Sunday, July 23, 2017

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 want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Last Month on the Blog:
I've been busy. Really busy. Astoundingly busy. Family, ALA, NerdcampMI, travel, and more have been filling my days - more about that here. So, blogging hasn't really been happening with any consistency for the past month. Here are a few posts I managed to publish:

Interview with Aditi Khorana at Rich in Color





 


This Month in Books:
Since I haven't posted in a few weeks, there are too many books to list so I will just choose a few outstanding books to highlight.
Young Adult
Want by Cindy Pon is a wonderful sci-fi book set in Taiwan. I loved it and would love to see more like it. As a bonus, I finally met Cindy Pon briefly at ALA. Miles Morales is fabulous. Miles is a complicated character and Jason Reynolds has proven he can write just about anything. Solo is a novel in verse and is a tribute to families and the power of music.

Middle Grade

Orphan Island hit me hard. I was spending hours taking care of my young brother by the time I was eleven. I could really relate to Jinny as she struggles to mother the child in her care on this island of orphans. It's a tale of growing up and facing yourself. Star-Crossed is fun especially if you like to use Shakespeare cursing. It's also a middle school romance where the main character has crushes on both a boy and a girl and doesn't quite know what to do with that. The First Rule of Punk totally stole my heart. Malu is just so awesome and I love the inclusion of zines. It's an illustrated chapter book and I can see so many opportunities for readers to respond and create during and after reading. It made me want to grab my supplies and start something myself. I gave away my ARC, but will definitely be buying it so I can read it again and share it at school.

Picture Books

 
 
Claymates is hilarious. These two critters are made out of clay, but when the artist steps away, they re-work themselves with much humor. The Teacher's Pet is also hilarious. My favorite phrase in the book is snot-rocket if that tells you anything.

The Neighbor Kid is a nearly wordless book about friendship. It's sweet and lovely without being too sugary. Life is a beautiful book that speaks to the beauty and the struggles of life & inspires. Readers who enjoyed They All Saw a Cat will notice the resemblance of the illustrations of Brendan Wenzel.

I haven't met a Langston Hughes poem that I don't like. That is My Dream! sharea his poem "Dream Variation" and is hopeful in the face of the discrimination and prejudice Hughes could see in his life.

My Night in the Planetarium shares the story of a group of people who were using a play to protest things that were happening in Indonesia. The book is from the author of A is for Activist and is an excellent example of how people can stand up for what they believe.

The Coming Week:
I've been listening to The Reader by Traci Chee and should finish it on my road trip. I'm reading You're Welcome Universe and will likely pick up a few books at the library to read while I am away for a class I'm taking. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 336/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 154/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 93/125
#MustReadin2017 - 19/24

Friday, July 21, 2017

Celebrate!


Ruth Ayres has a link-up on weekends where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every week.

I've been absent from blogging for a good long while. It would seem that a teacher would have more time in the summer, but it's quite the opposite for me. This is only the third day this month that I am in my own house and we don't have guests. It's been an awesome summer filled with many wonderful events, connections, and travel, but whew! My head's starting to spin from it all. Today I've read, walked in the rain (in my new boots below), and not done much else.

Here are some of the things I can celebrate from this summer:

A bike ride with co-workers
Indiana dunes & time with my mom

Getting a lovely t-shirt from Lauren Castillo at NerdCampMI

Seeing the original Keeping Quilt at the Mazza Museum (Children's Lit galore)

Meeting Emily Arrow - (and dancing to Be a Friend on stage during her concert )


Meeting up with authors, illustrators, educators and friends at NerdcampMi
An excellent #WeNeedDiverseBooks panel to start off NerdcampMi

Seeing Frida Kahlo's work & other amazing Mexican pieces at the Dallas Museum of Art
Visiting my sister & cousin in TX and getting cute rain boots!



