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.
Full disclosure: I have not played Shadows Over Camelot. But it makes a one heck of a first impression (Omigosh, miniatures! Wooden Dice! Quests! Many tiny cardboard swords!).
Shadows Over Camelot is another cooperative game. Each player is a Knight of the Round Table, working together to defend Camelot against evil. You must complete one of six legendary quests while evil forces threaten your walls. Sometimes, there may even be a traitor in your midst!
This game is great for 3 – 7 players, and you can play a game in about an hour and a half. This game and many more are available for teens to play in the Koza Family Teen Center on the 2nd floor of the Iowa City Public Library.
I’m not really one for resolutions, but one thing I find myself doing in January is bringing with me the best stuff from the previous year. I clean an reorganize my kitchen, my computer, and my notebooks. I look over the things that accumulated in the previous year and try to give away, throw away, or file away everything I don’t need anymore; everything that’s a keeper goes to the top of the pile.
So one thing I love is when bloggers and librarians put together their “best of” lists. More than anything, these lists remind me what books I’ve missed, and what to keep an eye out for now that it’s off the New Shelf and running around the regular collection. ICPL has some great Staff Recommendations I’ve been looking over, but I’m also excited about this list of teen books from the New York Public Library. There is a ton of variety in this list of the best 25 books for teens in 2014, and you’ll find almost all of them at the Iowa City Public Library!
Animation, Minecraft and extended School’s Out tech times are just a few of the activities the Iowa City Public Library has planned for teens in January.
Do you play Minecraft? All teenage Minecraft fans are invited to the Library’s Minecraft Meetup from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 8 and Jan. 22 in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.
Do you like to draw? Would you like to learn more about computer animation programs? Join us for “Let’s Learn Animation!” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. We’ll learn how to use Pencil Animation, a program that lets you create hand-drawn animation on a computer. We will meet in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.
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 January TAG meeting will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
Finally, school will be out on Jan. 19, but the Teen Center will be open with extended Tech Time hours from 1 to 8 p.m. Check out an iPad, play video games on the big screen or simply hang out.
All teen programs are open to students in grades 7through 12.
For more information about any of these programs, contact Brian Visser, Teen Services Librarian, at (319) 356-5200.
I love Pandemic! Unlike many games I’ve played, Pandemic is cooperative instead of competitive. Two to four people play (or up to five with the expansion) as an elite team working together to stop the spread of multiple infections across the globe. Either we all win, or we all lose, and everyone has special skills they can use to combat diseases.
You might be a Dispatcher, an Operations Expert, a Scientist, a Medic, or a Researcher, and on your turn you must coordinate your actions to stop the spread of disease and search for a cure. But at the end of each turn, the diseases will spread, and may at any time tip off an outbreak or an epidemic. Suddenly, disease spreads faster, and is harder to control. You must use your time wisely to prevent this from happening. The game is usually over in about 45 minutes, and if you haven’t discovered the cures for all four diseases, you have lost!
Whenever I play this game, it’s tense and fun. Winning is challenging, and the spread of disease is unpredictable. But the sense of accomplishment when you win – and it’s always a close one – is fantastic!
Pandemic is easy to learn and fun to play. Come by the Teen Center and ask for it!
Calling all people in grades 7-12! The Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Activity Group is looking for new members!
The Teen Activity Group (TAG) is designed to energize teen programming and services and give teens a greater voice at the Library. We meet monthly to discuss books, plan upcoming events, and hang out.
Want to make a difference in your Library? Maybe you just love reading or want to make new friends? We’d love to hear from you! TAG meets each month during the school year. Our next meeting is Saturday, March 21 from 1-2 in the Koza Family Teen Center.
If you’re interested in joining TAG, please drop by and find out what we’re about!