Monday, September 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 on the Blog:
Last Week in Books:






I've read quite a few picture books again this week. The ones are above stood out the most. The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine was amusing and also extremely unique. Philip & Erin Stead really captured the humor of Mark Twain in this collaboration. La La La is another interesting collaboration. It's an absolutely gorgeous book that grows in beauty with each read. I read three picture book biographies and they were very well done. I learned things in each book and I'm eager to share them. I especially loved learning that in his classification system, Karl Linneas created a class called Paradoxa for those animals that may or may not exist like unicorns. A Greyhound A Groundhog is a fabulous tongue twister that begs to be read aloud. Rapunzel has a wonderful twist and made me smile.

The Coming Week:
I'm continuing to read tons of picture books for a committee I am on and am loving the opportunity. I am reading an adult book for a book club, You're the Only One I Can Tell, about women and friendships. I'm not sure what else I will get to this week. Have a great week of reading!

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 525/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 198/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 112/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

Sunday, September 17, 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.


This has been a week with many lovely moments. A new yarn shop opened last month and I entered a drawing via Instagrm. Earlier this week I went and picked up my gift. They gave me local yarn and two fun kits.

I also did something new with a friend. We've watched three episodes of a k-drama together - but apart. She is in California and I'm here in WI, but we watched simultaneously and texted back and forth. I know this isn't a new activity for a lot of people, but it was for me. It was a fun way to watch.


International Dot Day was Friday and I was able to mark that day with students. One grade read The Dot by Peter Reynolds and another read I Don't Draw, I Color and then we did some drawing on the iPads. The students really enjoyed making things digitally.

To end the week, our neighborhood had a block party. The block we live on was closed off and many of the neighbors got together to have a cookout. It was really nice to get to know people a little better. We've only lived in this house for six months so we hadn't met everyone yet and even those we had met, we didn't know very well. The weather was perfect, the food was yummy, and the conversations were excellent.

September 11th is a vivid reminder that life is not without loss and challenges. Each year it gets farther away, but the effects of the events that day are still being felt in our country and around the world. In spite of pain and difficulties in life, I'm very thankful to wake up each day and am trying to live by Amy Krouse Rosenthal's encouragement to "Make the most of your time here."

Sunday, September 10, 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:

This was the first longer week of school so I didn't finish any novel length books, but I did read a ton of picture books. Here are some that stood out.








The Coming Week:
I'm almost finished with You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins and I'll be reviewing it over at Rich in Color next week. I will likely read some more picture books also. Have a great week.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 495/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 197/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 111/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

#MustReadin2017


#MustReadin2017

Thanks to Carrie Gelson at There is a Book for That, I have read quite a few titles from my TBR. I appreciate this reading challenge she offers each year.

At the beginning of the year I chose the 24 titles pictured above. So far I've been able to read 21 of them (all but the last three in the image above). I enjoyed every single one of them so far. Some of the standouts have been:

Want - a fabulous sci-fi by Cindy Pon set in Taipei
When Dimple Met Rishi - a lovely romance by Sandhya Menon
Amina's Voice - a sweet middle grade book by Hena Khan about family, community, and being yourself
Bad Feminist - an excellent nonfiction collection of essays by Roxane Gay about feminism
Juliet Takes a Breath - by Gabby Rivera, this novel shows us an awesome human learning, growing and making mistakes.
Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World - Kelly Jensen collected a very diverse and interesting set of essays and other creative formats that share various aspects of feminism.

Of the final books, I will likely read the Misty Copeland book, but Shine is not available through my library or inter-library loan and the publication date for American Road Trip has been pushed to 2018, so I likely won't get to that one. Setting my goal a little lower this year has paid off. :)

Sunday, September 3, 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 don't generally watch much television. This summer I caught up on Dr. Who since they announced the next doctor, but that is about all I had seen until this past week. After reading Maureen Goo's I Believe in a Thing Called Love I just had to watch a Korean drama. At the end of the book, Goo provides some suggested titles. Since I wanted something fun and I enjoy music, I chose You're Beautiful. It was really silly at times and had me laughing out loud. It also had me crying once in a while. There are many moments which had me rolling my eyes over the melodrama, but it was wonderful except that I was a little obsessed and watched 16 episodes in 6 days. That kept me too busy for much reading or blogging. It was actually nice to switch it up for a bit right before school started. I'm listening to some of the music as I type. 


Bulldozer Helps Out is super cute. I would never have thought of mixing big machinery and the particular animals that show up in this book, but it works really well.  Trudy's Big Swim is a fascinating look at Gertrude Ederle's amazing swim across the English Channel. Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies and Threatens Our Freedoms is obviously not for children. Iftikhar shares his experiences as a Muslim American and the trends he has seen in the ways Muslims are being treated here. I am thankful he continues to share his experiences through his writing and in the news even though it has to get tiring explaining over and over to people who don't seem to listen. The Dinner That Cooked Itself is a sweet fairytale from China. We Are Shining is a lovely poem of affirmation by Gwendolyn Brooks that honors her 100th birthday.


