape of snowflakes as they land.

  

What kind of animal tracks could you find out in the snow? Where do all the animals go when it snows? A “no school” day is the perfect time to help your kids find the answers to all their questions. You may want to use your phone to take pictures of tracks you see, so you can investigate when you get back in the warm house. Here’s a great web page with pictures of snow tracks of common animals.

The poems in Joyce Sidman’s book Winter Bees provide lots of information about animals in the winter. Each double-page spread contains a poem, beautiful artwork and additional information about the animal.

    

When you’re too cold to spend another minute outside, you could try making artificial snow inside. Here are some recipes you can try; you probably have all the ingredients at home.

Why not use a cold day to learn about the polar explorers? Animals Robert Scott Saw will be interesting to kids of all ages. For older kids, we also have great books on Matthew Henson, Richard Byrd, and Robert Peary. Use World Book Online, which you can access with your library card number, to find information on Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton, Sir James Ross or others.

When you’ve learned about the real polar explorers, check out these two kid’s chapter books about the South Pole.

    

Time for a cup of hot cocoa and a snowy fairy-tale! Before you begin the book, ask your kids to describe what they think the story will be about by looking at the amazing cover art.

Here are some additional books with fun wintertime activities. Check them out now, so you’ll be all ready when the bad weather hits!

     

Let’s Take a Moment: My Sister’s Keeper

my-sisters-keeperBefore I begin this blog post let me just say one thing: I don’t like lessons in stories. I’m strictly a romance reader and I don’t like learning anything besides words. So stating this, I don’t particularly like Jodi Picoult mainly because of this reason. Then a co-worker and a classmate of mine told me about My Sister’s Keeper. I’d seen the movie and loved it but they had told me that the book was completely different than the movie, so I chose to check this book out and read it.

“It’s about a girl who is on the cusp of becoming someone… A girl who may not know what she wants right now, and she may not know who she is right now, but who deserves the chance to find out.” -Campbell Alexander

Let me begin by saying….WOW! This book is probably one of my favorites as of now. I will admit I did find it hard to like Sara, the mother, in the book. The book started out great and somehow drew me in. I already knew the synopsis of the story but for some reason Picoult’s writing just kept me entrapped and entertained. Not only did she include Anna’s point of view but everyone else’s and their back story.

Anna is thirteen in the beginning of this book and she’s selling a locket her father had given her. Her sister, Kate, has cancer and her brother, Jesse, is a troublemaker. Of course, with Kate having cancer all things center around her. Anna herself was conceived to be a donor for Kate. So throughout the book, we learn just how often Anna has been a donor for Kate and the tumultuous actions of these characters as they try to understand Kate’s illness. The story focuses on Anna’s fight for the medical right of her own body because they want Anna to give her kidney to Kate. So, enter Campbell Alexander and Julia. Campbell is the lawyer who decides to help Anna pro-bono and Julia is Campbell’s high school sweetheart and ad-litem (a person who represents a child who cannot represent themselves and decides the right course of action for them). They both decide to help Anna as they solve their own crisis.

“If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one? Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?”- Anna Fitzgerald

This isn’t a story about the selfishness of a thirteen-year-old or the fact that she wants attention. This is a story that shows you selflessness and sacrifice in its purest form.

We see the story from all different points of views. From Brian’s (the father) to Julia’s and in doing so, Picoult has not only helped us understand the Fitzgerald family and the supporting characters but cancer and what it does to a family. As I stated above, I didn’t like Sara, mainly because it seemed like she was devoting herself to Kate and neglecting her other children. Then again, I do not have a child dying of cancer or any children to be exact.

The movie and the book are more different than any book turned movie I’ve ever seen. I felt as if they told two completely different stories. As always the book went more in depth with the Fitzgerald’s but not only did the movie change the climax but it changed the ending, and that’s not okay!

“There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rule book that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass – if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it’s okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays.” – Anna Fitzgerald

Reviews:

The author vividly evokes the physical and psychic toll a desperately sick child imposes on a family, even a close and loving one like the Fitzgeralds… there can be no easy outcomes in a tale about individual autonomy clashing with a sibling’s right to life, but Picoult thwarts out expectations in unexpected ways… a telling portrait of a profoundly stressed family.

