Talk About Aurora History Aurora High School

The building known today as the Aurora Recreational Community Center began its history as the Aurora High School.  Construction began in 1934 and the first class to graduate was 1935.  Through the years as a school this building had two new additions and two major fires.

*Have you ever wondered why the ball fields next to the school were called Taylor’s Fields?

*Who was the last person to graduate from the school?

*Why were there dead spots in the school’s gym?

These and many more answers will be revealed in the new season of the 2020 Talk About Aurora History when the history of the Aurora High School will be the topic of discussion.

Due to an expected larger than normal attendance, the Aurora High School program will be held at the Aurora High School Museum, 232 Main Street in Aurora.

Talk About Aurora History is a roundtable discussion held several times a year at the Local History Library @ The Depot located at 510 Second Street.  This very successful program is free, begins at 6:00 and is open to the public.  This program has become an interesting event for those who are local history buffs and is also helpful to those new to the community searching for details of Aurora.  In addition, it provides humor as the attendees share their own folklore.  New topic suggestions are always welcome.

Aurora High School

Tuesday March 24, 2020

6:00 PM

Please, come and join us for an educational and entertaining evening.

 

 

 

 

 

Lesser Known Dr. Seuss Books

March 2nd is National Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday! What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss than by curling up with one of his many books. Here’s a list of some of his lesser-known stories that you can check out right here at APLD!

 

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

In this delightful tale, young Marco allows his imagination to run riot as he travels home from school one day, to the extent that a horse and cart is soon transformedinto a chaotic carnival of colourful creatures.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

What a lot of hats Bartholomew has in this imaginative and clever tale! Find out what happens when the king asks him to remove them…one by one.

The King’s Stilts

When the King’s stilts are stolen and hidden, and he can no longer enjoy his play hour, the whole kingdom is threatened with destruction until a page boy bravely saves the day.

McElligot’s Pool

This entertaining tale tells of a puddle full of promise, where Marco’s beautiful, imaginary fish come to life. Who knows what fantastic creatures might swim in McElligot’s Pool!

Thidwick: The Big-Hearted Moose

Poor Thidwick’s generosity proves the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, and soon everyone, from a tiny Bingle Bug to a huge bear, is taking advantage of our antlered hero.

Scrambled Eggs Super!

When it comes to scrambling eggs, Peter T. Hooper needs something super special for his super-dee-dooper dish! And only the most interesting and exciting eggs from around the world will do…

On Beyond Zebra

Packed with all the essential ingredients that have made Dr. Seuss so well-loved over the last 50 years – riotous rhyme, bizarre creatures, zany artwork, off-the-wall humour – On Beyond Zebra is vintage Seuss at its very best.


 

Novels About Art or Artists

The books shown here provide an interesting twist on historical fiction by focusing on the creation of a well-known painting or on the life of an actual artist.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland is one of the best-known authors for this type of fiction. Her web page explains her love for art and contains her personal “Pledge to Art.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant   A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline   The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen

Let your mind be immersed in another time and place while you learn about the inspiration behind these great masterpieces and artists.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier   The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein   Girl Reading by Katie Ward

If you have another favorite art-inspired novel, let us know!

Espionage Thrillers

There’s just nothing like a great spy novel to get your heart racing and the pages turning! Of course, the espionage genre is filled with unforgettable classics by authors like John Le Carre, Graham Greene, Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum.  However, the authors writing spy novels today can hold their own with even the best of these well-known novelists. Check out these titles, all written in the last ten years. There’s a lot of variety in the settings, including World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and post 9/11. I hope you will find at least one new author to love.

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer  Mission to Paris by Alan Furst  The Moroccan Girl by Charles Cummings

Moscow Sting by Ales Dryden  The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk  An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews  Red Star Falling by Brian Freemantle  Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry  Too Bad to Die by Francine Mathews  The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

Young Philby by Robert Littell  Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon  The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Let us know which spy is your favorite!

“Most spies were amateurs: frustrated revolutionaries of the left or right, people who wanted the imaginary glamour of espionage, greedy men or lovesick women or blackmail victims. The few professionals were very dangerous indeed; they were not merciful men.”
Ken Follett, Eye of the Needle

Sweet Chariot by Virginia Rep on Tour

You’re invited to a FREE public performance of Sweet Chariot, presented by the Virginia Repertory Theatre on Tour. The play will be held at the Aurora City Park Pavilion on Thursday, February 27th at 11:00 AM.

Virginia Rep’s production of Sweet Chariot shares the narratives of the ex-enslaved, as told to WPA writers. These stories were compiled in the‘Slave Narrative Collection’. Over two thousand interviews with former enslaved people were conducted in seventeen states during the years 1936-38. Virginia Rep combines these first-hand accounts of life as an enslaved person and emancipation with enslaved spirituals to recreate a world of longing and hope in Sweet Chariot.

