Medicare 101

You may be counting on it, but do you really understand Medicare? What are your benefits? What are Part A vs. Part  B vs. Part C? How much does it cost? The Aurora Public Library District has an opportunity for you to learn more about this important government program!

Chantel Lang will be conducting informational programs for the community at two different times and locations in April. These presentations are not “sales pitches”, but are a chance for you or your family members to learn more about your options, so you can have a better plan for your retirement years. Spread the word to anyone who might be interested, but advance registration is required.

The dates and times for these programs are:Health Care Insurance graphic

Dillsboro Public Library – Saturday April 27th from 11 am – noon

Aurora Public Library – Tuesday, April 30th from 6:30-7:30 pm

You can register to attend one of these programs by calling the library at 812-926-0646.

Rick Riordan Presents

Since 2005, the year The Lightning Thief was published, author Rick Riordan has enthralled young readers with his adventure stories based on characters interacting with mythological beings. The Percy Jackson series and the Heroes of Olympus series focused on Greek mythology, the Kane Chronicles looked at Egyptian mythology, and the Magnus Chase series was based on Norse mythology. All of these books had kids running to library shelves to keep up with the newest adventure.

Riordan has now launched a new publishing venture known as “Rick Riordan Presents” with the goal of introducing readers to other authors who are writing mythology-based books for students. These books place the spotlight on some lesser-known mythologies  and have been selected to satisfy even the most ardent Percy Jackson fans.

Aru Shah and the End of Time introduces Hindu mythology. A sequel will be published in April of 2019.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Maya legends play a major role in Storm Runner by Jennifer Cervantes, with a sequel scheduled for September 2019.

Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes

Dragon Pearl, the third “Rick Riordan Presents” title, was released this month and pulls themes and events from Korean legends.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Explore the richness of world cultures with these newest myth-based adventure stories!

Here Be Dragons

What kid (or adult) doesn’t like dragons? Our collection of chapter books for kids is full of dragon adventures, including several on-going series.

Two of our most popular “dragon” authors are Tracey West and Tui Sutherland.

The Dragon Masters series by Tracey West begins with Rise of the Earth Dragon and Saving the Sun Dragon. These are relatively short chapter books and are great for kids looking for fast, exciting stories.

Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West  Saving the Sun Dragon by Tracey West

Tui Sutherland is the writer of the Wings of Fire series which started with The Dragonet Prophecy and The Lost Heir. These books have a little higher reading level and would be perfect for 4th grade and up. New books are still being added to both of these series.

The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland   The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland

Many kids are already familiar with the How to Tame Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell, because of the movies based on the series. The next sequel hits movie theaters in February 2019, so this is a great time to get started with the books.

How to Tame Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell   How to Be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell

Other great dragon series include The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey   Eragon by Christopher Paolini

If you and your family prefer e-books or audio-books, many of these titles are also available in those formats through our Digital Downloads link.

MLK for All Ages

As we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 21, 2019, why not check out a book to read with your family? Here are some of my favorites to share with kids and teens. Although children are taught about the famous civil rights leader at school, reading as a family can reinforce the values of courage, sacrifice, and non-violent activism.

For the youngest children, these books by Margaret McNamara and Jean Marzollo give simple explanations of the annual holiday celebrating King’s life.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara   Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo

I love to share Martin’s Big Words, written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Bryan Collier. It summarizes King’s life with emphasis on the power of his words. My favorite King quote from the book is “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It’s a very moving book, but told in a way that will connect with even young children.

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport

For slightly older children, I have a Dream contains excerpts from the famous speech and is illustrated by Kadir Nelson. Martin & Mahalia takes a unique approach by exploring the intersection of the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Written by Andrea Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney, the book concludes with Jackson’s performance and King’s speech at the March on Washington.

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr, illustrated by Kadir Nelson   Martin& Mahalia: His Words, Her Song

The illustrators of the previous three books are certainly among the most highly respected of children’s book illustrators. Together, Nelson, Pinkney, and Collier have won eight Caldecott Honor Awards and numerous Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards.

The next four books get progressively more difficult in reading level, but are well worth reading.

Free at Last!: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Angela Bull   I've Seen the Promised Land by Walter Dean Myers

The following books by Tonya Bolden and Russell Freedman were written for teens, but are also great for adult readers.

M.L.K.: Journey of a King by Tonya Bolden   Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman

One last suggestion would be to check out this title which contains audio files of many of King’s most famous speeches. Choose one to listen to as a family, and you might be surprised to have family members ask to hear more! You can find this item upstairs at the Aurora Public Library in the room with the audio-books.

A Call to Conscience: The Landmark Speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Become an Armchair Traveler

The long nights and gloomy weather of January and February always make me dream of being someplace else. Winter is a perfect time to snuggle up in a comfortable chair and read about exotic locales. Whether you are planning your next trip or just wanting to live vicariously, these titles are just what you need to satisfy your wanderlust. The books shown below are all published in the last ten years, but you can’t go wrong with older books by authors like Paul Theroux or Bill Bryson.

Starting in Asia, here’s a quick trip around the world in recent travel books. There are many wonderful books out there, so if we don’t have what you want to read, be sure to let us know!

Walking the Kiso Road by William Scott Wilson

Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis

 

Learn about a historic route through the mountains of Japan in Walking the Kiso Road : a Modern-Day Exploration of Old Japan by William Scott Wilson.

 

Fans of Wild by Cheryl Strayed will enjoy Wild by Nature, a memoir about one woman’s hike across the Gobi Desert.

