Monday, May 25, 2020

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 on the blog: 


Last week in books:

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine - YA novel that's a nice mix of snark, history, family drama, and love. 

Scavenge the Stars - YA gender swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo with lots of adventure and a slight bit of romance. 

Indian No More - a middle grade historical fiction book that would make an excellent class read aloud. There would be much to research and learn about with the termination law and relocation of many Indian families.  

Bird Summons - an adult novel about three Muslim women in Scotland who take a road trip to the grave of who they believe was the first white woman in Scotland to convert. Quite an unusual book because it goes a bit beyond surface realities. This was my final book for the #RamadanReadathon. That was again an interesting reading challenge to do. 

Dictionary for a Better World - this picture book of poetry is simply fantastic. It has poetry that encourages empathy, activism, and is encouraging and inspirational. There are also quotes related to each of the poems from a wide variety of people. Each poem also has a brief explanation or aside from the author. In addition, each poem format is labeled and explained so readers may also choose to write poems.

The Coming Week:
I am currently reading Dragon Hoops via the new Overdrive collection I just purchased for our elementary school. I had no idea the consortium allowed staff access to teen and adult titles. I'm super excited. Bonus reading. I'm also reading Making Comics by Lynda Barry which is essentially her college course of the same name so it has all kinds of drawing and writing activities to do in the new journal I made. I'm not sure what else I will get to as it will be a busy week. It's our last week for new learning and then we have two and a half days on school next week. Have fun reading!

Reading Challenge Updates: 

Asian American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month so this is a good time to share some titles I have in my elementary school library (or have on order). These are all books that I have read and would recommend, but this is not my heritage so keep that in mind.

Picture Books


Summoning the Phoenix by Emily Jiang illustrated by April Chu
The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito illustrated by Julia Kuo
A Different Pond by Bao Phi illustrated by Thi Bui
Drawn Together by Min Lê illustrated by Dan Santat
It Began with a Page by Kyo Maclear illustrated by Julie Morstad
Queen of Physics by Teresa Robeson illustrated by Rebecca Huang
A Map Into the World by Kao Kalia Yang illustrated by Seo Kim
Paper Son by Julie Leung illustrated by Chris Sasaki
Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed illustrated by Anoosha Syed
The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar illustrated by Alea Marley
My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin illustrated by Lindsey Yannkey
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang illustrated by Charlene Chua
Mommy Sayang by Rosana Sullivan
A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
Feast of Peas by Kashmira Sheth illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
The Wedding Portrait by Innosanto Nagara
Here I Am by Patti Kim illustrated by Sonia Sanchez

Beginning Chapter Books


Yasmin Series (Books 1-12) by Saadia Faruqi illustrated by Hatem Aly
Astrid and Apollo and the Starry Campout by V.T. Bidania illustrated by Dara Lashia Lee [My Review Here]
Pacy Series by Grace Lin
Melody of the Qeej by Mai Kou Xiong illustrated by Vang Lee
Ling and Ting Series by Grace Lin
Jasmine Toguchi Series by Debbi Michiko Florence illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon by Ka Vang illustrated by Aimee Hagerty Johnson
Nina Soni, Former Best Friend by Kashmira Sheth illustrated by Jenn Kocsmiersky
Diary of an Ice Princess by Christina Soontornvat illustrated by Barbara Szepesi Szucs
The No-Dogs Allowed Rule by Kashmira Sheth illustrated by Carl Pearce
Mindy Kim Series by Lyla Lee illustrated by Dung Ho (the illustration are sometimes stereotypical and that's unfortunate - I'm hoping that changes as the series progresses)
Ruby Lu Brave Series by Lenore Look


I haven't read the Planet Omar books, but am looking forward to it. 

Middle Grade Chapter Books & Graphic Novels

 

American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim
Mulan Before the Sword by Grace Lin
Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun [My Review Here]
Green Lantern: Legacy by Minh Lê illustrated by Andie Tong
Under the Broken Sky by Mariko Nagai
Star Gazing by Jen Wang
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly
More to the Story by Hena Khan
Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva
All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond Series by Sayantani DasGupta
Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar
The Gauntlet Series by Karuna Riazi
Power Forward by Hena Khan

Pacific Island Books - Hawaii


Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson
In My Neighborhood/Ma koʿu kaiūlu by Kalani Pūloku Taylor Vahey
Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders

It's really Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but I have very few books that fit the Pacifika  category. If, like me, you have realized that you haven't read many books by or about Pacific Islanders, here are some places to go for titles. I am hoping that next year, I will be familiar with more of these:

Pacific Island Books for Children and Teens
Aotearoa Books - Pacifika Children's Fiction
The Quiet Pond's Recommendations - Books by Maori and Pasifika Authors
Electric Lit's post 13 Books by Pacific Islanders

Monday, May 18, 2020

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 on the blog: 

Last week in books:

The Map of Salt and Tears was an adult title I read for the #RamadanReadathon. It's a dual narrative with one character far in the past and one in about ten years ago. Someone on Twitter recommended it when we were talking about Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know and it's dual timeline of the past and present. 