-Kirkus Reviews

five-out-of-five

 

“I learn from my own daughter that you don’t have to be awake to cry.” – Sara Fitzgerald

Christian Fiction

The genre of Christian Fiction includes novels with strong, traditional Christian values, such as faith in God, the Bible, and Jesus. Writers in this genre avoid sex, strong language, and other “taboo” topics within their novels. The novels will usually feature the growth of the protagonist and other characters as well as a happy ending that promotes the values that are important to the Christian community. The Aurora Public Library District has several authors who write Christian Fiction on its shelves, as well as available in digital format from the Indiana Digital Download Center. Here are some popular Christian Fiction authors that you can find at the Aurora Public Library District:

left-behind-lahaye

Tim Lahaye wrote apocalyptic Christian Fiction, typically about the End Times and the predictions from the Book of Revelation coming true. He writes fiction and nonfiction, but he is most well-known for his Left Behind series, co-written by Jerry B. Jenkins. Start with Left Behind: A Novel of Earth’s Last Days.

christmas-at-harringtons-carlson

Melody Carlson’s Christian Fiction covers a wide range of topics, from Historical to Contemporary. Her characters typically deal with heavy, real-life issues, but the overall tone of her stories is heartwarming and uplifting. Start with Christmas at Harrington’s.

time-to-dance-kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury writes Contemporary Christian Fiction with strong Romantic components. Her characters often experience spiritual growth after facing difficult issues. Readers will find themselves breezing through the pages quickly to reach the resolution. Start with A Time to Dance.

Grunge border and backgroundFrank Peretti is one of the few Christian Fiction writers who writes Christian Suspense and Horror. The tone of his novels are often dark and intense, but without the strong language and sexual content that one comes to expect in the Suspense and Horror genres. However, violence is present and is typically richly detailed. Start with This Present Darkness.

1

Amish Fiction is an extremely popular sub-genre of the Christian Fiction genre. Novels in this category take place in Amish communities and are filled with Amish characters and backgrounds. This is a great type of fiction if you are looking for books revolving around a simpler way of life. Popular Amish Fiction authors include:

Sarah Price, Jerry S. Eicher, Kathleen Fuller, Beverly Lewis, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Cindy Woodsmall, Shelley Shepard Gray, and Wanda Brunstetter.

These authors will submerge you into the Amish way of life that will make you feel like you’re stepping back in time. It is common for Amish Fiction writers to break their novels up into series, which can get confusing when an author has multiple series shelved under his or her name. A great website resource to find out the different titles and order for a series is the KDL What’s Next Database.

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Historical Fiction and Christian Fiction often collide with Romance to create an entirely unique sub-genre called Historical Inspirational Romance. Other elements, such as Mystery, Suspense, and Adventure are also added to this sub-genre. Some great authors to try out of this sub-genre are:

Janette Oke, Lori Wick, Tracie Peterson, Lori Copeland, Deeanne Gist, Judith Miller, and Colleen Coble.

Other notable Christian Fiction writers are Nancy Moser, Amanda Cabot, M.K. Gilroy, Jerry B. Jenkins, and Thomas Kinkade (with Katherine Spencer).

Happy Reading!

Color Me Calm: Adult Coloring Program

Have you been feeling more stressed than usual lately? The Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library will be hosting an adult coloring program throughout the month of January to help relieve that stress and promote calmness.

“Color Me Calm” is a coloring program for adults to attend at the Aurora and Dillsboro branches. Coloring pages and colored pencils will be provided at both library locations for adults to come in and color at their own pace. There will be spots designated in the Libraries for “Chatty Color” and “Quiet Color” for guests to color and socialize as they wish.

Coloring as an adult promotes wellness, quietness, and  meditation. Coloring also reduces stress and anxiety. The act of coloring can spark your inner-child, imagination, and creativity. Each branch will hold a coloring contest that will be judged by an outside source. Prizes will be awarded to the winners at the end of the month. Participants are encouraged to leave their finished artwork to be displayed at both branches throughout the month of January.

The Aurora Public Library’s “Color Me Calm” program will be held on Mondays, January 9, 23, and 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Color Me Calm” at Dillsboro Public Library will be held on Wednesdays, January 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration is not required. Come to color and stay as long as you like.

 

Freedom Over Me

Writer/illustrator Ashley Bryan is one of the most beloved and one of the most critically praised figures in Children’s Literature. He has received both the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for his extensive body of work. His books have brought joy to countless readers through the years. His latest work takes a more serious turn, but it’s a book that should be widely shared in families and schools. Using historical documents from an 1800’s estate sale, Bryan has given a personality and a voice to eleven slaves. In the author’s note, Bryan states:

“My art and writing of this story aim to bring the slaves alive as human beings. I began by creating painted portraits of these eleven slaves. I studied each one, listening for their voices. I wrote what I heard in free verse to give emphasis to their words. These words tell of their backgrounds and their work on the estate. Then, to bring these people closer, I wrote their inner thoughts as they went about their work, then created the art that illustrates these individuals’ desires to realize their dreams.”

charlotte     qush

I hope you will find this book on our shelves and be touched by these narratives. After reading the book, you can find more information about the places and things mentioned by following these links.

