Reaching and Reading

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!

Becky’s Favorite Villains and Heroes In Literature

Villains that I LOVE to hate:

Mrs. Danvers in “Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Mrs. Danvers is at the top of my favorite villain list because she is the epitome of creepy. This sinister housekeeper is always lurking around the Manderley estate. Mrs. Danvers has kept a shrine to Maxim de Winter’s deceased first wife Rebecca. She has kept all of Rebecca’s things just as they once were. Mrs. Danvers is determined to keep Rebecca’s memory alive…

Annie Wilkes in “Misery” by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

Author Paul Sheldon is driving through a blizzard when he crashes his car. He is extremely lucky to have been rescued by a woman named Annie who is a nurse. Annie is what you could call the ultimate super fan.  Paul soon learns that Annie loves to read and is obsessed with her favorite author…which just happens to be him!

Napoleon in “Animal Farm” by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Napoleon is an interesting character in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Napoleon becomes the leader after the animals’ rebellion against farmer Jones. Napoleon does some very suspect things such as running off his old friend Snowball and rewriting history to make himself into a hero.

Dorian in “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Dorian Gray is a complicated character.  On the outside, he appears to be a good guy. He is handsome and curiously never ages. Dorian is able to mask his true nature. However, there is something strange about the portrait of Dorian and it reveals a hideous side to Dorian.

 

Every story needs a hero:

Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Atticus Finch’s moral integrity is what stands out for me in this novel. The novel takes place during the Great Depression in the South. Atticus shows courage when he stands up for and defends a black man in court.

Tom Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This story is set during the Dust Bowl era of the Great Depression. The character of Tom is an unlikely hero because, as a reader, you are introduced to him as he is getting out of prison for killing a man. He is also a character that makes the most transformation, becoming someone totally different than what you think at the beginning of the novel.

Imogene “Idgie” Threadgoode in “Fried Green Tomatoes” by Fannie Flagg

Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg

Fried Green Tomatoes is a favorite of mine. Idgie faces many struggles in her lifetime. The way that she handles situations that arise such as the death of a brother that she idolizes, her best friend Ruth’s violent marriage, and the sexism she experiences during her lifetime is inspiring.

Jo March in “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I was first introduced to Little Women when I was in middle school. Jo March quickly became one of my favorite characters.  The love that she had for her family and the strength she showed in difficult times is what made me admire this character.

Who are your favorite villains and heroes? We would love for you to share in the comments below.

Happy Reading 🙂

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

The Aurora Public Library is a proud sponsor of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails high quality books for FREE to children from the time they are born until they turn 5, no matter the family’s income. Each month a newly selected book will be mailed to your child directly to your home and is FREE.

The only requirements are:

  1. Being a legal resident of Dearborn County.
  2. Submitting an official registration form that is completely filled out by a parent or a guardian. (The form must be approved and on file with Hoosier Hills Literacy League) THIS FORM CAN BE FOUND AT ANY OF THE BRANCHES OF AURORA PUBLIC LIBRARY
  3. Notify Hoosier Hills Literacy League any time your address changes. The books will be mailed to the address listed on the official registration form. If the child’s address changes, you must contact Hoosier Hills Literacy League at the address on this card in order to continue receiving books.
  4. Read with your child.

 

Once you have filled out your registration form and sent it to the Hoosier Hills Literacy League, within two months books will begin arriving at your home and will continue until your child turns five or you leave Dearborn County.

 

For more information on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, click the link below:

https://imaginationlibrary.com/

 

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.

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. 

Christmas break is just around the corner!

It is almost here! Christmas vacation.

Which means you may have some little ones to entertain.

If you need some ideas for activities we have you covered!

First of all, stop into one of our branches and grab a whole stack of books the little ones to read. 

The right books can keep little ones entertained for hours, especially when you are trying to get ready for dinner or guests.

While you are in pick up one of these titles for activities to do together!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Decorations Kids Can Make

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas unwrapped : a kid’s winter wonderland of holiday trivia

Or grab a book on cooking with kids to whip up something tasty to enjoy with one of the holiday favorites you can borrow from our shelves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Housekeeping kids bake 100+ sweet and savory recipes.

Whatever you decide to do this holiday season take a deep breath and enjoy the moments before they pass you by! 

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.

 

STORY TIME IS BEGINNING!

 

STORY TIME IS BEGINNING

 

Story times will be starting in September.  The first story time at the Dillsboro Library  will be Tuesday, September 4 at 10:30. The first story times at the Aurora Library will be Wednesday, September 5 at 10:30 and 1:00.

NO REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. You will be asked to complete a short form at your first story time.   Story times will continue every Tuesday (at Dillsboro) and Wednesday (at Aurora) through December 19.

During the month of September we will cover the topics of water, the five senses, seeds, and the season of fall. We look forward to seeing you at the library for story time.

 

Reading Slumps

I totally just made those definitions up. But I think every reader has been stuck in a reading slump before! I know I’ve had my fair share. What can we do to get out of one?

First, you can go to the Online Resources tab on our website and scroll down until you see Novelist. From there you can search your favorite book, author, or series and come up with lists of title-, author-, and series-read-a-likes you might enjoy. You can even search by genre and age. You can also check out Select Reads under the same tab on the website that is similar.

If you don’t have an account with Goodreads, I definitely recommend that you make one! It’s kind of like Facebook for book lovers. You can read synopses of books, add them to various lists, and get recommendations based on the ratings you give books you’ve read. There are also blogs, author interviews, and trivia you can browse through to find your next great read.

Try rereading your most favorite books; you can’t go wrong there because you already know you’ll love it! Maybe it will spark your interest in something new!

Try short story collections, poetry, novellas, or graphic novels. These are quick reads that you can breeze through just to keep you reading. Plus, if you’re on Goodreads and participate in the yearly reading challenge, these reads are a great way to boost your numbers!

Take a list of books you’ve been meaning to read, write down each title on a slip of paper, and put those papers in a hat or a jar. Draw one at random and force yourself to read it. Even if you wind up not liking the book and quitting halfway through, you’ll be ready to either draw another title or pick another title for yourself.

Browse most popular books, get recommendations from your friends, or start reading reviews online. The Library also has magazines that you can check out dedicated to popular book and new release reviews. You could also check out what the Library book clubs are reading for the month; if you sign up and come to a discussion, you’ll be able to be around book-minded people like yourself who will be able to point you in the right direction.

Still having trouble? Ask us for help! We LOVE recommending books to patrons! It’s our job to know all kinds of books, and we handle tons of books on a daily basis. Chances are we’ll be able to find something for you!

Good luck and Happy Reading!