Sunday, April 28, 2019

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.

On the Blog Last Week:


Reading Last Week:
I have an ARC of The Dark Fantastic from the publisher and will review it at Rich in Color soon. I went to a lecture that taught me about Aldo Leopold and so I looked for a children's book about him since we're learning about environmental literacy at school. Aldo Leopold's Shack was a nice way to learn about him and what he and his family did to restore land near Baraboo, WI. Mia Mayhem is a cute early chapter book superhero book. I read Ibtihaj Muhammad with my third grade students and we watched a brief video where she talked about her life. They - and I - find her sport to be pretty cool. The Music of What Happens had some good points and some not so good. The mental health rep isn't so great. The humor is excellent as always with Konisberg and the romance was nice. Another is a wordless book and I liked it because I always enjoy Christian Robinson's pictures, but I am not sure if I totally followed the story. Carl and the Meaning of Life is adorable. Dandy is a fantastic book. It's about nature and has humor and fun. I can't wait to share it and Carl with my students.
The Coming Week:

This week will be a surprise. I have no idea what I will be reading, but I'm sure there will be something good since I just got a huge order in at school. 


Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 121/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 83/275
#MustReadin2019 - 20/30
Year of the Asian 2019 - 11/30

The Wonders of Creation and the Oddities of What Exists



In 2015 while visiting Toronto, I stumbled on the Aga Khan Museum and saw some incredible Islamic books and artwork. One of the items I saw was the Persian version of The Wonders of Creation and the Oddities of What Exists by Zakariya Qazvini. This work is also known as the Cosmography of Qazvini or The Marvels and Oddities of Life or Marvels of creatures and strange things existing. Fast forward to 2019 and I opened up the digital ARC of Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali so I can review it over on Rich in Color (thanks Salaam Reads!). This is an awesome book and you will want to get it as soon as possible. The main characters both keep journals about Marvels and Oddities. This sounded familiar to me. I looked up the title and found a digital copy via Cambridge here - quick go look. I'll wait. 

When I saw the cover, my trip to Toronto immediately popped into my mind. The treasure hunt began browsing through digital photos from my trip. Yes indeed, there were reasons for this ringing a bell. I have stood in front of a copy from the 16th century. Cool.

Taking note of wonders and oddities seems like a good plan. S.K. Ali tried it out years ago and left us a sample. What a fun idea. A while back Ruth Ayers got quite a few bloggers in the habit of writing about our weekly celebrations, but we haven't done that for many months. I kind of miss it. I think I will try my hand at Marvels and Oddities for a few weeks and see how that goes. It reminds me of the book The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson. Keeping ourselves open to the wonders and of course the oddities around us can help us live more fully and appreciate the world around us. 

So here are my recent Marvels and Oddities. I like that there are more Marvels than Oddities, but this week's oddities were tough ones. 

Marvels:
  • A glowing, neon green object hurtled down from the sky just at the moment when my dog went outside before bedtime. What a treat that we went outside at just the right time to catch that light show.
  • A gigantic moon glowing through the bare branches of a tree smiled at me.
  • The soothing sound of our wind chimes.
  • Buds bursting out on the bare tree branches.
  • Deep pink tulips blooming in spite of the snow.
  • Hearing five or more different birdsong at the same time from my back porch.
  • Finding poetry with beautiful combinations of words that ping around in my heart.
  • The peace that comes when one is near water.
Oddities:
  • The emotions that arrive along with my card returned to sender (me) after my Gram's death. 
  • The frustration and anger inside a young child that bursts out in profanity and destruction of surrounding things and cannot be easily soothed or sorted.
  • The hatred that leads to harming people in a sacred space.
  • People telling other U.S. citizens to "go back to their own country" based on the language they hear,  accents, religion, physical appearance, clothing, or other ridiculous methods and treating them as inferiors. 
I hope you are able to find many Marvels this week and have the time to appreciate them. I also hope that if you have oddities, they are the amusing and strange type and not the more unhappy kind.

Monday, April 22, 2019

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.

Reading Last Week:
 

¡Vamos! Lets Go to the Market is great especially if you've been to such a market. Even if you haven't been to a market like this, there is so much to see, you could look at the pages for a looooong time. In a way it reminds me of a Richard Scarry book with Spanish and more fun.

Let 'Er Buck! George Fletcher, the People's Champion is a fantastic biography of a rodeo winner. Did you know 25% of cowboys were black? Many people do not realize that. This book celebrates Fletcher and gives us a bit of cowboy history.

