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!


  1. I just purchased On The Come Up, will try to get to it soon. I am interested in What If It's Us, like hearing what ou said. There are different opinions being shared. And, as on your TBR list, I just bookmarked Heart Berries. It sounds lovely. Thanks, Crystal!

  2. So much reading Crystal! Loved reading all of your thoughts here. Pride! is on my radar.