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Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman

2017 Book Madness: Time to vote for the Sweet Sixteen

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 13th, 2017

The Book Madness brackets have been updated to show titles advancing to the Second Round.


Banned Books

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

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Dine Out to Support ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 1st, 2017

Here’s a novel idea: take the night off from preparing dinner and go out to eat. Better yet, have dinner out and support the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation at the same

The Foundation has partnered with local restaurants for a new fundraising program: Eat Out to Read. It kicks off Wednesday, March 8, at Hudson’s Tap, 482 Highway 1 W in Iowa City. Visit Hudson’s Tap between 5 and 10 p.m. on March 8 and a percentage of your tab will be given to the Friends Foundation.

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

It’s Book Madness Time at the Library!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 1st, 2017

Grab your brackets and a pencil (or pen, if you’re feeling lucky) — it’s Book Madness time at ICPL!book-madness

Visit our display on the Library’s first floor to see which titles will face off in this year’s literary competition. Be sure to pick up a bracket! Anyone who returns their bracket by March 5 is in the running for a $25 gift certificate to Prairie Lights! (We’ll have two winners; one in the Children’s bracket and another in the Teens and Adults bracket).

Beginning March 6, you can vote for your favorite title in our Book Madness brackets. To start, we have 64 titles in four categories. Submit a vote for your favorite(s) – if you want to vote for just one book, you can, or you can choose 32 titles to move forward in the first round; it’s up to you! – and watch as the titles progress.

Here are the voting dates to remember:

  • First Round: March 6 through March 12
  • Second Round: March 13 through March 19
  • Sweet Sixteen: March 20 through March 26
  • Elite 8: March 27 through April 2
  • Final 4: April 3 through April 9
  • Championship Game: April 10 through April 16

The winning book in each bracket will be announced on Monday, April 17.

Here’s a list of this year’s books. Who do you think will win it all?


Banned Books

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
  • George by Alex Gino
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  • It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola
  • Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
  • Bone by Jeff Smith
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • It’s a Book by Lane Smith

Best Book Artists

  • Oliver Jeffers
  • Rosemary Wells
  • Jan Brett
  • LeUyen Pham
  • Mo Willems
  • Eric Carle
  • Tomie dePaola
  • Sandra Boynton
  • Kevin Henkes
  • Jerry Pinkney
  • Lois Ehlert
  • Graeme Base
  • Jon Klassen
  • Brian Selznick
  • Pamela Zagarenski
  • Molly Idle

Forgotten Classics

  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
  • The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Half Magic (Tales of Magic, #1) by Edward Eager
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
  • A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  • George and Martha by James Marshall
  • Higglety Pigglety Pop! by Maurice Sendak
  • Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander

Series and Sequels

  • Big Nate by Lincoln Pierce
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan
  • Geronimo Stilton by Various Authors
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • American Girl by Various Authors
  • Who Was … by Various Authors
  • Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
  • How Do Dinosaurs… by Jane Yolen
  • Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems
  • Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi
  • Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
  • Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo


Dystopian Fiction

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau
  • When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
  • The Children of Men by D. James
  • The Fireman by Joe Hill
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • California by Edan Lepucki
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Red Rising Series by Pierce Brown
  • The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben H. Winters
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
  • Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Graphic Novels and Comics

  • All Star Superman by Grant Morrison
  • Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
  • Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  • Locke & Key by Joe Hill
  • Palestine by Joe Sacco
  • March Trilogy by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin
  • Blankets by Craig Thompson
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  • Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters
  • Epileptic by David B.
  • Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto
  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan
  • Bone by Jeff Smith
  • Peanut by Ayun Halliday
  • The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  • Attack on Titan by Hajime Isayama

Historical Fiction

  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  • Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
  • City of Thieves by David Benioff
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Alienist by Caleb Carr
  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe


  • Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
  • The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  • Tell No One by Harlan Coben
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
  • Death of a Red Heroine by Qui Xiaolong
  • In The Woods by Tana French
  • Death of the Mantis by Michael Stanley
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
  • Bill Hodges Trilogy by Stephen King
  • Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny
  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  • Baby Ganesh Agency series by Vaseem Khan
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Remember your Boy Band obsession?

