Sunday, January 31, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Last Week on the Blogs:

Last Week in Books:

The Skunk has an old-fashioned vibe in the illustrations that was quirky. I liked the humor, but I wasn't bowled over by it. Erandi's Braids was a story that touched my heart. Who Has These Feet? Is a very engaging nonfiction book about animal feet. Enormous Smallnes: The Life of E.E. Cummings is a lovely book. The illustrations fit the text so well and showed the personality of Cummings. Daddy, Papa and Me and Mommy, Mama and Me are two joyful board books about family. They are also the first books to have received the Stonewall Award for children's literature. They were written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Carol Thompson. Funny thing is that they came in on the library hold shelf the same day that I listened to Lesléa on the Let's Get Busy Podcast. It's a great episode focusing on LGBT kidlit. By the way, if you have never listened to any of the Let's Get Busy Podcasts, I recommend that you go do that now.

There are three books here that knocked my socks off completely. Show Way took my breath away. Woodson is such a master storyteller and the topic is heartbreaking, but also manages to be a celebration. The Only Child was amazing in a completely different way. Is it a picture book? Is it a graphic novel? A combination? And it's wordless. Gorgeous too. It is like nothing else I've seen and also tells a marvelous story. I reviewed Freeedom in Congo Square here. It's an outstanding piece of nonfiction. 

Freedom on the Menu shares about the Greensborough, NC sit-ins in a way that young readers could understand. The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial shows a bit of history that I didn't know. One aspect I appreciate is that readers see a segregation issue in the north with a girl who was free before the Civil War. There aren't nearly as many books showing prejudice and racism in the north as those in the south. It helps create a fuller picture of the past. A Passion for Elephants: The Real Life Adventure of Field Scientist Cynthia Moss reminded me a lot of the work of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. It's great to have another book celebrating the scientific life of a woman.

The Wolf Wilder is a fabulous adventure. It was historical fiction, but felt a little magical. Totally in a good way. It was enchanting even without actual enchantment. Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery presents the discovery and study of a slave cemetery in Albany, New York. Incidentally, this is located at the farm of the Schuyler family featured in the musical Hamilton. It is interesting because of the information they were able to gather about slaves in the north. There just isn't a lot of information available about slavery in the north. I do question the use of that skull on the cover though. It's obviously an attention getter, but it bothers me since that was an actual person and their skull is being used to sell a book. The archaeologists took great care and tried to be respectful, but the cover is disturbing.

I started working on my LGBTQIA Challenge and read several for it this week. My favorite was Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel and I loved it. It would be a great one for a Valentine's Day display. Leila is experiencing her first romantic relationship and all the ups and downs that come with it. There is a nice dose of humor here too. Pink was also a relationship book, but there is more questioning and the book felt a little more raw. Honor Girl is a graphic novel memoir and has a younger protagonist. She is startled to have a crush on one of the female counselors at her summer camp.

I reviewed the historical novel in verse, American Ace, over at Rich in Color.

It was a great week for books!

The Coming Week:
I'm reading the memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx by Sonia Manzano. After that, I'm not sure which way my reading will take me. I have The Graham Cracker Plot and a few others checked out from the library, but I have no set plan. Happy reading!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge - 65/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2016 - 33/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
LGBTQIA Challenge - 5/31
ReadPOC Challenge - 23/125
#MustReadin2016 - 5/54
Around the World with Books 2016


  1. Holy smokes, so many fabulous books! I've been falling behind on my picture book reading, I have a lot to catch up on. I'm part of an LGBTQ library group, so I'm particularly interested in your LGBTQIA challenge, thanks for sharing these :)

  2. I loved The Only Child, didn't consider about it being a graphic picture book, but it is lovely to see the story unfold. I have Freedom In Congo Square, will read it this week. You have many here that I've read and loved, and some new ones I'll look for, Crystal. Thanks as always!

  3. I agree with you about The Skunk. Found it entertaining, but didn't LOVE it.

  4. It looks like you have had a fabulous reading week Crystal! I've just finished Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell and now want to read everything by her.

  5. Yea, glad you liked The Wolf Wilder!
    I am picking up Freedom in CongoSquare and First Step today from the library!

  6. Thanks for sharing Show Way and The Wolf Wilder.Both are new titles for me.

  7. What a wonderful collection of books. I have loved Show Way fro a long time - such a powerful picture book.

  8. As usual, you are on a roll! I want to read Freedom in Congo Square. Thank you for sharing it with us! I had heard of it once, and I forgot about it! I hope you have a wonderful week!

  9. Oh my goodness, you've been reading so much! And such a diverse range: picturebooks, middle grade novels, graphic novels - so awesome! I just checked our library, we now have a copy of The Only Child so I immediately reserved it. I am really looking forward to reading it.