Thursday, April 22, 2021


A bookshelf with the tag #MustReadin2021 and information about the hosts that is included in my first paragraph.The #MustReadin.... is a reading challenge that originated with Carrie Gelson at There is a Book for That and I've been participating since 2014. It's a group of folks who are trying to whittle down the list of books on our To Be Read shelves. I've really enjoyed being part of this reading community each year and am happy to be able to join in once again. This year it is being co-hosted by Cheriee Weichel at Library Matters and Leigh Ann Eck at A Day in the Life.  

Here is my list for 2021 via a new reading app called StoryGraph if you want to find out about any of the specific titles. 

20 book cover images are shown in four rows of five.

Here is the list typed out so that I can come back and highlight them as I finish reading them. 
  1. We Are Not Free by Traci Chee 
  2. Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall with A. D'Amico
  3. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
  4. Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading & Writing YA edited by Nova Ren Suman & Emily X. R. Pan
  5. Don't Read the Comments by Eric Smith
  6. Simmer Down by Sarah Smith
  7. The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
  8. Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
  9. Wink by Rob Harrell
  10. The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel
  11. Risk. Fail. Rise: A Teacher's Guide to Learning from Mistakes by M. Colleen Cruz
  12. Outside, Inside by Leuyen Pham
  13. Teaching for Black Lives by Wayne Au, Dyan Watson, Jesse Hagopian
  14. Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad
  15. Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
  16. The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
  17. Wildcard (Warcross) by Marie Lu
  18. Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death by Joan Halifax
  19. Superman Smashes the Klan by Gurihiru & Gene Luen Yang
  20. The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesmyn Ward
It appears I've read half so far this year. 10/20 is not bad. Of those, these six are the ones that I enjoyed the most and shouldn't be missed. 

We Are Not Free: YA - one of the best books I've read about the Japanese imprisonment during WWII.
The Proposal: Adult - another fabulously funny romance from Jasmine Guillory.
Snapdragon: Middle Grade Graphic Novel - realistic fiction and the characters are really well done.
Cultivating Genius: Professional Development - a fantastic look at an equity framework designed based on Black literacy societies of the past. So, so good. I'm going to read it again.
Superman Smashes the Klan: YA Graphic Novel - Gene Luen Yang hits it out of the park here and really does a great job of showing some of the history of the Klan within a Superman story. The end notes about the original radio show and other background info are a highlight.
The Fire This Time: Adult Nonfiction - memoir, essays, and poems around race as a sort of response to Baldwin's earlier writing.

I look forward to reading the other half of this list over the next year and also seeing what others have been enjoying. Happy reading!


  1. I really enjoyed Superman Smashes the Klan. Gene Yang is brilliant. I read The Fire Next Time a while ago and have The Fire This Time on my list, but it's all about finding time for it. I have some of these others on my list ot. I'll have to add them to a potential MustReadIn2022 list.

  2. Awesome update! Love Superman (and I usually don’t love Superman stories) and I think you’ll love Wildcard!