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December 2020 - Posts
Draw It!

Draw It! Elephant
with Kristin

Grab a pencil and paper - it's time to Draw It! 📝 Our staff member Kristin shows how to draw an elephant!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 17, 2020 at 12:17 PM
  
Welcome to Make & Learn! 
with Sara

Make & Learn

In this program, our librarians will be sharing easy-to-make games and activities that support cognitive development and practicing early literacy skills.

In this video, Miss Sara shares how to make a thumb piano, a fun way to encourage singing and practice fine motor skills. 
 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 17, 2020 at 8:23 AM
  
Readers' Realm
Journey into Readers' Realm with a new genre each month
by Lisa

Our new online book club, Readers' Realm, explores a different genre/category each month and encourages middle school fiction lovers to share their favorite reads - and find some new ones along the way!

Each month, Readers' Realm will dive into a different genre/category. Beginning January 6, and every Wednesday after, a new question or discussion topic will be posted on the APL blog. Middle grade readers can respond any time, as many times as they want, in the comment section of the blog post; there will be no specific meetings.  They can also read what other people post and respond to them to get a real discussion going.  

And how exciting is this?? Authors S.A. Bodeen ("Shipwreck Island", "The Raft", and more), Dan Gutman ("The Genius Files", "My Weird School", and more), and Roland Smith ("Peak", "Beneath", and more) will occasionally blog with us!

The first genre/category for January is ADVENTURE!  We've listed some suggested books below, but it is your choice what book you read – as long as it’s adventurous!

Get reading and get ready to blog about ADVENTURE books.


Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 16, 2020 at 10:33 AM
  
Read It!

Family Book Club Year in Review: "Prairie Lotus" by Linda Sue Park
by Tess

Join Family Book Club on Monday, Dec. 28 at 5 p.m. as we meet to discuss our favorite book(s) from this year! Each Monday of December I will be posting a short book recommendation for four of my favorite novels that I read in 2020.

"Prairie Lotus" by Linda Sue Park

Prairie Lotus

 
"Prairie Lotus" by Linda Sue Park is one of my favorite reads in 2020. This is a historical fiction novel about Hanna, who experiences tremendous racism due to being half-Chinese. Her mother has passed away and her father decides to move them east, away from Los Angeles, where is there is a large Asian community. The year is 1880 and Caucasian people considered themselves superior to all other races. Hanna's father, a white man, does his best to protect her but ultimately it is up to her to fulfill her dreams of getting an education and becoming a dressmaker in her father's shop. 
 
I enjoyed this story because of it's authenticity. I am not very familiar with America in the 1880s and I love to  learn about different time periods and other peoples' experiences. I loved Hanna. She is brave in the face of hatred and proves her worth to the town, even though she shouldn't have to. 
 
"Prairie Lotus" is available in print and online as an digital audiobook via Overdrive with your library card.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 14, 2020 at 3:15 PM
  
Create It!

Create It! Puzzle Wreath 
by Karen

Have an old puzzle with missing pieces? Don't toss it - turn it into holiday decor! Karen shares an upcycle project that's fun for the whole family - puzzle wreaths!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 14, 2020 at 9:13 AM
  
Read It!

Read It! "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens
Review by Nicole

Hello there! If you have read my posts before you will know that I am a Wisconsin native who moved here to lovely Colorado just at the start of the year. To keep in touch with some dear friends we started a book club that I get to virtually attend about once a month and we discuss a book one of our groupmates recommended. I just virtually met up with my WI book club this past weekend and it had felt like forever since we had our last book discussion. Our discussion for this month was “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. 

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens


 This was a book I was really looking forward to both reading and discussing. Like all widely talked about books,  I was interested to view for myself what the hype was for this book. Since it has been published in 2018, it was a New York Times Bestseller for 32 non-consecutive weeks, sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, was A Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and A Business Insider Defining Book of the Decade. That’s a lot of hype! The premise of having a coming of age story mixed with a possible murder was of great intrigue as well.  

Kya Clark, also known as the “Marsh Girl” around her quiet town of Barkley Cove on the North Carolina coast, has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. In 1969, when the beloved and handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, everyone immediately suspects Kya. But she is not what they say. Sensitive, and somewhat reserved Kya is yearning to be loved and when she is highly sought after by two young men in town, Kya slowly starts to open herself to a new life, and then the unthinkable happens.  

This book was not only a great book to read but also gave us a great discussion. We divulge into Kya’s character and personality from the time she was a little girl to a young woman. She has had many hardships in her life but Delia Owens created a strong, and resilient character in Kya. The narrative jumps back and forth between present day in 1969 and less than a decade before that in 1952 as we learn about Kya’s home life and her fascination with the gulls and the marsh. This brought on some great conversation about Kya, the people in her home town, and the symbolism of the marsh and its variant wildlife.  

If you are looking for a book that has love loss, and bit of mystery, this is the book for you! 

