Murder Under the Big Top: A Murder Mystery Event

The library is happy to announce that we recently received a $1,000 grant from the Town of Yorktown Endowment Grant through the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County. 

This money will be used to fund a new project called Family Fun @ Your Library. This is an event in that series.


Enter a world of fabulous freaks, exotic acts, and mysterious management…

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Desperate to bolster his circus from a dog-and-pony show to a spectacle that will rival Ringling, Harold Hargrove’s dire attempt to lure audiences and show-stopping attractions have created rivalries that exist beyond the center ring.

As the pressure builds, a murder is committed that steals the show…and you are left to uncover the culprit before the final act.

Was it the raging ringmaster in an attempt to clean up the spectacle? The talented tightrope walker whose fall took them out of the limelight? A revolting roustabout with revenge in their veins? Or possibly a possessive performer whose death defying demeanor went too far…?

In an intense world of illusion and intrigue, you must rely on your wit and intuition to find the killer before the Grand Finale!

How to Participate

For our murder mystery party to be a success, we need at least 20 people to play characters! Sign up to play a character, and we will send you an envelope with everything you need, including information about who you’re portraying, two weeks before the event.

Event Night

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Murder Under the Big Top will be Monday, October 22, from 6:00-8:00 pm. That’s right! An after-hours library murder mystery! Food will be provided.

When you arrive, you’ll be given an envelope with your objective and other items you’ll need for the game.

After a bit, the lights will go out. When they come back on, the victim will have fallen down “dead.”

Next, it’s time to collect evidence and present your findings to the investigator.

Finally, you’ll fill out a ‘Who Dunnit?’ sheet.

The investigator will reveal the solution. Were you right?


Murder Under the Big Top is a clean program, suitable for youths and/or more conservative groups. However, please be aware that there are multiple instances of bribery, blackmail, deceit, and, well, “murder”…

This will be a night you don’t want to miss!

 

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Family Fun @ Your Library: One Book/One Community

The library is happy to announce that we recently received a $1000 grant from the Town of Yorktown Endowment Grant through the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County. 

This money will be used to fund a new project called Family Fun @ Your Library.

 

One Book / One Community Family Read

Nothing brings people together like the love of a great book, and we’re bringing that feeling to our entire community for our first Family Fun @ Your Library program, One Book/One Community. Join us in reading The One and Only Ivan this fall.

Read a description of this award-winning book below, followed by all the details you’ll need to participate.

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Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Timesbestseller!

This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by KirkusSchool Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author’s note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events. –Harper Collins Publishers

 

Registration

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Registration for One Book/One Community will begin on August 20 and run through August 31.

During that time, families can sign up for the program and reserve their book. Books will be available for pick up the week of September 10.

Book Discussion Night

Join us at the library on October 17th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, where will we come together as a community to discuss the book over food, activities, crafts, and surprises!

We hope to see you and your families there!

Monica’s Pick: The Rules of Magic

It is a librarians eternal task to answer the question, “What should I read next?” The librarians here at Y.P.L. are attempting to answer that question with our Staff Picks series. Each entry will include a different recommendation from a staff member.

Today’s Staff Pick is brought to you by me, Monica Thomas, Y.P.L. Technology Coordinator!

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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I’m recommending this book because…

Honesty time: I had no idea that one of my favorite movies, Practical Magic, was based on a book. When the news dropped that a prequel to Practical Magic was being released, I knew I had two books to add to my list!

I read Practical Magic first, and I enjoyed it, but it was a little forgettable. You definitely don’t need to read Practical Magic to enjoy and understand The Rules of Magic. (But if you’re like me, you probably will anyway.) The Aunts, who were one of the best parts about the movie, are barely in the first book, and not at all the eccentric, fun characters I remembered and adored.

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Aunt Jet and Aunt Frances mixing up some midnight margaritas in Practical Magic (1998), a scene tragically not found in the book!

To my delight, The Rules of Magic is all about Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet (for most of the book, just Frances and Jet) as they grow up in 1960s New York City, developing their powers. The story is beautiful, tragic, and remarkably human. Yes, they’re witches, but The Rules of Magic is about so much more than curses, herbs, and superstition. At its heart, it’s a story of family, relationships, and the heartache that shapes us into who we are.

