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The MCPL Blog: Articles by Julie Kinney

Teens: Read from Another Perspective

Protest against systemic racism

August 18, 2020

A lot of events in the news recently, including that regarding institutional racism and the protests held by the Black Lives Matter movement and other groups, can bring up a lot of questions. It did for me, even as an adult. Why is this happening? What happened in the past, and how did we get here? Those questions got me thinking about other social issues we’re currently facing right now, including immigration and transphobia. Why is life hard for so many immigrants, when we’re an entire nation of them? What’s the difference between gender and sexuality? As you start to examine history, you start to see that it’s a story created and controlled by the winners of wars and other conflicts. This got me...

Books Community E-books Education Reading Recommendations Teens

Mythology Reads for Teens!

Greek goddess

July 31, 2020

Much like fairy tales, myths have been retold over many years. Sometimes there are different variations of a story, making it interesting to read and compare across the versions. Mythology is ripe for retellings, whether realistic, like Seven Deadly Shadows, fantastic, like The Never Tilting World, or with elements of science fiction, like The Dragon Pearl. Sometimes in order to get the full impact of a retelling, you need to know the original story, so consulting Edith Hamilton’s “Mythology” can be very helpful, as can Neil Gaiman’s recent retelling of Norse Myths. Enjoy the rich diversity of mythology that has influenced writers and authors for thousands of years.

Books Reading Recommendations Teens

Adult Fairy Tales and Fairy Tale Retellings, Part 2

unicorn in a glen

July 18, 2020

Fairy tales are stories that we learn as children, but remember into our teen years and adulthood. How often do we hear about something being "a Cinderella story," or about something having a "fairy tale ending?" They're engrained in our culture and the way we see the world and tell stories.  Below, we're offering part two of our fairy tales (and fairy tale retellings) for adults. If you haven't already checked out Part 1 of our list, you should, and then take a look at the list below.   

Adults Books Reading Recommendations

Adult Fairy Tales and Fairy Tale Retellings, Part 1

Swan, castle and other fairy tale imagery

July 16, 2020

What would a good fairy tale for an adult look like? Would it have poison apples, wicked witches and handsome princes? Maybe…It might. But it might not. It might be the essence of the fairy tale remolded to tell a different kind of story. Fairy tales are often viewed as “childish” or only for children, but the books on this list are for grown-ups with a taste for fairy tales, myths and magic.  Enjoy these retellings and reimaginings, and keep an eye out for part 2 of this list, coming soon! And if you're really a fan of the genre, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our fairy tale retellings for teens, too! 

Adults Books Reading Recommendations

Fairy Tale Reads for Teens, Part 2

Frog Prince

July 8, 2020

A few weeks back, we posted a list of fairy tail retellings for teens. These novels retold the stories of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and other famous tales in modern times, or with new twists to the stories. Since there were so many good recommendations to share, we had to split the list into two parts. Below, you'll find the second list, which features retellings for such tales as Little Red Riding Hood, The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin, and others.  Enjoy these young adult and middle-grade (MG) novels that use fairy tales as the basis for the story, and let us know - what's your favorite fairy tale adaptation or retelling?​

Audiobooks Books E-books Reading Recommendations Teens Tweens

Prepare for the ACT online!

ACT test sheet

July 6, 2020

Even though its summer, now is a great time to prepare for the ACT, PSAT or the SAT! The Grandview Heights Public Library in Ohio will be offering a fast paced ACT prep course on July 11 form 12-4:30 (CDT). Taking a test preparation course is a great way to prepare for these tests. Even though this course will focus on the ACT, this prep course will help prepare you for both the PSAT and the SAT.  Follow the link below to register for the course, and GOOD LUCK!   ACT CRASH COURSE Date: Sat, July 11, 2020  Time: 12p-4:30p ONLINE, Central time  For: High school students. Cost: FREE Length: 4 hours of online instruction (plus 30-minute break midway through the...

Computer Classes Education Learning Online Resources Teens

Fairy Tale Reads for Teens, Part 1

Cinderella with carriage and castle

June 26, 2020

Most everyone has a favorite fairy tale, whether it’s from a picture book or from a Disney film. Fairy tales are ripe for retelling and reimagining, whether envisioning Cinderella in a science fiction setting, or a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood where the wolves are really men. We get to hear the story of the evil stepmother (Spoiler: they aren’t all mean and evil,) and the drama and curse of the Beast. Sometimes, an author will combine two stories and create a new story as a result. And sometimes the frog stays a frog, even after a kiss. Enjoy these young adult and middle-grade (MG) novels that use fairy tales as the basis for the story! It was so hard to pick our favorites, and there were so...