If you are looking for books similar to “Where the Crawdads Sing”, check out “Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance”  by Ruth Emmie Lang, “Magic Hour” by Kristin Hannah, and  “The Wildlands” by Abby Geni

Check back for my next review for the book, “Marriage Vacation” by Pauline Brooks.  
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 12, 2020 at 9:07 AM
  
APL How-To: Make Your Own Video Game with Twine
by Elizabeth

Hi there! So you want to make a Twine game? Great! Let’s get started.

Twine is a free website that allows you to make a choose-your-path game. It’s easy to use, and to make a
basic game, you only have to know two buttons on your keyboard. We’ll cover how to use those buttons, then
move on to cover two ways to surprise your readers.

Watch a tutorial here, or read on to learn more!



The Basics
First, go to twinery.org and click “Use it online.” You can download it, too, if you prefer.

If it’s your first time using Twine, Twine will give you a message telling you the basics: Twine saves its stories
in your browser, it’s free to use, and there’s a website full of detailed information you can go to if you need
more help.

For now, let’s click on the new story button on the right side of the screen:

Twine

Come up with a name for your story! I named mine “Library Story,” but you can name yours whatever you like.

After you name your story, you’ll be directed to a blue grid with a box in the center.

Twine

Double-click the box, or passage, to get started. Think of this as a page in your choose-your-path book: you’re
writing a page with a few choices for your reader.

Write whatever you want the reader to see when they click on your passage.

When you want to include a choice, place it in [[double brackets, like this]].

Click on “Test” or “Play” in the bottom corner whenever you’re ready to test it out.

Twine

Twine

When you test the game, the words you put in double brackets should show up in blue. You can click them
now, and they’ll take you to new pages.

Each of the links is a title of a new page, so anytime you type the words [[Let’s go]] or [[Wait, no]], it’ll take your
readers to the exact same page.

That’s it! That’s all you need to know to make a basic choose-your-path Twine game. Congratulations! If you
want to get a little more complicated, though, here are two tricks to surprise your reader.

Getting More Involved
Again, the steps above are all you need to know. But what if you want something more complicated? What if
you want to add new words to a page someone’s already reading?

Easy! Here are two simple ways to add new words. You’ll make two kinds of links. One will change a word into
another word when the reader clicks on it, and one will add words to another part of the story.

Changing a Word
To change a word, we’re going to add two new concepts: single brackets and parentheses.

First, let’s turn a dragon into a lizard:

      I have to fight a (link: “dragon”)[lizard] today.

Twine

In the above picture, “dragon” is the word we want to change. Put the word you want to change in quotes after
“link”:
Then, put one bracket and write what you want to appear instead. Don’t put two brackets! That’ll take you to a
new page.

The end result should look like this:

      (link: “word you want to change”)[new word]

When your readers click the link, the words will change.

Twine

Surprise! New Words
If you want to add words somewhere else in the passage after people click on a link, without deleting your
original words, you can also do that. Let’s try this with a paraphrase of Cabin Pressure’s “Surprising Rice.”

      “Behold! Surprising Rice.”
      [“What are those bits?”]<text| Martin asked.
      (click: ?text) [“Ah, you see, Skipper, if you don’t mind me saying so, that question is
      entirely against the spirit of Surprising Rice.”]

Twine

First, we have to write the words someone has to click on.

[words to click]<text|

When words are in brackets, you don’t have to put them in quotes.

Next, let’s write the words that will appear:

(click: ?text)[words that will appear]

You can put these words anywhere on the page you want!

The end result should look like this: once your reader clicks on the link, it will change from a blue link into plain
text, and the words will appear.

Twine
Twine

Thank you for making a video game with Twine! Let me know if you have any questions. If you make your own game in Twine, let us know! We'd love to hear about it!
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 11, 2020 at 10:25 AM
  
Create It Pets

Time for presents! Gift a handmade toy to your favorite furry friend or a shelter animal. In partnership with the Aurora Animal Shelter.



Spread the joy this season with pets waiting for their forever homes at Aurora Animal Shelter through Presents for Shelter Pets! 🐈 🎁 ❄ 🐕 Visit
AuroraAnimalShelter.org for a list of needed items (including an Amazon Wish List) & info on how to donate

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 10, 2020 at 12:20 PM
  
HELLO

HELLO stands for Hand-on Early Literacy for Little Ones. In this program children will sing songs, work on fine and gross motor skills, learn about letters, numbers and science and develop early literacy skills. Ages 0-6.

This week's video is all about the letter E, as in eagle!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 10, 2020 at 11:44 AM
  
A Yarn About the World: Paris
with Tyler

Our resident globetrotter Tyler shares his travel experiences. This time, take a trip to the City of Lights - Paris! Learn about Paris and its history while taking in the beautiful sights!

Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 08, 2020 at 9:18 AM
  
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