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Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman



Stuffed Animal Sleepover at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 10th, 2017

Hey kids, you have a slumber party with your stuffed animal every night, but what if they had one with their stuffed friends? What adventures would they have when you aren’t looking? What trouble would they get into? Find out at the Iowa City Public Library’s Preschool Storytime: Stuffed Animal Sleepover!stuffed-animal-sleepover

Bring one of your stuffed animals and join us for storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on either January 18 or January 19 in the Storytime Room. We’ll read books and sing songs, but when it’s time to go, your stuffed friend stays behind to spend the night at the Library!

Be sure to come back to ICPL the next day to pick up your friend. We’ll even have photos showing what the “stuffies” got up to while not sleeping at their slumber party. Children who attend the January 18 storytime will pick up their friend on January 19. Preschoolers who come to the January 19 storytime will come back for their stuffed animal on January 20. Please note that if you can’t reclaim your friend on either of those days, the Library will hold on to them until your next visit.

Parents, we suggest your child bring a stuffed animal he or she is comfortable leaving behind for a night.

The Library’s preschool storytime is recommended for children between the ages of three and five. Younger and older siblings are welcome to attend, too.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Learn about food with Green Iowa AmeriCorps at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 9th, 2017

Green Iowa AmeriCorps will be at the Iowa City Public Library from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, January 21, for a special program for children in kindergarten through third grades.

“Where Does your Food Come From?” will explore local, regional and exotic foods, with samples for kids to try. Representatives from Green Iowa AmeriCorps will talk about where food comes from and the steps it takes before it arrives on kids’ dinner plates. Participants will make a craft and receive seeds to take home to nurture throughout the winter months, then plant in the spring.

Registration is required for this program. Register online here, or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Host Crazy 8s Math Club for Kids

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 4th, 2017

Join the national movement to make math the cool thing to do after school by attending Iowa City Public Library’s Crazy 8s Math Club.

Beginning January 10, this fun and educational program for elementary students in kindergarten through second grade meets from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room every Tuesday.

Crazy 8s from the Bedtime Math Foundation is designed to get kids fired up about math. Participants will build things, run and jump, make music – even make a mess – while making new friends and increasing their understanding of math.

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ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2016: Best of the Best

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2016

It’s here! Iowa City Public Library’s Top Picks for 2016!

Staff members nominated more than 100 books released in 2016 as their favorite reads of the year. Those that made this list were nominated by more than one person, which truly makes them the Best of the Best.

Adulthood Is a Myth book cover
American Cake book cover
The Dream Lover book cover
Eligible book cover
A Few of the Girls book cover
The Fireman book cover
Girl Who Drank the Moon book cover
Greetings From Utopia Park book cover
Heartless book cover
Hidden Figures book cover
Morning Star book cover
The Night Gardener book cover
book cover
Raymie Nightingale book cover
Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend book cover
Scrappy Little Nobody book cover
Underground Railroad book cover
When Breath Becomes Air book cover

Two graphic novels tied for the title of Most Recommended Book in 2016:

Snow White book cover
Ghosts book cover


Forget everything you know about Snow White, as Matt Phelan’s illustrated take on this classic tale takes place in New Your City in the 1920s. Samantha White is back after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of Follies. Her father, the King of Wall Street, survived the stock market crash only to die from a strange and sudden death. However, that’s not the only mystery Samantha and her “protectors” — seven street urchins — face in what critics have called “a stunning, genre-bending graphic novel.”

In Raina Telgemeier’s Ghost, Catrina and her family have moved to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends, but as she and Maya explore their new home,  a neighbor shares a secret: there are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Called a  “can’t miss addition to middle school graphic novel shelves,” Telgemeier’s latest has been praised for “bold colors, superior visual storytelling” by Kirkus Reviews.

Did your favorite read of 2016 make our list?

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2016: Graphic Novels

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 30th, 2016

It’s believed the term “graphic novel” was coined by Richard Kyle in an 1964 essay, though it didn’t gain popularity until the late 1970s with the publication of Will Eisner’s A Contract with God.

While some in the comics community object to the term, calling it unnecessary, few can argue against the genre’s popularity. Our graphics novel collection has grown so much, we moved it out of the nonfiction stacks and into its own shelving area on the Library’s second floor.

Our nominations for the Best Graphic Novels of the year include both children and adult titles. Children titles can be found in the Children’s Room.

ICPL’s BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS OF 2016graphic-novels

  • Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection by Sarah Andersen
  • Mary Wept Over the Feet of Jesus by Chester Brown
  • Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1 by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Dark Night: A True Batman Story by Paul Dini
  • Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn
  • Compass South by Hope Larson
  • March: Book Three by John Lewis
  • Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan
  • Lumberjanes: Volume 3 Terrible Plan by Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen
  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
  • Paper Girls Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chang

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2016: Nonfiction

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 29th, 2016

Nonfiction books run the gamut from history and science to cooking and travel. The titles nominated for our Best of the Best list are certainly eclectic, as is our staff!

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ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2016: Biography and Memoir

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 28th, 2016

Did you know memoir comes from the Latin work memoria, which means making memory or reminiscence?

A memoir is a sub-genre of the autobiography and tends to encompass one time period of an author’s life while a biography and/or autobiography is a detailed description of a person’s entire life.

Here are the lives (or parts of lives) we enjoyed reading about in 2016.

ICPL’s BEST BIOGRAPHIES, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS OF 2016

  • Lust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughsmemoir
  • It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson
  • Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
  • Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Claire Harman
  • Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
  • Greetings From Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood by Claire Hoffman
  • Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
  • You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
  • Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
  • The Bridge Ladies by Betsy Lerner
  • I’m Just a Person by Tig Notaro
  • Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2016: Science Fiction/Fantasy

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 27th, 2016

Science fiction and fantasy novels are known for transporting readers to fantastic locations, taking them on amazing adventures, but they can also serve as a reminder or warning of what could happen. As Ray Bradbury once said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading.”

Fight the power! Read a book! Here are some titles to get you started.

ICPL’s BEST SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY BOOKS OF 2016scifi-fantasy

  • Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Forgetting Moon by Brian Lee Durfee
  • Death’s End by Cixin Liu
  • A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab
  • Join by Steve Toutonghi
  • Smoke by Dan Vyleta
  • Invasive by Scott Wendig
  • The Guns of Empire by Django Wexler

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2016: Mystery

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 26th, 2016

What books will make our list of Best Books of 2016? It’s a mystery, as are these stories.

ICPL’s BEST MYSTERY BOOKS OF 2016mystery

  • The Trespasser by Tana French
  • The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P.D. James
  • A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
  • The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders
  • Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
  • No Shred of Evidence by Charles Todd

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2016: Children’s

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 25th, 2016

“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.” — Frank Serafini

If your child is searching for their favorite book, or looking for a new title to add to a growing list of beloved stories, check out our favorite children’s books of 2016.

ICPL’s BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2016childrens-room

  • Thunder Boy Jr by Sherman Alexie
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
  • Have You Seen Elephant by David Barrow
  • Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
  • Eek! Halloween! by Sandra Boynton
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton
  • Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole
  • Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
  • Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio
  • Together by Emma Dodd
  • The Night Gardener by Terry and Eric Fan
  • Bear & Hare — Where’s Bear? By Emily Gravett
  • The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
  • Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle
  • We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
  • The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
  • Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
  • Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
  • Pax by Sara Pennypacker
  • They All Saw a Cat by Brenden Wenzel
  • Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
  • Little Red by Bethan Woollvin



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