It's a Whole Spiel is a YA anthology written by Jewish authors. It was a lovely collection. 

Show Me a Sign was an interesting middle grade book about a small New England community where there was a large deaf population so people there all learned sign language. I had never known about this actual place. It dealt with ableism, racism, friendship, and grief among other things. 

My favorite of the picture books were the biographies: It Began with a Page, By and By, and Thanks to Frances Perkins

The Coming Week:
I just started King and the Dragonflies and I am enthralled. I will likely read some more for the #RamadanReadathon, but otherwise, it's a toss up of what I will grab. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 

Sunday, May 10, 2020

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:
 
Rick by Alex Gino was fantastic. It's really a perfect middle grade as Rick is navigating friendship and questioning his identity. He's also getting closer to his grandfather. For students wondering about LGBTQIAP+ and what all those letters might mean, this is a good way to start a discussion. For young people who are going through their own time of questioning, this is a great book to hand them. 

Unmarriageable was one for #RamadanReadathon. It is a Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan. It was a nice romcom. There was fat shaming that reallly goes unaddressed until the very end. I also didn't enjoy that she used the same names for some of the characters. It made the author's job easier because then people know without being told, but I felt it made it too much like the original. I enjoyed it for the most part, but for Pride and Prejudice retellings, I preferred Pride by Ibi Zoboi and Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin. 

Another book for #RamadanReadathon was Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know. It was also on my MustReadin2020 list. This had two storylines going on - one in Paris in the present and one hundreds of years prior. It's an art mystery with a bit of flirtation. Loved it.

Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune was lovely. I really enjoy books that revolve around food. This also had a bit of romance and family drama. I have been seeking out romances and lighter fare so this was perfect for that.

Another romance was Fumbled. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't a big favorite. The Goodreads reviews indicate that the first book in the series was better so I may try that one later. 

All Boys Aren't Blue is a memoir and is fantastic. I was lucky enough to go to the book release online event and also heard George speak at Everywhere Bookfest or Y'allWest. I can't remember which. Anyway, he has a wonderful sense of humor and I so appreciate all that he shared. I think this book will be helpful to many young people. 

I have no idea why The Banshee Train was checked out to me. I found it on my shelf and have no recollection of checking it out. It was a story about how a train had fallen when the tracks were out over a huge ravine. Later, another train is coming through and a banshee starts chasing it. I probably grabbed it because I'm always looking for books that are scary, but not too scary for my younger picture book readers. It's okay, but because it looks so dated, I'm not sure children will pick it up even with a banshee.

Go With the Flow is an excellent graphic novel dealing with menstruation. It really attacks the idea that periods shouldn't be talked about and are even almost treated like they are shameful. I'm super excited for this one to be out in the world. 

The Coming Week:
Their Eyes Were Watching God is on my pile along with Show Me a Sign. I also have The Map of Salt and Stars checked out. Have a great week filled with awesome reading adventures.

Reading Challenge Updates: 
#MustReadin2020 - 17/36
#YARC2020 - 28/55
#RamadanReadathon2020 - 8

Monday, May 4, 2020

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:


I finally finished the original version of Stamped From the Beginning the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. It's more than 500 pages with small print, but it is definitely worth every minute spent. I had listened to the YA adaptation, Stamped, a few weeks ago. I listened to it again while I was reading the original and hopefully, with three exposures, I have absorbed some of the information. I am excited to share the YA adaption with teachers and portions of it with students. These are powerful books that encourage action.


I was seeking out some lighter fare this week too, so was happy to get my copy of The Chai Factor for #RamadanReadathon. It was an adult romantic comedy set in Toronto. I love to visit that part of the world so am always enjoying books set there. What I loved was that because it wasn't YA, I didn't have to look read it through the eyes of a reviewer so it was pure relaxation. 

Even if the Sky Falls was also a romance with a share of humor though it also included a bit more of a struggle. As American as Paneer Pie was an ARC from the publisher and is a very nice middle grade about immigrant families and really does a good job at showing that there are multiple ways to be Indian American and that identity is important, but it is not the only significant thing about a person.

The picture books were good and my favorite was The Overground Railroad which was about The Great Migration. It seems to slowly be changing, but it really is amazing how many non-Black people are completely unaware of that huge part of U.S. history. Bears Make Rock Soup has some brief traditional tales alongside art. What caught my attention is that the author is an enrolled member of the Oneida of Wisconsin. There aren't very many books published by Native authors from Wi so that's one I'm happy to add to our library collection.

The Coming Week: I was called to come pick up some books I had on hold. I'm excited to start more adult books that I don't have to review. Woot! I am also reading All Boys Are Not Blue which is fabulous and will start Felix Ever After too. Happy reading!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
#MustReadin2020 - 16/36
#YARC2020 - 25/55

Sunday, April 26, 2020

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 on the blog:

Last week in books:

This week was one of ups and down emotionally as we continue to do distance learning. I'll Be the One was a book I chose deliberately because it looked very fun and it definitely was and it was available as a digital ARC through Edelweiss (available June 16). It's a cute rom-com with a Korean American main character who is competing in a reality tv voice/dance competition in spite of her mother's lack of support. 

