Spring Break Programs for Teens at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 10th, 2016

Teens looking for something to do during spring break only have to visit the Iowa City Public Library. We have a great lineup activities to keep you busy!

First, get your game face on because we’re throwing down with Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Wii U at our Spring Break Video Game Tournament. The battle will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Calling all teen Whovians! Come geek out about The Doctor and his companions at our annual Teen Doctor Who Day celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 17, in the Koza Family Teen Center. We’ll watch specially-selected episodes of the show and hold a trivia contest.

Calling all teenage adventurers! Our Saturday Dungeons and Dragons campaign will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 19, in the Koza Family Teen Center. Teens in grades seventh through 12th are invited to play. Never played before? No problem! Allie is there to instruct you in the dark arts.

The Koza Family Teen Center also will have extended School’s Out Tech Times the week of March 14 through March 19. The Teen Center will be open for teens in grades seventh through 12th to use the Internet, play video games on the big screen, use iPads and laptops, or just hang out. School’s Out Teen Tech Times will be 1 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 1 to 8 p.m. Friday; and 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

All teen events are open to students in grades 7 through 12.

For more information about any of these programs, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

#flashwrite: Teen Poetry

by Allison Smith on March 1st, 2016

IWP-flashwriter-slider-1-webThe International Writing Program is offering their fist Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed for teens! #flashwrite: Teen Poetry is an online class designed to help teens improve their poetry writing skills! No prior experience necessary and you have the opportunity to earn UI college credit!

By signing up for #flashwrite: Teen Poetry you have the opportunity to learn the basics of poetry from Daniel Khalastchi, a man who has made money by writing poetry! You also get to work with other teens around the world!

Registration is free! The class starts on March 30 and is entirely online!

For more information click here!

Dying to sign up? Click here!

ICPL Teen Anime & Manga Festival Feb. 25

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 12th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library will host its annual Teen Anime & Manga Festival from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, in Meeting Room A.

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, win prizes, and eat massive amounts of candy sushi. Cosplay is always welcome and there will be prizes for those who participate.

We will screen episodes from three different anime: Haikyu!!, Golden Time and Steins;Gate.

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

D&D with Teens: Lost Mine of Phandelver part 2

by Allison Smith on February 9th, 2016

dndAfter our intrepid adventurers defeated the four ferocious goblins, they discovered a trail in the woods northwest of the goblin ambush. Hits Stuff and the Wizard Myself used their keen sense of survival skills to noticed that the path was frequented by goblins and that two human-sized items had recently been dragged along the path. Upon closer inspection of the two dead horses (mentioned in my previous account), Duncan aka Meatshield, noticed that one of the horses belonged to his cousin, Gundren Rockseeker. Gundren and his companion Sildar Hallwinter were the very souls that sent our adventurers on their journey to Phandalin. By making a logical leap, our party decided to tread carefully along the goblin path.

Their care paid off! With the fighters Dylan of Dylan and Hits Stuff in the lead, the party handily avoided two goblin traps set for wayward travelers. The path led to a cave with a clear stream flowing out of its mouth. Our clever warriors quieted their movements and crept across the stream to the path into the cave. Hiding in the thicket next to the cave mouth were two dozing goblin guards. The Wizard Myself took care of them by casting Magic Missle before they had a chance to respond!

As our party entered the cave, the Wizard Myself and Meatshield took the lead, as they have darkvision and the troop wanted to maintain their element of surprise. Entering the cave, they came to a room set off the main passage. The Wizard Myself whispered to the rest of party that there were 3 wolves in the room. WIth the aid of his fellow travelers, Meatshield successfully handled the wolves and made them friendly. Out of harms way for the moment, our merry band was able to explore the room, revealing a fissure! The party climbed up and squeezed through the crack in the wall and discovered a Bugbear, his pet wolf, and two goblin henchmen relaxing around the coals of a smouldering fire. After a long battle, our heroes emerged victorious and burdened with loot.

If you’d like to join our merry band of adventurers, we’ll be meeting on February 27th in the Teen Center from 1-3 and I’ll figure out a way to add you to our journey.

D&D with Teens: Lost Mine of Phandelver

by Allison Smith on January 19th, 2016

wizardsofthecoast_dungeonsanddragons_logoWe of the Teen Center started a foray into Dungeons and Dragons this past weekend. Here is our adventure log:

Our adventurers, Dylan of Dylan, Ducan aka Meatshield, and Myself the Wizard (with Hits Stuff and Takes Stuff tagging along) began their journey to Phandelver where Gundren Rockseeker asked our adventurers to meet him with his supplies. Only a half day after turning off the High Road and on to Triboar Trail, our intrepid travelers discovered the bodies of two horses, their saddle bags empty and an empty map case. With the exception of Takes Stuff, all party members gaze into the forest and notice 4 goblins (wearing numbered jumpers) primed for attack. A battle ensues! Hits Stuff slices the first goblin in twain, immediately killing her, the goblin with a 3 on his sweater moves to attack Dylan of Dylan with his scimitar and misses. Takes Stuff, unaware of the approaching goblins, takes no action, but halts the wagon to see why her sister jumped off. Meatshield barrels towards the goblin labeled 2 with his warhammer and sends him hurtling towards a tree, dead. Myself carefully moves to the side and shoots ray of frost at the Goblin labeled 4. 4 shivers and can’t move as quickly as she expected. Dylan of Dylan swings his mighty axe at the hopeless 3 and strikes him dead. Moving to the other side of the road, Hits Stuff slices at the frosty goblin 4 and ends the combat.


Tune in after our next meeting on January 30th!

