Christmas Books and Cookies

The sprinkles are ready! The new Christmas books are here! All we still need is for you to mark this event on your calendar. We’ll be kicking off the holiday season with the Library District’s annual Christmas Cookies and Books program on Saturday, December 2nd. This program will be available at both branches and is open to all ages, whether you have children or not!

Jingle Bells by Susan Jeffers  One Cozy Christmas by M. Christina Butler

At the Aurora Public Library, Peggy will be reading Christmas stories beginning at 10 a.m. and cookies will be available to decorate until 2 p.m. This is also the first weekend that Main Street Aurora will be offering the opportunity to have breakfast with Santa. Make sure to stop by the Library after you share a meal with the guy in the red suit!

Patty will be hosting at the Dillsboro Public Library with activities available between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Little Santa by Yoko Maruyama


Our Staff’s Favorite Picture Books

PattyPetite Rouge” a cajun red riding hood by Mike Artell

Amy – Before Morning by Joyce Sidman

Janet  – Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Kim – Little Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams

PeggyBlueberries For Sal by Robert McCloskey

AshtonRumpelstiltskin’s Daughter -Diane Stanley and Jacob Grimm

Cathy – Golden Book version of the Gingerbread Man, illustrated by Bonnie and Bill Rutherford.

Recipes for Holiday Book Gift Baskets

Are you struggling to figure out what to get your mailman, your secret Santa, your new neighbor, or that one friend who is more like an acquaintance but insists on exchanging gifts during the holidays who you don’t really know all that well? How about the gift that keeps on giving: BOOKS!

You’re in luck because all during the month of November, the Book Sale at the Dillsboro Public Library is promoting the $1 Per Bag Sale. Fill up as many large paper grocery bags as you want with books and only pay $1! There are picture books, children’s books, young adult books, magazines, paperbacks, adult fiction, cookbooks, travel guides, religious books, large print books, and so much more! Get all of your shopping done in one place!

To add a more personal touch to your selections, put together a unique gift basket for everyone on your list!

For the person who likes to travel from the comfort of their easy chair:

One Northern Italy Travel Guide + +

= A Fun Dinner!


One Switzerland Travel Guide + 

= A Cozy Movie Night!


For the person who loves to cook and bake, or for the person just starting out on their own:

Dessert Cookbook + 

= Baking Day!

Cookbook + Marked Recipe + Ingredients From the Recipe = Dinner on You!


For your loved one who prefers large print:

Thriller Book +  = Night of Suspenseful Reading

Favorite Author +  = Cozy Night of Reading

Browse the Book Sale and see what great gift basket ideas you can come up with! Show us what you made!

Happy Reading!

A new book by John Green!

John Green is probably Indiana’s most loved Young Adult author. His debut novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Printz Award for best teen novel. His last book, The Fault in Our Stars sold over 45 million copies and was made into a popular film.

Looking for Alaska by John Green   The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

In between, he authored An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and (with David Levithan) Will Grayson, Will Grayson. His latest book, Turtles All the Way Down was published in October of 2017.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green  Paper Towns by John Green  Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

Turtles All the Way Down has been receiving rave reviews from book critics. People magazine described it as “A tender story about learning to cope when the world feels out of control” and the Wall Street Journal said, “There is tenderness and wisdom here, and a high quotient of big ideas.”

In the book, sixteen-year-old Aza pursues the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, because there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. The book illustrates the difficulties of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a condition that Aza shares with author John Green.

Dealing with difficult situations is a standard of much of Green’s writing and the honesty of his work provides an opening for discussion about these topics. At the same time, he uses lots of humor to keep the plot from becoming too serious and teens are easily able to relate to his characters.

In addition to his writing, John and his brother Hank produce the Vlogbrothers videos ( and created the online educational series CrashCourse ( He also collaborated with YA authors Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle on a book of three intertwined holiday romances.

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

$1 Bag Sale All November Long!

You’re in luck! The Dillsboro Public Library is having its $1 Bag Book Sale throughout the whole month of November! Fill up as many large paper grocery bags as you want with books and only pay $1 per bag! Stock up on all of your winter reading or peruse the sale for holiday gifts for your family. At the Book Sale, you’ll find adult fiction, paperbacks, nonfiction, cookbooks, children’s fiction, teen fiction, magazines, DVD’s, audiobooks, picture books, and more! But you better hurry to get your pick before everything is gone!

