Reading for a Book Challenge

One of the advantages of Book Clubs and Reading Challenges is that we are encouraged to read books we wouldn’t normally pick up. For the past few years, members of my family have participated in a Reading Challenge we downloaded from https://www.popsugar.com/. Each year, the website publishes a list of approximately 40 book categories, some of which are actually quite ridiculous. On January 1st, it’s game on!

My go-to genre is historical fiction, so here are some of the other books I’ve read this year to fulfill the Reading Challenge.

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith                        Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh

        Set in Scandinavia                                                                    An Asian author

The Wall by John Lanchester                   The Music Room by Namita Devidayal 

      A Climate-Change novel                                                            A book written by a musician

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon                      Circe by Madeline Miller

        Takes place in a single day                                                            Based on mythology

The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll                             Sweet Caress by William Boyd

Recommended by a celebrity I admire                                         Title contains the word “sweet”

All of these turned out to be great reads even if they were different from my normal choices. I’ve also had fun comparing notes with other family members working on the same challenge!

What have you read this year that was a stretch for you? Have you discovered an interest in a new genre? Pass the word along, so we can try it, too.

Book Series Spotlight: Gone

This blog post was written by Brett Weaver, a college student who has been working at the Aurora Public Library District this summer, getting a behind-the-scenes look at Public Library service.

Are you a fan of the terror and suspense that comes from Stephen King novels? Or do you prefer the action and adventure that comes from an X-Men film? Then again, perhaps you are looking for something thought-provoking and themed around survival, like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies? While the library contains a fine selection of all three works, what if I were to tell you that there was a single book series that contained all three concepts, as well as so much more? If that sounds interesting, then look no further than Michael Grant’s Gone series.

Hunger by Michael Grant     Lies by Michael Grant

Set in a fictionalized Southern California town, Grant takes readers through the experience of what happens to the population of the town’s average teenage population, as well as the nearby teens of a private school for “troubled” youth, when all the residents older than fourteen disappear without a trace. Cut off from the outside world by a mysterious force-field, with no power, no internet, and little food, lines are quickly drawn and sides are quickly chosen as some of the teens attempt to figure out what happened to the adults, while also keeping themselves alive. Oh, and some of the kids develop superpowers. Did I mention the superpowers?

Plague by Michael Grant      Fear by Michael Grant    Light by Michael Grant

New in Non-Fiction

Maybe you’ve noticed that we’ve been adding a lot of new non-fiction books to our collection lately. The role of non-fiction books in public libraries has evolved in the past thirty years, with fewer people using print reference books, but with many people still reading popular non-fiction for pleasure or in support of a hobby. We try to purchase books from a variety of viewpoints (politics, anyone?) and buy many of the books on current best-seller lists. We are always open to suggestions, so don’t be shy about making recommendations! If there is a particular area of the collection that you think we need to update, feel free to let us know.

Here’s a sampling of the non-fiction titles currently on the New Shelf at one of our branches. We don’t always buy a copy for each branch, so once you scroll past the images, I’ll explain a way to see the new non-fiction at “the other branch”.

The Weather Machine by Andrew Blum Unfreedom of the Press by Mark R. Levin The Stressed Years of Their Lives by Hibbs and Rostain The Last Pirate of New York by Rich Cohen

The Idle Beekeeper by Bill Anderson The Family Next Door by John Glatt Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz A Tree in the House by Annabelle Hickson

Rough Magic by Lara Prior Palmer Reading Behind Bars by Jill Grunenwald One-Stitch Baby Knits by Val Pierce On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger

Grow Your Own Herbs by Selsinger and Tucker Gather at the River by various authors Furious Hours by Casey Cep Chaos by Tom O'Neill

Down From the Mountain by Bryce Andrews  Blended Embroidery by Brian Haggard Beneath the Tamarind Sky by Isha Sesay Ballpark by Paul Goldberger

Basic Welding by William Galvery    Songs of America by Meacham and McGraw   Macrame for Home Decor by Samantha Grenier

There are actual two simple ways to search for new items that may not be at your regular branch. First, starting from the home page (https://eapld.org/), in the Search frame on the right-side of the page, select On-Line Catalog and hit “Go!” without entering a search term. This gets you into the catalog. You should see a tab labeled “New at the Library”. Click on that, and you can scroll through all the items added in the last couple of weeks.