Books Reading Recommendations Summer Library Program Tweens

Need to use a library computer? Here's what you need to know

computer station

June 21, 2020

In keeping with the recommendations of the State of Wisconsin, the Marathon County Health Department and other public health authorities, the Marathon County Public Library and its eight branch libraries will be open by appointment on June 22, as previously announced. Our Wausau location will offer appointments for computer use only. Appointments can be made for up to one hour per person per day. Browsing for materials will not be permitted at this time. To make an appointment, call the MCPL Wausau reference desk at 715-261-7230. Patrons visiting one of the eight branch libraries can make an appointment of 30 minutes per week, which can be used either for computer use or for browsing for materials (since...

Adults COVID-19 Libraries Library Branches On-Site Services Technology Wausau Headquarters

Celebrate National Poetry Month with your own magnetic poetry set!

ransom note magnetic poetry set

April 22, 2020

April is National Poetry Month, and we have a fun and creative poetry-related project that you can make at home (and it might even help you write your next poem!) In this blog post, we'll walk readers through how they can make their own magnetic poetry set - with a twist. This magnetic poetry set is done in the style of a ransom note, made from cut out words from a variety of magazines or catalogs. Once completed, the set can be placed on any magnetic surface, such as a refrigerator, and you can then move the words around to create poems! Supplies:  -Glossy magazines and catalogs (having a variety will work best) -Scissors (use a smaller scissors, which will help when cutting out smaller words...

Arts and Crafts National Poetry Month Poetry

Explore the Great Lakes from the comfort of home!

Google Earth-type view of the Great Lakes

April 19, 2020

Living in Wisconsin, you're probably very familiar with the Great Lakes (or at least with Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, which border our state!). And, if you recognized H.O.M.E.S. as an acronym for the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior), you are one step ahead!  Now, you can explore the Great Lakes and learn more about their ecosystems, the creatures that live in them, and about the animals that live around them with a series of online webinars and videos curated by the Sea Grant Michigan. By watching this content and engaging in some interactive livestreams, students can beocme Great Lakes Junior Scientists and even earn a certificate that will be sent to them in the...

Children Learning

Spooky, Scary, Supernatural Reads!

full moon

April 11, 2020

If you are anything like me, the unknown is a fascinating subject. Ghosts, UFOs, weird animals and weird experiences are all part of the supernatural. Below is a list of nonfiction books that deal with the supernatural; all are available from Wisconsin’s Digital Library. This is just a starting point, the digital library has many other books that deal with the supernatural.  Enjoy!  

Reading Recommendations

10 From Dewey: A Dewey Decimal Reading List

nonfiction stacks in a library

April 8, 2020

Over a century ago, Melvil Dewey decided that libraries were too disorganized, so he set out to organize all the world’s knowledge into ten categories. While many librarians discuss the continued use of these categories to organize knowledge, many public libraries still use them today. If you're looking for a nonfiction book to read but aren't sure what you're in the mood for, I’ve picked 10 titles; one each from each of the subject areas. While one title doesn’t completely cover all the topics included in that one category, this will give you a taste of what each one contains. All of these books are available for free checkout and download in Wisconsin's Digital Library via the Overdrive or Libby...

Reading Recommendations Books

Ancestry.com: Library Edition now accessible from home!

screenshot of Ancestry: Library Edition main page

March 26, 2020

Though the Marathon County Public Library is temporarily closed due to concerns over COVID-19, there is a bit of good news to share - Ancestry.com: Library Edition will be available to access from home now through the month of April (and possibly longer!)  Ancestry.com: Library Edition can generally only be accessed from within one of the nine MCPL locations, but due to the current pandemic, our subscription has been extended to include home access as well! So, if you're interested in learning more about your family and your ancestors during your time at home, we have a couple of places to start.  First, Ancestry.com contains a wealth of documents that will (hopefully) help fill in the...