Happy Reading!

My Favorite Pictures Books: A note from the Director

There are quite a few picture books in our collection. And they are wonderful.

But today I wanted to tell you about some of my favorites and to whom I’ve read them too over the course of my career at the Aurora Public Library District.

First, we are going to start with my My Great Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston.

This book is about a teacher and her influence over generations of school children. This is a favorite of mine to read at teacher retirement parties in honor of the impact these teachers have had on countless children.

And since we are in the fall season one of my all-time favorite fall books is The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward

I love reading this to my family during the fall season.

While we are talking about seasons I love to read Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco during the spring thunderstorm season.

This book is all about helping little ones understand how thunder storms work and why they aren’t as scary as they seem through a grandmother helping her granddaughter bake a cake.

Next I want to tell you about Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth.

This book is all about community and coming together to help during a time of hardship. Together the community builds a soup from their compiled foods rather than keeping everything to themselves and helps rekindle humanity in their community after the war. While it seems like a heavy topic for a picture book it brings inspiration and truth together to help teach these concepts.

Now for one of my all time favorites. Oh the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.

This  is one of my favorite graduation gifts to give. It talks about the big adventure high school graduates are about to start and provides advice for dealing with the changes that are coming.

These next titles are all classics that I read to my own girls when they were growing up,  and like them I fell in love with the characters, stories, and illustrations.

Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? by Bill Martin

Curious George by H.A. Rey

The Babar Series by Jean  &  Laurent De Brunhoff


Wheels on the Bus by Raffi

And the Berenstain Bears Series by Mike Berenstain

Now these aren’t even ALL of my favorites but I did have to cut it off somewhere or you would be here all day. Let me know in the comments what YOUR favorite picture book is!

Where Are They Going?

The days are getting shorter, the wind is getting colder, and all over the world animals are on the move. This is a great time of year for you and your family to learn more about the earth’s phenomenal animal migrations. Ducks, geese, butterflies, whales, wildebeest and many more kinds of animals make yearly journeys to find better food and shelter as the seasons change. Here is a selection of Library resources on migrations for all members of your family.

For the very youngest, we have some terrific picture books that discuss migrations in very simple terms. April Pulley Sayre always has great non-fiction books for kids, so pick up a copy of Here Come the Humpbacks!  If you enjoy that,  Following Papa’s Song presents whale migrations as more of a story, for even younger readers.

Here Come the Humpbacks by April Pulley Sayre  Following Papa's Song by Giano Marino

Many children’s books have been written about butterfly migrations. Here are a couple of my favorites. Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope features repetition that will stick with your kids for months. Read one of these picture books and then check out the PBS video of butterfly migrations.

Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope  Hurry and the Monarch by Antoine O'Flathart    The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies produced by PBS

Don’t stop with whales and butterflies! Move on to the migrations of turtles, songbirds, caribou, and owls.

The Journey of a Turtle by Carolyn Scrace  Is This Panama? A Migration Story by Jan Thornhill

A Caribou Journey by Debbie S. Miller  Ookpik: The Travels of a Snowy Owl by Bruce Hiscock

The book Animal Migration by Jeanie Mebane and the Disneynature Migration DVD both give good overall information about migrations.

Animal Migration by Jeanie Mebane 

Older kids may by interesting in learning how scientists investigate migrations. Tracking Animal Movement is part of our Animal Trackers series of non-fiction books for upper elementary age kids. Moonbird is a great read for older kids or even adults.

Tracking Animal Movement by Tom Jackson  Moonbird: A Year on the Wing with the Great Survivor B95 by Philip Hoose

For adults, David Wilcove’s No Way Home provides an in-depth look at how animal migrations are changing in response to degraded or threatened ecosystems.

No Way Home by David Wilcove

Reading Challenge for 2018

I know it’s crazy to even write the year 2018, but it will soon be upon us! Are you looking for your next reading challenge? Here are some suggestions that might help you get started!

Read a book recommended to you by a librarian. (This is easy because we LOVE to recommend books to you here at the Aurora Public Library District! Or you can always check the blog to see what books we’ve been writing and raving about.)

