Our Manga Phenomenon: Vampire Knight


The manga that has taken the world by storm.

Manga books are Japanese and so are drawn, written, and formatted in the Japanese style.  This means  mangas read in the traditional Japanese style of right to left, which takes some getting used.  Also, the Manga style of drawing is more exaggerated.  Manga also has two main styles of writing.  Shonen manga is mainly action/adventure stories.  Shojo manga stories center around relationships and love interests.

A graphic novel is an American comic book that tells a story in the comic style of pictures.  Graphic novels read like a regular American style book, left to right, and have a familiar look to most all of us.  This style mimics what we see in our newspapers here.  The themes are often superhero and other adventure/action plots.

Yuki’s earliest memory is of a stormy night in winter, where she was attacked by a rogue vampire and rescued by Kaname Kuran, a Pureblood vampire. Now ten years later, Yuki Cross, the adopted daughter of the headmaster of Cross Academy, Kaien Cross, has grown up and become a guardian of the vampire race, protecting her childhood crush, Kaname, from discovery as he leads a group of vampires at the elite boarding school. At her side is Zero Kiryu, a childhood friend who’s hatred for the creatures that destroyed everything he held dear leaves him determined never to trust them. This coexisting arrangement seems all well and good, but have the vampires truly renounced their murderous ways, or is there a darker truth behind their actions? Because in this world of secrets, nothing is as it seems. And the price of misplaced trust may even be worse than death. Should Yuki truly find out what was in her past, is the truth going to hurt her worse than not knowing?


Aurora: In the teen graphic section up stairs.

Dillsboro: In the teen section on the last column.

We currently house all nineteen novels.

When Life is Hard for Kids

We all want childhood to be a happy, carefree time. At the same time, we know that children often go through transitions that are difficult for them to handle. As families change and relocate, and as they go through periods of loss or adjustment, books can help us process our emotions. Sharing a picture book about a difficult topic opens a space for children to voice their concerns and to ask questions. It can be very reassuring for them to realize that their emotions are acceptable and are a part of the human experience. Here are some of my suggestions for a few of life’s transitions. Please ask if you would like to locate a book for a particular circumstance. I’ll be happy to help you find just the right book to share at the right moment.

When your family is moving to a new town, these books can help smooth the way and open a door to new possibilities.


Kids can experience separation in a variety of ways from staying with grandparents to having a parent leave the house or having a parent become incarcerated.


When being placed in foster care, a book may help children toward acceptance of their situation. The same is true when parents divorce. It’s important for children to realize that families come in all different sizes and circumstances.



If you either have adopted children or are planning to adopt, these are beautiful books to share.


Illness and death can turn a child’s world completely upside-down. When you are also grieving, a picture book can help you find the words to discuss things with your child.



Of course, not all of life’s transitions are hard! Adding a new sibling to the family is a time to celebrate! Even so, books can help smooth the way for the arrival of the new bundle of joy. The Boss Baby is a favorite book of mine and is being released as a full-length movie at the end of March. Make sure to also check-out The Bossier Baby!


10 Short Stories to Read During Your Lunch Break

Do you spend your lunch break scrolling Facebook? Consider switching out your phone for a short story. Short stories, according to Cliff Notes, is a story that is shorter in length than a novel. The time it takes to read a short story could be between a half hour to 2 hours, so depending on the length of the novel you could have it done in one lunch time.

Need some book suggestions to get started with? Check out these 10 short stories.

For baseball lovers we have Baseball Crazy: ten short stories that cover all the bases 

For dog lovers check out The canine connection: stories about dogs and people

Love a good detective mystery? Windy City blues : V.I. Warshawski stories

Interested in the visions of tomorrow? Tomorrowland : ten stories about the future

A picture is worth a thousand words, these short stories are all about what writers imagined what was going on in the illustrations.  Twice told: original stories inspired by original art

Love a good steampunk story? Steampunk : an anthology of fantastically rich and strange stories

Want some stories about the art deco period? Tales of the Jazz Age

And for our school age bibliophiles we have Tripping over the lunch lady: and other school stories

Good old American fairytales American fairy tales: from Rip Van Winkle to the Rootabaga stories

Enjoy war stories? Read Dogs of War

Add your short story suggestions in the comments below!

Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction is a narrative set in the past and that includes fictional characters as well as historical figures. Historical Fiction writers typically try to be as accurate as possible with extensive research, which is usually included in a bibliography at the end of the novel. Historical Fiction has always been popular, and the Aurora Public Library District and the Indiana Digital Download Center have numerous titles available. If you like history, then Historical Fiction is a genre for you.

Some authors will write a novel or two based in the past, but other authors specifically write Historical Fiction. Here are a few Historical Fiction titles we have on our shelves at the Aurora Public Library District:  The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah,  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Lorna Doone: A Romance of Examoor by R.D. Blackmore,  The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, and Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann (just to name a few!).


