FREE Student Success Webinars!

This February, Tutor.com is offering three FREE student success webinars! Read below to find out each webinar’s theme and use the links to sign up today!

Friday, February 4th at 12:00 pm: Overcoming Test Anxiety – Register HERE

Friday, February 11th at 12:00 pm: Collaboration and Teamwork – Register HERE

Friday, February 18th at 12:00 pm: Critical Thinking and Research Skills – Register HERE

Aren’t available at that time to watch? If you sign up for the webinar, a video of the recorded session will be sent to your email after the session ends.

Did you know that you have access to no-cost 1-to-1 online tutoring, resume and cover letter review, and other learning resources through the Aurora Public Library District? Check out all the great services that Tutor.com can offer YOU by visiting our Online Resources page on our website or click here. Happy learning!

Making the Leap to Adult Fiction

When you’re used to reading books from the Teen Fiction area, it can be challenging to know how to get started with Adult Fiction. Of course, many adults prefer Teen Fiction for the fast pace, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re interested in switching things up and exploring a broader range of literature, you might want to start with books that have been named for the Alex Awards. The Alex Awards are given each year to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults ages 12 through 18, and can be a great way to try something new. Here are the 2022 Alex Award books, just announced on 1/24/22.

The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec    The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

The Witch’s Heart is perfect for everyone who loves stories based on mythology. It’s a retelling from the feminine perspective of a three-times burned witch in Norse mythology. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a beautiful inter-generational story about an unlikely friendship that develops through an art class intended for patients under end-of-life care. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, you’ll love this one!

  

Here’s another mythology-based book, this time in graphic novel format. Lore Olympus, Volume I depicts the love story of Hades, the god of the Underworld, and Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and goddess of spring. Described as both joyful and heart-rending, Light from Uncommon Stars brings together the lives of a young transgender runaway, a violin teacher who’s sold her soul to the devil, and a refugee alien star-ship commander.

 

The Library of the Dead is a dystopian novel set in Scotland. Ghost talker Roya uses her Zimbabwean magic to investigate the mysterious disappearances of missing children. Book two of this series is scheduled for publication in April of 2022. How Lucky is the story of Daniel who has a good friend, a routine that involves football game day in the South, and a debilitating disease that has robbed him of body control and speech. When he is the only witness to a kidnapping, it causes several issues that might risk his life.

   The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

If you enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, you’ll also like  Malice, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Kate Quinn is a great author for anyone who likes historical fiction with strong female leads. The Rose Code is set during World War II and revolves around the work done by the women at Bletchley Park. Read this, and then look for Quinn’s new book, The Diamond Eye, coming out in March 2022

  

Winter’s Orbit is science-fiction but combines the intrigue of a thriller and the passion of a romance. An arranged marriage between a prince and a diplomat is meant to strengthen alliances, but suspicions of conspiracy and murder force the new husbands to lay aside their own secrets and work together. The only non-fiction book on this year’s list, Crossing the Line tells about brothers from a disadvantaged neighborhood who find their passion in the sport of polo.

Although I’ve only read 2 of these books, so far, they all sound great for both teens and adults! You can find the titles from previous Alex Awards at https://www.ala.org/yalsa/alex-awards.

We don’t have all of these books yet, but we’ll do our best to get the book you want, if you just let us know!

The Newbery Medal Turns 100

The most prestigious American award in the world of children’s literature is the John Newbery Medal. 2022 will mark the 100th time this award has been given to the author of the year’s most distinguished children’s book. It was the first children’s book award in the world, and today the selection process is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ASLC). The 2022 Newbery Medal will be announced on Monday, January 24th as part of the Youth Media Awards.

Through the years, the committees selecting the Newbery winners have truly highlighted some exceptional books for kids. There has also been a fair amount of controversy, and there have been years when librarians have groused that the wrong book was selected. Since selection as the Newbery Medal winner often means that the chosen book will stay in print for many years, another topic that is often raised today is the question of how to deal with books that have racial stereotypes or other matter that is unacceptable today. I guess you can state with certainty that librarians just like to discuss books! You can find a complete list of Newbery Medal winners and also the Newbery Honor books here.

Here are a few of my favorite Newbery medal books:

I read the 2021 winner When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller and loved it!

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

From 2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

In 2004, Kate DiCamillo took home the gold with The Tale of Despereaux.

She also won the Newbery Medal in 2014 for Flora & Ulysses.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Lois Lowry also has two Newbery Medals, winning in 1994 for The Giver (You should read the book, even if you disliked the movie!) and in 1990 for Number the Stars.

                          The Giver by Lois Lowry Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I love the characters E. L. Konigsburg created in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,

the story of two children who run away to New York City and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Konigsburg won Newbery gold 29 years later for The View from Saturday in 1997.From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Do you have a favorite Newbery Medal book? Or do you have a favorite book that you think should have won the medal? Let us know below, and be sure to check back after January 24th to see the 2022 winner!

