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!
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.
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!
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.
A video game tournament, Doctor Who Day and Minecraft are just a few of the activities the Iowa City Public Library has planned for its teen patrons in March.
Do you play Minecraft? All teenage Minecraft fans are invited to the Library’s Minecraft Meetup at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 5, and Thursday, March 19, in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.
CoderDojo Iowa City, the ICPL Coding Club, meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays in the Computer Lab. CoderDojo is an international movement to teach and inspire kids in the vocation of computer programming. The Library’s program is run by volunteers who take on the task of mentoring attendees. To track progress, virtual badges and belts are awarded for proficiency in a number of computer related topics. Anyone in grades 5 through 12 is welcome to attend and earn belts. We request that parents attend along with their child for their first dojo. Drop-ins are welcome.
Are you prepared to bring your game face? We’re throwing down NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM Revolution during our Spring Break Teen Video Game Tournament. Join us from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
Calling all Doctor Who fans! Come geek out about The Doctor and his companions as we watch episodes of the show while creating Doctor Who-inspired crafts and other activities. Whovians will gather from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 20, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
TAG, the Library’s Teen Activity Group, is looking for new members. TAG members help plan teen programs and give teenage students a voice in the Library. Members also eat a lot of snacks. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the Library, and earn volunteer hours at the same time, should give TAG a try. The March TAG meeting will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
All teen events are open to students in grades 7through 12 except CoderDojo Iowa City, which is open to students in grades 5 through 12.
For more information about any of these programs, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.
I realized this morning that in just a week and a day Daylight Savings time will begin, and that means One Book Two Book is nearly here. There will be so many fun events next weekend, but I want to highlight two that look like a great way to kick off a creative spring fever.
Girls Rock! Iowa City is a fantastic organization focused on fostering creativity and self expression for girls through music. They are having a performance on Saturday, March 7th as part of the One Book Two Book festival. Come to the Main Ballroom of the Sheraton at 10:30 to hear original songs and get a listen of this awesome community organization! If you’re a teen who wants to get involved with Girls Rock!, this would be a perfect place to learn more.
At 10am in the Carver Room at the Sheraton, also on Saturday the 7th, a line-up of professional comics illustrators and writers will host Comic Book Confidential, a workshop for students in grades 5 and up. This is the perfect place to learn more about making comics, see how the pros do it, and try out some of your ideas. Drawing materials will be provided, but you have to register to attend, so get on that!
To learn more about everything going on at One Book Two Book, check out their main schedule here.
The collaborative songwriting workshop will happen on February 28th at the Dream Center, from 10am – 3pm. It will be led by Monte Selby, professional songwriter and recording artist. The focus will be not only on creativity but on songwriting skills, for anyone with an interest in how music is made.
Days like this, when the sun is out, the snow is melting, and people are out walking with no coats on, make me wish summer was a little nearer. Sure, it may be February. And maybe the temperature’s going to drop again next week, but for one sunny Saturday we can pretend, right?
We have some great titles in the Young Adult collection that can keep you in that summer frame of mind. When it gets cold again, this is what I recommend!
The White Bicycle by Beverly Brenna: “Taylor Jane Simon, an eighteen-year-old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, travels to France, as she struggles to become independent of her controlling mother and meets a new mentor.”
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd: “The summer after graduating from an Iowa high school, eighteen-year-old Dade Hamilton watches his parents’ marriage disintegrate, ends his long-term, secret relationship, comes out of the closet, and savors first love.”
Swim the Fly by Don Calame: “Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year’s? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time–quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has thenerve to even ask a girl out on a date. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt’s other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team”
That Summer by Sarah Dessen: “During the summer of her divorced father’s remarriage and her sister’s wedding, fifteen-year-old Haven comes into her own by letting go of the myths of the past.”
The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne: “Being a tomboy did not prepare Dani for romance. But new boyfriend potential opens up when her and her best friend’s families host a summer league of baseball players.”
All the Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers: “The summer after his absentee father is killed in a random shooting, Paul volunteers at a Harlem soup kitchen where he listens to lessons about “the social contract” from an elderly African American man, and mentors a seventeen-year-old unwed mother who wants to make it to college on a basketball scholarship.”
Empress of the World by Sarah Ryan: “While attending a summer institute, fifteen-year-old Nic meets another girl named Battle, falls in love with her, and finds the relationship to be difficult and confusing.”
All of these books are available upstairs at ICPL, in the Young Adult collection. If you find yourself dreaming of warmer days, come check one out!
Earlier this week, the winner of the 2015 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 the close, but no cigar books of the year. Personally, I usually like the honor books more than the book that wins each year. Here are this year’s books:
Published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company Once inseparable, twins Noah and Jude are torn apart by a family tragedy that transforms their intense love for each other into intense anger. Timelines twist and turn around each other in beautifully orchestrated stories of love and longing.
2015 Honor Books
Published by Delacorte, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.
Reeling from her boyfriend’s dramatic suicide, Emily hides her anguish at a new boarding school, where she finds healing through poetry. Hubbard’s gem-like prose beautifully balances Emily’s poetry.
Published by Elephant Rock Books.
In 1993, Maggie is dismayed to leave Chicago and her beloved Uncle Kevin behind when she moves to a small Irish town. Yet it is within this evocative setting that Foley unwinds Maggie’s exceptional coming-of-age tale, where Maggie discovers music and forgiveness as antidotes for grief.
Published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
Historian Austin Szerba is in love with his best girl friend, Shann. He is also in love with his best boy friend, Robby. Mastermind Smith takes these tender facts and swirls them into a whirlwind tale of carnivorous praying mantises, the history of the world, the role of the individual, and the end of all we know.
Published by First Second
Adolescence in its precarious first bloom is the subject of this sensitive graphic novel. The team of Mariko and Jillian Tamaki show and tell us of one special summer in Rose’s life, in a brilliant flow of pictures and text.
Open to students in grades 7-12, the 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.
Those who wish to display their art work as part of the Artist Alley should bring their finished drawings to the Festival or do some freehand work during the event. Prizes will be awarded to select artists. Cosplay is always welcome and one lucky person will win Best Costume.
We will screen episodes from three different anime: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, in which mankind has taken to the stars and formed the Galactic Alliance of Humankind and is engaged in a perpetual war with an alien species; Log Horizon, which shows what happens when Japanese gamers playing Elder Tales find themselves transported into the virtual game; and K-On!, the story of four Japanese high school girls join the light music club of Sakuragaoka Girl’s High School to save it from being disbanded. However, they are the only members of the club.
The Teen Anime & Manga Festival is a free event. For more information, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.