Aurora Public Library Blog

Welcome to Aurora Public Library’s blog. A place where our library staff share their thoughts, insider knowledge and overall love of all things book and community.

Feel free to comment on posts, re-blog and enjoy. To ensure a civil and focused discussion, comments will be held for a brief period before being published.



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Banned Books Week

Each fall, the American Library Association and numerous partnering organizations celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week. This year’s celebration runs Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 with the theme “Censorship is a dead end. Find your freedom to read!”. Banned Books Week aims to celebrate each individual’s freedom to read as well to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. The week also draws attention to efforts aimed at restricting or removing access to books based on a variety of reasons as well the harms of censorship. 

Each year the Office of Intellectual Freedom within ALA compiles a list of the year’s most frequently challenged, relocated and banned books based on media reports and reports from librarians and teachers. In 2019, 377 challenges were tracked on 566 books.  



Below is a list of the most challenged and banned books of the past decade, from 2010 to 2019. For more information about Banned Books Week, click here. For more information about challenges to books and reasons for the below challenges, visit the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom.  

Most Frequently Challenged Books: 2010 - 2019

 
Picture Books 
Picture Books

- “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo” by Jill Twiss 
- “Prince & Knight” by Daniel Haack 
- “I Am Jazz” by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings 
- “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell 
- “Skippyjon Jones” by Judy Schachner 
- “This Day in June” by Gayle E Pitman 
- “Little Bill” by Bill Cosby 
- “Nasreen’s Secret School” by Jeannette Winter 
- “My Mom’s Having a Baby!” By Dori Butler 

Kids' Books 
Kids' Books
- “George” by Alex Gino 
-“Sex is a Funny Word” by Cory Silverberg 
- “Drama” by Raina Telgemeier 
- “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling 
- “Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey 
- “It’s Perfectly Normal” by Robie Harris 
- “Bone” by Jeff Smith 
- “Scary Stories” by Alvin Schwartz 
- “Alice” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor 
 
Young Adult Books  
Young Adult Books

- “Beyond Magenta” by Susan Kuklin 
- “This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki 
- “Thirteen Reasons” Why by Jay Asher 
- “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie 
- “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas 
- “Two Boys Kissing” by David Levithan 
- “Looking for Alaska” by John Green 
- “Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell 
- “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins 
- “A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl” by Tanya Lee Stone 
- “Ttyl” Series by Lauren Myracle 
- “The Color of Earth” by Kim Dong Hwa 
- “Gossip Girl” by Ziegesar 
- “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones 
- “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins 
- “Lush” by Natasha Friend 
- “Revolutionary Voices” by Amy Sonnie 
- “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer 

Adult Books
Adult

- “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood 
- “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini 
- “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 
- “Big Hard Sex Criminals” by Matt Fraction 
- “Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread” by Palahniuk 
- “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E. L. James 
- “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon 
- The Bible 
- “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel 
- “Habibi” by Craig Thompson 
- “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi 
- “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison 
- “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky 
- “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard 
- “Bless Me Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya 
- “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls 
- “Beloved” by Toni Morrison 
- “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley 
- “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich  

Sources: American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom, Banned Books Week 
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 26, 2020 at 1:29 PM
  
Read It!

Review of "Nothing to See Here" by Kevin Wilson
by Nicole S.

Hello again! As promised I will be giving my review from our latest book club pick which was "Nothing To See Here" by Kevin Wilson. One of my awesome friends from Wisconsin suggested this book! 

Nothing to See Here

As you can see from the cover, it looks to be an interesting book. It was published this past year in October and became a New York Times Bestseller and A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick. This story revolves around two women, Lillian and Madison who in their teenage years became inseparable friends despite their vastly different backgrounds. Lillian, in the midst of a scandal, is forced to leave her school unexpectedly and the two friends drift apart. Then out of the blue Madison writes a letter to Lillian begging for her help. Madison’s stepkids are moving into her house and she has asked Lillian to be their caretaker. These stepkids, twins - a boy and a girl, are incredibly unique. Whenever they get agitated or deeply upset, they spontaneously combust, with flames that ignite from their skin. Yes, you read that right. They burst into flames! With Lillian’s life already a disappointment, she figures she has nothing to lose and agrees to care for these fiery children. The more she learns about these children, the more she realizes she needs them as much as they need her. What could go wrong? 

This book was available as both formats, book and audiobook, and being partial to listening to books, I opted for the audiobook version. My friends in my virtual book club opted for the print format and all of us genuinely enjoyed this book. It is categorized in fiction as magical realism, for the elements of fire that ignite from the children’s bodies that does no harm to them whatsoever. The premise is what peaked our interest - we wanted to find out why and how these children could burst into flame! But then as we continued in this story we all agreed that there were also elements of what being a family truly means, and that not all families are created, some can be chosen too. The main character, Lillian, is a down-to-earth and relatable character. She grew up with an awful home life and has been searching for something – anything - that will give her true happiness. Madison, on the other hand, has had her life handed to her on a silver platter, and doesn’t understand what hardship is truly like; until she meets her husband’s kids. We understood the love and respect Lillian has shown Madison throughout her life, but had a hard time viewing it reciprocated. We knew that Madison trusted Lillian to know her family’s “flaming” secret so to speak, but it was hard for us to gauge whether Madison truly valued what Lillian was willing to do for her.  

A couple of my friends in the book club have families of their own so it made this discussion interesting especially when we asked them how they would handle having children spontaneously combust. Obviously it would be hard and they would need the proper safety measures to ensure their house and everything will still be standing if one of their kids happened to have a meltdown. But they said it would also take a lot of patience to try to learn and understand how and why their kids would get agitated and the best ways to calm them down. This seemed to be very similar to Lillian’s approach with the kids. Madison’s was the opposite. She wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. But then again, these were only her stepkids.  

All in all this was a real page turner and you wanted to keep reading to find out what happens to these children, and if Lillian ever finds true happiness and meaning in her life. This book has characters you will grow to love and others you like to complain about. If you read this book and enjoyed it, you will enjoy other books that Kevin Wilson has read such as, “The Family Fang” and “Perfect Little World”. 
 
For books similar to “Nothing to See Here,” check out “Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano, “Ask Again, Yes” by Mary Beth Keane, and “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett. 

Check back for my next review for our book club pick, “The Kitchen House” by Kathleen Grissom.  
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 25, 2020 at 1:52 PM
  
The creak of floorboards in a silent house...a moaning wind at midnight...the click of a lock bolting closed behind you...

Leave the comfort of your book covers this Halloween as we share haunted tales right here on your computer screen with Scary Stories in the Stacks! Join us every Thursday in October at 8 p.m. on our Facebook for new spine-tingling tales!

Do you have a spooky story of your own? We're taking scary, terrifying or spine-tingling submissions! Staff will choose their top five favorite stories to read on Facebook the day before Halloween, and allow Facebook to vote via reaction! The winner will receive an prize from Aurora Public Library. Submissions must be 1,000 words or less, rated PG-13 and under, and must be emailed to aplreadingrocks@auroragov.org by Sunday, Oct. 25.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 24, 2020 at 3:27 PM
  
Create It Pets

Welcome to Create It: Pets! Each month, in partnership with the Aurora Animal Shelter, we will be sharing a fun, easy DIY to make for furry friends! 

In this video, librarian Tessy shares a tutorial for how to make a no-sew fleece blanket for cats (and bigger animals too)!



Make these fun projects for your own pets, or consider donating to the Aurora Animal Shelter! For more information on donating, please visit the Aurora Animal Shelter's website here.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 24, 2020 at 1:47 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.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 24, 2020 at 1:46 PM
  
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