The spirituals not only held religious meaning for African-American enslaved people, they also served as a means of communication, especially along the Underground Railroad. Through spirituals that served as coded messages, enslaved people could issue a warning to others or communicate plans for escape or uprising. The play asks, “Did you make history today?” Enrich your history by experiencing the rich historical narratives and spirituals that tell the stories of African-American enslaved people in Sweet Chariot.

Call of the Wild: an American Classic

Hollywood often turns to literature for inspiration. In the past two months we’ve seen new versions of Little Women and Dr. Doolittle. The newest adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild will be released in theaters on February 21st and looks very promising. Call of the Wild is a very short novel; it was first published in four installments in the Saturday Evening Post. That makes it a great book to read with your family before seeing the film!

Jack London had spent a year in the Yukon at the height of the gold rush, and he wrote Call of the Wild after returning to California. He sold the publishing rights in 1903 and the book has been in print ever since.

The book is obviously in the genre of animal fiction, but Call of the Wild by Jack Londoncan also be looked at as a hero story, and it follows the example of other American classics like Huckleberry Finn in its depiction of a hero returning to nature.

White Fang by Jack London

 

After reading Call of the Wild, you’ll want to also check out London’s other dog story, White Fang.

 

Together We Read

The Aurora Public Library District joins nearly 16,000 libraries and thousands of readers across the country in offering the first Together We Read: US digital book club selection. From February 19–March 4, Aurora Public Library District patrons can enjoy and discuss award-winning author Pat Simmons’ new Lean on Me romance e-book for free with no waitlists or holds. Readers can access the e-book with a valid library card by visiting https://iddc.overdrive.com/iddc-aurora/content or by downloading the Libby app, and then can participate in a discussion with other readers online.

Lean on Me tells the story of Tabitha Knicely, a woman overwhelmed with sorrow and exhaustion caring for her beloved great-aunt, whose dementia is getting worse. When her neighbor Marcus Whittington accuses Tabitha of elder neglect, he doesn’t realize how his threats to have Aunt Tweet taken away add to Tabitha’s pain. Then Marcus gets to know the exuberant elderly lady and sees up close how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together. Tabitha finds herself leaning on Marcus more, and he’s becoming more than happy to share her burdens.

The Together We Read: US digital book club connects readers in America through public libraries with the same e-book at the same time. This two-week program only requires an Aurora Public Library District card  and PIN to get started.

The Struggle for Civil Rights

The fight for Civil Rights in America is a continuing struggle, but it’s often difficult to know how to discuss these issues with our children. Here are some resources from the Aurora Public Library District that can help you on that path. Click on each picture to see the full description of the book in our online catalog. Some of my choices are for young children and others are more appropriate for older students, but reading the descriptions or clicking on the “Reviews” link for that book will often show you a recommended age level.

The quotations on this blog post are all from the book Powerful Words: More than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African-Americans.

Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson

 

 

“… however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in situation or colour, we are all of the same family…”        Benjamin Banneker in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1791

 

 

 

 

 

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells by Philip Dray

 

 

 

” The student of American sociology will find the year 1894 marked by a pronounced awakening of the public conscience to a system of anarchy and outlawry which has grown during a series of ten years to be so common, that scenes of unusual brutality failed to have any visible effect upon the humane sentiments of the people of our land.”

Ida B. Wells in A Red Record, 1895

 

 

 

Remember by Toni Morrison  A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson

“…the Fourteenth Amendment prevents states from according differential treatment to American children on the basis of their color or race.”   – Thurgood Marshall in Brown vs. Board of Education, 1953

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni   Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds

“I was determined to achieve the total freedom that our history lessons taught us we were entitled to, no matter what the sacrifice.”    – Rosa Parks in Rosa Parks: My Story

Don't Hold Me Back by Winfred Rembert   Spies of Mississippi by Rick Bowers

“My right and privilege to stand here before you has been won – won in my lifetime – by the blood and the sweat of the innocent.”    – Jesse Jackson, 1988

When Thunder Comes by J. Patrick Lewis Martin & Mahalia by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

“Now, more than ever before, America is challenged to bring her noble dream into reality, and those who are working to implement the American dream are the true saviors of democracy.”   – Martin Luther King, 1961

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? by Chris Barton

 

 

 

“We are attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal.”   – Barbara Jordan, 1976

 

 

 

Love Your Library and Love Your Community

February is National Library Lovers Month, and we’re asking you to show your love by donating cans of food to the Aurora Public Library District. For each item you bring in, we’ll reduce any outstanding fines on your library account by $1.00. Then, we’ll spread the love by donating the food to a local food pantry. Food items must not be expired, and cans must be undented and have a label.

As most of you know, outstanding fines or fees in excess of $5.00 prevent you from checking out Library materials. That makes us sad, so this is a great way to clear some of those pesky fines and to get back the ability to make full use of the Library’s wonderful resources. Fines for late, lost, or damaged items can be reduced through this program. Fees for printing, earbuds, Inter-Library Loans, PLAC cards, or non-resident cards cannot be reduced by bringing in food items.

Please pass the word to anyone you know who may have outstanding fines, so they can start using the library again!

We will be accepting donations through Saturday, February 29th.