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Read It!

Review of "Into the Water" by Paula Hawkins
by Nicole S.

As promised, I am giving you my review of the second book that was picked for my virtual book club. One of the great things about participating in book clubs is you get to know a sense of other people’s reading tastes and discover books you normally wouldn’t have picked for yourself. For our second book I got to pick the title which ended up being “Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins. 

"Into the Water" by Paula Hawkins
Check it out from Aurora Public Library here! 

Paula Hawkins was originally a journalist for 15 years before she became a bestselling author. Her most popular book, “The Girl on the Train”, ended up becoming a bestseller worldwide selling almost 20 million copies! It was then made into a movie starring Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson and Justin Theroux in 2016. Both “The Girl on the Train” and “Into the Water” are great examples of a psychological thriller. 

Into the Water tells about how a single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Not much earlier, a teenage girl was found dead in the same river – and these are not the only women to have met the same dark, watery fate. Each death brings up more and more secrets that were meant to stay hidden. Fifteen-year-old Lena Abbott is left to be cared for by her estranged aunt Julia. As Julia, fearful of her once-home, stays to care for Lena, she learns more about her sister, the residents of Beckford and the secrets they kept submerged.  

I was such a big fan of Hawkins's first novel, “The Girl on the Train”. When I found out she wrote another stand alone novel I knew I just had to read it. One of my favorite elements of a psychological thriller is the unreliable narratives. The characters telling you the story may not be entirely truthful or are only telling you the story from their perspective. As time goes on you find out more and more of the story from other characters and it is now your job to piece together the truth. That is the same with this story. The story looks at many different character perspectives (from Jules Abbott to Lena to the neighbor Louise Whittaker and so on) and each one is telling you part of the story as well as their own. It’s up to you to weave them together to find the truth. Each character has their own secrets that you discover and you learn that not every person is good or bad. You make your own judgments based on each character’s actions. You also start to identify with one or more of the characters as time goes on. One of the other elements I enjoy is the suspense and the emotions you feel during a read like this. There is the original question of whether Lena Abbott’s mother, Danielle (Nel), committed suicide or was murdered. At each chapter that question gets more and more muddled and you are just along for the ride as you find out what really happened with Nel and the other women that were found in the river. It is a real page turner that throws multiple curveballs and leaves you at the end with chills.  

For those that enjoy psychological thrillers like this, check out authors like Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott.
Next time I will tell you about our third pick which falls into the fantasy category, “The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski. 
Posted by  On Jun 14, 2020 at 9:07 AM

Fantastical Reimaginings

Fantastical Reimaginings: “Robin Hood”
by Elizabeth B.

I don’t know where I first encountered the legend of Robin Hood; probably in Disney’s animated film about the clever kind-hearted fox and his best friend Little John, outwitting the wicked Prince John, fighting for the good King Richard and giving money to the poor. 
Disney's Robin Hood
Image from The Verge
Of course, that’s not how the real story started at all! The first Robin Hood wasn’t kind-hearted, didn’t like any kings, and didn’t even give money to the poor. Medievalists and Robin Hood scholars have struggled for years to find the “real” Robin Hood, but one thing’s for sure: Robin Hood’s history and retellings are all worth their weight in stolen gold.

Robin Hood may have started as a drinking song! In Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”, a monk who spends too much time drinking at the pub knows Robin Hood songs better than his Bible. Robin Hood quickly grew to be a folk hero, a commoner and thief who defied kings and outwitted sheriffs by using clever disguises. Games and songs about the clever thief were wildly popular, but he didn’t start becoming the Robin Hood we know today until a high-profile fan started dressing up as the outlaw: King Henry VIII. Robin Hood needed a virtuous makeover to fit in at a noble court, so over the centuries Robin Hood gained a love interest, a religious side, a generous nature and even a noble backstory. Eventually, Robin Hood, former drinking song thief, became the kid-friendly hero he is today. 