They Call Me G├╝ero: A Border Kid's Poems is a wonderful collection of poetry that gives us a glimpse into the life a young boy and his family. Some poems were more serious and some made me laugh. Many brought memories of living in Texas back to me.

Tight was a more stressful read. It's a middle grade book about a boy who is being influenced by someone who breaks the rules. He is conflicted about the rush he gets breaking the rules and the fear he feels about getting caught or hurt. He has to decide who he is going to be.

New Kid is an excellent realistic fiction middle grade graphic novel about a young boy settling into a new school. Jordan feels that he has to be one person at school and another at home. The code switching in addition to racism at school is wearing him down. He tries to find his place and his people with laughter and some difficulties along the way.

Game of Stars is hilarious and chock full of action like the first Kiranmala book, Serpent's Secret. This is an exciting middle grade fantasy and I can't wait for the next one.

ModernHERstory was on my list because the author, Blair Imani, came and talked at the local university a few weeks ago and I wanted to see what she wrote about women. It's a compilation of one or two page biographies of some amazing women. Some of them were names new to me, but all were inspirational. The brief bios made me want to learn more about many of these women.

New Poets of Native Nations is an anthology of relatively newly published Native poets. There are some amazing poems in here. One that really stood out is 38 by Layli Long Soldier and you may here it here.

Heart Berries is a poetic and moving memoir. It seems to move through the emotional landscape of Terese Marie Mailhot's life.

I also re-read the ARCs from Netgalley of There's Something About Sweetie and Love from A to Z. I enjoyed both and will be writing reviews on Rich in Color for posts in early May. Love from A to Z is so so good. 
The Coming Week: 

I just got the ARC for Ebony Elizabeth Thomas' nonfiction book, The Dark Fantastic and that is next on my list.

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 113/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 78/275
#MustReadin2019 - 20/30
Year of the Asian 2019 - 11/30

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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.

The Arbuthnot Lecture
The highlight of my week was attending the Arbuthnot Lecture given by Dr. Debbie Reese. She is such a treasure for the kidlit community. She works diligently and passionately to help children's lit and the community do better for our children. We are fortunate to have her voice. I am profoundly grateful for the teaching she has done - often without any monetary compensation. She truly holds children and teens in her heart and at the center of her work. She demonstrates daily how to read critically and speak up when things are not right. 

It was lovely to be in the presence of so many online friends who have similar goals and passions around books. I re-connected with some folks and met others face-to-face for the first time. It was a weekend full of learning, laughter, and much to think about. I left feeling refreshed and eager to get to work.

#Classroombookaday

Last Week on the Blog:


Reading Last Week:

I've been reading a lot of YA and Adult, so I made sure to read at the elementary level this week. I especially loved The Undefeated. B is for Baby is adorable. Fergus and Zeke is a fun beginning chapter book. Undocumented was on my #MustReadin2019 list. I appreciate that it deals with the aspect of undocumented workers and the complicated issues surrounding employment. I'm not sure which age group this will appeal to most. Like one of his earlier books, this is on accordion folded pages like the Mixtec codex. He has done this before and it is an interesting way to see the story. 

The Coming Week: 

I have started Modern HERstory and New Poets of Native Nations. They are both great and I'm enjoying them.

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 104/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 69/275
#MustReadin2019 - 19/30
Year of the Asian 2019 - 10/30

Sunday, April 7, 2019

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:




Reading Last Week:

Last week was Social Justice Week at the local university, so I was able to hear some excellent speakers all week long, but that meant less time for reading. What I did manage to finish was excellent though. These two YA books were very different, but had me drawn in and I couldn't hardly put either one down. On the Come Up was real and a little painful, but also powerful. I was stressed and not in the best head space on Saturday, but There's Something About Sweetie helped take my mind off of things. It's a lovely upbeat book that will give readers a reason to smile.

The Coming Week: 
I haven't chosen my books, but I am sooooo tempted to click download on several books on Netgalley and Edelweiss. I'm restraining myself, but it's difficult. There are some really awesome books coming soon, but I have too many to read already. I'll probably start New Poets of Native Nations. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 98/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 64/275
#MustReadin2019 - 18/30
Year of the Asian 2019 - 10/30

Saturday, April 6, 2019

#MustReadin2019 Spring Update


#MustReadin2019 is a wonderful book community activity hosted by Carrie Gelson at There's a Book for That. I love this group of people who are setting goals and reading through some awesome books.

For 2019, I chose this fun group of books:


I've managed to finish 18 of the 30 books and most have been a treat to read so I'm glad I picked them. I've read the ones that are highlighted.

