Traveling for the Holidays?

If you’ll be traveling by car or by plane over the holidays, you’re probably already thinking about how to keep the kids entertained during the trip. Of course, you can sing along in a car to Christmas songs, but why not try listening to an audiobook together? You can choose one that’s an appropriate length for the trip, and it will help the time fly by! We have some audiobooks on CD at the library, but there are many more available to download to your phone or other device on the Libby app through the Indiana Digital Download Center.

Here are some great holiday stories for kids that would provide a wonderful listening experience. If you need help with the download process, just call the library and we can talk you through it.

 When Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke  Bah! Humbug! by Michael Rosen A Ghost Tale for Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne

 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson  Christmas in the Forest and Other Stories   A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

 A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig  Deck the Halls, We're Off the Walls by Dan Gutman  Christmas in Camelot by Mary Pope Osborne

Happy listening and safe travels!

Fresh Finds with Jessica: June

Check out our YouTube channel every last Friday of the month for Fresh Finds! Join Jessica on June 25th as she discusses 5 of APLD’s newest books! Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any of our videos! Subscribe here.

Check out the five books below! Click on a cover to place a hold or learn more!

            

FunJungle Tales from Stuart Gibbs

Join FunJungle’s resident zoo sleuth, Teddy Fitzroy, as he solves mysteries and strives to protect the animals at the zoo with these funny and suspenseful novels in the bestselling FunJungle series from author Stuart Gibbs.

When Teddy Fitzroy moved into FunJungle, the nation’s largest zoo with his scientist parents, he expected things to be kind of quiet. There’d be the occasional elephant stampedes and water balloon fights with the chimpanzees, of course, but when Henry the Hippo dies from not-so-natural causes, Teddy suspects foul play. And that was just the beginning. He begins to realize that the zoo is far more exciting than he thought it was, and soon the mysteries at FunJungle are piling up…

Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs Poached by Stuart Gibbs Big Game by Stuart Gibbs

Panda-monium by Stuart Gibbs Lion Down by Stuart Gibbs Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs Bear Bottom by Stuart Gibbs

If you enjoy the books in this series, you’ll also enjoy The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach.

The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach

It’s National Best Friends Day!

June 8th is National Best Friends Day! This lighthearted holiday began in 1935 when the US Congress decided to devote a day to close friends. National Best Friends Day has given rise to other national holidays such as Friendship Day, Women’s Friendship Day, and an entire week called Old Friends, New Friends Week. The holiday has gained popularity over the last 5 years due to the rise of social media, and even has its own hashtag to go with it. Don’t forget to show your friends some love on social media today with the hashtag #nationalbestfriendsday

 

Check out some of our books on friendship!

                                  

This Little Piggy

We all know that there are lots of great picture books featuring pigs, but there’s no need to let the little kids hog all the great stories. When you’re rooting through the library shelves, don’t overlook these books that can smooth the transition to chapter books.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise by Kate DiCamillo

The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo features easy-to-read chapter books with lots of illustrations and white space to keep young readers from getting frustrated. If you enjoy these, you’ll also like the Tales from Deckawoo Drive books, set in the same neighborhood.

Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith       Lady Lollipop by Dick King-Smith

Dick King-Smith was a prolific British writer best known for Babe the Gallant Pig (turned into Babe the movie). Lady Lollipop is a common pig who manages to tame an unruly princess.

The next title is written by Janette Oke, the writer of historical romance novels, and highlights the escapades of a family of piglets. The Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke features a shipwrecked pig with the ability to sniff out buried treasure.

This Little Pig by Janette Oke   The Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke

Pigs are very smart animals as seen in the next two highlighted books. Flora and Wilbur both manage to prove they have value as much more than a source of protein. The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz is aimed more at middle readers, coming in at just less than 300 pages. Of course, Charlotte’s Web is wonderful as a read-aloud for the entire family or for older kids to read alone.

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Finally, a book that is new to our collection! The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City is a heartwarming tale of family, belonging, and growing bigger when you’ve always felt small. This book by Jodi Kendall was chosen by Indiana school librarians for the 2019-2020 Young Hoosier Reading List.

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City

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.

Mary Poppins Returns

There is a lot of hype surrounding the new Disney movie Mary Poppins Returns, which is to be released December 19, 2018, and the Aurora Public Library District is here to help you jump on the bandwagon! Keep a lookout for an Author Biographies blog featuring P.L. Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins and all of her adventures. In the meantime, check out Saving Mr. Banks to hold you over.

The first book in the Mary Poppins universe, Mary Poppins, was released in 1934, with subsequent adventures periodically released all the way up to 1988. We have several of these titles available both digitally and physically to check out.