Update from 1/25/22: The Newbery Award for 2022 goes to The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. I didn’t expect that! It sort of slipped in under the radar, but sounds great. Copies have been ordered. This title also won the Pura Belpre Award for best book representing Hispanic culture.

Discover Cincinnati

Cincinnati is Beautiful Mural

As the nearest major metropolitan area, many of our patrons have grown up thinking of Cincinnati as their second home.  We follow the wins and losses of the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals.  We shop and dine in Cincinnati, enjoy the arts in Cincinnati, and feel a little pride when someone from Cincinnati achieves success.  Yet, how much do we really know about the origins of this city we love like it’s our own?

The land on which Cincinnati now lies once belonged to a group we refer to as the Fort Ancient Culture, descendants of both the Adena Culture and Hopewell Culture.  Spanning from 1,000 to 1,750 CE, Fort Ancient was an egalitarian culture of hunters and farmers, with primary food sources including black bear, elk, white tail deer, beans, squash, and maize.  Their pottery was made with a coiling technique, and the main material used in tools was stone.

Fort Ancient artifacts have been found in a number of sites in what is now the Cincinnati area, including the Clough Creek and Sand Run Archaeological District (along the Little Miami River), the now-closed Turpin Site (less than 2 miles away and further east from the river), and the State Line Archaeological District (surrounding the Ohio/Indiana border by US 50).

Throughout most of the 1700s, the ancestors of the modern Miami and Shawnee Native American tribes lived on land that encompasses Cincinnati’s current borders.  In 1787, Benjamin Stites of New Jersey explored the newly formed Northwest Territory and advised his friend and former member of the Continental Congress, John Cleves Symmes, to purchase land there.  Symmes did his own exploration and was enticed by the land between the Great Miami and Little Miami Rivers.

Symmes returned home and formed a land development company called the Miami Company.  In August of 1788, he and his wealthy associates petitioned Congress to let them purchase the land he had scouted.  About 515 square miles were bought in what has been referred to as both the Symmes Purchase and the Miami Purchase, and the land makes up modern-day Hamilton, Butler, and Warren Counties.

Three settlements promptly arose in the region: Columbia, North Bend, and Losantiville.  As more European settlers filtered into the area, land conflicts arose between the settlers and the native tribes.  In January 1795, negotiations began for a treaty in which both parties ceded control of certain areas, while still allowing the Native Americans to hunt to the south and east of the boundary line and the Europeans to establish trading posts to the north and west.  This Treaty of Greeneville was signed on August 3, 1795 by the Miami and Shawnee tribes of the current Cincinnati area, along with the Chippewa, Delaware, Eel River, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Ottawa, Piankashaw, Potawatomi, Wea, and Wyandot tribes.

By the time of the Treaty of Greeneville, the central settlement of Losantiville had been called Cincinnati for five years.  Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, renamed the settlement on January 4, 1790 after the Society of the Cincinnati, a fraternal, hereditary society celebrating the achievement of American independence.  The society, in turn, was named after Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a Roman who lived from about 519-430 BCE and temporarily was appointed as dictator to handle a war emergency.  Cincinnatus became a legendary figure of civic virtue, a dedication to the common welfare even at the expense of individual interests.

January displays at both the Aurora Public Library and Dillsboro Public Library feature photographs from and books about Cincinnati, where you can learn how the city was shaped from these early beginnings through the present day.  Some of the books available include:

The Bicentennial Guide to Greater Cincinnati: a Portrait of Two Hundred Years by Geoffrey J. Giglierano  Cincinnati On the Go: History of Mass Transit by Allen J. Singer  Lost Cincinnati by Jeff Suess

Cincinnati: Steeples, Streets, and Steps by Caroline Williams   Cincinnati Moments: a Celebration of Photographs from the Cincinnati Enquirer by Cliff Radel  Best Hikes Cincinnati: The Greatest Views, Wildlife, and Forest Strolls - Molloy, Johnny

The Big Pig Gig: Celebrating Pigs in the City, Cincinnati, Covington, Newport

You can place these books on hold by logging in to your online library account using your library card barcode and PIN, or by calling the library at (812) 926-0646 for Aurora or (812) 954-4151 for Dillsboro.

Don’t Overlook These Children’s Series

If you only look for the “new” books on the library shelves, you might miss some of the series that were popular ten or fifteen years ago (or even longer). Although not every book or series ages well, there are many that stand up well in comparison to our newest books. That may be especially true about fantasy series. Here are some fantasy series for elementary and middle school kids that will bring hours of reading enjoyment. Remember, you can also ask a library staff member for help if you need a book suggestion!