Genealogy Online Resources Technology

Escape isolation with these Harry Potter read-alikes!

teen girl reading a tantasy book

March 21, 2020

Stuck at home without books? Looking for something to listen to while you do other things? Then consider the following Harry Potter-like fantasy titles, which will help you escape home quarantining and take you to a far away land! All of these titles are available for checkout on the free Overdrive and Libby apps, which can be found in most app stores on your tablet, smartphone or computer. All you need is your Marathon County Public Library card and PIN number (usually set as the last four digits of your phone number) to log in.  Check back throughout our closure for new book lists and recommendations for different genres that are available via Overdrive and Libby. And if you have any...

Books E-books Reading Recommendations

Over 400 caps collected by MCPL in 2019

purple CLICK for Babies caps collected in 2019

January 15, 2020

If you stopped by the Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) last summer, you may have seen someone dropping off purple knit or crocheted hats and wondered what it was all about. For the past few years, MCPL has partnered with CLICK for Babies, an organization for the prevention of child abuse, with the purple hats used to highlight the dangers of Shaken Baby Syndrome. In the first few months of life, all babies go through a period of increased crying, usually starting around two weeks of age, peaking in the second month and waning during the third and fourth months. CLICK for Babies uses the color purple to help parents remember that this crying lasts for a limited period of time and...

Community

MCPL awaiting arrival of tax forms

tax forms and tax preparation materials

January 11, 2020

With the new year comes tax time! We’ve already had many requests for tax forms at our library locations but the forms have still not arrived. In general, most tax forms arrive between the third week of January and the first week of February. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) notifies the library of shipping dates; this year our tax forms will be shipped beginning on January 21. It may take several weeks to receive all the forms we have requested however, in the past, our forms have arrived together. In the meantime, there some important things to remember: January 27 is the first day that the IRS will accept tax returns. This is also the first day that online fillable forms will be...

Taxes On-Site Services

Try a true crime book!

prison cell bars

June 4, 2019

Even for the most reluctant reader, true crime always seems to be a big hit. Let’s face it; nearly everyone suffers from some curiosity when it comes to crime. How could a person cut a body completely in half and pose it in a vacant lot without anyone noticing?  What happened to this person to make him into someone who seems to enjoy abducting and killing people?  Personally, I like true crime for the mystery aspect as well as the details into the investigation.  The following books highlight cases that inspired authors, such as “The Real Lolita,” where we learn that Nabokov was fascinated with the abduction of Sally Horner and that led directly to his famous novel, “Lolita.”  Gabriel...

Reading Recommendations Books

Two database subscriptions discontinued

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center screenshot

May 30, 2019

If you've recently checked out the Marathon County Public Library’s online resources page, you may have noticed a few changes. We no longer have the Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center or the Home Improvement Reference Center available. Working with libraries from around our area, it was decided to discontinue our subscription to these two databases. With the rise of such popular websites like Etsy and Ravelry, and the increased use of YouTube for learning how to do basic (and not so basic) home repairs and improvements, we have seen a decrease in the use of these two databases. In addition, this will free up funds for Wisconsin Valley Library Service to add new databases and provide additional services...

Online Resources Technology

Go on an adventure with these books!

man on a snowy mountain

March 20, 2019

When the snow starts to fall, I grab an adventure book. I’m not sure why wintry weather makes me think adventure. Maybe it has to do with dreaming of being in a warm place, like in “The Lost City of Z,” or the opportunity to have an adventure that I will never be able to experience like in “The Martian.” Oddly enough, most of my adventure reading tends to be about surviving in the wilderness, like the escaped prisoners do in “The Long Walk” or Douglas Mawson’s amazing fight to survive in the Antarctic in “Alone on the Ice.” Sometimes learning about another person’s life as they tackle their dreams, as in “Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube,” where the author describes what it’s like to be a woman learning to run...

Reading Recommendations Books

Our favorite young adult fantasy series!

butterflies and mushrooms

November 21, 2018

This time of the year is the perfect time to start a series—it’s cold outside, there are upcoming holidays and books make great presents! And I’ve got some great recommendations for you! A lot of my recent (and not so recent) favorite books are part of a fantasy series. And while I could fill up a whole book case with what I think is awesome when it comes to fantasy, I also realized that there were probably fantasy series that I haven’t heard of, let alone read, yet.  I reached out to my co-workers, and here is a small sampling of fantasy series that we think are fantastic.  (No pun intended. Ok, maybe pun intended.) Our list covers everything from urban fantasy/horror with Lili St. Crow’s “...

