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Thinking Ahead to Summertime

by on February 7th, 2015

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!

white bicycle

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.”

vast

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.”

swimSwim 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”

thatsummer

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.”

boyfriend

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.”

alltheright

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

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!

 

Watch My Baby Grow

by on February 6th, 2015
Watch My Baby Grow Cover Image

There are many books on infant development that contain pages and pages of text. Authors use word after word after word after word to explain the science behind this and the philosophy behind that. These books are great. They are fascinating and I want to read them someday. But if you are a new parent, your attention span is limited. You are tired, overscheduled (or unscheduled), and if you have extra time, it’s probably not devoted to reading anything extensive. However, there is a natural curiosity to know what is happening and what is coming up next. It is an exciting time of rapid development with changes occurring weekly. That is why I really like DK’s Watch My Baby Grow. This book provides week by week (for the first month) and month by month information on developmental milestones during the first year. But, like any DK book, it also has a lot of visuals, charts, and photographs. It provides a perfect mix for a tired, but curious mind.

The book follows the growth of one baby, Melisa, through her first year. The editors took a picture of Melisa at regular intervals to depict her development. The photographs are beautiful and well-laid out with Melisa in a white infant bodysuit amongst a white background. For scale, a white rabbit stuffed toy was placed next to her for each shot. The photographers had specific photos they wanted to capture in their depiction of infant development. Not all of them worked and there are little blurbs about what they wanted to photograph and why they were babyunable to do so. You will also find dedicated sections on newborn life, the development of the senses, physical and intellectual growth, communication, and personality.

Watch My Baby Grow is a fun and rewarding book. If you want to dive deeper, there are many great infant development books in our parenting section.

100 Foot Journey

by on February 5th, 2015
100 Foot Journey Cover Image

I love books made into movies. I like to compare the two, think about which one I like better (it’s usually the book), and talk to others about what they think.

The 100 Foot Journey (Book and Movie) is a coming of age story of Hassan, a young aspiring chef from Mumbai with a loving family who has experienced great tragedy, and Madame Mallory, a Michelin-starred French chef who experiences a spiritual awakening after involvement with one of the tragedies experienced by Hassan and his family.

I didn’t discover the book, published in 2010, until I read a review for the 2014 movie. I was intrigued so I asked the Library to purchase the book on disc. I LOVED it – listening felt like a vicarious trip to Mumbai, England and the French countryside. There was strong character development, a strong sense of place, and a compelling story with memorable characters. After listening, I wanted more from the author Richard Morais.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to watch the movie with my family and everyone enjoyed it. The movie was produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey for DreamWorks Pictures. Just like the book, there were memorable characters and a strong sense of place. Helen Mirren was a perfect Madame Mallory and I especially liked Om Puri as the PaPa.

Knowing I’d read the book, my family was curious if I liked the book or the movie better. In this case, and just like To Kill A Mockingbird, I liked both. I enjoyed each in different ways, and would definitely enjoy reading the book or seeing the movie again.

If you watch the movie or read the book, I’d like to hear what you think. Enjoy!

The Princess in Black

by on February 5th, 2015

Fantasy dynamos Shannon and Dean Hale have done it again, this time for the younger crowd.  Their most recent book, The Princess in Black, is the first installment in what is sure to be a beloved series. Illustrated by LeUyen Pham this early chapter book is loaded with high impact, full color illustrations that play beautifully with the delightful text.

Not only is she the quintessential pink wearing, tea sipping, delicate and dainty princess but Magnolia has a monster fighting, black wearing, day-saving alter ego–the Princess in Black. Even her horse, Frimplepants, is a unicorn by day and faithful crime fighting steed by tea time. Children and adults alike will get a kick out of the tongue in cheek humor, appreciate the bending of traditional gender mores and will love the way Magnolia shows us all that we can be whomever we choose. princess black 1

ICPL Children’s Room to Debut Playing is Learning Exhibit

by on February 5th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will debut Playing is Learning, a new interactive exhibit in the Ellen Buchanan Children’s Room on Sunday, Feb. 8.

Playing is Learning, a collaborative project with The University of Iowa, the DeLTA Center, the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the National Science Foundation, The Iowa Children’s Museum, and ICPL emphasizes the importance play has on children’s development. By identifying eight skills that playing builds – creativity, self-regulation, spatial awareness, language, healthy bodies, number knowledge, social skills, and conceptual thinking – Playing is Learning recognizes the role that play has in lifelong learning.

In order to share this information with families, Playing is Learning developed the “Games of Games,” an interactive card game full of creative ways children and adults can play together. Each card contains two parts: “Did you know?” informs about a skill play builds while “Try this at home!” describes games parents and children can play to build each skill.