The Original
So which story is the *real* Robin Hood? Did he ever really exist? Maybe. “Robin” and “Hood” were both common names in medieval England, and medieval records mention several outlaws named “Robin Hood.” Were any of these noble thieves who robbed the rich to feed the poor? Who knows! In every story, Robin Hood lives in the forest with Little John and other outlaws, but unlike many other legends and fairy tales, there are *so many* versions of Robin Hood: the commoner and the noble, the lover and the loner, the rebel and the royalist. No matter which legend you love, your Robin Hood can be the “real” story.

Robin Hood Variations
Which versions of Robin Hood can you watch and read right now? Is the outlaw or the nobleman more popular? Find out more about similar tales below!
 Robin of Sherwood
Image from hoopla
Robin of Sherwood
Available through Hoopla
“They’re here with us, in Sherwood, and they always will be because they’re free.”

When Robin of Loxley, a commoner, is chosen by the mystical Herne the Hunter to become champion of the oppressed, he gathers a band of outlaws to fight against the oppressive Normans. Later in the series, Robin Hood’s mantle passes on to Robert of Huntingdon, a young noble chosen by the same mystical Herne to fight for the Saxon peasantry.
This 1980’s television show may look familiar: its aesthetic later influenced 90’s shows like “Hercules” and “Xena”. Among Robin Hood retellings, this one is unique because it has both Robin Hood figures: commoner Robin of Loxley is the hero of the first two seasons, while season three stars the noble earl’s son version of Robin Hood. Both Robin Hoods are anti-royalty, though: their loyalty is to Herne. The series added magic swords, mythological figures, and magicians to its story, creating an interesting Robin Hood remix.    

 BBC's Robin Hood
Image from hoopla
Robin Hood (BBC)
Available through Hoopla
“Will you stand for this injustice? I, for one, will not.”

Robin, Earl of Locksley, has just returned home from fighting in the Crusades with his best friend Much. When he returns to his village, though, the Sheriff of Nottingham is running Locksley and overtaxing its people, and all of his villagers are surprised to find him still alive. Robin has to choose between being a noble and sitting by while injustice continues or becoming an outlaw to fight for his people from the forest.
BBC’s “Robin Hood” follows the nobleman version of Robin’s legend. Robin Hood is a nobleman in episode one, but his inability to stay silent in the face of injustice means that he’s banished to the forest. While BBC’s Robin Hood hates war and suffers PTSD from his time with the Crusades, he’s loyal to King Richard. Finally, he’s a hopeless flirt, and his attempts to woo a no-nonsense Maid Marian makes for a compelling Season One romance.

"The Outlaws of Sherwood" by Robin McKinley 
Image from hoopla
"The Outlaws of Sherwood" by Robin McKinley
Available on Hoopla
“You don’t exactly tell Marian she may or may not do things.”

Robin Longbow, apprentice forester, isn’t a good archer: when a mis-aimed arrow turns deadly, he and his two friends Much and Marian become outlaws in Sherwood Forest. His two friends are quick to present this misfortune as an opportunity: there are plenty of Saxons discontent with Norman rule, and Robin can serve as a rallying point for many of them. The friends start to build up a merry band of outlaws, ready to take on tyranny in any form.
Robin McKinley’s “Outlaws of Sherwood” makes Robin Hood a commoner again, but more importantly, it changes a key element of Robin Hood’s legend. Robin’s not the best fighter in his band, and he’s not a defiant revolutionary. Instead, Marian goes to town disguised as a boy to win archery contests; Little John fights for equality, and each member of the band brings something new. Robin Hood is a collaborative legend in McKinley’s telling, created by the band of outlaws working all together.

So, which is your favorite Robin Hood legend? Do you have a preferred version of the legendary outlaw? Tell us in the comments!
Enjoy these retellings and TV shows, and happy reading!

“Robin Hood: A Study of the Evolution of the Legend in Britain 1400-2018 into History and Context"
Robin Hood Legend 
"Robin Hood and Other Outlaw Tales" by Stephen Knight and Thomas H. Olgren
“Wolfshead Through the Ages: The History of Robin Hood”
“Yeoman Justice: The Robin Hood Ballads and the Appropriation of Aristocratic and Clerical Justice” by Megan Elizabeth Woosley
“The Real Robin Hood,”
Dr. Mikee Delony’s medieval literature courses, Abilene Christian University

Posted by  On Jun 12, 2020 at 2:19 PM
Create & DIY for adults

Mason Jar Luminaries
with Sara

Create a magical luminary to light up the summer nights! 

