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Game on!
Game Reviews by Brandon, Elizabeth, Kristin & Stacy

Hello everyone! We hope you’ll enjoy these reviews for free games to amuse you during this time. These are a mix of browser and smartphone games - none of them will cost you anything to play.

Today's theme
Relaxing games to help you de-stress.

Game One

Alto’s Adventure
A game available on your app store for iPhone, Android and Windows

Alton's Adventure

Plug in your headphones, because this game will deserve all of your attention. For my fellow Coloradans out there, we have been missing our sweet, sweet mountain time. Bring the serenity and beauty of the mountains with you, everywhere you go. Your goal is simple, last as long as you can shredding through the slopes. Pits and rocks are scattered about, but a simple tap or click will result in your character jumping and flipping over any peril that may come their way. Upgrades are unlockable such as a wingsuit and characters with unique skill-sets are available as you progress through the game with no microtransactions required. I would highly recommend the Zen Mode where your progress does not reset after making a mistake. You can endlessly continue on your  adventure. It should be noted that you can compare how far you’ve made it with other players on the online leaderboards, but that will not be what brings you back to this game. The captivating visuals and soothing music will put the worries of your world on hold as you fall into the trance that is "Alto’s Adventure". - Brandon

Game 2
Winter Bells
A browser-based game available here

Winter Bells

A soothing game where you play as a bunny who jumps on bells to climb into the sky. You get more points the higher you jump, but with the calming music and the cute design, it's hard to feel punished for falling. Click initially to move, but after that you can control the bunny just based on mouse movements. Pro tip: Birds double your current score, so they're definitely worth going for. - Kristin


Game 3
Lieve Oma
Available free through itch.io here

Lieve Oma

It’s mushroom season, and your grandmother has asked you to help her pick penny buns. Except, of course, this isn’t about mushrooms: it’s about walking through the woods in the early autumn with your grandmother, who loves you whether you find one penny bun or a hundred. Unlike the other games in this blog post, Lieve Oma doesn’t have a high score chart or a leaderboard. You don’t have to jump or climb, just walk using the arrow keys or WASD. Soft piano music plays as you trundle along in your grandmother’s footsteps: you’ve been lonely and sad, you see, but she’s here to listen and promise that  everything is going to be okay. Nothing bad happens in this game. I walked and found a few mushrooms, and then my character went home to have hot cocoa and mushroom risotto. This game's pure comfort food. - Elizabeth


Game 4
Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector
A game available on your app store for either iPhone or Android.

Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector

A passive game where you collect photos of as many different neighbor cats as you can! It’s simple: you buy new cat toys and food with in-game money given to you by your friendly kitties, place them in your house and/or yard, close the app and when you check in later you’ll find a many variety of kitties enjoying your snacks and toys! With 60+ cats to collect, there are so many different personalities to meet and collect – starting with your first visitor, a cute white cat named Snowball, to my personal favorite, a cardboard train-conducting, hat-wearing, whistle-blowing cat name Conductor Whiskers.  - Stacy

Tell us what you think!

What are your comfort food games? Did you net a high score playing Winter Bells or enjoy a few hours of Zen Mode in Alto’s Adventure? Let us know in the comments!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On May 11, 2020 at 10:26 AM
  
Read It!

**Video may contain spoilers**
Join APL staff each week for a discussion of some of their current reads! Each week they will discuss a book from a different genre. Join the discussion live on Facebook each Friday at 1 p.m. (MST) and leave your thoughts in the comments below! 



The next discussion will be at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 8, 2020 on our Facebook page and will feature "The Wild Geese" by Mori Ōgai (available instantly on hoopladigital.com).

Other upcoming titles, all available instantly from hoopla digital, include:
- May 15, "The Hidden Life of Trees" by Peter Wohlleben
- May 22, "All Out: the No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages" by Saundra Mitchell
- May 29, "A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals  #1" by Alyssa Cole
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On May 06, 2020 at 4:00 PM
  
Draw It!

Draw It! by Kristin

Grab a pencil and piece of paper - it's time to Draw It! Our APL staff member Kristin shows step-by-step how to draw a pirate ship ready to sail the seas (or soar off to Neverland)!