We went to a rodeo & also saw Bill Pickett's stuff

I met many authors and illustrators at an unexpected visit to ALA
 

I met Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess, and Randy Preston on a lake cruise to celebrate the book Solo
There are many other more ordinary and quiet things to celebrate like getting to spend time with our exchange student before she went back to Brazil, sitting on the back porch with a good book, and having both of my children living here this summer. There have been many challenges too, but I'm holding onto the good stuff.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Inclusive Library Lessons

Here are some resources focusing on lessons/activities utilizing literature featuring a wide variety of cultures, religions, abilities, and more.











Friendship & Hope for a Changing World - D-PAN (Deaf Professional Arts Network)


Love - Book love & Love via Indigenous Languages




El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day)

Are You an Echo?

Great Author/Illustrator Studies
Yuyi Morales
Christian Robinson
Leslea Newman
Carole Boston Weatherford
Duncan Tonatiuh
Mina Javaherbin
Grace Lin
Christopher Myers
Jacqueline Woodson
Kashmira Sheth

Book Pairings:
  • Sandwich Swap by Rania Al Abdullah and biography Queen Rania of Jordan by Mary Englar
  • The Swirling Hijaab by Na'ima B. Robert, What Can You Do With a Rebozo? by Carmen Tafolla and My Dadima Wears a Sari by Kashmira Sheth
  • The Moccasins by Earl Einarson & Where Did You Get Your Moccasins
  • Preaching to the Chickens by and The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy
  • Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
  • Lucha Libre books - Niño Wrestles the World & sequel by Yuyi Morales, The Great and Mighty Nikko by Xavier Garza, and Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask by Xavier Garza
  • Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina and Playing Loteria by Rene Colato Lainez
  • Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and Trombone Shorty by 
  • Before John was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford and Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp! by Wynton Marsalis
  • Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue and Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle
  • Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe and Life Doesn't Frighten Me by Maya Angelou
  • We Came to America by Faith Ringgold and Their Great Gift by John Coy
  • Mae Jemison by Luke Colins and Monster Trouble by Lane Fredrickson
  • The Stone Thrower by Jael Ealey Richardson and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
  • Draw! by Raúl Colón and Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light
  • Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson and Rock and Roll Highway by Sebastian Robertson - also the video by UW-L students about the Hiawatha statue in La Crosse, WI
  • Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and We March by Shane Evans
  • Maya's Blanket by Monica Brown, I Had a Favorite Dress by Boni Ashburn, and Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
  • Hungry Johnny by Cheryl Minnema and Bee-bim-Bop! by Linda Sue Park
  • The Great Migration: An American Story by Jacob Lawrence and Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence, a Young Artist in Harlem by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts
  • I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy and Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter
  • Surf's Up by Kwame Alexander and Let Me Finish! by Minh Le
  • Yuyi Morales by Jill Wheeler, Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales, Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter & the video Soy Yo by Bomba Esterio

Sunday, June 25, 2017

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 want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Last Week on the Blog: 

Last Week in Books:





I was fortunate to see advanced copies of several picture books while I was at the ALA annual conference. Family Poems for Every Day of the Week is a gorgeous book of poems illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez. It is also the final book written by Francisco X. Alarcón before his death last year. I have always enjoyed his bilingual poetry and this book is no exception. Each poem is about the unique aspects of one of the days of the week and it incorporates family moments. I am looking forward to having a copy in the fall. Draw the Line is a beautiful wordless book that plays with the phrase "draw the line." There is more going on here than drawing. Like Otoshi's previous books, this one deals with how people interact with each other and how we can creatively solve problems. Before She Was Harriet is a lovely poem that shares many aspects of who Harriet Tubman was because over her lifetime she had many roles. Yo Soy Muslim is a stunning book. The colors are rich and lush and it oozes love. 

Where Are You? is a cute book with one snake looking for the other all through the book. It's basically a look and find book and it's written by someone from Wisconsin. Yay! 

The Playbook by Kwame Alexander is a collection of advice, quotes and photos is inspirational and easy to read in small bites. It has a sports theme, but the advice is for both sports and life in general.

Boat of Dreams is a very imaginative wordless picture book that's difficult to explain, but well worth reading.