Read a book that’s been in your “To Be Read” pile for way too long. Or read a book that you own but you haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

Listen to an audiobook. (This is easy for people who love audiobooks, but for those who have a hard time letting go of the words on the page, it can be a real challenge! You can do it!)

Read a book where the main character or the author is different than you; this could be ethnicity, religion, culture, ability, etc. Try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. You could also read a book from a nonhuman perspective.

Read a book written by multiple authors. (See if you can pick out the different writing styles of each author as you go along.)

Read a book written by someone you admire.

Read a classic. Or you could read a book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t. (I won’t tell.) You could even read a children’s book you never got to read when you were small.

Read a book by an author who uses a pseudonym.

Read a bestseller from a genre you wouldn’t usually read.

Read the first book in a series you’ve never read before.

Read a book that was published in 2018 or that is becoming a movie that year.

Read a book that was published the year you were born.

Read a book set in more than one time period.

Read a book based on a true story.

Read a book you love so much, it always makes you smile. This could even be a beloved children’s book.

Read a book that someone close to you loves more than any other book that you’ve never read before.

Read a book set somewhere drastic, like during a war, in the wilderness, or the characters are trying to survive, etc. Read something to get your heart pumping.

Read a book solely based on the cover; literally judge a book by its cover without reading the summary of what it’s about.

Read a book that will make you smarter.

Read a book that everyone but you has read. This could be that book everyone was raving about last year that was made into a movie.

Read a book with an unreliable narrator.

Read a book with pictures! (How fun would this be?!)

Read a book that’s a story within a story.

Red a book that’s won a prestigious award.

I know that our lives are busy and that it can be hard to even find time to sit down, let alone read a book. But even if you cross just a few of these off the list, you’ll come out of the challenge as a better, more well-rounded person than you were last year. But who am I to dictate what you should and shouldn’t read? Create your own reading challenge for 2018 and let us know how you do! I’d love to be inspired by you!

Happy Reading!

Our Veterans, Our Freedom, Our Country, Not One Without The Others

A Veteran is a person who fell in love with our country.  A Veteran is a person who is willing to lay down their life for our country so we may breathe free and enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of our own happiness.  A Veteran is a person who does what he/she MUST in spite of consequences, obstacles, pressures and dangers for the best of all humanity.  A Veteran is a person who gets emotional when he/she sees our beloved American flag and one who will fight to protect the flag from those who dare to dishonor it.  A Veteran – whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve – is a person who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America” for an amount of up to and including his/her own life.  That is honor in its highest form.  A Veteran is one deserving of our appreciation,  love, support and prayers 365 days a year. This is just a small insight as to why we, as a country, celebrate Veteran’s Day.

Veteran’s Day is an official United States public holiday observed on November 11th that honors persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. This national holiday also marks the end of the major hostilities of World War I which formally ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany officially went into effect. In 1926, Congress declared November 11th as Armistice Day.  This day became a national holiday by act of Congress in 1938.  The United States observed Armistice Day until 1954 when President Dwight D, Eisenhower signed the law which changed the name from Armistice Day and established November 11th each year as Veteran’s Day.  World War II veteran Raymond Weeks organized the first National Veteran’s Day ceremony.  This ceremony was held in Birmingham, Alabama on November 11, 1947.

We have all heard the phrase – freedom is not free.  Following is the price The United States Military has paid for our freedom:

*American Revolution, (1775-1783) – 4,435 casualties

*War of 1812, (1812-1815) – 2,260 casualties

*World War I, (1917-1918) – 116,516 casualties

*World War II, (1941-1945) – 405,399 casualties

*Korean War, (1950-1953) – 36,574 casualties

*Vietnam War, (1964-1975) – 58,220 casualties

*Desert Shield/Desert Storm, (1990-1991) – 383 casualties

*Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom, (October 2001-present day) – 6,775 casualties

The city of Aurora and surrounding cities have contributed to this price of freedom.  Visit your Local History and Genealogy Library @ The Depot for stories of our local heroes.  If you wish to share your story with us, we have forms available.

Remember our every day freedom is due to the sacrifice of our Veterans and our United State Military.  Take a moment to say “THANKS”!