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September 2021 - Posts
Three on a Theme: Best and Brightest

Votes have been counted and it's time for this month's Three on a Theme recommendations!

This month's options were BEST & BRIGHTEST vs. READING REBELS and the winner was...BEST & BRIGHTEST! Take a look at the list below for the the most circulated eBooks from OverDrive in 2020 - decided by our patrons!

Let us know in the comments which ones you've read, which are your favorites and what's on your to-read list!

 
Adult eBooks

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
"Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens
Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open. For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens. In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens's debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides "The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London's most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word. Alicia's refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations--a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....

"Blue Moon" by Lee Child "Blue Moon" by Lee Child
In the next highly anticipated installment of Lee Child's acclaimed suspense series, Jack Reacher comes to the aid of an elderly couple . . . and confronts his most dangerous opponents yet. Check out more Jack Reacher novels here. 






Young Adult eBooks

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins"The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" by Suzanne Collins
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined -- every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

Funny, You Don't look Autistic by Michael McCreary"Funny, You Don't Look Autistic" by Michael McCreary
Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn't "look" autistic. But, as he's quick to point out in this memoir, autism "looks" different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Diagnosed with ASD at age five, McCreary got hit with the performance bug not much later. During a difficult time in junior high, he started journaling, eventually turning his pain e into something empowering-and funny. He scored his first stand-up gig at age 14, and hasn't looked back. This unique and hilarious #OwnVoices memoir breaks down what it's like to live with autism for readers on and off the spectrum. Candid scenes from McCreary's life are broken up with funny visuals and factual asides. Funny, You Don't Look Autistic is an invaluable and compelling read for young readers with ASD looking for voices to relate to, as well as for readers hoping to broaden their understanding of ASD.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalils name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr doesor does notsay could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


Kids' Chapter Books

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by JK Rowling "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by JK Rowling

Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

"Wonder" by RJ Palacio "Wonder" by RJ Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.







Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School" by Jeff Kinney
Life was better in the old days. Or was it? That's the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn't cut out for an old-fashioned world. With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive? Or is going "old school" just too hard for a kid like Greg? Check out more "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" here.






Picture Books

The Good Egg"The Good Egg" by Jory John
When the other eggs in his carton behave badly, the good egg feels like he needs to be perfect.








"The Cool Bean" by Jory John "The Cool Bean" by Jory John
Everyone knows the cool beans. They're sooooo cool. And then there's the uncool has-bean . . . Always on the sidelines, one bean unsuccessfully tries everything he can to fit in with the crowd--until one day the cool beans show him how it's done.







"the Bad Seed" by Jory John"The Bad Seed" by Jory John
A naughty seed with a bad attitude, bad temper, and bad manners vows to change his life for the better, but his efforts are met with skepticism by his friends.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 24, 2021 at 11:05 AM
  
Celebrate Women's Friendship Day

A friend is the best thing you can have and the best thing you can be! Every year the third Sunday in September is all about celebrating female friendships with National Women's Friendship Day! This year this special day is celebrated Sept. 19. Take some time today to celebrate friendships with your sisters - family or chosen - and check out the books below to continue the celebration of these special relationships!


Anne of Green Gables by Mariah Marsden "Anne of Green Gables" by Mariah Marsden
The magic of L.M. Montgomery's treasured classic is reimagined in a whimsically-illustrated graphic novel adaptation perfect for newcomers and kindred spirits alike. When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan who can help manage their family farm, they have no idea what delightful trouble awaits them. With flame-red hair and an unstoppable imagination, 11-year-old Anne Shirley takes Green Gables by storm. Anne's misadventures bring a little romance to the lives of everyone she meets: her bosom friend, Diana Barry; the town gossip, Mrs. Lynde; and that infuriating tease, Gilbert Blythe. From triumphs and thrills to the depths of despair, Anne turns each everyday moment into something extraordinary.




Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer "Text Me When You Get Home" by Kayleen Schaefer
The stories we're telling about female friendship have changed. What used to be written off as infighting between mean girls or disposable relationships that would be tossed as soon as a guy came along are no longer described like that. Now, we're lifting up our female friendships to the same level as our other important relationships, saying they matter just as much as the bonds we have with our romantic partners, children, parents, or siblings. Journalist Kayleen Schaefer relays her journey of modern female friendship: from being a competitive teenager to trying to be one of the guys in the workplace to ultimately awakening to the power of female friendship and the soulmates, girl squads, and chosen families that come with it. Schaefer has put together a completely new sociological perspective on the way we see our friends today, one that includes interviews with dozens of other women across the country: historians, creators of the most iconic films and television shows about female friendship (and Galentine's Day!), celebrities, authors, and other experts. The end result is a validation of female friendship that's never existed before.



Ruth has been single-handedly raising four young daughters and running her family’s Indiana farm for eight long years, ever since her husband, John, fell into a comatose state, infected by the infamous “sleeping sickness” devastating families across the country. If only she could trade places with her older sister, June, who is the envy of everyone she meets: blonde and beautiful, married to a wealthy doctor, living in a mansion in St. Paul. And June has a coveted job, too, as one of “the Bettys,” the perky recipe developers who populate General Mills’ famous Betty Crocker test kitchens. But these gilded trappings hide sorrows: she has borne no children. And the man she used to love more than anything belongs to Ruth.
When the two sisters reluctantly reunite after a long estrangement, June’s bitterness about her sister’s betrayal sets into motion a confrontation that’s been years in the making. And their mother, Dorothy, who’s brought the two of them together, has her own dark secrets, which might blow up the fragile peace she hopes to restore between her daughters.
An emotional journey of redemption, inner strength, and the ties that bind families together, for better or worse, "The Sisters of Summit Avenue" is a heartfelt love letter to mothers, daughters, and sisters everywhere.


