Monday, November 4, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.

Most recent blog post: 

Last week in books: 






I read about 30 books in the past week, but these are the ones that stood out for me. I was excited to finally sit down and read the second book in the Dactyl Hill series. Freedom Fire was just as action packed and enthralling as the first book. 

Here and Now is a book that reminds the reader to be present and would be a nice meditation. 

More to the Story is not a remake of Little Women, but it is inspired by it and for those who've read Little Women, there are similarities and little moments throughout that call back to the first book. It's a complete and lovely story about an American Muslim family and having that background isn't necessary. 

My Shoes and I is the story of a child and parent making the journey from El Salvador to the US.

If possible, I think I enjoyed The Crossover more as a graphic novel. 

Some Places More Than Others is about a family making new connections and attempting to repair some. The characters are feel so real and true. A large portion of the story takes place in New York City. This is another time when I was grateful to have finally visited NYC this past summer. So much of our media has it as a setting and the books come to life more now that I've been there. 

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Boenhoffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler made me wonder what I am even doing with my life. Truly. He and so many others lived out their faith. This book had tons of graphics and interesting uses of fonts (that were sometimes hard for my old eyes), but it also just really made clear that this man believed that one must act on faith or it doesn't mean much.

Full Disclosure got me. I was so excited for Camryn Garrett's debut book. Simone is HIV-positive and is navigating her feelings about what that means for her future and honestly, what it means for her love life. I loved Simone and felt that the book could really help readers understand the myths and truths about HIV.

The Coming Week:
I'm not quite sure what I'll pick up this week, but wish you wonderful reading.

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 832/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 294/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30

Monday, October 21, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.


My favorites of the week were YA: When You Ask Me Where I'm Going by Jasmin Kaur (see review above) and The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee (I'll review that on Friday at Rich in Color). Stacey Lee has done it again with a great historical novel that had me in thrall. Slay was fun and we'll have a discussion about it soon over at Rich in Color. I enjoy books that involve gaming and tech once in a while. This one was certainly intriguing.

The Coming Week:
I'm about to start the youth edition of Trevor Noah's book. I also started Troublemakers by Shalaby. I'm still reading Mindful of Race and Waking Up White. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 769/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 273/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Review: The Dragon Thief

Title: The Dragon Thief
Author: Zetta Elliott
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 176
Genre: Fantasy
Availability: Oct. 22, 2019
Review copy: Digital ARC via Netgalley

Summary: Stealing a baby dragon was easy! Hiding it is a little more complicated, in this sequel to reviewer favorite Dragons in a Bag.

Jaxon had just one job–to return three baby dragons to the realm of magic. But when he got there, only two dragons were left in the bag. His best friend’s sister, Kavita, is a dragon thief!

Kavita only wanted what was best for the baby dragon. But now every time she feeds it, the dragon grows and grows! How can she possibly keep it secret? Even worse, stealing it has upset the balance between the worlds. The gates to the other realm have shut tight! Jaxon needs all the help he can get to find Kavita, outsmart a trickster named Blue, and return the baby dragon to its true home.

Review: I was so excited to get my hands on this sequel to the wonderful Dragons in a Bag. There simply aren't enough dragon fantasies for the early chapter book readers. And it is truly awesome to see more Black magic and Black history on our shelves.

These children are young and get themselves into all kinds of difficult situations, but they work together to solve their problems. So much of the book is about being in community with one another, building bridges, and redemption too. Humans are complicated and make mistakes, but when we love each other, we stick together.

I appreciate that the children have caring adults in their lives. So many authors try to write the adults out so the children can have agency, but that's not necessary. Children can still have adventures, make their own choices, and solve problems with adults as part of their story. The intergenerational relationships are really a strong point here. Respect is shown to elders and readers can see that everyone wants to feel needed and valued regardless of age. We can all be part of solutions no matter how young or old.

Another interesting part of the book is the historical aspect. Early in the story, Kavita's aunt shares about her ancestry and why her skin is so dark. I had not known of the Siddis in India or that the slave trade had been active in that part of the world. This is a piece of history that many children and likely many adults in the U.S. do not know. It's one more reminder that there is so much that we don't know we don't know.

Recommendation: I will definitely be including this in our elementary school library. Children will love the adventure and magic and may even learn a few things along the way. Don't miss out.

Monday, October 7, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.