The final two books were for the Ramadan Readathon I wrote about last week.  That Thing We Call a Heart is about a teen girl who is falling for someone. She is also learning about Persian poetry from her father along the way. Her family has some Muslim roots, but they are not really practicing Muslims. Her best friend is though. What was interesting was that the book showed that there are multiple ways to be Muslim. Some Muslims may even be offended by some of the things the characters do or say. This is kind of a romance, but is more about a young woman figuring things out about herself and others. I enjoyed the inclusion of the poetry. Ten Things I Hate About Me is about a young Muslim girl who has been hiding her heritage at school so she can fit in with her peers. She is trying to figure out if it is worth it to hide or if she needs to be honest with herself and the people at school. It's also a little comedic.

The Coming Week: 
During my drive to Chicago, I got about halfway through the audio book The Noodle Road. I am still reading Miles Morales and want to get back to #NotYourPrincess. I have quite a few ARCs and books from ALA like Boundless and Solo so that's what I will likely be readng this week.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 295/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 140/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 83/125
#MustReadin2017 - 18/24

Sunday, June 18, 2017

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 want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.


Last Week in Books:
 
 
 Jane Steele was my first book of the week. It's written with a dry and sometimes morbid humor. I laughed many times throughout this tale of a Jane who kills many men and even a boy over the span of her life.  Next, I read Dog Songs. Mary Oliver clearly dotes on her dogs. She devotes the entire book to poetry starring dogs in general and specific dogs. It made me look at my dog in a new way.

I also read a couple of middle grade graphic novels. Fred Korematsu Speaks Up is a great way to learn about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. It's wonderful to learn about the way Fred Korematsu stood up against unjust laws. The other one was the third book in the Secret Coders series, Secrets & Sequences.

Last week I found out about the #RamadanReadathon on Twitter. This reminded me about Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, a book I had put on my #MustReadin2017 list after seeing it on the #MuslimShelfSpace tag at the beginning of the year. I got it from the library and it was a humorous memoir written by a Muslim woman in Canada. After that, I started looking at the #RamadanReadathon suggestions and picked up Alif the Unseen. It's a fabulous contemporary book that had me on the edge of my seat with jinns, cyber attacks, love, and intrigue. The final book I finished for this challenge is Saints and Misfits. This was a great book though not quite what I was expecting. I thought it would be more about the photography based on the cover, but I really enjoyed the story anyway.

The Coming Week: 
Currently Reading
I'm still making my way through a few ARCs and hope to finish those this week. I started the audio book about noodles last week and will keep listening. I'm loving Ten Things I Hate About Me which also works for #RamadanReadathon. I have a whole pile of library books checked out and I'm likely to read That Thing We Call a Heart and Star Crossed next. I wish you an amazing week filled with tons of reading.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 286/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 132/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 77/125
#MustReadin2017 - 18/24

Sunday, June 11, 2017

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 want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Last Week in Books:
Keep a Pocket in Your Poem will be a great mentor text for poetry. It reminds me of the way Sharon Creech used models of famous poems along with students then creating poems inspired by those poets. It would be great to use with Love that Dog and even the new collection Out of Wonder though those poems "in the style of..." tend to be a little more serious and aren't really parodies. That just reminded me though that there are several collections surrounding William Carlos Williams' poem "This is Just to Say." Those are This is Just to Say by Sidman and Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems by Levine. It would be fun to use a combination of poems from all of these texts in a poetry unit. 

I also found the poem Tony this week. It's a lovely and quiet poem about the horse Tony. It made me smile. 

Another one that brought smiles was Ossiri and the Bala Mengro. I had to laugh at the humor of this one. It has one of those twisty slightly dark endings. It's a great way to counter some of the beliefs about the Romani people who are also called Travellers. 

Still Life with Tornado is another slightly bizarre book by A.S. King. I enjoy her books, but they are generally a little outside the norm. That's part of what I like about them, but this one wasn't my favorite. It was just okay.

I adore Jacqueline Woodson's writing and found The House You Pass on the Way to be another lovely look into the heart and mind of a young girl coming of age. My only major complaint is that it ended too soon. It is more like a novella than a novel and I wanted to stay with the character a little longer.