Tilly and Tilly and the Crazy Eights by Monique Gray Smith
Adult - The character Tilly is amazing and I found these two books to be very healing.

Even This Page is White by Vivek Shraya (a repeat from last year that I didn't get to)
Adult - There is a lot of variety in this poetry collection. They take some time and some thought, but many put words together just perfectly and revolve around race and identity.

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Malik Ayisha
YA - Sofia is funny and this is a fairly light-hearted book about one girl's experiences dating as a Muslim.

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
YA - Rukhsana is attracted to girls and has been hiding this from her parents. This become complicated though and her parents whisk her away to Pakistan. Very compelling.

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
MG GN -This is a hilarious look at one trying summer camp experience.

Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
MG - Marcus is struggling a bit so their family picks up and flies to Puerto Rico and Marcus learns much about his family and himself.

Becoming by Michelle Obama
Adult NF - This was very interesting especially the first 3/4. It was great to see her early life up until her romance with Barack Obama. Things after that were less of a surprise so it slowed a little for me, but was still great.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
YA - I just finished this today and it was an emotional ride. It's another look at the policing of black and brown bodies. It really hit home how black bodies are seen through the white lens and even when there's not a white person in the room, how white people would interpret the people in it, is still a consideration. In America it seems that's always a consideration. Bri has a voice and has to decide how she's going to use it once she figures who she is and how she wants to be seen.

Blended by Sharon Draper
MG - This got more serious than I was anticipating, but was basically a story about family - a biracial family. Isabella begins to feel like she's switching identities and has to learn how to inhabit her world the way that works best for her.


Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America ed by Ibi Zoboi
YA - This is a fabulous collection of stories like it says - about being young & Black in America.


 Kid Gloves by Lucy Knisley
Adult GN - I love Lucy Knisley's sense of humor. This time she takes us along through her attempts at having a child, the disappointments, and her pregnancy.

Useful Phrases for Immigrants: Stories by May-lee Chai
Adult - A collection of short stories about Chinese and Chinese American people. It shows a wide variety of situations and people all dealing with immigration and displacement.

(Don't) Call Me Crazy ed by Kelly Jensen
YA - I loved this very unique collection. This book gives space to voices speaking about mental health. It opens up the discussion and is a must read.

What If It's Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
YA - I enjoyed this, but not as much as Silvera's other books. I will always read his books. I usually adore them, but this one I just liked.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi
YA - Wow! I loved this one. It is a superb retelling of Pride and Prejudice with a sweet & sour fun relationship and also a bit of discussion around gentrification.

Game Changer! by Donalyn Miller and Colby Sharp
Adult NF - Donalyn and Colby are phenomenal book talkers and reading encouragers. In this book, they and a large group of people they gathered, share many ways we can get more books into more kids' hands.

All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
YA - This is a companion book to Shame the Stars and again deals with the bigotry and racism that was happening in Texas particularly near the border during the Great Depression.

Still to Read
Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley
Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith
Go Home! by ed byRowan Hisayo Buchanan
If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim
Everyday People ed by Jennifer Baker
All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Niciole Chung
Undocumented: A Worker's Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh
Coyote Tales by Thomas King
Make Space by David Kelley
Breakout by Kate Messner
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith

I am no longer serving on a picture book award committee, so I am finding myself with more time to read adult and nonfiction books. I adore picture books, but it's nice to have a wider variety of books in my life right now. Happy reading!

Monday, April 1, 2019

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.

#Classroombookaday the past few weeks:



Reading Last Week:

Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is a middle grade novel and is fun. I think I enjoy the graphic novels more though.

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing is another very interesting book by Daniel Pink. There is a lot to absorb in this one about timing and how that can have much greater effects on us than we may imagine. There are several big sections that deal with educational settings.

The Lines We Cross is a very timely book about immigration that takes place in Australia. In it, one character really wrestles with the idea that people who are loving and seen as generally good, can still demonize others and behave in a racist and very biased manner.

The White Book was originally written in Korean and is a novel in poetry. It's very unique. It tackles grief and how a person who is gone can still be very present and affect your life without being there physically. The color white is a theme throughout.

My Happy Year by E. Bluebird is written in diary format and shares the life cycle of a bluebird. It's charming and informative.


The Coming Week: 

I just started On the Come Up and have a hard time putting it down. I also started a nonfiction book called Emergent Strategy. I have Damsel (a Printz book) and New Native Voices in Poetry checked out so may start those later this week too. Have a great week!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 96/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 62/275
#MustReadin2019 - 17/30
Year of the Asian 2019 - 9/30