by Brian Visser on March 18th, 2015
Stuck with your homework? The Library can help!
The Iowa City Public Library has teamed-up with Envision Tutoring to provide free weekly tutoring sessions in all subjects for students in grades 7 through 12. The tutors are volunteers–both university students and former educators–qualified to teach all subjects. Each tutor undergoes a background check and training to ensure students get the most benefit from the sessions, and tutoring sessions are confidential.
All tutoring will take place within the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor. To sign up for your session, visit http://sites.google.com/site/tutorschedulingicpl/
Once you have chosen a slot that works for you, use the form at the bottom of the page to schedule that slot. We will get back to you within two weekdays to confirm your tutor reservation.
by Casey Maynard on April 27th, 2015
Since I was small I have loved fairytales. It began with the original Grimm’s tales my mother read. I remember the illustrations more clearly than anything: the image of Rapunzel’s prince stumbling and blinded after being thrown from the tower is one I can conjure readily. Since that time, I have read as many fairytales and retellings as I could get my hands on. It is only as an adult that I recognize the why of this love for, even obsession with fairytales that began as a child. These traditional stories encompass something innately human that has the capacity to be retold in multifarious ways, thus remaining fresh, somehow unencumbered by its own redundancy.
Recently this passion for all things fabled has led me to the work of Emily Carroll. With many of her graphic short stories debuting online, it was not until July of last year that Carroll’s first book came into print. Through the Woods is a collection of five short stories all of which find their center in the forest. Definitely not your childhood bedtime stories, each is reminiscent of the archetype while simultaneously obliterating the gap between traditional fairytale and horror.
Where Grimm’s fairy tales hinted at the horror that awaited villains–red-hot iron shoes come to mind–Carroll’s tales thrust the reader into truly terrifying confrontations with evil. Evil that not only surrounds each of us but has the capacity to be found within us as well. It is in this way that Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods, leaves the reader unsettled, searching for a happy ending when we know that the journey will begin all over again tomorrow.
Accompanied by beautiful full color illustrations that bleed into text, Carroll’s graphic novel debut is stunning. She leaves the reader the space to interpret what is left in the darkness of each page, unsaid and just out of reach.
For more of her stories and for a sneak peek of Through the Woods be sure to check out “His Face All Red” and the rest of her website,
Emily Carroll’s Website
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 22nd, 2015
The Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Movie Club will screen The Avengers from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
Teens in grades seventh through 12th are invited to hang out and watch Earth’s mightiest heroes come together and learn to fight as a team. This is your chance to catch up with Iron Man, Captain America and Thor before watching Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters.
Popcorn will be provided.
Once you’ve watched the movies, let’s dive into the comics! The Library’s Teen Comic Book Club will discuss all things Avengers from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
Teens in grades seventh through 12th are invited to pick any Avengers comic to read and geek out about it at the meeting. Actually, you don’t have to read anything at all. If you just want to listen to conversations about comic books, that’s fine, too.
For more information on either program, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.
by Ella Von Holtum on April 21st, 2015
We are getting ever more excited to announce the Summer Reading Program events for teens, but it’s not time just yet. When it is, you’ll see it here.
But there’s other awesome stuff going on in and around Iowa city all summer for young people. Browse some of these resources to find things to do – from two hour classes resident camps.
The University of Iowa isn’t just for college students, you know! They offer all kinds of classes and camps for Junior High and High School students. These all sound fun, and many will give you a head start in school next year.
CorridorParents also has a huge list of camps and events for young people of all ages. Check it out here.
Iowa City Parks and Recreation has a ton of programs. If you want to go swimming on hot afternoons, you can find out pool hours. If you want to learn to make pottery or do Tae Kwon Do, you can find those classes too. (The document is a big PDF, it might take some time to load. But you can also get a copy at the Library and other places in the area.)
Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for the ICPL Summer Reading Program. We’re looking forward to it!
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 14th, 2015
Do you have a great business idea? Are you a student middle or high school student? Would you like to pitch your idea and garner feedback from a panel of judges?
If you answered yes to these questions, then you should attend the Iowa City Public Library’s Quick Pitch Assembly on Monday, April 20.
Students in 7th through 12th grades will have three minutes to pitch an idea for a product or service, then receive five minutes of feedback from a panel of judges. Cash prizes for the best pitches will be rewarded: $100 for first place, $50 for second, and $25 for third.
The Quick Pitch Assembly from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 20, in Meeting Room A. Refreshments will be provided. Registration isn’t required, but it is appreciated. To register, visit http://www.icpl.org/quick-pitch.
This Quick Pitch Assembly is co-sponsored by the Library, MidWestOne Bank, and the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship as part of Money Smart Week April 18 through April 15. Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances.
For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.
by Ella Von Holtum on April 9th, 2015
The 15th anniversary has come and gone, and I myself haven’t read a word of Harry Potter since I finished The Deathly Hallows in 2007. The teens in Iowa City’s Home School Assistance Program have a monthly book club in the library, and we’ve been discussing Harry Potter books every other month. A lot of small things have accreted to plant the seed. Last weekend I got a cold and I decided it was finally time to reread Harry Potter.