- A mason jar (glass with smooth sides)
- Decorative filler gem stones
- A hot glue gun (with extra glue sticks)
- A battery-operated candle

This craft was inspired by Easy Mason Jar Luminaries from Dream a Little Bigger! Thank you to Allison for letting us share this craft with you today!

Visit for more fun projects!

Show us your luminary in the comments!
Posted by  On Jun 10, 2020 at 9:10 AM

At 2345 hrs on 06/06/20 Officers responded to a serious accident at 777 N. Havana St. Officers found a single adult male occupant of a Chevy 2dr had been ejected from the vehicle after striking four other vehicles parked in the driveways of their respective residences. The driver was transported to University hospital. The driver of the vehicle is in critical condition and is not expected to survive. A total of 7 vehicles were involved along with the vehicle striking a residence. Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash. Victim's information is being withheld until next of kin can be notified.

Sgt. G Garcia
Traffic Unit Dayshift

Posted by  On Jun 10, 2020 at 8:14 AM
At 2339 hrs on 06/09/20 Officers responded to a serious accident at E. 6th Ave and N. Peoria St. Officers found a single adult male pedestrian had been struck by an unknown blue 4dr sedan The pedestrian was transported to University hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. Witness on scene was able to get a description of the vehicle and driver. The investigation is on-going. Arapahoe County coroner notified.  Victim's information is being withheld until next of kin can be notified.

Sgt. G Garcia
Traffic Unit Dayshift

Posted by  On Jun 10, 2020 at 8:10 AM
Learn It!

Travel Tuesday - Hong Kong & Macau
with Tyler

Take a trip around the world with our resident globetrotter Tyler! This time, visit Hong Kong and Macau. Tyler shares the history of the city and what it is like in modern-day while sharing photos from his trip.

Have questions about these destinations? Or want to share your own travel adventure? Tell us in the comments!


Posted by  On Jun 09, 2020 at 11:44 AM
with Tessy

Making Magic: Crafts for Kids

It's Making Magic Monday! Join us each Monday during the Summer of Imagination for a new kids' craft!

Can your stegosaurus run? Can it roar? Maybe not, but with Canon Creative Park we can make it roll!

Stegosaurus template and instructions available via Canon Creative Park at
Visit and search "Elastic-powered Stegosaurus" to download the template and explore other fun crafts from Canon.
Posted by  On Jun 08, 2020 at 3:49 PM
Read It!

Family Book Club
with Tess

"The Turnaway Girls" by Haley Chewins
Chapters 1-10

The Turnaway Girls
Wow! I am already really enjoying this book. I hope you are, too. I can't wait to see what will happen next!
- The writing style is a little different than our other Family Book Club picks. The descriptions are very interesting. I like it because it helps me imagine what's happening better. For example, "I struggle against a wall of wind." That sounds way better than "the wind was strong", doesn't it? What do you think?
- Why does Mother Nine take all the babies' voices away? Why does she hurt Delphernia?
- Can you imagine living inside for your entire life? What would it be like to come outside for the first time in 12 years? 
- What do you think Bly, Delphernia, and Linna Lundd have in common?
- What do you think of this story so far? What do you think will happen next?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Next week we'll discuss chapters 11 - 21.
Posted by  On Jun 08, 2020 at 10:28 AM 1 Comment
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 at 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 June 12, 2020 on our Facebook page and will feature "The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest" by Melanie Dickerson (available instantly on

Other upcoming titles, all available instantly from hoopla digital, include:
- June 19, "Fire Logic" by Laurie J. Marks
- June 26, "Get a Life, Chloe Brown" (Part 1 of The Brown Sisters Series) by Talia Hibbert
- July 3, "Reclaiming Home" by Lesego Malepe
- July 10, "Desperadoes" by Ron Hansen

Posted by  On Jun 07, 2020 at 8:41 AM
Game on!
Game reviews by Brandon, Elizabeth, Kristin, Stacy & Justine

Hello, everyone! Below are links to paid games that you can play right now at home. All are available on PC; some are available on consoles as well. We hope you enjoy!