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Ted Diterlizzi and Holly Black

 

The Spiderwick Chronicles were written by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black and follow the adventures of the Grace children who discover a world of fairies. There were 5 books in the original series and three in the spin-off series Beyond the Spiderwick. These series are great for kids who want to read fantasy, but who aren’t ready for really long, complicated books.

 

 

The High King by Lloyd Alexander

 

 

Lloyd Alexander was a prolific writer of fantasy books during the 1960s and 1970s. His Chronicles of  Prydain drew heavily from the legends of King Arthur and Welsh mythology. One book of the series was named as a Newbery Honor book and another won the Newbery Medal. Don’t let the well-worn covers stop you; these books have just been loved by several generations of kids.

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

 

 

 

The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan has always reminded me of The Lord of the Rings, probably because of  the Rangers. The series follows the adventures of Will, an orphan who is chosen as an apprentice Ranger, and includes skilled trackers, archers, and warriors in the service of the King of Araluen. Will strives to keep the Kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors, and threats. There was also a prequel series and a spin-off series.

 

 

 

The Inkworld trilogy  by Cornelia Funke explores the question of what might happen if characters could come out of our storybooks.

  Inkheart by Cornelia Funke    Inkspell by Cornelia Funke  Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

In The Five Kingdoms series, Cole Randolph sees his friends whisked away to some mysterious place underneath a haunted house and he dives in after them. They end up in the Outskirts, five kingdoms that lie between wakefulness and dreaming, reality and imagination, life and death. With the magic of the Outskirts starting to unravel, it’s up to Cole and an unusual girl named Mira to rescue his friends.

Sky Raiders by Brandon Mull Rogue Knight by Brandon Mull Crystal Keepers by Brandon Mull

Step into these fantasy worlds, but hang on to your hat! You’re bound for some exciting adventures.

 

 

Teen Board Game Night!

 

Do you love board games? Looking to meet some new friends? Or maybe just looking for a place to hang out and stay out of the winter weather this January? Come to the Aurora Public Library and play some fun board games with others on January 25th at 6 pm! This month’s board game is Muffin Time, an energetic, quirky card game where the goal is to be the first player with 10 cards. But be warned, the other players are out to get you with the help of their own cards of sabotage and mass destruction!

Snacks and drinks will be provided (featuring muffins of all varieties, of course), as well as other popular board games to choose from. This program is open to anyone 13-18 years of age. No registration is required. Bring all your friends and get ready for Muffin Time!

January Take-It Make-It

Beginning on Monday, January 3rd, we will have a brand new Take-It, Make-It craft available at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries! Take-It, Make-It activities are crafts that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! Stop by the Aurora or Dillsboro Library anytime in January to pick up the supplies to make your very own Paper Bag Snowman Puppet!

Best of 2021

Our patrons checked around 40,000 books, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and DVDs in 2021! That’s a lot of reading, watching, and listening! Here are the items people checked out the most in 2021!

CD

The CD section includes both Adult Fiction and Nonfiction Audiobooks. Our patrons checked these items out around 300 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Stone Cold by Cj Box

#2 Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger

#3 The Pursuit of Pearls by Jane Thynne

DVD

The DVD section includes both films and tv series. Our patrons checked these items out around 4,000 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 News of the World

#2 The Croods: A New Age

#3 Honest Thief

E

The E section includes easy picture books. It does not include board books, easy chapter books, or ABC books. Our patrons checked these items out over 6,000 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 The Big Island Race by Meredith Rusu

#2 Click, Clack, Good Night by Doreen Cronin

#3 Bear Can’t Wait by Karma Wilson

FIC

The FIC section includes both paperback and hardback Adult Fiction books. Our patrons checked these items out over 6,500 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Neighbors by Danielle Steel

#2 Deadly Cross by James Patterson

#3 Dark Sky by C.J. Box

JFIC

The JFIC section include both paperback and hardback Juvenile Fiction books. These items were checked out over 2,500 times. The most popular items were:

#1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

#2 Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey

#3 Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey

LP

The LP section includes Large Print Fiction and Nonfiction books. These items were checked out over 1,500 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown

#2 The Dirty South by John Connolly

#3 A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber

MAG

The Mag sections includes all Magazines. These items were checked out over 1,000 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 People

#2 Taste of Home

#3 Time

NF

The NF section includes all Adult Nonfiction books including Oversized and Biographies. These items were checked out over 1,500 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Till Murder Do Us Part by James Patterson

#2 ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell

#3 Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta

TFIC

The TFIC section includes both paperback and hardcover Teen Fiction books and Graphic Novels. These items were checked out over 900 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

#2 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

#3 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

There you have it! The most popular items of 2021! Have you read these titles yet? You can place a hold* on these items by clicking on the link, selecting “Place Hold,” and signing in with your library card number and pin. You can also call us at 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and we will place a hold for you!

*Holds cannot be placed on DVDs.