Monday, November 9, 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:

A response to 
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

A review of the middle grade mystery 
Who's Ju? by Dania Ramos

For Rich in Color, a list of YA titles
published by Native American writers

Picture Books

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski is gorgeous. It's also a wonderful encouragement for readers to create their own stories. It would work well with a lesson about wordless picture books.  

Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs & illustrated by Shane Evans is a fun story about a boy who doesn't visually match his parents. His father's skin is much darker and his mothers is lighter. He glories in his uniqueness and that he's a perfect blend. 

How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz by Jonah Winters has nice illustrations by Keith Mallett, but the text wasn't my favorite.  

Stubby the War Soldier: World War I Hero by Blake Hoena and illustrated by Oliver Hurst is a nice picture book biography of an animal hero. We have the longer more thorough book Stubby the War Dog in our LMC, but this one would be great with younger readers.

The Moon is Going to Addy's House by Ida Pearle is stunning. The story is sweet, but it's the illustrations that made me catch my breath.

Feeding the Flying Fanellis: And Other Poems from a Circus Chef by Kate Hosford & illustrated by Cosei Kawa has fun, unique illustrations, but I'm afraid the poems were not for me.

Middle Grade

The School for Good and Evil was another book that didn't work for me. It was looong. Also, one of the themes was that looks don't matter as much as deeds, but the book seemed conflicted about that since when people behaved well, their body shape became thinner and the hair became lustrous and they were the epitome of beauty. When they made evil choices, they got warts, were fat, and smelled offensively. The whole beauty thing really bothered me. There were some nice aspects to the book, but it was difficult to get through. 

George by Alex Gino was a treat. I love this story. It's about a fourth grader who is transgender and is trying to share that with the people in her life. This is a very timely book and I hope we'll continue to see major publishing companies like Scholastic take on more books like it.

Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner is a story about grief and friendship. It danced around with what may or may not be magical realism. I will let you wonder as you read like I did. I enjoyed it.

I can now see why Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan has been getting Newbery buzz. It's a complicated story weaving several storylines together and it's beautiful. I was a frustrated reader however. Writers annoy the daylights out of me when they leave me at a cliffhanger and start with new characters and a new story. This happens multiple times and then things aren't wrapped up for hundreds of pages. Ack! I really enjoyed it as a whole, but found that aspect annoying and it took a little of the shine off for me. Maybe I'm just weird that way. I know the story worked best that way, but it was difficult to wait for closure.

The Coming Week: I am still listening to I'll Give You the Sun. Maybe I am easily annoyed this week, but if the boy says the derogatory word "surf-tard" once, he says it 20 times and it makes me cringe every time. If I was reading the text instead of listening, perhaps it would be better, but yikes! The storyline is quite unique and interesting, but that is getting to me.

I just started Some Assembly Required and am reading Show and Prove for review on Rich in Color. Aside from that, I will be reviewing Robin Talley's new book What We Left Behind and want to start Orbiting Jupiter. I wish you a wonderful week of reading.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Diversity on the Shelf/Diverse Books - 201/100
Goodreads - 504/520
#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. I just finished I'll Give You the Sun. There is definitely some language in there. I thought Graff did a great job with Trent's character flaws and his development over time.
    Thought the same thing about Moon/Addy's House. Cute story but it was the illustrations that were gorgeous.

  2. I think that Echo sounds like one that I'll pass up. The style sounds like it would bother me too. You can see what I read here. Happy reading!

  3. I am hoping to read Echo before the end of the year. I don't like the particular technique you describe either, so I'm glad to know there's a lot of it in this story. Maybe if I go in knowing that's going to happen, I can be more patient!

  4. I too loved Whisper, bought that one! I did love Echo, & perhaps someday will get the audio so I can enjoy the music too. I understand about the mixed up stuff though. Thanks for The Moon Is Going To Addy's House-looks wonderful. I did note the Urban Tribes review earlier, hopefully someday I will get to it. Thanks, Crystal.

  5. I see what you mean with Echo - it is a book that that one does better binge-reading, so that the narrative plays out beautifully. However, it is such a long book, so there's the rub. :) Thanks for sharing so many diverse titles here! :)

  6. You are crazy, lady! There are so many great books here--I don't know which to comment on. I also finished Between the World and Me this week, so I appreciated your thoughts. I hope next week is just as fruitful as this week. ;)

  7. I loved Echo - but I listened to it as an audiobook and the integration of real music to accompany the text truly added to my appreciation. The first cliffhanger annoyed me, but then I accepted that I was in the hands of a master storyteller, and settled in for the ride. I really appreciated how each character is narrated by a different person. I also enjoyed Circa Now - in spite of the fact that it begins with a death!

  8. Loved the last three of these MG titles. Never was interested to read the first one - reading your review, looks like I made the right choice! I just ordered The Whisper sight unseen because so many of my #IMWAYR friends have raved. Love this illustrator!

  9. There are a lot of mixed families in my community from a variety of different backgrounds, and I think Mixed Me would really be a lovely story to share, especially with its spirit of positivity and happiness. Thanks for sharing, and have a great week!