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Is July imaginary road trip month?

by Ella Von Holtum on July 2nd, 2015

We’ve got a new display up in the Teen Center, seven books about road trips of all kinds. July seems like the perfect time of year to dream about road trips, even if you don’t drive. I didn’t drive until after high school, and I spent the years before my first vehicle planning the road trips I would take if I could.

The library is always a great place to work out these hypothetical travels. Come up to the second floor, head left to the main nonfiction collection, and you’ll find a wealth of potential adventures.

All the way down by the windows are a great place to start: aisle 29 has books about US states in case you need some historical inspiration, and aisles 26 and 27 have plenty of books about US Travel.  Call number 917.305 is all road trip books – they’re big and full of pictures and routes and ideas. For my imaginary road trip I’d pick Road Trip USA to start. From there, books are organized East Coast to West Coast. We, of course, are somewhere in the middle. I’ll probably grab the Compass Guide to Maine, because that seems like a perfect and far-flung summer escape.infi I’ve been to Maine already, but my imaginary road trip will take me there again. If you were dreaming of New York City or Florida beaches, those books are here too. ICPL of course has a bunch of books about Iowa travels, found in 917.7704. Nearby is Chicago – a totally feasible roadtrip and one I make regularly! But back to the far-fetched: the Infinite City atlas is an intriguing book of San Francisco. That was a city that was always at the top of my road trip list in high school, so I’d add this to my pile. Move along the aisle and I’m definitely imagining the World Famous Alaska Highway. That would be a long drive, but since it’s all in my head, why not?

Okay, since it’s all in my head, I should probably wander a little farther. A Map of the World: according to illustrators and storytellers is full of pictures to pore over. Or how about the Atlas of Exploration? Historical maps are so cool, and it’s fun to imagine wandering roads long gone. If you’re looking for even more flights of fancy, try the catalog search for a few relevant subjects: Atlases or Cartography yield lots of possibilities.

What I’d do next, now that I have my stack of books, is find a little table space, maybe over near the Teen Center. I’d spread out and start opening books. Now, I’m definitely a person who opens a bunch of tabs when I’m using the internet, but there is really no substitute for a pile of books all open to the most interesting pages. Maybe that’s why I always liked planning these imaginary road trips, even after I got a car. Plus, a wander through the library shelves is its own kind of fun.

 

cadPostscript: the road trip-related books on display in the Teen Center right now (for inspiration, perhaps?)

Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray, Blood Red Road by Moira Young, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Cadillac Chronicles by Brett Hartman, The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski, and In a Handful of Dust by Mandi McGinnis

YA Displays help you sort out Summer Reading

by Ella Von Holtum on June 18th, 2015

We’ve got so many good books in the Young Adult collection that sometimes it can be overwhelming to pick something. Have you noticed the displays around our space on the second floor? These are a good place to start if you just can’t decide what to read next.

There are two tables within the collection that feature nine different themed bookmarks as well as book picks from each of them. Here are some of the books I’ve picked out for my own summer reading that I found on our bookmarks:

 

riotRiot by Walter Dean Myers: It’s been years since I’ve read one of Myers’ books, but this summer would be a great time to explore some of his titles in our collection. Riot centers around Claire, the daughter of an Irish mother and a black father, who faces some harsh realities in Civil War era New York City. This book can be found on our Historical Fiction bookmark.

 

shipbreakerShip Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi: Bacigalupi is an amazing speculative fiction writer. I am looking forward to diving into this book about a teenaged scavenger in a futuristic world who has to decide whether or not to rescue a girl he finds in a ship’s wreckage. Find this and other titles on our Adventure and Survival bookmark.

 

girl geniusGirl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank by Phil and Kaja Foglio: This graphic novel, about a girl genius descended from mad scientists, sounds like a fun summer read. Find it on our Bio/Gear/Steampunk bookmark, and at  741.593/Foglio/Girl in the main 2nd floor collection.

 

huntressHuntress by Malinda Lo: It’s hard for me to pick just one book from the Girl Warriors bookmark. I’ve been eager to read this one since it came out. Summer is a great time for catching up on reading, and this story about two seventeen year olds on a dangerous journey to the city of the Fairy Queen is way up on my list.

 

terrierTerrier by Tamora Pierce: I’m a fan of Pierce, and I have been since fifth grade. I loved this first book in the Provost’s Dog series – Beka is a tough and smart hero, and she uses her police training to help the people in the lower city where she grew up. Despite its place on our Nomance bookmark (books that feature little or no romantic elements), there are so many rich human and animal relationships in this book that it’s utterly satisfying. It would be a great summer re-read.

 

pegasusPegasus by Robin McKinley: I’ve recently begun reading McKinley’s books, and am looking forward to this one, from the Here Be Dragons bookmark, about a world where human-pegasi bonds are the norm, but an intense one may threaten the world.

Honorable mention from theunlundun Here Be Dragons bookmark is Un Lun Dun by China Mieville – Deeba goes on a beautiful and frightening journey through an alternate London-verse and finds herself becoming a hero.

 

You’ll also see LOL: Humorous Books, Mystery/Thriller, and Contemporary bookmarks. We have an upright shelf which currently features some of the amazing books that have come out over the last year – both the Iowa Teen Award and Iowa High School Book Award have their own bookmarks so you can catch up on the good new stuff. And don’t forget to stop in the Teen Center – right by the magazines we have a display that changes monthly based on feedback from our Teen Advisory Group.

 

You may be stumped about what to read next, but we’ve got some places you can look!

Way Cool Chemistry Dates Announced

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 3rd, 2015

Way Cool Chemistry, a program designed to make chemistry accessible and fun for fifth- through eighth-grade students, returns to the Iowa City Public Library this summer.

Students interested in chemistry will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and experiments from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 20, and Saturday, Aug. 1.

Both programs will be held in Meeting Room A. Pre-registration is not required.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL Hosts Animation Workshop for Students

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 28th, 2015

Professional animator Ben Rosales will lead an Animation Workshop for students in fifth- through 12th-grades Saturday, June 6, at the Iowa City Public Library.

Ben Rosales

Ben Rosales

Rosales is a professional animator whose resume includes Open Season 3. He also is an animation instructor.

During his workshop about computer animation, students will learn about the programs they can use to create great animated works. Any student interested in animation should attend to learn about principles and techniques from an industry pro.

This program will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 6, in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Through the Woods

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 stumThrough the Woods Coverbling 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.through the woods

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.Into the Woods

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

through the woods

 

 

 

 

Avengers Fans Assemble at ICPL

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 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.

Summer Stuff for Teens to do

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!

Middle and High School Students Invited to Pitch Business Ideas

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?Quick Pitch

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.

So I’m rereading Harry Potter…

by Ella Von Holtum on April 9th, 2015

hpThe 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.

hp4Part 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?

hp2I 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?

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

by Brian Visser on April 8th, 2015
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Cover Image

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 eBooknow!




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