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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Game on!
Game reviews by Brandon, Elizabeth, Kristin, Stacy, Justine, and Sue.

Hello everyone! We hope you’ll enjoy these reviews for free games to entertain you! These are a mix of browser and smartphone games, and none of them will cost you anything to play.
Today's theme
Want to play free online games with friends and loved ones? Here are some great options!

Game One
Path of Exile 
A downloadable game available here.
Path of Exile

My brother and I have been playing online co-op games for the past five years: once every few months, he calls me to tell me about the new game we just have to try. “Path of Exile” is one that we keep returning to. “Path of Exile” is a fantasy RPG: you’re an outcast banished to a brutal world. You can fight your way through this world either by yourself or with friends, taking on different advanced missions and discovering information about who wronged you. My brother and I play very different types of games, but this has everything we both want: advanced combat tactics for him, a story for me, and items for both of us. It has competitive events and badges, too, if you’d like to play more competitively. Think of it as a free-to-play Diablo III. - Elizabeth

Game 2
We Were Here
Available through Steam here.

We Were Here

“We Were Here” is game that was released for free on Steam back in 2017. Developed by Total Mayhem Games, this is a game with not a lot of story. You and your friend are trapped in a castle that you’ve discovered in the arctic wastelands - you aren’t sure why you are here, but all you know is you need to get out and FAST. With one person as the explorer and one person as the librarian, you must help each other get through each level solely via walk-talkie communication.


“Hey, sooo I don’t mean to rush anyone, but I might be dying?”
I played “We Were Here” with two of my closest friends in another city. We’ve done multiple escape rooms together before, but “We Were Here” adds an additional level of challenge: since my friends and I were separated, we couldn’t collaborate like normal. We couldn’t even see each other’s screens. Add the difficulty of carefully describing details and a few very brutal time limits to this escape room and we were left with a delightfully shriek-worthy experience. – Elizabeth 

So let it be known, that Elizabeth played this game in a much more polite manner that I had. My experience was more of “ Stacy, STACY I’M GOING TO DROWN! PLEASE STOP ME FROM DROWNING!!” This game was an experience and perfect for cooperative play. The game lures you in with a false sense of comfort at first. You have no problem just chatting about anything with your partner, in between actual gameplay talk. As you progress, the game begins to implement time limits and you must turn your focus up at this point. The game promotes outside the box thinking and you will definitely benefit by playing with someone who can think in sync with you. Constant communication is key! There is also apparently some sort of terrifying puppet, but I’ll let Stacy tell you more about that. - Brandon

Although I only played with Brandon, I can agree that he was definitely not as nice as Elizabeth. As the librarian, I spent most of my playthrough wandering a set of rooms trying to figure out which symbols, notes, and words pertained to whichever puzzle Brandon (as the explorer) was on. At first it was really chaotic – I felt like I was just yelling nonsense at Brandon because neither of us could figure out what the other one needed; “A green eye and a blue eye? Two green eyes? Do these eye colors mean ANYTHING to you?" and “There are.....books here. Do you need books maybe?” Although I definitely remember yelling/crying at Brandon as he was trying to save me from a hauntingly scary marionette - which we failed many many times. I definitely recommend this game for anyone who is a fan of puzzle games, co-operative/non-player-versus-player games, and those who are fans of “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” or “Spaceteam!” - Stacy 

Game 3
Starcraft 2
Available through Blizzard here.

Starcraft 2

This is another of my favorite games to play with my brother. In Starcraft 2, players can choose between three space races: humans, the bug-like Zurg, or the psychic Protoss.  You can choose to compete against each other or to team up against the computer. It’s a strategy game: you’re building up cities and armies in space, all in preparation to fight the other armies. Very war-like, but also (according to my brother) relaxing once you get good at it. Me? I just stay bad at it and piggyback on his success.
- Elizabeth

Tell us what you think!