Another method is to use the “Classic Catalog”. Again, starting from the home page (https://eapld.org/), in the Search frame, click on “Looking for the Classic Catalog.” Under the heading Classic Catalog, click on “Submit” without entering a search term. Follow the rest of these steps to locate new non-fiction:

  • Click “Search”.
  • Click on the “New” tab and select a time period in the box called “Received Since”.
  • Click “Set Limits” and scroll through the collection box to find “Non-Fiction.”
  • Select “All Branches”, “Aurora”, or “Dillsboro”, and hit “OK”
  • When it takes you back to the orange “New” screen, just click on “Search”
  • You should have a list of the newest Non-Fiction items at your chosen branch.

Happy Reading!

School Stress

 

Making Choices and Making Friends

Growing FriendshipsSometimes, as adults, we forget how stressful school can be for children and teens. We never want to see our children struggle with social skills, educational challenges, or other school-related stresses. In addition to asking for advice from your child’s teacher, the library also has some resources to help you and your kids learn how to develop the assets they need to succeed in school.

Some of these titles are only available at the Aurora Public Library, but we’re always happy to send items to the Dillsboro Public Library, if that is more convenient for you.

How to Do Homework Without Throwing Up    Speak Up and Get Along!   Stress Can Really Get on Your Nerves

True or False? Tests Stink!   Proud to be YouCliques, Phonies, and Other Baloney

Pens, Pencils, and Crayons!

As kids and teachers prepare to get back to the classroom, I’d like to recommend a group of picture books featuring witty and wise writing implements. In addition to just being fun books to read, I can also see these as great springboards to “What If?” questions. What if a school bus could tell stories? What if the chalkboard giggled every time a teacher wrote on it? What if your writing paper refused to sit still?

Have you ever wondered how your crayons feel about the things you color? Does the blue crayon enjoy being used down to a nub coloring all that sky? Who knew it was so hard to be only used at Halloween? The “Day the Crayons” books take you into the inner world of the crayon box!

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt    The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt

The Little Red Pen by award-winning author Janet Stevens is a story of the dramatic rescue of a pen from a wastebasket. In a clever twist on Little Red Riding Hood, Little Red Writing  is trying to write an exciting story, but has to face the ravenous pencil sharpener, the Wolf 3000.

The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens    Little Red Writing by Joan Holub

All of these books celebrate creativity, empathy, and cooperation. Read a few with your children or students, and then put pencil to paper to create your own story and illustrations.

Making Friends is an Art! by Julia Cook     My Crayons Talk by Patricia Hubbard

The Pencil by Allan Ahlberg    Linus the Little Yellow Pencil by Scott Magoon

Steamboat’s a Comin’!

Step back in time as singer and storyteller Kevin Stonerock takes you on a grand adventure of story, song and first person living history about life on the Ohio River from the frontier era through the glorious age of steam. Kevin will be presenting “Steamboat’s a Comin’!” at the Aurora Public Library on Tuesday evening, June 18th, beginning at 7 p.m.

In addition to song and story, the audience will meet four rollicking river characters (portrayed by Kevin), including a keelboat man, a steamboat passenger on the J. M. White, a showboat barker from the 1890’s and steamboat captain Ebenezer Cline. This program is appropriate for all ages, but especially suited to adult audiences.

Kevin Stonerock began performing more than 30 years ago and has never stopped. From stage to television, from coffeehouse to concert hall, Kevin has entertained and captivated audiences from Cape Cod to Los Angeles. A consummate professional, his performing philosophy and work ethic is simple  – “Always be prepared and leave it all on the stage”.

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.