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 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


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