The Coming Week:

I'm still reading two ARCs: Miles Morales (really good so far) and #NotYourPrincess (also fantastic). I'm taking my time since my official reviews won't be posted until August. I am also still reading a book about digital photography. I finished school on Friday and so it was a pretty busy week and had a fair amount of stress. I have just about recovered and have a busy week coming up with an outing to a farm tomorrow with my exchange student followed by dinner out with friends. On Tuesday I am finally getting to see Hamilton in Chicago. We got the tickets in November so this has been quite a wait. I'm pretty much beside myself. I'll likely do some reading on the bus on that trip. I just started Jane Steele and can't hardly put it down. Another book I've got is Laughing All the Way to the Mosque. I also started listening to On the Noodle Road. I hope you have a great week filled with wonderful reading.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 279/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 127/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 73/125
#MustReadin2017 - 16/24

Sunday, June 4, 2017

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 want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.


Recent Blog Posts: 
Review at Rich in Color: Radius of Us

Last Week in Books:
When Dimple Met Rishi (a #MustReadin2017 book) was released this week. I've been anxiously awaiting it since last year and was not disappointed. I really appreciated this sweet romantic comedy about two Indian American teens whose parents are trying to arrange a marriage between them. We'll be discussing it over at Rich in Color later this month. I may read it once more before then just for fun.

Flame in the Mist was intense with bandits, a dangerous forest, revenge & romance. I am not sure about the Japanese representation, but it was definitely a page turner.

 

 
I read many picture books this past week and these are some of the best. I enjoyed The Neighborhood Sing-Along and it made me want to sing more in my library classes. What's Your Favorite Color? is a lovely book filled with answers from some of the best illustrators out there including two of my favorites Lauren Castillo and Yuyi Morales.  Town is by the Sea is a beautiful book about a family in a coal mining town. It is a peaceful and honest kind of book. The Book of Mistakes is a imaginative story that highlights mistakes as something to learn from and/or something to celebrate. The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day is a great introduction to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. There are spots in the book to press to hear parts of the piece.

 
It was Wonder Woman Day this weekend so the comic store was giving away free copies of a great comic. I got it when I picked up America #2. Both were wonderful ways to celebrate women. That brings my personal comic collection total to four. They weren't something I read as a child aside from the Sunday comics which is not the same animal, but I'm beginning to love them.

The Coming Week: I'm still reading two ARCs: Miles Morales (really good so far), #NotYourPrincess (also fantastic). I am also reading a book about digital photography. In addition, I've started Still Life with Tornado. This is my last week of school so I will likely read quite a bit at the end of the week in celebration and to really kick off #Bookaday. I just checked out Jane Steele and it's one of my #MustReadin2017 books so I will try to get to that one too. Happy reading!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 274/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 125/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 71/125
#MustReadin2017 - 15/24

Monday, May 29, 2017

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 want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.


Last Week in Books:

The Radius of Us will likely be the book I review for Rich in Color later this week, so I won't say much except that I read through it in one sitting for the most part. It was compelling. 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life was a gorgeously written book. I loved the characters and wanted to stay in that space with them. Benjamin Alire Saenz is such a fabulous author. His characters are living and breathing and above all his writing can be so incredibly beautiful.  

Stand Up and Sing! is a great picture book bio of Pete Seeger. It gives readers a sense of the man and his motivations.

The Coming Week: I recently got an ARC of #NotYourPrincess by the editors of Dreaming in Indian and Urban Tribes. I will read it slowly so it may take more than a week. It's a collection of essays, artwork, and other submissions so it's nice to take it a bit at a time. I'm still reading Miles Morales in fits and starts. It's on my phone so it's my emergency book right now. I'm enjoying it, but I hate reading on my phone for long periods of time so it's slow going. I am likely to start When Dimple Met Rishi because it finally comes out this week!!! We have two more weeks of school, but I am getting super excited for Summer #Bookaday. Here's a great post about it from Debbie Ridpath Ohi. I'm getting my list of books ready for some great reading this summer. I hope you have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 255/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 117/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 67/125
#MustReadin2017 - 14/24