The Coming Week:
I'll be reading You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins. I'm really looking forward to it. I am also hoping to get Adam Silvera's new book They Both Die at the End. I will also likely read quite a few picture books. How about you?

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 454/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 196/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 111/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

Saturday, September 2, 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.


This week had some unexpected surprises to celebrate. I knew there were going to be special bicycle events this weekend, but didn't realize they would be such unique activities. I participated a few years ago and went on a birding bicycle trek. Once I went on the ice cream ride. This time it was a poetry ride. Seriously. It is part of the Hear, Here community story project. We used our bicycles to get to several locations in the project. At each spot, we stopped to listen to a poem and briefly discuss the poem and/or the space. It was a wonderful way to see and experience our city.

The next bicycle event was a yoga ride. A train created a diversion and we had to take a slightly different route than we expected, but that made the trip more interesting. We did a little train meditation while we waited briefly before heading over to a different crossing. We made it to the yoga studio and had an hour of yoga before our leisurely ride back through town. 

The rides were more about connecting with each other than exercising or getting somewhere. Connecting with others makes life so much more meaningful. Speaking of connecting - we had our Open House on Wednesday evening and we started school on Friday. Seeing families and returning students and new students made my week. I love the first week even though it is more than a little exhausting. Everyone seems to be excited and hopeful with a fresh start to the year. Summer is truly coming to a close, but fall has all kinds of wonderful opportunities for us and I'm eager to see what the new school year will bring.

Sunday, August 27, 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 Blogs: 
by Jennifer Ziegler

by Aditi Khorana

Last Week in Books:
I had a great week filled with tons of books. Here are the ones that stood out from the rest.




The Coming Week:

We start school this week. I'm not sure what I'll be reading, but hope to get in a few good books before classes begin on Friday.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 449/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 193/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 109/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Revenge of the Happy Campers

Title: Revenge of the Happy Campers
Author: Jennifer Ziegler
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 267
Review copy: Final copy via author
Availability: On shelves now

Summary: The Brewster triplets, Dawn, Darby, and Delaney, are always up for an adventure, whether it's ruining a wedding (for good reasons!) or turning a Christmas pageant tradition on its head. But now they're about to go where they've never gone before: Camping!

They're spending spring break with Aunt Jane, at the campground she and their mom used to go as kids. But the first morning there, they run into a trio of boys, and one starts bragging about his plan to become the President of the United States. Clearly this is Dawn's destiny, and the two, well, don't become fast friends.

Between Dawn and Raj's competition to see who's the best leader, some unfortunate encounters with nature, and how disappointed Aunt Jane is at every turn, this camping thing is sure looking like a bad idea. And when their final contest ends with a washed-out bridge, an injured boy, and a rainstorm, it might take six future leaders of the country to keep this from being the worst trip ever!


Review: The Brewster triplets manage to get into all kinds of amusing situations off at camp. They have adult supervision, but they are also given enough independence that they can have adventures. As usual, they are plotting, planning, and putting their plans into effect with much humor and more than a few mistakes. There are moments of tension, but nothing really terrible happens to anyone aside from some hurt feelings and bumps and bruises. That reminds me of the turtle who shows up in the story in a rather surprising location. 

Middle grade readers who want a fun romp will enjoy this one. It was a great summer read for me and even during the rest of the year, it will bring summer back to mind.

The political aspect was also interesting. The sisters and their competition are democratically minded, but learn a lot about good leadership as they try to get things done. Dawn and her rival come to learn that leadership is not just ordering people around. 

Recommendation: Readers who enjoyed the first two Brewster Triplets books will definitely want to grab this one. It would likely work as a stand-alone, but would be best read following the other two. It's a great story for those who want a summer story to make them smile.

Sunday, August 20, 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 Blogs: 

Rich in Color

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

Last Week in Books:
The Coming Week:
This is the final week of summer vacation for me and I am trying to finish up books that need to be reviewed as quickly as possible. I want to read Akata Warrior. I am also finishing up the audio of A Crown of Wishes. Otherwise, it will be a hodgepodge. I wish you a great week of reading. 

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 399/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 178/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 103/125
#MustReadin2017 - 21/24

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 adore sunflowers. They are beautiful on their own, but when there are thousands of them together, they are stunning. I appreciate that they both look like the sun and look to the sun. This field of sunflowers was planted in memory of a young woman who also loved sunflowers. Haley died in a car accident in 2015 and her family planted these flowers in her memory. They also share the beauty with others and allow anyone to come and walk through the path through this amazing field. One of my children went with me and we took a leisurely walk through this spot of loveliness. I'm thankful Haley's family is finding peace in this gift. I never met Haley or her family before this weekend, but with this field they are sharing her with us all in a special way. What a wonderful celebration of her life.