“I’m fated to lose everyone I ever love,” April said. “I already know that.”
“Of course you are,” Jet responded in her calm, measured tone. “That’s what it means to be alive.”
― Alice Hoffman, The Rules of Magic

The story spans several decades against the backdrop of real events like the Stonewall riots and the Vietnam War, and ends where Practical Magic begins. By the time I closed the back cover, I felt like I really knew these characters, like I had been through a lot with them. It was one of those books I was sad to finish, because even though I followed these characters from adolescence to old age, I just didn’t want it to end!

I adore the Frances and Jet I got to know in this book more than their Practical Magic movie versions, because they are real, fleshed-out women instead of just the eccentric, powerful aunts of Sally and Gillian. It’s a book I will revisit many more times over the years.

(Although, the midnight margarita scene will always be headcanon. I can’t help it.)


 

Interested in reading The Rules of Magic? Click one of the options below:

Check the availability of our physical copy.

Check the availability of our eBook copy.

 

Why Batman Is A Great Literary Character

In honor of this year’s superhero themed Summer Reading Program, I thought it would be appropriate to describe why a certain superhero is a great literary character. First the argument would probably be made that superhero stories aren’t real literature, to which I will send you to the post from a couple weeks ago. Yes, superhero stories get looked down upon, but they can also show us a lot about ourselves. Thus, their characters shouldn’t be simply tossed aside because you have to look at them on every page. According to this post, there are 5 key elements that a character must have to be a good, memorable character. So we’re going to see how Bruce Wayne/Batman fits all of these criteria.

1. Recognition

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Miles Scott aka Batkid

Recognition means that we have to be able to see ourselves as this character, or have some sort of connection.

Who couldn’t recognize themselves as Bruce Wayne or Batman? Aren’t we all billionaires that own super successful companies and at night hunt the city for bad guys that we beat to a pulp? NO! Of course that’s not true. But most people can still relate to Bruce. He lives a life that he constantly has to keep secrets, while also fighting to do good. Sometimes we go about it in the wrong way, but it is often said that the ends justify the means. No, we don’t have endless cash to fund our crusade against crime. Yet we can connect with the focus to do good for the benefit of all.

2. Personality

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Jim Gordon and Bruce Wayne for Fox’s Gotham

Personality show us that we have a relationship with this character.

Batman has seen the dark side of his home town (Gotham City). It drives him to have one goal, to eradicate evil where ever it hides. But this isn’t where it stops for Bruce. He’s a friend, a son, a lover, and a father. All of these he blends in to his crime fighting. However, he has a character flaw that all of his acquaintances have come to accept. Bruce is a loner. Even when teaming up with the Justice League, he will take some time to himself (and usually solves the big mystery in the meantime). But man can be full of wit, and straight up bluntness that most superheroes don’t have.

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Sorry, I had to add this one

3. Humanity

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Humanity is what helps us see the character as more than what they are.

Bruce has long been the epitome of stone faced and unflinching. Yet he has one major soft spot, which usually comes in the form of whoever is in the Robin costume. This started because Dick Grayson went through a situation that reminded Bruce of his own (both witnessed their parents murder). So Bruce took him in and cared for him. Since that time, Batman has always had a special place in his heart for each one of the Robins. As the “Bat-Family” expands (Nightwing, Red Robin, Batgirl, Bat-Woman, etc), Bruce tends to open up just a little bit more.

4. Enrichment

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Enrichment is how we see our characters in the real world. Can the make mistakes and deal with real world problems?

Aside from the crime fighting, we see Batman deal with personal crisis over and over. Batman started with personal tragedy. Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents in a back alley of Gotham City. This was what sent him on his path to becoming the Batman. Yet the troubles don’t end there. One of the most notable ones was with the death of Jason Todd (Robin #2). Batman went on a rampage where everyone he came in contact with usually got his fist in their face. Yet when Tim Drake (Robin #3) deduced Bruce Wayne was Batman, he was able to convince him that he needed Robin to help him from going to a dark place.

5. Pain

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Pain describes how our characters deal with pain.

Batman is no stranger to pain. He’s been feeling it since he was a boy that witnessed his parents murder. Then there was the death of the Graysons. Then Jason Todd. Batgirl was beaten so severely by the Joker, that most thought she was going to die. There was also the death of his own son, Damian Wayne. There have also been countless times of physical pain, most notably when Bane “broke the Bat”, by breaking Bruce Wayne’s back. Through all of the pain, people (especially those who have lost people close to them) have been able to connect with this character.

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So what do you think? Can superheroes be great literary characters as well? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.