Do you have any favorite online cooperative games? Any great tales of playing together with friends and family? Let us know, and happy gaming!
Posted by  On Aug 28, 2020 at 12:03 PM
Read It!

Family Book Club
with Tess 

August's Book: "One Crazy Summer" by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer

Chapters 18- 25: "China Who" to "San Francisco Treat"

- Why do you think the girls liked to count the words that African American performers said in movies and TV shows? I think it could be because they didn't see may people who looked like them on TV, which made it very special when they did see Black actors and artists. 
- Why do you think Pa did not tell Big Ma about the police encounter?
- Rally for Bobby was a difficult chapter. How did you feel after reading it?
- How would you feel about the Black Panthers and the rally - more like Delphine or more like Vonetta and Fern?
- Cecile is starting to change, at least toward Delphine. What are some things she has done to show she is changing?

Join us next Monday, August 31 at 5 p.m. for our Family Book Club meeting on Zoom! We'll discuss "One Crazy Summer" live!
Posted by  On Aug 24, 2020 at 12:24 PM 1 Comment
It's MakeItMonday! Bring a little piece of beach life to Colorado and keep summer vibes going all year long with this fun shell plaque! 
Posted by  On Aug 24, 2020 at 12:24 PM
Read It!

Review of "Ink and Bone" by Rachel Caine
by Nicole S.

Hello! I was very excited to share this book club pick with you because I enjoyed it so much I had to get my hands on the rest of the series! I had suggested the book “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine to my friends for the virtual book club because it was one I had been wanting to read and had many fellow librarians highly recommend the book.  

The premise for this book was incredibly interesting to me because it revolved around the idea that the Great Library of Alexandria never burned down and now the Great Library holds all the power in society. What a concept! The Great Library is found in every city and they govern the knowledge and power. Through alchemy, the library shares knowledge and great works of history to the public however the personal ownership of books is considered forbidden. The story follows Jess Brightwell, who still believes in the value of the library despite his family’s business in the black market selling illegal books. Jess has been accepted to train at the library, which excites him, but his father wants to use it as an advantage to spy on the Great Library. Jess will have to decide where his loyalties lie – and even more so when its discovered that his friend has invented something that could change the world and the Great Library’s hold on knowledge.  

I enjoyed this book from cover to cover. Having understood the library’s value at a young age, it was such an interesting idea to have the Great Library be the one to hold all of the knowledge of the world and the power as well. What was a little hard to grasp was the setting and description of the world in this story. We start out in London in the year 2030 however the technology and buildings are described as it is still only the start of 19th century. That sparked a long discussion in our book club about why they had a hard time picturing this book as in the future. Since knowledge isn’t equally distributed to the masses that means even the earliest inventions we were accustomed to learning about didn’t exist. Instead of these inventions there is the discovery of alchemy, which is used throughout the Great Libraries as a way to transmit messages, items and even people back and forth.  

I also could find myself relating to the main protagonist, Jess Brightwell. He views books not as commodity or black market value but for the content and knowledge held within the books. He highly respects the values of the Great Library, or at least the values the Great Library used to hold, in high regards. As time progresses we learn that the Great Library isn’t what we initially view it to be and how it has evolved into something. Better or worse? I will let you decide if you end up reading this book! If you end up enjoying this book as much as I did you are in luck because it is the start of a series! There are 5 books in total to “The Great Library” series.  

If you like having the library as a big setting in the story check out other books like “The Invisible Library” series by Genevieve Cogman and “Sorcery of Thorns” by Margaret Rogerson

Look for my next post as I review our next book club pick “Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson.   
Posted by  On Aug 21, 2020 at 1:13 PM
Draw It!

Grab a pencil and paper - it's time to Draw It! 📝 Our librarian Kristin shows how to draw a sea turtle!

Show us your sea turtle in the comments below and tell us what you'd like to draw next!

Posted by  On Aug 20, 2020 at 3:41 PM
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