The Library’s Playing is Learning exhibit includes cards from the “Games of Games” deck. Parents are invited to take a card and play with their child during Library visits or at home. Parents also can purchase the entire “Game of Games” deck for $7 at the Help Desk.

“We are excited to have this exhibit at the Iowa City Public Library, and to provide more opportunities for families to play and learn together,” said Vickie Pasicznyuk, children’s services coordinator.

For more information about the exhibit, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

For more information about Playing is Learning, visit www.playingislearning.org

Now with twice the searching power!

by on February 5th, 2015

Did you know that you can search for articles directly from the catalog, without retyping your search into a separate database?

From the catalog’s homepage, http://alec.icpl.org, make sure you are using the default “Catalog Pro” tab. Type in your search and press Enter.

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The search results screen will display the first three results for materials in our collection which you can check out. Directly below them is a section labeled “Top results for articles:”. This will display the top 3 articles matching your search terms. Depending on which formats the articles are available, there will be buttons labeled “PDF” and “Full Text”.

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If you are here in the Library you will be taken directly to the article. If you are not in the Library you will be asked to log in with your Library card number and the password that you created for your card, then you will be taken to the article. If you do not have a password or cannot remember what yours is, you can fix that on this page, http://www.icpl.org/cards/password.

 

If those three articles are not enough, you can view more results in a couple of different ways. One way is by clicking on the link under the third article.

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Another way is to click on the “Articles” tab beneath the search box and next to the “Catalog” tab.

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Once you are viewing the Articles tab, there are a variety of ways that you can narrow your search. On the left side of the screen you can narrow your results to magazines, newspapers or books by choosing the appropriate database. This is also where you can also narrow your search by subject, title and place.

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By using this tool you will be able to locate articles much faster and without having to leave the catalog.

Happy Searching!

Best in Books for Teens

by on February 5th, 2015

printz award

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:

2015 Winner

I’ll Give You the SunI'll Give You the Sun

By Jandy Nelson

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

And WAnd We Staye Stay

By Jenny Hubbard

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.

 

The Carnival at BrayCarnival at Bray

By Jessie Ann Foley

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.

 

GrGrasshopper Jungleasshopper Jungle

By Andrew Smith

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.

 

This One SummerThis One Summer

By Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

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.

And the winner is….

by on February 3rd, 2015
And the winner is…. Cover Image

On Monday, February 2, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the 2015 Newbery and Caldecott award winners.  These books have won the most prestigious prizes in children’s literature.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:  The Crossover by Kwame Alexander–Twin brothers Josh and Jordan are basketball stars and great friends, until a girl gets in the way.  A middle grade story of brotherhood and basketball told in a variety of poetic styles.

Newbery Honor Books: El Deafo by Cece Bell and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, written and illustrated by Dan Santat–An imaginary friend sets out on a journey to find a real child to befriend.

Caldecott Honor Books: Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo, The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art by Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPre, Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales, The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet, and This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.

For other award winners, see the full list.

 

 

Community and Access Services Open House

by on February 3rd, 2015

On Friday January 30, 2015 the Community and Access Services (CAS) Department hosted an Open House for Library staff. We have a goal to share information about our individual departments so we better understand the jobs of our co-workers and how each job fits into the overall mission and operations of the Library. The Open House provided an opportunity for Library staff to learn more about our department and individual jobs as well as share some great food and fun.

Community and Access Services serves patrons in a number of areas including the Help Desk; circulation (checkin and reshelving) and patron accounts; Volunteer Program; displays; public relations, graphics and marketing; and outreach services. If you’ve ever checked out a book, volunteered at the Library, looked at a Library display, followed the Library on social media, or attended a Library program held in the community, chances are good you’ve met a CAS staff member or interacted with something we worked on. It’s a great department and we had fun 2015 01 30 Susan and Briansharing information about our job assignments.

As a part of the Open House we also had a little fun by hosting a contest to see who was the fastest book sorter in the Library. There were two categories – Fiction and Nonfiction – and CAS staff could not participate because we’ve had a lot of practice with sorting :)  The first photo shows our Director, Susan Craig, and Young Adult Librarian, Brian Visser, sorting their carts of books. Coincidentally, both Susan and Brian started their careers at ICPL as Pages who sorted and reshelved books and then were promoted to other jobs in the Library.

There was fierce competition in the book sorting contest, but the winners were our Fiction Selector, Jason Paulios, in the Fiction category and City of Literature Operations Manager, Rachael 2015 01 30 CAS Open HouseCarlson, in the Nonfiction category.

If you have questions about the Community and Access Services Department or other Library departments let us know. We love to share information about the Library!

 

ICPL Anime & Manga Festival Feb. 26

by on February 3rd, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will host the annual Teen Anime & Manga Festival from 2 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 26, in Meeting Room A.Festival2015

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.





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