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 25th, 2017
Remember your Boy Band obsession? Cover Image

Mine was New Kids on the Block. Theirs were the first concert I attended (Hilton Colosseum in 1988) and, if I’m being honest, the last one, too. (My friends and I attended one of their reunion shows in Minneapolis in 2015. Nelly and TLC were the opening acts. It was the 90s all over again and it was awesome!)

My point is, you never forget your first boy band obsession. Or, if you’re Stella Samuel in Ali Novak’s The Heartbreakers, you never stop mocking your sister for her boy band obsession, also called The Heartbreakers. Stella is more indie music, not the pseudo-punk her sister loves, yet she’s on a mission to secure autographs of the hottest band around for her sister’s birthday present.

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ICPL to Host Belly Babies for Expectant Parents

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 24th, 2017

Parents expecting the pitter-patter of little feet are invited to the Iowa City Public Library’s Belly Babies, a new program for parents-to-be.

Beginning March 4 and continuing through April 8, Belly Babies will meet from 3 to 4 p.m. every Saturday in the Storytime Room for six weeks. Programs will focus on pre-birth bonding activities, such as songs and stories, and feature special guests who will provide information for families as they prepare to welcome their new addition. This also is an opportunity to meet other expectant parents in the community.

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New Creative Workshops offered at Iowa City Public Library

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 21st, 2017

Beginning Monday, March 6, the Iowa City Public Library will host a creative workshop series in the Computer Lab.

The program will be offered every Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. through May 1. Computers with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and other popular Adobe Creative Suite products will be available for patron use.

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ICPL Teen Anime & Manga Festival March 1

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 15th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will host its annual Teen Anime & Manga Festival from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 1, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

There’s no school that day.

Open to students in grades 7-12, this festival is an opportunity for teens to interact with fellow anime and manga enthusiasts, watch anime, discuss manga and draw fan art.

There will be an artist alley with prize drawings for participants, so be sure to bring your finished artwork or do some freehand drawing while at the festival. Cosplay is always welcome and there will be prizes for those who participate.

The Teen Anime & Manga Festival is a free event. For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Hy-Vee Wine and Craft Beer Tasting to Benefit ICPL Friends Foundation

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 13th, 2017

Come to Hy-Vee Drugstore/Wine & Spirits, 310 N 1st Avenue, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 17, for a wine and craft beer tasting fundraiser to benefit the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.

Adult beverage distributors will offer samples of their products at this drop-in event. Stop by to visit with friends as you try something new. The beverage tasting is free. Hy-Vee will donate 5 percent of the evening’s sales to the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.

Attendees must be 21 and older to participate.

Not able to attend, but would still like to support the Friends Foundation? Visit to make a donation.

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

Teen Homework Help at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 2nd, 2017

Teens, do you need help with your homework?

The Iowa City Public Library offers free tutoring sessions in all subjects for students in grades 7 through 12.

To sign up for your session, contact ICPL’s Teen Services Library at 319-887-6076 or via e-mail at

ICPL Announces February Crazy 8s Math Club Programs

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 1st, 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. 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.

Registration isn’t required and participants don’t need to attend every club meeting – but they’ll probably want to!

Here’s what we have planned for February:

February 7: Funky Fractals

Get funky with patterns and mazes! Create crazy patterns with wax sticks, and connect them to make a giant version. Then design your own waxy maze to stump your friends.

February 14: Walk on the Wild Side

How do ladybugs, crabs and lizards run so fast with all those extra legs? They use math! We’ll run, walk and gallop like animals to learn some fancy footwork.

February 21: Super-Cube Shuffle

Math and art collide when you use specially colored cubes to create cool designs. After a round of design copy mania, you’ll be a super-cube pro!

February 28: Epic Air Traffic Control

This week we will build an Epic Air Traffic Control: Build your own airport, complete with finger-light airplanes and glow stick runways. Use your math skills to land all the planes safely!

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