Monday, January 25, 2016

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:
(Rich in Color)

(Reading Through Life)

Last Week in Books:

The week was filled with a lot of books. I shared The Secret Olivia Told Me with students when I taught about the Coretta Scott King Award along with a few others that weren't new to me. I like the unique illustrations. I started looking at the Caldecott honors and winners again. There are over 300 at this point, but I've read a little more than half of them. I may start working on that challenge again so I picked up The Moon Jumper, Rain Drop Splash and The Stray Dog.

Boarding School Blues and Canary were the final two books from my #MustReadin2015 books. I really couldn't give up on the list since I was so close to finishing. Boarding School Blues was a collection of essays about the residential school experiences of Native students. Sometimes it was so academic and dry that it was difficult to read, but hearing the different perspectives was educational. Canary was a unique young adult contemporary novel, but wasn't a favorite.

American Ace is one that I'll be reviewing over on Rich in Color later this week.

Lumberjanes is a graphic novel and was a ton of fun. This is a group of girls in the middle of fantastical outdoor adventures. I look forward to more fun with them in the future. The Zero Degree Zombie Zone was fun, but didn't always make all the sense that it could have, but some of my students will enjoy it anyways. Zombies don't always have to make sense.

The Mindy Kaling book was a fun change of pace and worked for my One Little Word - Smile. She brought a smile to my face.

I got to a few nonfiction books for young readers this week. The biography of Cris Plata was very interesting. For someone who wants something like Francisco Jiménez's books The Circuit and Breaking Through for younger readers, this would work well. It's especially nice for teachers in Texas and Wisconsin because Cris Plata and his family were migrant workers going between the two states. There are great photos and the author was able to interview Plata and so much of the book shares his perspective. He doesn't avoid the difficulties of his childhood, but he is also a positive person and shares how even the challenges have shaped him. I also appreciated that he shared about both his Mexican and Indian heritage and how that blended with the culture surrounding him when he moved to Wisconsin. This would be an excellent book for middle school teachers to use and possibly even upper elementary classes.

Who Was Frida Kahlo was a little dry, but I was glad to have finally read one of the Who Was/Is books. It gave a good overview of her life, though it was quite sanitized. I really enjoyed In the Garden with Dr. Carver. It was neat to learn about his work sharing gardening knowledge with others on the weekends.

The Coming Week:
I'm devouring Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel. I may still finish it this evening (Sun.). I have about three chapters left with Eddie Huang's Fresh Off the Boat.  I'm about half-way through The Trouble with Ants and will review it later this week. Apart from that, I have The Wolf Wilder from the library and the latest Jenny Han that I purchased with gift money. Have a great week filled with wonderful words.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge - 46/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2016 - 23/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
LGBTQIA Challenge - 0/21-31
ReadPOC Challenge - 13/125
Around the World with Books 2016


  1. What a wonderful assortment of books! I still have some 2015 books on my stack that keep getting pushed aside for 2016 review books. I hope to catch up with them so that I can get to the ones from last year. Here's what last week was like for me. Happy reading!

  2. I just finished The Wolf Wilder and just loved it. Can't wait to hear your reactions!

  3. I couldn't quite figure out who the target demographic was for Lumberjanes. Interesting book, but a bit... odd. The Fresh Off the Boat Memoir looks interesting.

  4. I love your reading challenges. I've been meaning to pick up Lumberjanes.

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  6. I'd like to read the Cris Plata book, have The Circuit and Breaking Through, read a long time ago, maybe time again. My library has American Ace, so probably will ask for it, & see about the Plata book. Thanks for all Crystal.

  7. I haven't been able to get my hands on Lumberjanes yet, too many holds! >.<

  8. What an amazing reading week you've had. I've got two copies of The Lumberjanes. I've been meaning to read it before it goes on display but since that is next week, I'm not sure I'll make it. I just purchased Residential schools : the devastating impact on Canada's indigenous peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's findings and calls for action (How's that for a title?) and hope to find time to read at least sections of it.

  9. Now, that's a LOT of books indeed. It's always great to have a mighty productive reading week. I also read The Lumberjanes last week! I agree, it is an enjoyable read. I love Noelle Stevenson's art and voice - very distinctive.