Monday, August 16, 2021

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Square that says #IMWAYR 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 want to see more of my reading, visit my Goodreads shelves here

Recent Blogposts:

What I've Been Up To: 
For the past two weeks I've been in our school library for summer school. It was great to see the students and have time to get some administrative duties done and even some re-arranging of books. Our county has rising COVID numbers so it's concerning to think about how the school year will go, but in one more week all of the teachers will be back and I'm sure we'll give it our best effort.

Books Read Over Past Weeks: 
Adult Letting Go of Literary Whiteness: Antiracist Literature Instruction for White Students is directed toward high school English teachers, but I found it helpful for critiquing literature in general. It actually fits well with So Many Beginnings (review above) as they both interrogate the literary canon. It was interesting to have read them so close to each other. 

Young Adult - I finished We Will Always Be Here which is a history of LGBTQ+ activism specifically in WI. It was a book that the local public library was giving away and they also had an event. I wasn't able to attend, but appreciated knowing this history.

Middle Grade - Stamped (for kids) is a great resource for younger readers. I'm glad there's one that is tailored to the elementary school readers now. 

Tales of the Feathered Serpent: Rise of the Halfling King is the first in a graphic novel series that I am excited about. It is an adaptations of a Mayan myth and is full of action, adventure, a huge snake, and more. I can't wait to see more in the series.

Allergic is a great realistic graphic novel about a girl whose dreams are destroyed when she finds out she is too allergic to own a furry pet. It shows her disappointment, but also her determination to do what she needed to do to change her circumstances if possible. There is also another character with a different kind of allergy so there is conversation about allergies in an organic way. It's also a friendship and family story. 

Picture Books - There are too many to list here, but these are the highlights.
Becoming Vanessa is a fabulous first day of school book about identity. 

We All Play is sure to inspire movement and smiles. Julie Flett's illustrations of children and animals playing are just perfect.

Brayden Speaks Up is his own story about his stutter and how he spoke up and also had a connection with President Biden.

The 20th anniversary of September 11th is this year so it is unsurprising to find books showing up in displays and on lists. I read 30,000 Stitches: The Inspiring Story of the National 9/11 flag and learned a lot about this flag I hadn't known existed or at least didn't remember. In addition, I read two about a tree that survived. Branches of Hope: The 9/11 Survivor Tree and This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth. They were both interesting and each have a slightly different perspective. I have to say that reading about 9/11 hits differently now that I have been to the site and have seen the memorial and museum. 

How to Apologize lays out some excellent advice about apologies. I know this one could be useful for all ages. 

From the Tops of the Trees is another gorgeous book from Kao Kalia Yang. It takes place in a refugee camp and is about the hope and resilience of her father and how that shaped her life. I read the ARC since it's available on Netgalley. 

An Equal Shot shows the history of Title IX in an easy to understand manner. 

Goodnight Veggies is a bright and fun look at a garden and a worm wearing a sock and shoe. 

Nugget and Dog is a hilarious beginner graphic novel. The first pages explain how to read a graphic novel. The story itself had me laughing. Thunder and Cluck is another in this series and it also had me rolling. 

Let's Find Momo is an adorable look and find book that has only two or three objects to find in the bright and crisp photographs that always have Momo hidden somewhere in addition to the other things. I had fun seeking everything myself. 

I am a big Kate Messner fan and she has created an awesome nonfiction picture book biography of Dr. Fauci. Readers see him as a child and see his curiosity and persistence over the years. There is a lot of helpful backmatter too. 

The Coming Week: I am still working on 5 Kinds of Nonfiction: Enriching Reading and Writing Instruction with Children's Books. I have also started the adult memoir Crying in H Mart, the middle grade Pahua and the Soul Stealer and am listening to Up All Night. This is my final full week before going back to work so I am hoping to get a lot of reading accomplished. Have a great week!


  1. So many to love, Crystal. I've noted Rise of the Halfling King, So Many Beginnings, & We Will Always Be Here. I have two of the 9/11 books, a hard anniversary coming. Thank you!

    1. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by. :)

  2. I can imagine the return to school would be quite stressful with all the COVID stuff—I hope that goes well. You've been reading a great set of books—I'm hoping to get Allergic read as soon as I can, and the picture books look wonderful, especially Becoming Vanessa and From the Tops of the Trees (I loved Yang's A Map into the World). Thanks so much for the great post!

    1. Stressful is accurate. It will again be a very challenging year. Thanks for visiting.

  3. As soon as I saw We All Play on your list, I went to see if my library finally had it in. Hurrah! They had it available right now as an ebook, so I downloaded, read & reviewed it, before returning to your post. Thanks for the heads up about all these books and for the reminder about Julie Flett's book.

    1. I'm glad you got to see We All Play. Her books are just so wonderful. Thanks for visiting.