Reading Recommendations Books Teens

International Mysteries

mysterious person in hat and glasses

November 6, 2018

So many readers love a good mystery.  It can be really hard to say good-bye when that last volume of series comes out, but that just leaves more room in your reading life for another great mystery series.  I like a mystery with just a touch of the supernatural.  If you are like me, you will love “Midnight Riot,” a novel set in contemporary London, complete with ghosts and magic.  If you prefer something a little more historical, “Beautiful Place to Die,” set in 1950’s South Africa is the book for you.  Interested in exploring a new location or looking for something more exotic?  Try “Bangkok 8” set in Thailand or “The Coroner’s Lunch,” set in Laos in the early 70’s. No...

Reading Recommendations Books

Classic & Contemporary Books of Horror!

giant ghost in the fog

October 16, 2018

I love horror. I really do. I like a book that’s going to scare me, unsettle me or just make me think differently about the world. October is the perfect time for dipping your toe into the horrors that lie between the covers of books. To that end, I offer you a list of both contemporary and classic horror tales.  From the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft to the true story of murder in “In Cold Blood,” horror comes in a surprising number of flavors, both cosmic (Cthulhu, anyone?) and every day. Horror also has elements of its cousins, fantasy and science fiction, like the horror of discovering that the person you thought was your friend is actually that same person, but from...

Reading Recommendations Books

Get All Your AP Study Books at MCPL!

April 12, 2018

Spring is here and, in spite of the great weather, the season also brings with it the time for AP testing. Sudents have spent their entire school year focused on improving their skills and learning content, trying to get a 4 or a 5, which equals college credits for them. But sometimes you need a little boost to get that elusive high score, and the library is here to help! Our collection development specialist and young adult librarian have gotten together and created a list of all the AP study materials available at the Marathon County Public Library's Wausau Headquarters. Students can visit the library here in Wausau to pick up materials or can request them to be sent to another one of our branch libraries...

Books Teens Learning

Can you get out of MCPL’s Escape Room?

locked safe

July 6, 2017

Escape rooms are all the rage these days and the Marathon County Public Library is getting on board by offering its very own escape room for teens and adults! Will you be able to stop a zombie virus outbreak before it's too late?? Join us and find out! Dr. Johnson (who has been briefing you and your group about the important scientific experiments she's been conducting), has left her office to speak with a colleague. After snooping through the doctor’s files, you discover that Dr. Johnson has something more nefarious up her sleeve—a full-on zombie virus that she’s planning to unleash on the unsuspecting public! Worse yet…it’s airborne, and anyone who comes in contact with this virus is guaranteed to...

Libraries Events Teens

How to Raise a Successful Reader

boy reading a book

March 30, 2017

Reading is a developmental process that every child reaches at their own pace. Not every six year-old is ready to learn to read, while some four year-olds are. Early reading instruction is something that most parents do naturally by reading to their children on a regular basis and inviting them to handle books.  By doing this, young children learn that there is a right way to read a book (i.e. reading left to right, top to bottom), as well as how a story is structured (i.e. beginning, middle and end).  They begin to match pictures with the words that Mom or Dad say. Some children even memorize a favorite book and are delighted to “read” it to their parents.  But what happens if you grow up in...

Reading Recommendations Books Children Teens

Teen Time at MCPL Wausau!

teen hands together to show teamwork

February 21, 2017

So, let’s say you’re a teen and you need a place to work on a poster or on a group project. Someplace where you can chat while you work or can take a break to do something else when you just can’t look at your homework one more second. The Marathon County Public Library knows that teens need a place all their own to hang out and be, well, teens! Enter Teen Time. With our Wausau Headquarters’ current second floor remodel, our TeenZone was relocated and lost a bit of space, but don’t let that stop you from coming to the library!  Twice monthly, we’ll offer teens a place to do whatever they need to do – work on homework and projects, socialize, learn new hobbies and skills, and more. Every two weeks we...

Teens Education Events

Take Time to Read with Your Kids!