Philippa Gregory is one of the most well-known current historical fiction writers. She is known for taking minor historical figures and making them the center of her tale. Her writing is extensively researched and she tries to be as accurate as possible. Start with The Other Boleyn Girl.


Tracy Chevalier is known for describing the artistic process behind a famous work of art. Her newest novel, At the Edge of the Orchard, was released this past year and follows a pioneer family for three generations from Ohio to California. Start with Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Geraldine Brooks

Geraldine Brooks draws from momentous historical events and turns them into personal experiences, which shows her roots as a journalist. Start with March, which is based on the life of the father from Little Women during the Civil War.


John Hersey writes war stories based on actual events with multiple characters and storylines throughout. He is one of the many Historical Fiction writer who also writes Nonfiction. Start with A Bell for Adano.


Mark Frost writes action-packed war stories as well as Historical Fiction Mysteries. He researches each subject thoroughly to give as accurate of an account as possible. Start with The Second Objective.


James Alexander Thom sets many of his novels in early America. The main conflicts typically involve clashes with Native Americans. His characters are extremely well-rounded and believable. His novels can also crossover into the Western genre. Start with Follow the River.


One element of Historical Fiction that is almost unique to the genre is the Family Saga, which tells the story of one particular family over the course of years or generations. Some popular Historical Fiction authors who write Family Sagas are Barbara Taylor Bradford, Janette Oke, and Colleen McCullough.


Other notable Historical Fiction writers are Jennifer Donnelly, Philippa Carr, Ralph Peters, Madeleine Brent, Isabel Allende, Anya Seton, and Diana Gabaldon. Be sure to ask the staff who their favorite Historical Fiction writers are, or check out the Indiana Digital Download Center for more titles.

Happy Reading!


Calling All Home School Families!

The Aurora Public Library District is happy to partner with Home School families and groups to provide the resources you need for your child’s education. We also welcome any opportunity to provide programs on literary or other themes.  Home School families who stop by the library during March may enter to win a collection of books and other resources. Drawing boxes will be available at both APL and DPL. One entry per family per visit, please.

While you’re at the library, be sure to take a look at our display of educational resources. I would be glad to discuss our resources with you at any time and help you locate the best items for your family’s education.

Trilogies for Everyone!

Do you ever get started reading a new series only to find that you’re eager to switch gears after a few books? Trilogies may be the answer for you! Trilogies allow the author plenty of space to create a sweeping story, but they also keep the author from being forever locked into the same characters. No matter what your age and interests are, there are great possibilities just waiting for you on our library shelves! The trilogies that I am going to highlight have the advantage of being complete, because there is nothing worse than waiting for years for the author to finish the story.

For adult readers, I chose a variety of genres to highlight. One of my favorites from many years ago is the Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. This is one of the most enduring sagas of Merlin and King Arthur, and the copy on our shelf at the Dillsboro Public Library has the advantage of containing all 3 novels in one binding.

My son can’t stop raving about the The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. Set in the future on a colonized Mars, the trilogy follows lowborn miner Darrow as he infiltrates the ranks of the elite Golds. A movie adaptation is currently in development.


For historical fiction, I can recommend the Last Hundred Years Trilogy by Jane Smiley. Beginning with Some Luck, these books cover the time period from 1920 to 2019 and focus on societal changes, particularly to farming communities. For an in-depth summary of the trilogy, read this review by Heller McAlpin, written for the L.A. Times.


Our Teen area has many trilogies that are popular with teens and adults. Some  examples of YA books with adult appeal are the Hunger Games, Divergent, and Matched books. The Looking Glass Wars, although several years old, is part of an ongoing trend of revisiting characters from classic literature. The Graceling books by Kristin Cashore are not, strictly speaking. a trilogy; they were written as companion books.


The Jenna Fox Chronicles explore questions of identity and medical ethics.


There are also lots of trilogy choices in the juvenile fiction area. For all lovers of superheroes, check out the Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy by William Boniface.


Can you imagine a world where characters hop in and out of books? Try these three books by Cornelia Funke!


If historical fiction is your favorite way to learn, the Seeds of America trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson brings the American Revolution to life through the perspective of American slaves. These books have been critically acclaimed, but due to the subject matter, are probably best for upper elementary students or older.


Trilogies are very rare among picture books, but here are a couple outstanding exceptions. Notice the shiny medals on the covers of the first two by Jon Klassen!


This trio of books by Aaron Becker illustrates everything that is magical and thought-provoking about wordless picture books. Writing for School Library Journal, Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova wrote: “Becker’s stunning watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations depict a breathtaking world that captivates without a written narrative.”


Happy reading!