Sunday, June 19, 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 Two Weeks on the Blogs: 
 A Learning Journey - My Guest Post at The GayYA Blog

Review of The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love
by Sarvenaz Tash at Rich in Color

The 20th Anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award & a Few Favorites at Rich in Color

Celebrating Grandparents
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

Last Two Weeks in Books:
I wasn't able to post last weekend because I was staying with relatives (see Celebrating Grandparents post) so I won't report on every book from the past two weeks. I will just highlight a few of the most memorable and enjoyable titles.

Both Donovan's Big Day and Malaika's Costume were warm stories of families, community, and celebrations even though the occasions were very different. Donovan's two mothers are getting married and he is super excited. Malaika is getting help from friends and family to prepare a costume for Carnival in spite of the absence of her mother who is away in Canada. Malaika is disappointed that there isn't money to get a new costume, but is able to solve her problems with help from loved ones.

The next three titles are all about real people. Something New is another graphic novel memoir by Lucy Knisley. I loved it. She has the exact sense of humor that suits me perfectly. Music for Alice is a picture book about a woman named Alice Sumida. She was a young woman during the time of the Japanese internment. She and her husband worked in sugar beet fields in Oregon. Her story is one of strength and persistence and also dance.

Alice Sumida from Uprooted Exhibit on Vimeo.

Ada's Violin is a beautiful book about a youth orchestra in Paraguay where they create musical instruments out of trash so that young people may learn to play music. 

Finally, you may have heard about The Seventh Wish recently because the author, Kate Messner, has been uninvited to an elementary school due to its content. The book is a moving and relevant story perfect for middle grade readers. There are regular everyday things happening in the story like ice fishing, dance classes (Irish dancing!!), school, and family squabbles. There are also unusual things like a talking fish who distributes wishes. In addition, there are real life situations involving drug and alcohol addiction. There are those who think children shouldn't read about addictions. I think children shouldn't have to actually deal with such situations, but they do. Way too many of them do. This is an important book. It's a book that says to a reader in a similar situation "You are not alone in this." It also teaches compassion for those who are going through such an experience even if the reader hasn't had to deal with it in their own life. Yes, I am not planning to check this out to a first or second grade student, but it is a wonderful book for many of my older students especially during 5th grade's D.A.R.E. unit, but any time if needed. Students need access to books like this.

The Coming Week: I am listening to Brown Girl Dreaming as a re-read and am loving it. I have started LaRose by Louise Erdrich and am reading a PD book about creating compassionate schools. I have a ton of library books checked out and I think my next read will be The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Have a great week filled with wonderful books.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge - 345/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2016 - 161/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
LGBTQIA Challenge - 22/31
ReadPOC Challenge - 114/125
#MustReadin2016 - 20/54
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge - 67/100
Around the World with Books 2016


  1. Great assortment of books. Because of the dis-invitation, I am curious about The Seventh Wish. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  2. I have The Seventh Wish coming, Crystal, will look for Malaika's Costume-sounds & looks good. It is so sad to hear about Kate Messner's book and the issues people seem to have with it. My granddaughter, seven, wouldn't understand such a long book, but she does know about drugs already & how they can affect people. It's interesting to read the different POVs. Thanks for all!

  3. I love the variety of your reading life! The Seventh Wish is such an important book these days - well written and engaging, too!

  4. I can't wait to read The Seventh Wish! I signed copy is on its way to me. I think the biggest thing about that book is knowing the reader that is checking it out, something we can't do without a dedicated librarian. Glad you're there for your school!

  5. I'm a fan of Kate Messner, but wasn't able to access it through NetGalley. Sigh. I'll have to wait for it to come to our library. I also now want to read The Geek's guide. Last summer there was a Comic Con here in Vancouver. The costumes were just amazing as heck.

  6. Loved your A Learning Journey post! Beautiful honest and great resources.
    I cannot wait to read The Seventh Wish. I am still so upset for her about what happened, but there are so many of us out here that are supporting her.

    Happy reading this week :)

    1. Thanks Kellee. The Learning Journey post was a tough one to write. I was thrilled to be asked to write, but as an outsider it was intimidating so I thought I would just share my perspective.

  7. I want to read The Lightning Dreamer. That was the only book on that strip that I hadn't read, and I loved all of the others on the strip. I think you and I have similar taste. :)

    1. I agree Ricki. I think we gravitate towards the same books. :)