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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June 2020 - Posts
Read It!

Family Book Club 
with Tess

"The Turnaway Girls" by Haley Chewins
Chapters 11-21

The Turnaway Girls

- What do you think of Blightsend? I imagine an island full of strange fruit and mystical birds. 
- Why do you think everyone has their role and cannot change it? The masters make music, the turnaway girls turn the music into shimmer. No one thinks to do anything different... except Delphernia, Bly, and Linna. What would you do if you lived there?
- What do you think the birds represent? Delphernia can turn her own singing into golden birds but Bly captures one. She also has a special connection with cloisterwings. 
- Delphernia wants to be free but has a secret she is afraid will mean her death. Do you think she'll ever tell?
- Do you think the Childer-Queen is a good character or a bad one? Does she have a secret she is afraid to share?

Leave your thoughts in the comments below! Next week we'll discuss chapters 22-31.
Posted by  On Jun 15, 2020 at 1:17 PM 1 Comment
Making Magic: Crafts for Kids

Flying Dragons
by Jennifer

This dragon craft will have kids roaring and smiling and wanting their dragon to fly over and over again.

- Toilet Paper Roll
- Construction paper
- Glue
- Marker
- Pencil
- Scissors
- Ruler
- String or yarn
- Googly eyes (optional)

Posted by  On Jun 15, 2020 at 12:46 PM
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 "Fire Logic" by Laurie J. Marks (available instantly on

Other upcoming titles, all available instantly from hoopla digital, include:
 - 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 14, 2020 at 9:07 AM
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
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