Let us know how your pirate ship turns out in the comments below and tell us which drawing tutorial you'd like to see next! 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On May 06, 2020 at 2:00 PM
  
Learn It!
 
Makey Makey with Brandy Brandy (formerly known as Mr. Brandon) 
 
Have you ever stopped to think: “Jeeze, I wish I could combine my love of science with my love of fruit”? No, neither have I…but still wouldn’t it be cool if our fruit could make music? Well thanks to the lovely folks at Makey-Makey, you can now make that happen, along with a wide variety of other awesome activities! You can even play 2D platformers similar the style of a classic Mario game with your kit! If something requires a few simple controls, Makey Makey can probably make it work, pun intended! For the kiddos out there reading this, please make sure you receive permission from your parents before playing, creating music or performing mad science with your food.  
 
So what is a Makey Makey? 
Makey Makey
What it is, is a small circuit board that can turn some of your household objects, such as an apple or banana, into buttons for your computer! It works by creating electrical circuits which you play a part in making! Your computer first provides the initial power source which then flows into the item such as a banana. We need to complete the circuit though, so a person must be holding the ground wire which works as the return route for the electricity! 
 
 
Do I have Superpowers? 
lightning

So why is it that the electricity can flow through you as well? Why are you conductive? Are you a child of Odin? Well no, but the answer is quite ionic…I am sorry. Really though, your body is full of ions! Flow of charged energy and ions creates an electrical current and you currently play host to sodium ion, potassium ion and so much more! Thankfully though, your epidermis (surface of your skin) keeps you from becoming a human lightning rod. Your skin helps provide resistance to becoming too conductive and keeps potential electrical flows at a very minimum level. This is a reason why the low energy that flows into a Makey Makey kit is completely safe for you. In fact, if your hands are too dry, you might have some difficulty completing the connection so please keep that in mind. Alright, you got the details and now it is time for some fun! If you want to see Makey Makey in action, you can check out Mr. Brandon’s video below or you can pick up one for home from makeymakey.com. You also have the option of reaching out to us on this blog and we will get back with you to help guide you on your way.



Thank you so much for taking your time to learn with us at Aurora Public Libraries and we hope you are doing well! 
 
Makey Makey at MLK
  
 
 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On May 05, 2020 at 5:34 PM
  

On May 4th, 2020 at around 9:20p.m., the Aurora Police Department Public Safety Communications Center received reports of a shooting at 291 South Sable Boulevard.  

Upon arrival, officers located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound.  The victim later succumb to his injuries and was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

This is still an active investigation and investigators from the Major Crimes/Homicide Unit are working to determine what led to the shooting and death of the victim.  His identity will be released by the 
Arapahoe County Coroner's Office once he has been positively identified and his next of kin have been notified.

 

We currently do not have anyone in custody. We are asking anyone with information about this case to call Agent Glenn at 303.739.6068 or they can remain anonymous by contacting Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867) and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Officer Matthew Longshore

Public Information Officer
Aurora Police Department
720.432.5095

Posted by mwellslo@auroragov.org  On May 05, 2020 at 6:51 AM
  
Read It!

May Family Book Club 
by Tess J.

In this club we read middle grade fiction appropriate for ages 6-12, but anyone is welcome if you enjoy children's literature! I will be posting discussion questions weekly based on the book we are reading and I will also provide activities that relate. Please comment on the discussion questions so we can stay connected through reading!

May's Book: "Pax" by Sara Pennypacker
"Pax" by Sara Pennypacker
"Pax" by Sara Pennypacker is available on hoopla digital as an eBook and eAudiobook!
Reading Schedule:
· May 4-10 Chapters 1-11 (Questions posted on Monday, May 11)
· May 11-17 Chapters 12-23 (Questions posted on Monday, May 18)
· May 18-24 Chapters 24-34 (Questions posted on Monday, May 25)

I’m excited for this novel! I hope we all enjoy it!


Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On May 04, 2020 at 3:03 PM
  
On 05/03/20 at 6:12 P.M. Officers were dispatched to a two vehicle accident involving a 2013 Kia sedan and a 2014 BMW SUV at E. Yale Ave and S. Vaughn Way. It appears the BMW is at- fault attempting to pass the KIA in on-coming traffic lanes, sideswiping the KIA killing the driver of the KIA. Several occupants of the vehicle fled the scene and were apprehended in the area. Investigation is on-going through the Aurora Police Traffic Investigations. Identity of the Kia driver is not being released at this time pending identification by the Arapahoe Coroner's office. It appears drugs may be involved. Arapahoe County Coroner advised.

Sergeant G Garcia  
Aurora Police Traffic Unit
Day shift
303-739-6293
Posted by ggarcia@auroragov.org  On May 03, 2020 at 9:16 PM
  
Read It!

Review of "The Last to Die" by Kelly Garrett
Review by Janelle H.

"The Last to Die" by Kelly Garrett

Synopsis:
It all started out as a game. Just a way to have fun. We figured as long as we had rules, it wouldn't be a problem.
RULE #1: Only break into one another's houses.
RULE #2: Only take stuff that can be replaced.
It worked for a while. Whoever's turn it was to break in got a rush, and the rest of us laughed over the trophies they brought back. But then someone went too far. Lives got ruined. Someone is dead. And I might be next.

Janelle's Review:
This book starts out as a typical "bored youth needing some excitement"; what it ends up being  is a plot-twist thriller. You meet several characters that are all intertwined, whether it be by family, friendship or romance. While set mostly in a character’s basement or school, it keeps moving forward at a steady pace. As the book progresses, the red herrings are vast, especially after the death of a main character. Following along with prejudiced clues and teenage logic , you find yourself knowing they are wrong, but wondering who it could possibly be. When the end of the mystery is revealed, you do have a slight aha moment, but also a “well done, author" moment. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a surprise ending with a touch of drama.  

This book reads like: 
"One of Us is Lying" by Karen McManus  
"Ten" by Gretchen McNeil

Ready to read?
Check out the audiobook version of this book instantly with your library card from hoopla digital

Need a library card? Sign up for a virtual library card here!


Have you read this book? Tell us what you thought of it in the comments below! 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On May 01, 2020 at 3:07 PM
  
Create It!

APL Staff member Dominga gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to make your own face mask!
This mask design follows a pattern from Kaiser Permanente. Detailed instructions can be found here: Fabric Face Mask Instructions 
 


Utilizing sewing machines from our Sewing Labs and practicing safe social distancing, APL and other city staff are making masks for hundreds of frontline workers in the city of Aurora, including the Aurora Police Department, as well as for people experiencing homelessness.

In order to broaden our reach, we are looking for donations of the following items:
• Fabric that adheres to CDC guidelines 
• Thread
• Completed masks

If you have items to donate, or would like more information about this project, please contact us at LibraryOutreach@auroragov.org.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Apr 30, 2020 at 9:37 AM
  
 Want to read along and join the discussion? Check out "A Snicker of Magic" by Natalie Lloyd on Hoopla Digital!

A Snicker of Magic

Share your answers to the questions below in the comments and tell us what you thought of the book! 

Chapters 20-27 + epiloge
- When Felicity and her mama eat the Blackberry Surprise ice cream, they talk about factofabulous memories. Will you share one of your factofabulous memories?
- Aunt Cleo says that only fools run away from what they fear. Do you agree?
- What did Felicity forget at the Duel? What did she do instead?
- What happened at the Duel to break the curse?
- Did you enjoy this book? Why or why not? Give your opinion of the novel!


Vote for the May book!
Vote for the book you would like to read in May by leaving a comment below with the title you want to read! All titles are available instantly from hoopla digital!

"Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo
The summer Opal and her father move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket—and comes out with a dog… named Winn-Dixie. The dog is big and ugly but with a sterling sense of humor. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known and she spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship—and forgiveness—can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

"The Willoughbys" by Lois Lowry
Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good old-fashioned children. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. 

"Pax" by Sara Pennypacker
Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. They leave Pax behind but Peter can’t stand the guilt; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds.


Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Apr 27, 2020 at 12:45 PM 2 Comments
  
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