Though it may not be light and comedic, Parachutes (another digital ARC - available May 26) intrigued me because we have hosted many international students. In the past, they have stayed only one school year. This time though we actually have a student who would be considered a parachute. I had never heard this term, but it describes students (generally from Asia and most often from China) who come to the states and attend private schools for multiple years (which you can't do in public schools) so they may graduate here and then attend college here. Our student will have been here three years when she graduates. I often wonder where the exchange student books are so was interested to see this one. It was well done and really gets into some of the issues students can face including sexual harassment and racism along with simply missing their families and friends.

The other YA I read was Reaper at the Gates. Somehow I had thought I was all caught up on this series, but I grabbed it the final time I went to the library knowing Ramadan was coming up and it would be nice to read a book by a Muslim author. The whole series has been great though it is one of those stories where if anything seems to go well, watch out--there is sure to be death and destruction coming. It just goes from bad to worse. The relationships and connections between characters are fascinating and the story moves quickly. It's hard to wait for the next one. In addition to this one, I also read three picture books for the #RamadonReadathon - Like the Moon Loves the Sky, My Grandma and Me and Under the Ramadan Moon.

Finally, I listened to The List of Things That Will Not Change through Libro.fm. This was a middle grade about a young girl dealing with her anxiety (it normalizes therapy & I loved that) and eczema along with big changes with her family. Her father is getting married and she will be getting a sister, but they haven't even met. There is a lot to love here. 

The Coming Week:

American as Paneer Pie is an E-ARC I'm still reading from Netgalley. I finished up Garvey's Choice for my school book group. I am still reading Stamped and may yet get back to Dream Work. I plan to start reading Felix Ever After too. I am also waiting for a few new books to arrive via mail. I'm excited about those, but I don't know what will get here first.

Reading Challenge Updates: 
#MustReadin2020 - 16/36
#YARC2020 - 24/55

Monday, April 20, 2020

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 on the blog:



Last week in books:


I am finally getting into a bit of a routine and am getting a little more reading accomplished. I'm also building some breaks into my workday and am reading books from my library. That way I'm not always looking at a screen, but I am still doing something that helps me improve at my job.

Green Lantern Legacy - middle grade graphic novel that's a lot of fun. It's basically an origin story of a Vietnamese American superhero. This was my first Bookshop order. You can order online and it helps support any local independent bookstore that you designate. I plan to support The Brain Lair Bookstore owned by Kathy Burnette. She makes it a point to focus on marginalized authors and inclusiveness in books. 

Destiny's Gift - a picture book about a girl and her friendship with the owner of a bookstore. There are financial issues and Destiny tries to help save the store.

Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam - This is a retelling of a tale about two friends from different faiths. They both help each other in secret and the result is lovely. I was thinking this would go well with My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin because the grandmother in that one has a friend of a different faith also and it is also a beautiful relationship.

The Water Bears (digital ARC via Netgalley out 4/21/20) is a unique middle grade novel and is quite a gift. The main character is one year out from a traumatic experience and is still dealing with the fallout. Being attacked by a bear is no small thing and he just can't get past it. I loved how this book addressed this stress and anxiety. What I totally loved was the very unique island community that Newt lives in and all of the interesting folks there. 

Dear Evan Hansen - I listened to this one through Libby via my public library. It was a well done audio. I had no idea what the book was about going into it except that it was something on Broadway. Since it was a musical, I was not expecting it to deal with the death of a teen. Also, it was one of those where I kept wanting to look away knowing that things could only end badly. It was a hard one to read even though there were some humorous moments. It also has a nice soundtrack on Spotify that was nice to listen to after knowing the story.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond was a re-read. It is really an excellent work of historical fiction. The one issue I have with it that I didn't notice as a young person when I first read it, is the way that the characters interact and refer to the Indigenous people. It's very much a book that casts them as savages. The mentions are fairly limited, but one plot point does involve fighting and the kidnapping of a white colonist and the Natives are definitely cast as villains.   

When Stars Are Scattered is a collaboration between a graphic novelist and the person who shared this memoir with her. I listened to it on Libro.fm so haven't yet seen the illustrations. I love Victoria Jamieson's work (Roller Girl and others) so am sure those will be fantastic. It's the story of Omar and his little brother as they become refugees from Somalia and are living in a camp in Kenya for many, many years without any biological family members. It's powerful.

How to Make Sunshine (Digital ARC via Netgalley) is a precious book about friends and family. It's aimed at the younger chapter book crowd. There are no super high stakes in this story, but there are many situations that would be familiar to elementary age readers. 

The Coming Week:

I am still reading Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi (on audio) while I read the original version. I have Dream Work checked out, but I am not really reading it much. It's nice to have it on my device though so I can read a poem here and there. American as Paneer Pie is an E-ARC I'm reading from Netgalley. I'm not sure what else I'll get to this week. Oh, I'm also re-reading Garvey's Choice with a few students I am meeting with via video chats. That's fun. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
#MustReadin2020 - 16/36
#YARC2020 - 22/55