Mary Poppins Returns is actually intended to be a sequel to the popular 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. And while the film is similar to the books created by Travers, it has become its own entity entirely. In other words, you don’t have to read the books in order to watch and understand the film, which is definitely still one of my favorites. The sequel promises to deliver all of the magical realism elements present in the original, as well as new musical numbers. I have high hopes that this new movie will be able to bridge the gap between generations; maybe it will even become as iconic as the childhood staple that is the original!

Starring Emily Blunt as the titular Mary Poppins, and including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns has been anticipated since its announcement in September 2015. Dan Van Dyke is also going to make an appearance in the new film, so we can only hope that the Queen of Genovia herself (Julie Andrews) will follow suit!

Watch the trailer here.

Can you tell I’m more than a little excited? It’s bound to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

After Harry Potter and Percy Jackson

What to do when your child has read Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, but can’t seem to get hooked on anything else?

Here are some other juvenile fantasy series, both old and new, that might be just what you need. Because these great series have been around for a few years, we may not have all the books at both branches. Just ask at the circulation desk if you need help locating a book!

Children of the Red King is a series of eight children’s fantasy school and adventure novels written by British author Jenny Nimmo. It is sometimes called “The Charlie Bone series” after its main character. In the first novel, 10-year-old Charlie Bone discovers that he has a special power. After accidentally encountering a photograph of a missing baby, Charlie begins to hear the voices of people in photographs and he discovers that he is a descendant of the Red King, an ancient magician.

Midnighht for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo

Septimus Heap is a series of fantasy novels by Angie Sage. The series follows the adventures of Septimus Heap who, as a seventh son of a seventh son, has extraordinary magical powers.

Magyk by Angie Sage

The Keys to the Kingdom is a fantasy–adventure book series written by Garth Nix, published in seven books between 2003 and 2010. The series chronicles the adventures of Arthur Penhaligon, an asthmatic 12-year-old boy who is chosen to become the Rightful Heir of the House, the center of the universe.

Mister Monday by Garth Nix

Written by P.B. Kerr, Children of the Lamp tells the story of twins John and Philippa, as they discover how to act in the world of djinn (genies). The story has a variety of themes including family, adventure, and loyalty.

The Akhenaten Adventure by P.B. Kerr

The Pegasus series by Kate O’Hearn would be a great fit for Percy Jackson fans. In the first book, Pegasus crashes onto a Manhattan roof during a terrible storm, and thirteen-year-old Emily’s life changes forever. Suddenly allied with a winged horse she’d always thought was mythical, Emily is thrust into the center of a fierce battle between the Roman gods and a terrifying race of multi-armed stone warriors called the Nirads.

Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus by Kate O'Hearn

Fablehaven is a secret nature preserve protecting mythical creatures from the outside world. As the series begins, Kendra and  Seth Sorenson are given a complex puzzle involving six keys and a locked journal. Once Kendra unlocks the mostly blank journal, she discovers the words “drink the milk”. She and Seth drink the magical milk  set outside in their yard every morning, opening their eyes to a whole new, mystical world full of the magical beings of Fablehaven.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

The Tapestry, written and illustrated by Henry Neff is a fantasy series following the life of Max McDaniels. These books are notable for combining a range of genres, including fantasy, history, mythology, folklore, and science fiction. In The Hound of Rowan, Max stumbles on a mysterious Celtic tapestry which leads him to the secret Rowan Academy.

The Hound of Rowan by Henry Neff

Happy reading!

Series Starters: The Trials of Apollo

If you’ve read any of my blogs before, you’ll already know that I am a giant fan of Rick Riordan and everything he writes. The newest series he’s working on, along with his Magnus Chase series, is The Trials of Apollo.

Apollo, the Greek god of music, healing, prophecy, and the sun, has angered his father Zeus enough to be exiled as a human to Earth. Without his powers, Apollo has been transformed into a weak, dorky human who must now figure out how to survive long enough to get back in his father’s good graces. Of course, Apollo — whose new name is Lester Papadopolous — has many mortal and immortal enemies who would love to get their hands on him, so a trip to Camp Half Blood is the only option. Some familiar faces from Riordan’s other series appear– like Percy Jackson and more (I can’t tell you because it will spoil it!), so fans will appreciate the appearances.

I was wary to read this series because I didn’t want the beloved voice of Percy Jackson to sound anything like the god Apollo, but I needn’t have worried because Riordan had it mastered. Apollo’s voice in the novels has been compared to Gilderoy Lockhart, which is perfect and hilarious. The second book in the series just came out on May 2nd with a third book to be released early next year.

Happy Reading!