A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini
"A Thousand Splendid Suns" is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years - from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding - that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives - the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness - are inextricable from the history playing out around them.

Propelled by the same storytelling instinct that made The Kite Runner a beloved classic, A Thousand Splendid Suns is at once a remarkable chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. It is a striking, heart-wrenching novel of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love - a stunning accomplishment.



"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty
A murder...A tragic accident...Or just parents behaving badly? What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare but she is paying a price for the illusion of perfection. New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads, but they will all wind up in the same shocking place.
"Big Little Lies" is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.




Conversation with Friends by Sally Rooney"Conversations with Friends" by Sally Rooney
Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student and aspiring writer, she devotes herself to a life of the mind--and to the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi, her best friend and comrade-in-arms. Lovers at school, the two young women now perform spoken-word poetry together in Dublin, where a journalist named Melissa spots their potential. Drawn into Melissa's orbit, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband. Private property, Frances believes, is a cultural evil--and Nick, a bored actor who never quite lived up to his potential, looks like patriarchy made flesh. But however amusing their flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy neither of them expect. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally even with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.


"Swing Time" by Zadie Smith"Swing Time" by Zadie Smith
Two brown girls dream of being dancers—but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It's a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either.
Tracey makes it to the chorus line but struggles with adult life, while her friend leaves the old neighborhood behind, traveling the world as an assistant to a famous singer, Aimee, observing close up how the one percent live.
But when Aimee develops grand philanthropic ambitions, the story moves from London to West Africa, where diaspora tourists travel back in time to find their roots, young men risk their lives to escape into a different future, the women dance just like Tracey—the same twists, the same shakes—and the origins of a profound inequality are not a matter of distant history, but a present dance to the music of time.



The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan
Four mothers, four daughters, four families, whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's telling the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers' advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives – until their own inner crises reveal how much they've unknowingly inherited of their mothers' pasts.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.



"The Animators" by Kayla Rae Whitaker "The Animators" by Kayla Rae Whitaker
In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their twenties ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel’s difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon’s home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known—her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy—reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.


"Another Brooklyn" by Jacqueline Woodson"Another Brooklyn" by Jacqueline Woodson
For August, running into a long-ago friend sets in motion resonant memories and transports her to a time and a place she thought she had mislaid: 1970s Brooklyn, where friendship was everything. August, Sylvia, Angela, and Gigi shared confidences as they ambled their neighborhood streets, a place where the girls believed that they were amazingly beautiful, brilliantly talented, with a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful promise there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where mothers disappeared, where fathers found religion, and where madness was a mere sunset away. Woodson heartbreakingly illuminates the formative period when a child meets adulthood -- when precious innocence meets the all-too-real perils of growing up.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 16, 2021 at 3:32 PM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse YA novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you. 

Remember, your mental health matters. 

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on suicide in recognition of National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 5 – 11) and National Suicide Prevention Month in September.
If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Young Adult book display at Central Library

Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. In fact, suicide is often the result of an untreated mental health condition. Suicidal thoughts, although common, should not be considered normal and often indicate more serious issues (Nami, 2021). The goal of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month is to raise awareness of the stigmatized, and often taboo, topic of suicide and to spread both valuable information and hope to those who have been affected by it.

Having suicidal thoughts can be scary and they can range in their intensity. This scale is a helpful tool to check in with yourself when you are experiencing suicidal thoughts. 

 Suicidality Scale

Coping with Suicidal Thoughts:
If you can’t see any solution besides harming yourself or others, you need to get help right away. 

Asking for help can be really difficult, but it’s vital you reach out to someone you trust—a friend, family member, teacher, etc. If you don’t feel that you have anyone to talk to, or think that talking to a stranger might be easier, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255
Whatever your situation, it takes real courage to face death and step back from the brink. 
Having thoughts of hurting yourself or others does not make you a bad person. 
If your feelings are uncontrollable, tell yourself to wait 24 hours before you take any action. 
If you’re afraid you might do something, make sure you are never alone. Even if you can’t verbalize your feelings, just stay in public places, hang out with friends or family members.
Read more on suicidal thoughts here.

Real Teens Share Their Stories: 
Meet Halima Shegow
- Meet Jordan Burnham
- Meet Travis Young

Learn More:
The Aspect of Suicidality That Suicide Prevention Campaigns Are Missing 
- 6 Ways to Deal With Suicidal Thoughts, According to Experts 
- What a ‘Typical’ Day Looks Like With Chronic Suicidal Thoughts

Explore Young Adult novels and non-fiction that address suicide. Visit the display at Aurora Central Library for more books. 



For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library and look for call number 362.28. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.

Check back in October for our next Mental Health Spotlight!  
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Sep 09, 2021 at 4:02 PM