Monday, November 16, 2015

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:

A review of What We Left Behind
(I was conflicted with this one)

A discussion post about Urban Tribes at Rich in Color

A review of Show and Prove at Rich in Color
Last Week in reading: 
 Young Adult
All of these were totally worth every minute of my time. Dumplin' was really an enjoyable read mostly because Willowdean, or Will as friends call her, is real. I totally loved this character. Show and Prove was difficult at the start. I didn't understand some of the vocabulary and the context in the first chapter, but I was so glad I stuck with it. I reviewed it (see link above) and recommend it for anyone interested in a story about friendship with 80s hip-hop in the background. Some Assembly Required is the memoir of Arin Andrews, a transgender man and mainly focuses on his transition during high school and what led up to it. I found it helpful to hear the story straight from someone going through the experience. This and the book Beyond Magenta definitely help me to see things I wouldn't have realized otherwise.
Middle Grade
Full Cicada Moon was a very interesting book in that the main character was both African American and Japanese living in a predominantly white community in the late 60s. She not only didn't "fit" racially, she also bucked gender norms. She wants to be an astronaut and take shop class instead of home ec. It's also a novel in verse - something I typically enjoy. I did like the book, but agree with Malinda Lo (see her excellent NY Times review here), that some of the situations around race towards the end were not handled in the best possible way. I enjoyed reading it, but cringed a bit at the end.
Hilo the Boy Who Crashed to Earth was amazingly fun. This graphic novel is packed with action, humor, and has a focus friendship. I cannot wait to share this with students. I think fans of Zita the Spacegirl are going to adore this one. 

The Honest Truth has been on a few potential Newbery lists so I wanted to check it out. It's a sad and courageous story. I can see why people have chosen it as a possibility. I read it in one evening.

Picture Books

Finding the Music/En pos de la musica is a warm family book about being part of a caring community. It also shares about mariachi music.  
Maya's Blanket/Le manta de Maya is another sweet book and I was happy to realize it is a retelling of the Yiddish song "I Have a Little Coat." It would be fun to read and compare this with Joseph's Had a Little Overcoat, My Grandfather's Coat or even I Had a Favorite Dress

The Sock Thief is simply precious. The young boy picks mangoes and then as he "borrows" socks from people in the neighborhood, he leaves a mango in payment. He uses the socks,  but does return them. It's has a quiet humor and is also charming.

Miracle on 133rd Street is about a family getting ready for a holiday meal. It turns into a neighborhood party and they each share something of themselves. It's another sweet story about a community caring and sharing.

I'm Trying to Love Spiders is a wonderfully illustrated absolutely hilarious non-fiction book about spiders. I laughed so hard. 
The Coming Week:  I'm still listening to I'll Give You the Sun and have just started reading Lizard Radio. I will probably start Shadows of Sherwood and The Way Home Looks Now. I have quite a few library books stacked up waiting for me too. It should be a good week for reading.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Diversity on the Shelf/Diverse Books - 209/100
Goodreads - 515/520
#MustRead2015 - 46/53
Diversity Reading Challenge - 12/12
Pura Belpré Challenge -86/86 (some were read prior to this year)
Around the World with Books Map


  1. There you go, making me jealous of all your reading again!
    Thanks for your review of Cicada, I've heard amazing things about it so far, but haven't had time to get to it yet.
    I started Dumplin' but quickly put it down. When I read the part about the girl with the shoe lift and how they called her Frankenstein, it broke my heart. Having a daughter with a limb length difference makes me very sensitive to those issues!

  2. So many that I still want to read, Crystal, like The Honest Truth. I have a former student who transgendered right after high school. I wish there had been books for him when I had 'her'. It was a hard time for the family, trying to give support in a non-supportive world. I'll look for Maya's Blanket and The Sock Thief, both sound good! Thank you!

  3. Dan Gemeinhert was really nice when he visited our store. The Honest Truth is really powerful. Hilo is super fun.

  4. Great assortment of books. I enjoyed Dumplin' too. Check out my week here. Happy reading!

  5. You are a reading machine! You've introduced me to so many new books I want to read. I've read Hilo and The Honest Truth, but Full Cicada Moon is new to me and I want to get a copy ASAP.

  6. I hadn't seen The Honest Truth on the Newbery lists. I have it, but now I think I should grab it out to read it! I love the premise of Urban Tribes. Their other book was wonderful. I'll have to get this one, too!

  7. Hi there Crystal, Dumplin sounds like my kind of book - somehow it reminded me a little bit of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces - have you read that one yet? I didn't much enjoy The Honest Truth, it was just too depressing for me.

  8. The Sock Thief looks great! Hilo is really cute, I agree! Such great reading from you this week. wow!