Today's theme
Anyone who walks into a library or reads a library blog knows the importance of stories. Today we chose to amplify the voices of black storytellers as we feature fantastic games with black protagonists. 

Game 1
Available for Switch, PS4, Xbox, iOS; available on Steam

Dandara is a gorgeous, gravity-defying platformer rooted in Brazilian culture. The main character, Dandara, is named after the historical figure Dandara dos Palmares, an Afro-Brazilian freedom fighter and master of capoeira in 17th Century Brazil. This game is sci-fi, though, not history: the world of Salt is in danger, and this game’s Dandara can warp through a gravity-less world to save it. Dandara gets new abilities by collecting memories and inspiring artists to start creating again. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a tough platformer. But it’s excellent. - Elizabeth

Game 2 
Available on Steam 

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” meets “Groundhog Day” in this retelling of a classic. Ophelia knows there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark: she keeps reliving the same three days over and over, a mysterious assassin wants to kill her, her ex-boyfriend Hamlet keeps talking about a ghost on the castle walls and the only one who seems to know what’s going on is a strange playwright! All you can do is ask questions and share information to try to change this story’s ending. This game’s fun for Shakespeare nerds like me, but it’s also fun for fans of story games and detective games in general. There are a lot of secrets tucked away, and as you keep reliving the same day, you’ll discover that your time loop’s a lot more alarming than you originally thought.  - Elizabeth

Game 3
Telltale’s The Walking Dead series
Available on Steam, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows

Walking Dead

A crisis does two things to people. It brings out both the very worst, and the very best of mankind. This game that showcases its protagonists as people at their very best. Pictured above, you see Clementine and Lee. The two characters who you will start your journey with during the very first Walking Dead entry. This game is responsible for the modern revival of the interactive movie, if you will. A compelling story plays out where you control the choices and fates of the characters within. I personally feel that the game series is easily the greatest piece of Walking Dead media – and that is including both the comics and AMC television show. The bond between Clem and Lee will absolutely pull at your heartstrings and, as they are in danger, you will find your pulse racing right along with them. The game allows you to play the characters as you see fit, but it’s clear the most natural gameplay style is to play up to our protagonists natural inclinations; to be courageous, to be kind and to be true to one another. - Brandon

game 4
Resident Evil 5
Available on Steam, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, and Android.
Resident Evil 5
A long running video game series such as Resident Evil is bound to have it’s fair share of great, good, and bad games. “Resident Evil 5”, despite it’s initial rocky announcement back in 2005, ended up becoming a highly successful addition to the beloved series upon it’s release in 2009.   Despite being the fifth installment, this game does not require you to have previous knowledge of it’s predecessors as the game does a great job at providing player’s with the necessary information through compelling storytelling. The plot of this game revolves around an investigation of a terrorist threat by Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance in Kijuju, a fictional region of Africa. This is the first “Resident Evil” game to depart from the series survival horror genre and start to ground itself in a more action focused genre. While that may disappoint some players, this genre change also allows for “Resident Evil’s” first co-operative game!

Players will get to play the well-known and ever enjoyable Chris Redfield from the previous games, however, they will also get to play as Sheva Alomar - an immensely smart, strong, attractive African woman. It’s unfortunate that Sheva has not made a reappearance in more games as she is not only a fan favorite, but she was also highly regarded among most critics. As with most “Resident Evil” games, the single player campaign requires that you play through and complete the game was Chris Redfield before giving you an option to play through primarily as Sheva. However, this game’s wonderful co-operative campaign allows players to play as both Sheva and Chris as their partnership grows stronger and the puzzles and maps get harder. As with other games in this series, “Resident Evil 5” is no stranger to criticism; however, the reviews for this game are very positive and this game remains in most players top five “Resident Evil” games! - Stacy

Tell us what you think!
What game is your favorite? Tell us some of your other favorite games in the comments!
Posted by  On Jun 07, 2020 at 8:41 AM
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