Teen Book Award Announced

by Brian Visser on January 13th, 2016
Teen Book Award Announced Cover Image

printz award

Earlier this week, the  winner of the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award was announced.  The award honors the best book in young adult literature each year as decided by the Printz Committee.  They also name honor books, which are also really good books for teens (and adults!).  Here are this year’s books:

2016 Winner

Bone Gap

By Laura Ruby

Told from alternating viewpoints, Bone Gap perfectly melds elements of fairy tales, myths, gothic romance, and magic realism into the story of Finn, who lives in a town with gaps in the very fabric of time and place.

2016 Honor Books

The Ghosts of Heaven

By Marcus Sedgwick

Sedgwick connects four seemingly disparate stories, each of which feature a character haunted by the ever-present shape of a spiral. Spanning time, space, and genre, each story raises powerful questions about human nature.

Out of Darkness

By Ashley Hope Pérez

In 1937 East Texas, Mexican American Naomi and African American Wash begin a bittersweet romance. Perez’s beautifully crafted novel is a moving portrayal of both powerful love and a period marked by oppressive, destructive racism.

Iowa City Public Library’s January Teen Events Announced

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 7th, 2016

The UAY Job Shop, Dungeons and Dragons, and tiny food are part of the Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Events lineup for January.

Are you looking for a job? The United Action for Youth Job Shop is designed to help teens ages 12 through 17 search for employment. Stop by from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, for assistance in looking for jobs, filling out applications, creating a resume and preparing for interviews.

We’re starting a Dungeons and Dragons campaign and need you to attend from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, to make it a success. Never played before? That’s no problem! Allie is ready to help all novices.

TAG, the Library’s Teen Activity Group, is looking for new members to help plan teen programs. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the Library, and earn volunteer hours at the same time, should give TAG a try. The January TAG meeting will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23.

You know how miniatures are always cuter than regular-sized things? We’re going to see if that translates to food, too! Join us for Let’s Make Something! Tiny Food from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23. The snacks may be tiny, but the fun will be huge!

All teen programs are open to students in grades 7through 12 and are held in the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor, unless otherwise noted.

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

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2015: Young Adult

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 24th, 2015
ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2015: Young Adult Cover Image

The Library’s pick for Best Book of the Year in 2013 and 2012 were young adult titles: Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in 2013 and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in 2012. We love the rich variety of stories in this genre, even if some of us are past the suggested reading age.

(OK. A few of us are way past the suggested reading age. Thank goodness the books don’t care, they only want to be read!)


  • The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud
  • Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  • Mosquitoland by David Arnold
  • A Prince Without A Kingdom by Timothee de Fombelle
  • Winter by Marissa Meyer
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Have you explored our young adult collection? It’s on the Library’s second floor!


by Allison Smith on December 19th, 2015

So, I just saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens, (which was everything I wanted in a Star Wars movie, but that isn’t what this post is about) and it has officially made me excited about movies again. Which is great because we’re showing Ant-Man in the Teen Center next week!

I didn’t go see Ant-Man this past summer. I’m not sure why since I’ve seen almost all of the other MCU movies, but Ant-Man didn’t excite me. Now, I’m excited to see it! Come join us on Tuesday, December 22 at 2pm.

Here’s some suggested reading:

Ant-Man vol. 1
This is the newest run of Ant-Man and features Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man and the one featured in the movie. Scott Lang makes for a delightfully flawed hero with lots of humor and moral dilemmas. Available on  the 2nd Floor New Shelf.



The Irredeemable Ant-Man
The Irredeemable Ant-Man features the third Ant-Man, Eric O’Grady. Again, Ant-Man is portrayed as the “world’s worst super hero” so humor is abound. Find this on the 2nd Floor (741.592/Ant-Man)

Stories of Imagination

by Allison Smith on November 28th, 2015

On March 12, 2015, one of my favorite authors died. On November 23, 2015, I finished reading the last book of his most famous series.

I’m a bit at a loss.

I’m speaking, of course, about the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett and his marvelous Discworld books, the last of which was published posthumously and I just finished reading it. There aren’t going to be any more of them ever. I will never find out about Moist von Lipwig’s next big challenge, or see if anyone ever tries to overthrow Lord Vetinari. I won’t see Young Sam grow up or see Sam Vimes retire from the Watch. I won’t know what happens with the witches, if Tiffany Aching and Preston finally settle down in the same place. It’s all a bit devastating.

But, I can always go back and visit them. Terry Pratchett left behind great stories of imagination, one of the most lasting legacies one can have. I can always go back to the Disc and visit my friends, and there are 41 novels, so I can stay there as long as I want.


A great reading guide from Krzysztof Kietzman

Now, discworld is an intimidating series to start. There are 41 books! But, there are a couple of ways that you can approach the series. You can read them chonologically, starting with The Color of Magic and The Light Fantastic or you can start with any of the starter novels in the lovely graphic provided by an avid Pratchett fan.

I read them (mostly) chronologically, because that’s the way I roll, but you really don’t have to. Discworld is more of a universe in which stories take place instead of just a series. They are hilarious and they poke fun at everything from commonly used fantasy tropes to racism. As Terry Pratchett said “G.K Chesterton once said that the opposite of ‘funny’ is not ‘serious’; the opposite of ‘funny’ is ‘not funny’…” And that rings very true in all of his writing.

Included in the purple blobs in the lovely graphic is my favorite series within Discworld, the Tiffany Aching books. Tiffany grew up reading fairy tales and knew she could never be a princess since she was practical, and had brown hair and brown eyes, so she decided to become a witch. The Shepherd’s Crown, the very last Discworld book is a Tiffany Aching book, and it doesn’t tie up loose ends or end happily ever after. That isn’t Pratchett’s style. It ends like stories end in real life, with tons of unanswered questions of where to go next.

Check out Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series in Science Fiction on the first floor and the Tiffany Aching books in YA.