Last week in books: 



There were a lot of great books in my hands this past week. Here are the ones that stood out:

Under the Broken Sky by Mariko Nagai - Historical novel in verse (ARC via Netgalley)
Does it Fart? by Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti - funny NF PB about farts
The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott - sequel to Dragons in a bag - fun early chap book fantasy
The Line Tender by Kate Allen - middle grade look at grief and sharks
Who Are You Calling Weird? by Marilyn Singer is an engaging NF PB about strange animals
A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai is a fun YA rom com
Spencer's New Pet by Jessie Sima is quite a unique PB
IntersectionAllies by Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, Carolyn Choi - is a NF PB & would be a fantastic conversation starter about intersectionality and ways to be allies and support each other.
Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker - a middle grade novel about a trans girl with serious computer skills who has relocated and is finding friends and working on family relationships.
Sadiq and the Desert Star by Siman Nuurali is an early chapter book about a boy developing an interest in astronomy
A Boy Like You by Frank Murphy is a celebration and lifting up of boys and the wide varieties of being a boy

The Coming Week:

I'll be reading When You Ask Me Where I'm Going by Jasmin Kaur for a review next week. I am still reading Mindful of Race and Waking Up White for two different groups I'm part of so those will be on my list for many weeks since we go slowly. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 758/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 268/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30

Monday, September 30, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.

Last week in posts:

Last week in books: 

I got to read a lot of pretty awesome books this week. Guts will be super popular with students. Interestingly, there was a podcast this weekend that would be a great companion. The Daily had a special episode for kids: The Fear Facer. The guest on the podcast is a young girl with OCD who is terrified of tornadoes and vomit. I couldn't help but think of Raina's newest book. I think the episode would really appeal to her readers.
  
The Coming Week:
I'll be reading Waking Up White, Mindful of Race and The Line Tender. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 735/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 261/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30

Monday, September 23, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.

Last week in posts:
Last week in books: 
 

My students adore slime and slime books so I grabbed Karina Garcia’s Next-Level DIY Slime to see if I should get it for the library. I will be putting it on my order list. My Jasper June was really so well written. I was totally sucked in and felt so many emotions. Sheets was an interesting graphic novel that will likely be popular. What Girls Know is a tough, but very good novel memoir in verse. See my review above for more info. The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster was a clever and quick read. I loved the collages and the bit of mystery it holds.

Finally, Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers was a great middle grade book about friendship and activism. It also has some food references. There's a Chips and Chips recipe at the end that's basically chocolate chip cookies with crumbled potato chips on top. I had to make them and they are really yummy.
  
The Coming Week:


Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 727/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 257/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30

Sunday, September 15, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.

 

I'm not a huge fan of the Jack series because Jack is naughty beyond what I enjoy, but I applaud the author and illustrator for listening when their ARC went out and making a change. The main character had been a monkey and they heard about Edi Campbell's work so they switched to dogs. Orange for the Sunsets was a good historical fiction set in Uganda during Idi Amin's regime. One main character is Indian and one is Black. Amin has called for all Indians to leave the country and this threatens to tear their friendship apart. It's nice to have a middle grade that deals with a topic that doesn't appear in many books except one I read a few years ago, Child of Dandelions. The new Mia Mayhem is another fun early chapter book. The Infamous Ratsos Project Fluffy was a disappointment. Several characters have crushes and are trying to get a boyfriend or girlfriend. As this is aimed at first/second grade students, it's not my favorite topic choice. It's humorous and kids will likely enjoy it, but I'm not sure why the author felt that was a topic to pursue. The Scarecrow is beautiful and sweet as a scarecrow basically adopts a baby crow. 

Just Ask! is by Sonia Sotomayor. It's about many different disabilities and how often, people would not mind if you just ask about the differences you see rather than stare or make rude comments. There are some people who have brought up two issues about that book worth considering. The books speaks of differences, but does not use the word disabilities. Also, it credits Autism Speaks which is a troubling organization. One other comment from someone else indicates that saying be brave is also troubling as people with disabilities are not being brave by existing. They are living their life. Here is the post/discussion from The Conscious Kid. I still think the book could be a valuable conversation starter, but it's good to be aware of the issues.

I quite liked the It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity. It will be a wonderful book for so many children and families. It's simple to understand and very affirming. For Black Girls Like Me was a look at cross racial adoption, but also mental illness. It's well done, but the choice to omit commas in the text was a distraction for me. What's Your Favorite Food? is a collection of foods that various illustrators enjoy. It would be a great mentor text for a class book. The Yellow Suitcase is an excellent exploration of loss and grief. Around the Passover Table isn't so much a story as an explanation of the steps in a Passover seder. In When I Found Grandma, a young girl has a somewhat complicated relationship with her grandmother who lives far away. She is embarrassed by this woman who is loud and so very different, but eventually comes to see her value.
  
The Coming Week:
I'm reading What Girls Know by Neesha Meminger. It's a memoir-novel in verse. The author sent it to me for review so watch for that over on Rich in Color later this week. After that, I still have several piles of books to read for the Wisconsin State Reading Association committee I'm on so will likely be reading some MG and YA for that. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 720/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 255/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30