Monday, January 11, 2021

It's Monday! What are you reading?

#IMWAYR It's Monday! What are you reading? Sharing picture books, early readers, middle grade books, and young adult books for readers of all ages. Hosted by and This text is centered over a background of bookshelves.
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.

Last Week in Books:

cover images for seven picture books that are mentioned below

Picture books
Eyes that Kiss at the Corners is a beautiful book that describes a young girl's eyes and the many ways they are beautiful. It will be a lovely book for any young person, but especially for Asian and Asian American readers. 

A Jedi You Will Be is a fun Star Wars inspired picture book that is narrated by Yoda. I know many young readers who are going to love it. 

Nacho's Nachos is a picture book biography. I didn't know that nachos were named after an actual person. It's fun to see how they came to be and of course there is a recipe. 

Honeybee is an absolutely stunning and enthralling nonfiction picture book about the life of the bee. The facts are absorbing and again, the illustrations are amazing. Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann have hit it out of the park again. 

Outside, Inside is a lovely picture book that tells about that time in the early spring of 2020 when many of us went inside. I had to go buy it after I listened to LeUyen Pham with Matthew Winner on the Kidlit These Days podcast that was focused on the pandemic experience and young readers. 

Sharuko is a bilingual picture book biography of a Peruvian archaeologist. It was pretty fascinating. He helped to shed light on the history of the indigenous peoples in Peru.

Federico and the Wolf is a spin-off of Little Red Riding Hood. 

Middle Grade Chapter Books

Becoming Muhammad Ali is a biography of Cassius Clay that shares a lot of his childhood. Readers get to "hear" his voice in poetry. 

Leaving Lymon is a middle grade historical novel that is a companion to Finding Langston. This book made me cry. I loved getting to know Lymon as he went from one place to another trying to hold onto his family. 

Fighting Words also made me cry. It's a contemporary middle grade about a ten year old and her teen sister going through some serious trauma including sexual assault. The author handles it in an age appropriate way. I wanted to read it after I had watched the conversation between Colby Sharp and author Fighting Words.

Adult Reading

The Fire This Time is an excellent anthology of essays from a variety of people on the subject of race. 

Red, White & Royal Blue was a relatively light-hearted rom-com and it was exactly what I needed after this stressful week. 

The Coming Week: 
I'm a little more than half-way through The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and will continue to work through that. I will likely be reading more kidlit and will likely be seeking out books with a little humor. I wish you a great week filled with reading. 


  1. You have such a good balance of different kinds of books! I have Fighting Words and Leaving Lymon in the library but am waiting to get the Ali one. It's interesting how he seems to be more well regarded now than he was forty years ago!

  2. I read Red, White & Royal Blue as an audio book and the narrator was great.

  3. What a great selection of books! Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, A Jedi You Will Be, and Outside, Inside all sound excellent! I've also been meaning to read Fighting Words. The Fire This Time sounds great as well! Thanks for the great post!

  4. I read Fighting Words last week, it was so good! Great assortment of books!

  5. I had only read one of your picture books from this week, but thankfully I found five on Youtube. That will have to hold me over until I can get some local print copies. :) I enjoyed the audiobook of Becoming Muhammad Ali and I have Fighting Words near the top of my TBR list. Can't wait! I really appreciated the light-heartedness of Red, White & Royal Blue - glad it was a relief for a stressful week! Thank you for all these wonderful shares, Crystal!

  6. Fighting Words was a gripping read. Heart-wrenching and so well written. I was hooked from the very first sentence.

  7. I really enjoyed Becoming Muhammed Ali, old enough to have watched his career & then the controversy over the change from Cassius Clay. He was really special. And Honeybee is super, along with Nacho's Nachos, very fun revelation. I am looking forward to Fighting Words, sad that it needs to be written. Thanks so much, Crystal!

  8. I am so excited about Eyes That Kiss in the Corners. It sounds like an ideal book for my two half Korean granddaughter and my library has it on order. If I like it I will purchase a copy for them.
    I already had a hold on Outside, Inside. Fighting Words is on my MustRead list for this year. After reading your remarks I headed over to see what the status of it was. I discovered they have it as an available audiobook. Now I just have to find time to listen.
    Thanks for the heads up about all these books.

  9. Hey I've read some of these and enjoyed them (Nacho, Honeybee & Ali) so I'm guessing I'll like a lot of the others as well. Thanks for the recs!