 

 

 

To the Moon and Timbuktu by Nina SovichItalian Ways by Tim Parks

Trips do not always proceed according to plan, but Nina Sovich persists in To the Moon and  Timbuktu: a Trek through the Heart of Africa.

There’s just something magical about traveling by train. Experience the beauty of Italy in Italian Ways : On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo by Tim Parks. For a classic railway book, try Ghost Train to the Eastern Star : On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux.

 

 

 

The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill BrysonWalking the Americas by Levison Wood

 

You may know Bill Bryson best from A Walk in the Woods, a memoir about hiking the Appalachian Trial. In Road to Little Dribbling, Bryson rediscovers the joys of  Britain.

 

Hop back across the Atlantic for three books that explore Central and South America.

 

 

 

The Wonder Trail by Steve Hely

All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith

 

In her travels through Latin America, Amy Elizabeth Smith uses the universal appreciation of Jane Austen to explore the themes that unite us across cultures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to head north with The Longest Road by Philip Caputo. Ride along in his aging pickup as he drives all the way from Key West to the Arctic Circle.

One last epic adventure awaits in Kings of the Yukon : One Summer Paddling Across the Far North by Adam Weymouth.

Happy traveling!

 

 

Ideas for Snow Days

It’s that time of year again where we all need a little help with the snow days. This article from January 2017 has some great ideas!


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!

     

 

Originally Posted on January 2017. 

Kids Love Non-Fiction!

You’ve probably noticed changes in our library buildings as we’ve rearranged some of our collections. The biggest change is that we have created an area for children’s non-fiction books at both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library. We want kids to be able to find books that interest them more easily, without having to search through shelves that also have the “adult” stuff. We’ve also been adding some great new titles to keep our collection current and interesting. In this area, you’ll find everything from coding to science, from sign language to sports, and from religion to music. As always, we’re here to help you find what you and your children are interested in!

There are advantages to reading a mixture of books types, both fiction and non-fiction. Letting your child’s interests guide the selection is always a great way to keep them engaged with books. Here are a couple of interesting articles about reading non-fiction. The first is from a father’s perspective – how he discovered that non-fiction satisfied his daughter’s desire to learn about the world around her. The second article is from an educational perspective and discusses how reading non-fiction can increase comprehension of complex texts.

Here are some of our newest titles, but you really need to stop by and let your kids browse the collection to spark their interest!

Technology and science books are always popular, and we have lots of science project books to keep the kids busy during school breaks.

Drones by Elsie Olson

Science Maker Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Scientists in the Field” series is great for older students and even adults. Each title in the series focuses on the work being done by scientists in a particular field.

Backyard Bears by Amy Cherrix

Read about a favorite athlete, or learn new techniques for playing a sport.

Aaron Judge by Jon M. Fishman  Breanna Stewart by Jon M. Fishman  My First Soccer Handbook by Clive Gifford

From domestic to exotic, we have everything you need to know about animals!

Baby Animals by Dorothea DepriscoSugar Gliders by Paula M. Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baking with kids encourages reading, teaches math skills, and leads to a healthy appetite!Good Housekeeping Kids Bake!

 

Explore the past with our great history books. In addition to The Underground Railroad, Kay Winter’s Voices series also includes Colonial Voices and Voices from the Oregon Trail.

   Machu Picchu by Christina Leaf     Voices from the Underground Railroad by Kay Winters

Wonderful New Picture Books

We have added some amazing picture books to our collection in the last few months! Many of these are from authors and illustrators who are the superstars of children’s literature – well-loved by parents and librarians everywhere. Others were created by authors who may be new to you, but whose work you’ll certainly want to start following. Here are some of my favorites, but you’ll want to come to the library and explore all the other great items on the “New” shelf.

Tessa Takes Wing by Richard Jackson

 

How can you keep from smiling when you see this adorable baby? Have you ever wondered what babies do when everyone else is asleep? If you are not familiar with Richard Jackson, I also recommend his books All Ears, All Eyes and This Beautiful Day.

 

 

A Parade of Elephants by Keven Henkes

 

 

 

A Parade of Elephants is every bit as charming as the rest of Kevin Henkes’ picture books. You may know him as the author of Lilly’s Purple, Plastic Purse, but he’s written a long list of both picture books and chapter books for kids. For your older kids, check out Junonia and The Year of Billy Miller.

 

The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett

 

 

Jan Brett is another author whose books are always popular. The Snowy Nap reintroduces the title character from Hedgie’s Surprise (written in 2000) and is a perfect book to snuggle up with on a cold day. Brett continues her practice of using border illustrations to give a hint of what’s coming on the next page.

 

 

I loved I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony, so I was delighted to see another book about Mr. Panda. Who can resist another cute bedtime story?

 

Giraffe Problems by Jory John

 

 

 

 

 

The creative team that brought us Penguin Problems in 2016 is back with a story of a giraffe who can’t figure out what to do with his long neck!

 

Chomp Goes the Alligator by Matthew Van Fleet

 

 

 

 

Chomp Goes the Alligator is sure to become a favorite of preschoolers. It features counting, rhymes, and a movable alligator jaw!

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

 

 

 

 

 

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson is perfect to share with any child who has ever experienced being different or outside of a group. Woodson’s words are always affirming and the illustrations by Rafael Lopez are vibrant and expressive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein

 

 

The “Interrupting Chicken” is back! In this follow-up book, the young chicken is enjoying books with an “elephant of surprise”! This is one of those great picture books for kids who may be old enough to read independently, but who can really enjoy the humor caused by this misunderstanding.