National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month! It’s time to buckle down at your computer or with a pen and paper and write that novel you’ve been meaning to write. This is an Internet-based creative writing challenge that began in 1999 with just 21 participants. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Participants can start as early as November 1 at 12:00 a.m. Your words and work can be tracked on the NaNoWriMo website throughout the month of November.

Some novels completed during National Novel Writing Month have even been published and beloved by thousands. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see your name on the cover of your own novel someday! On the website, you can find your region, which will connect you to local writers in your community to meet up with or be inspired by.

Here are some popular novels you can check out from the Aurora Public Library District today that were completed during National Novel Writing Month from Goodreads:

Wool by Hugh Howey

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough

The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

As an aspiring writer myself, I’d like to see my name on the list someday. I think I’ll try to participate in National Novel Writing Month, too!

Happy Writing!

Family Literacy Day!

November 1 is Family Literacy Day! Here are some ways in which you can celebrate as a family:

The most common way to celebrate Family Literacy Day is to read some short books or chapters in a long book together as a family. Make it a habit and read together every night before bed. This can be a great bonding experience for you and your family, not to mention it will relax everyone and prepare you for sleep. Now it’s easier than ever to include the whole family with video chatting features like Skype and FaceTime; family members traveling or who live far away can now interact with each other effortlessly.

You can read traditional physical books of your own or one that you checked out from the library, or you can visit the virtual library on the Indiana Digital Download Center. With your library card and pin numbers, you’ll have access to thousands of books with just the click of a button. You can download them to any kind of electronic device, like a laptop, iPad, Kindle, smartphone Nook, etc., or you can read directly from your browser.

Are you always on the go and don’t always have the time to sit down and read with your family? You can also listen to audio books in the car running errands, going for walks, or while you’re cooking dinner. Family Literacy Day is all about celebrating all forms of literacy, which includes reading comprehension; you can practice comprehension skills by following along as you listen closely. You can check out audio books on CD from the Aurora Public Library District or you can check out a digital audio book that can be downloaded directly to your smart phone or other listening devices.

Include fun family games with emphasis on reading, like Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, Scrabble, Boggle, or Headbanz/Head’s Up in your family game nights. A great way to encourage reluctant readers to read is by playing these fun games together as a family. Incorporate learning and literacy into your regular routine by having a family game night once a week.

You could have a book-themed dinner with dishes inspired by your family’s favorite books (Pinterest is a great website for finding recipes!). Everyone can help preparing the food and you could have trivia questions about your favorite books to challenge each other. Why save this fun meal for Family Literacy Day? You could do this once a month with the different books your family reads together each month.

And, finally, make it a point to visit the library together as a family. It is important to instill how imperative literacy is in your children from a very young age so that they’ll always appreciate reading and learning. Visit the Aurora Public Library District on a regular basis as a family because we love to see you!

Happy Reading!

Veterans Day

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On the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour, Veterans Day will be observed across America. There will be memorial services in schools, at memorial sites, and in other public settings. The Aurora Public Library District will be closed on November 11, as will most government facilities, but what exactly is Veterans Day? How did Veterans Day begin? The Library has plenty of material about Veterans Day that you can check out, but for right now, here’s a small crash course.

In 1918 a truce was declared between the Allied Nations and the Germans during World War I on November 11. And while the official end of the Great War did not come until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, for many Americans, the ending had occurred with the declaration of peace the previous November. Armistice Day was officially celebrated on November 11, 1919 at President Woodrow Wilson’s proclamation. Armistice Day was declared a legal federal holiday in 1938. In 1954, President Eisenhower renamed Armistice Day to Veterans Day after World War II and the war with Korea. Veterans Day honors all American veterans, living or dead, who have served in all wars. Veterans Day is also a day to thank living veterans who have served during wartime and peacetime.

During World War I, Canadian John McCrae penned the poem, “In Flanders Fields” in 1915 after a friend of his was killed during the Second Battle of Ypres. His poem is the reason that poppies — particularly the red corn poppy — have become the symbol for the remembrance of fallen soldiers. In 1920, the American Legion adopted the poppy as a symbol of remembrance thanks to the efforts of Moina Michael.

There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans living in the United States, with 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65 and 1.9 million veterans under the age of 35. There are plenty of ways you can let a veteran know that you appreciate them, but the most simple and underrated way is just to thank veterans for their service. It is especially important for younger people to acknowledge and thank veterans, but every American should always thank veterans and acting military members for their service.

On behalf of everyone at the Aurora Public Library District, I want to say thank you to each and every veteran for his or her service.

National Author’s Day!

Tuesday, November 1 is National Author’s Day! Technology and social media make it easier than ever before to stay connected to our favorite writers. If you follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Facebook, or any other social media platform, you can send them messages whenever you want, and you might even get a response! Here are some ways you can celebrate National Author’s Day this year:

Check out books by your favorite authors from the Library and post them to social media with#NationalAuthorsDay. Be sure to tag the author in the post so they’ll see how much you appreciate them!

Post comments on their websites about how much you appreciate their writing. Writing can be a lonely business with long hours and numerous frustrations along the way. Your kind words will be much appreciated.

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Write reviews of your favorite books either on Goodreads, Amazon, or whatever platform you use. On Goodreads, you can ask authors questions and sometimes you’ll get a reply, which is the coolest thing in the world.

Let the aspiring authors in your life know that you appreciate them, too. It isn’t easy to create something out of nothing, and it’s even harder when you face rejection after rejection from publishers. A nice card or text (or candy!) would be a great way to let them know that you’re rooting for them.

My favorite way to celebrate National Author’s Day is to curl up with some books by my favorite authors (Rick Riordan, Meg Cabot, the Brontë sisters….) and read all day long. How will you celebrate National Author’s Day?