Monday, September 9, 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 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 go to my Goodreads account, you can see what I have read recently & click on the books to learn more.

Not Every Princess and Introducing Teddy are both books that deal with gender and gender roles. Either could be used to have a discussion around gender with young children. I think others may be better, but these were okay. Big and Little is a picture book about opposites and had cute dogs, but it was a little meh for me. Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist is a nice picture book biography. It was cool to learn about this Chinese American artist who was very influential with the art in the movie Bambi. I especially enjoyed the addition of actual photos at the end. Waiting for Chicken Smith is a simple book about someone waiting for a friend to show up and what he does in the meantime. It has unique art. 

The rest of the books were the standouts. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter takes a while to read, but part of that is needing to stop and copy out quotes. I really appreciated what Daniel Heath Justice has to say about literature in general and Indigenous literatures in particular. I am really thankful to have listened to the podcasts This Land and All Our Relations prior to reading because I think those conversations really helped me to see relationships in a much broader way. We are relations to kin by birth, but also to others by choice. This is true of human relations, but also non-human such as animals, land, or the environment. And with our relations, we have responsibilities and obligations. One of the quotes I copied was, "In all cases, story makes meaning of the relationships that define who we are and what our place is in the world; it reminds us of our duties, our rights and responsibilities, and the consequences and transformative possibilities of our actions. It also highlights what we lose when those relationships are broken or denied to us, and what we might gain from even partial remembrance." Indigenous literatures matter for many reasons and Justice lays them out. I also copied this quote, "Literature as a category is about what’s important to a culture, the stories that are privileged and honored, the narratives that people—often those in power, but also those resisting that power—believe to be central to their understanding of the world and their place in relation to it." 

Merci Suárez was a re-read for me since it's one of the book on our battle list. I loved it last year and loved it once again even though I cried - again. A Map Into the World is a beautiful picture book featuring a Hmong family going through the four seasons and their relationship with a neighbor and his wife. It deals with grief and empathy and connecting with others. I believe it's the first picture book written by a Hmong American author to be published by one of the big publishing company. I'm very excited to share it with students. 

The two graphic novels were also very good. Mooncakes is a fun fantasy that made me smile and smile and smile. They Called Us Enemy did the opposite. I appreciated this memoir about a pretty grim time in the history of our country. George Takei shares his memories of the incarceration of Japanese Americans. He also draws parallels to present day issues.

The Coming Week:
Quite honestly, I do not have a plan beyond reading What Girls Know by Neesha Meminger for a review I'm doing next week. I literally have piles of books stacked in the room I am sitting in right now and I don't know where I'll begin. Happy reading!

Reading Challenge Updates: 
Goodreads Challenge 2019 - 708/550
Diversity on the Shelf 2019 - 249/275
#MustReadin2019 - 21/30


  1. Loved your review of Merci Suárez Changes Gears, Crystal. This was one of my favorite reads of the summer and I just wish I'd read it sooner. And it's always so nice to have piles of books to pick from. I hope it's another great reading week for you!

  2. I'm glad to hear about George Takei's book, 'They Called Us Enemy', Crystal. I will look for it! I loved Meric Suarez Changes Gears, too, hope it will continue to be shared with students. Thanks

  3. Great reading week. I hope you enjoy your last minute picks next week!