Stephen’s dreams: the stone builders of Zimbabwe

Jane’s dreams: the weaving of Kente cloth

John’s dreams: the Kingdom of Dahomey

Athelia’s dreams: the griots of Mali

Qush’s dreams: the Yoruba people

The Aurora Public Library District has several other of Ashley Bryan’s books including the ones shown below.

all-things-bright-and-beautiful     let-it-shine

sail-away     ashley-bryans-puppets

You can find out more about Ashley Bryan by visiting the link for the Ashley Bryan Center. His autobiography is also a great way to learn about all the ways he expresses his creativity.

ashley-bryan

 

Author Biographies: Diana Gabaldon

diana-gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon was born on January 11, 1952 in Arizona to Jacqueline Sykes and state senator Tony Gabaldon. She received a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Northern Arizona University, a Master’s in Marine Biology from the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and a doctorate in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology also from Northern Arizona University. She also has an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Gabaldon spent twelve years as a university professor teaching environmental studies at Arizona State University, helping to create the field of scientific computation. She founded the scientific journal Science Software Quarterly while she taught and wrote comic books for Walt Disney. She has written several scientific articles and textbooks as well as being the contributing editor on the MacMillan Encyclopedia of Computers.

In 1991, Gabaldon decided to write a novel “for practice, just to learn how,” with the intention of never showing it to anyone. She wrote Outlander entirely through research she did through library books, without visiting Scotland first. She went on to write seven more novels in the series (and is working on the ninth installment), quitting teaching to write full-time.

outlander

Aside from the Outlander series, Gabaldon has written a “sub-series” to Outlander, featuring one of the minor characters and a graphic novel retelling events that take place in the books from different points of view. She has also co-produced the popular television series adapting her novels, having written the script for one of the episodes, and appearing as a cameo in another episode. There has also been some talk of an Outlander musical!

She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and three children. Her son is the fantasy writer, Sam Sykes.

Gabaldon’s novels merge multiple genres at a time, which make it difficult to discern where they “belong” in terms of one particular genre. But, the plus side of this is that they can appeal to everyone who likes historical fiction, romance, mystery, adventure, science fiction, and fantasy!

Newsletter

district-dispatch-logo

Did you know that the Aurora Public Library District sends out a regular newsletter? The newsletter is full of all sorts of helpful information, such as new fiction titles, upcoming programs and events taking place, and so much more! Stay as up to date as you can with the Aurora Public Library District by subscribing to the newsletter today. You can always pick up a current copy of the newsletter at any of our branches as you need it, too! Start the New Year off by subscribing to our newsletter so you can always be up to speed on the goings on of the Aurora Public Library District!

Great Websites for Readers and Writers Alike

There are thousands of websites for readers and thousands of websites for writers. But what about a website for readers and writers alike? Look no further than here for your reading and writing extravaganza!

archive-of-our-own

Archive of Our Own is known for its fan fictions. With fan fictions ranging from Supernatural to Disney. Though it’s for more than just fan fictions; some people choose to write regular fiction, too, whether its romantic or historical. To write, you have to create an account, but to read you can just click on the subject your heart desires and then choose from thousands of areas!

fanfiction

Fan fiction is exactly what it says: fan fiction. Filled with thousands and thousands of different ‘fan ships.’ You’re bound to find one you like somewhere in all the subjects they have. To create a story, you must create an account, but to read just peruse the subjects and choose the one that catches your eyes!

fictionpad

FictionPad is thoroughly all about fiction. It’s not one of the most known writing and reading sites but it’s popular. Any fiction, from science fiction or historical to romantic.  It’s all the stories you love from unique minds and normal people like yourselves.

goodreads

Goodreads is mainly known for being a Facebook for readers, but there’s a different side to Goodreads that I personally just discovered. Goodreads is also a writing website as well. You do have to have an account, but it’s easy, just sign up with your Facebook and get to writing! As well as reading other people’s writing online, you can update your reading status to the current book you’re reading.

wattpad

Now, for my personal favorite. Wattpad is a unique and interesting way in getting in touch with your inner writer, reader, and editor. Create an account and fall in love with it just like I did. It’s simple and unique in its way of interacting with you readers or your favorite ‘semi-authors’ and become a ‘semi-author’ yourself. Not only can you become successful on Wattpad and know people enjoy your stories, but you can also have a chance at being published for real!