We have all the books (and Ebooks!) here at ICPL, so after work on Friday I grabbed the first two. I’m on book three, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s great how little time it’s taken me to get this far – the books are an effortless read, and hours zip by as chapters unfold. Admittedly, the books are about to get long, so I’m savoring these fast reads while I can.
Part of what makes them an easy read for me is the ways they are so familiar.I came to Harry Potter a little late, starting in 2003, and was too old to have grown up with them. I was an adult living in Scotland, and after some P.G. Wodehouse and Stephen Fry it felt like a logical leap. Winter in Glasgow was really the perfect moment for the story to take root in me, but it’s been awhile since I started and finished the series. So I was less surprised at how many details and plot points I’ve forgotten. Things as major as who opened the Chamber of Secrets or as small as the name of the Weasleys’ perpetually exhausted owl were all new to me this time through. I can’t wait to see what surprises await me as I continue reading!
It’s funny, too, how many conversations I’ve had in the last week about my re-read, entirely with people in their 20′s, who grew up with the books. One friend is rereading them for the first time too, and loving it. Another friend had been pondering a reread and posed an interesting question: “how do you think HP’s gonna age?” Not the character, but the series. How will it weather in the cannon?Will it be for kids in the next few generations and beyond like The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia were for me? Will children get excited when they are finally tall enough to reach the shelf where the books live on their parents’ shelves? Will people read them to their young ones as they fall asleep, maybe skipping over the real nightmare material? Or will they fade away, another momentous but momentary cultural phenomenon, something that people who were kids at a certain time remember so well, and everyone else just doesn’t get -what’s all this fuss about Quidditch and Wingardium Leviosa?
I gave my copies away the last time I moved – they were just so much book to haul around from apartment to apartment – so I won’t be loaning them off my shelves. And I wonder too how appealing the series would be to a hesitant young reader when they can clearly see just how long the last four books really are. Maybe only the most dedicated will undertake the quest. On the other hand, they are still so ubiquitous, and so much has been made of Harry Potter’s role in introducing reading to so many kids of a certain generation. And the series still circulates in all the libraries I’ve visited. These marks are indelible for now, and I do wonder, how indeed will HP age?
by Brian Visser on April 8th, 2015
I’ve been pretty excited for the movie adaptation of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews since it debuted to universally positive reviews at the Sundance Fim Festival this year. It won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize, which are the two big awards at Sundance. The first trailer just hit. You can watch it here (warning: There’s a little colorful language). The buzz is that it will be the next The Fault in Our Stars, and the book commonly came up as a TFiOS read-alike. You can beat the rush and read the book (or eBook) now!
by Ella Von Holtum on March 20th, 2015
Joining the Teen Activity Group at ICPL is a great way to have a say in what happens in your library! We meet once a month, eat snacks, talk about books, TV, and movies, and discuss what’s coming up in the Teen Center. If you need volunteer hours, TAG counts! If you want to meet people, come to TAG! If you have an idea about an event you’d like to see in the library, come to a TAG meeting and talk about your idea! Recently we’ve had video game tournaments and TV show parties with the help and input of TAG members. And with summer coming up, we need more volunteers and people with good ideas.
The next TAG meeting is tomorrow, Saturday, from 1-2pm, in the Koza Family Teen Center. We have a meeting every month, usually on a Saturday, so come whenever you can. Check the calendar to confirm.
by Ella Von Holtum on March 17th, 2015
Happy spring break! The Teen Center is open for extended tech times all week (1-8pm), and tomorrow we’re hosting…
The Naruto shippuden ultimate ninja storm revolution video game tournament. Be here at 1pm to get your spot in the tournament, which will run until 2pm. There will be a prize for the champion!
Even if you just want to watch, this should be an exciting tournament. Be in the Teen Center on the second floor at 1pm for the fun!
by Ella Von Holtum on March 5th, 2015
This book, published in 2011, is the first in a young adult fantasy trilogy. This first book follows chosen one Elisa, a sixteen year old princess, on a journey that takes her far from home and safety. Elisa is an unusual chosen one – she isn’t athletic or adored, and she is deeply unsure of her destiny. But like a good hero story, her journey teaches her about what kind of person she is capable of being. For the first time in awhile, I careened through the first book in less than a week. I’ve now begun The Crown of Embers, the second book in the trilogy.
What I liked about The Girl of Fire and Thorns is that, though it is beautifully written, the story is harsh and at times brutal. This is fantasy, but without false gilding. The characters are real and complex, the food sounds delicious, and the political intrigues are wrought just enough to give context. But Elisa makes hard choices and she makes sacrifices. Being the chosen one is a hard job; so is being a princess. But as Elisa manages to scrape by or outright succeed with each new challenge, I’ve grown to like her, and to root for her, which is one of the best things a YA novel can spark in a reader.
I got interested in Rae Carson after first hearing about her new book, Walk on Earth a Stranger. This new book is about a girl living during the gold rush in the United States who finds herself a target because of a special magical ability. Walk on Earth a Stranger doesn’t come out until September 2015, and at this rate I’ll be done with Carson’s first trilogy long before then. But Rae Carson is a YA writer whose work I will watch for from now on.