October 20, 2016

It’s mid-October and the school year is well underway, with teachers handing out homework to reinforce the skills they teach their students in the classroom. Reading homework is just as important as homework in any other class and is a skill used time and time again throughout a person’s life. Most adults have likely been reading so long that it’s hard to remember what it was like to struggle through a sentence. Carolyn Wilhelm at the website Cult of Pedagogy has some great tips for parents when it comes to reading homework. Reading homework often requires a parent to listen to a child as he or she reads aloud. For older children, reading homework may consist of reading for a number of set minutes each day...

Reading Recommendations Education Learning Children

Teen’s Top Ten 2016

teen girl reading on couch

August 30, 2016

Hey Teens! Every year the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) posts nominees selected by teen book groups and invites teens (meaning you!) to choose their favorites. You can see the nominees and vote for your favorites at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten. You can also view book trailers for the books. MCPL’s Wausau Headquarters also has a display of the nominees in the second floor Teen Zone. This year’s selection has something for everyone, including Holly Black’s latest book “The Darkest Part of the Forest,” dealing with a fairy mystery hidden deep within suburban America, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s highly anticipated “Illuminae,” a sci fi story told through...

Teens Top 10

National Poetry Month: LEGO Poetry

LEGO poetry

April 8, 2015

There are plenty of things to celebrate in April, but one of my favorite is poetry. Here at MCPL in Wausau, we’ve got two activities to encourage you to experience poetry every day.  Come and build a poem with LEGO poetry in the TeenZone. Each LEGO has a word on it and you are invited to create a poem by using the words on the LEGOS.  It’s like magnetic poetry, but in three dimensions.  When you are done, take a picture with your phone, name the picture with the title of the poem (and your name if you want) and send it to us at teenzone@mcpl.us. We’ll post the poems to our Facebook page, so remember to like MCPL on Facebook to see your poem. Don’t have time to build a poem here?  Take...

Teens Poetry National Poetry Month

Never Counted Out

teenagers talking at a table

April 6, 2015

Teens, have you ever felt like your voice wasn’t heard?  Or were there times when you spoke out about your truth?  Now you have the opportunity to share these by submitting an essay, poem, graphic novel or photograph about these times to Never Counted Out, a website created to connect teens with artists and writers.  Never Counted Out is the brain child of novelist, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, the author of Fat Angie.  e.E created the website after connecting with a depressed teen writer, after his teacher shared is creative writing sample with her.  When e.E. talked with young writer, she felt like she had made a special connection with him and wanted to create opportunities for other...

Arts and Crafts Teens Writing

The Wisconsin Digital Archive: Get Connected to State Government

December 16, 2014

Many of us are breathing a sigh of relief now that election ads and coverage are over for this election cycle.  If you are like me, maybe you wondered how accurate those statistics you saw in the ads were.  How can one politician claim jobs were added when another claims the exact opposite?  Maybe you were curious where the news anchors get their information on the economy, job growth or government agency spending.  I have the perfect link for you news junkies:  The Wisconsin Digital Archives.    The Wisconsin Digital Archive provides one stop shopping for all those reports you hear about on the news.  Curious about job growth, school achievement scores, roadway safety...

Government Information Wisconsin Websites

Create Your Own Urban Legend: The Mill

October 20, 2014

Earlier this month, teens had an opportunity to create their own urban legends using materials found in the library. This terrifying story was inspired by a picture of the Island Mill in Wausau (c. 1900-1919) from the Marathon County Historical Society, found in the Central Wisconsin Digitization Project.   The Mill By Damian Wendorf   My best friend, Devon, was talking to me about a story his dad told him. The story concerns three boy who were murdered in the 1960’s. The murder occurred on the Wisconsin River by the old saw mill.  First, the police found a bloody saw blade and a pool of blood on the floor of the mill. In the pool of blood lay a body of a fourteen year old boy...

Wisconsin Teens

Sync offers free YA audiobook downloads this summer

Sync logo

May 27, 2014

Dreading assigned summer reading?  Have to spend hours in the car with your annoying younger siblings?  Mowing thousands of lawns this summer?  I may have a solution as close as your headphones and smartphone.  As I was scrolling around the internet this week, I discovered that Sync, sponsored by AudioFile Magazine is giving away free young adult audio books paired with either a classic or required reading book.  Sync is powered by Overdrive, so you will need to make sure that you have Overdrive downloaded to your computer, tablet or device. (Get Overdrive from your preferred app store or here.)  The files are in MP3 format and each pair is available for one week only, but the...

Audiobooks Wisconsin's Digital Library Teens