Monday, July 18, 2022

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are You Reading? information on this image is in the first paragraph on the blog.
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

Last Week on the Blogs:  
Young woman is holding a camera. In the lens a reflection of another young woman is visible. She is looking a bit tense. The title is pixelated. Some of the background is also pixelated.

Review: Pixels of You (YA Graphic Novel)

Young girl with pig tails on each side of her head is wearing sunglasses and holding up two pencils. She has a big smile on her face. Books and crayons are in the air above two desks to show that she is banging on the desks.

Last Week in Books: 
29 book covers of mostly picture books. They may be accessed thorough the goodreads link up above.

Four more picture book covers.

I read Tales from the Cafe which is the second book in the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series. It's a book translated from Japanese and has related short stories that all happen in and around a cafe where time travel is possible. I don't usually enjoy time travel, but this series is delightful to me. Sad things do happen, but people are able to make meaning from their grief. 

Speaking of sadness, I watched the series 스물다섯 스물하나 -- Twenty-five Twenty-one (Netflix) and after the finale, I had cried so many tears. So many. Ack. I just re-watched the trailer and am crying again. Whew. It's an emotional series as so many K-dramas are and I really enjoyed the friendships. That is when I turned to the Totoro comic series (middle grade). They are pretty brief and if you've seen the movie already, it goes pretty quickly. Totoro is so darn soothing.  

I hadn't been reading a ton of English children's literature lately, but I have a class to teach in the fall and I need to read a lot of new material as I prepare for that. Some of the stand outs were: 

Star Child by Ibi Zoboi is a fantastic mixed format middle grade biography about Octavia E. Butler. It's predominantly poetry, but also has prose and some media. It's lovely and worth a read or even more than one read.

Maya's Song is another biography, but is a picture book in poems. The art is stunning and the poetry itself sings. There are traumatic events that are referenced, but the author handles this so well and I think it may be healing for young children who have also gone through things children should never experience. 

Keep Your Head Up is a picture book about a young person who is having a rough day and is trying to keep his head up. Readers can really see the frustration building and can see that he is trying to cope, but eventually he has what he calls a meltdown. I think this could be a valuable book for discussions in classrooms or between caregivers and children. Honestly, I think it would be good for adults to read also to remind them that some people in the world seem like they aren't even trying, but they may be trying everything they know how to try.

A few that revolved around family and cooking were sweet: Tomatoes for Neela and Granny's Kitchen: A Jamaican Story of Food and Family

We Shall Overcome is a beautiful picture book that packs in a lot of history and connects it to the present with an amazingly small amount of words.

Stacey's Extraordinary Words is a fun memoir from Stacey Abrams that shows her love for words through and focuses on a spelling bee that she participated in when she was young. It shows that even if you don't win, that isn't the end and also demonstrates how to speak up. 

The Coming Week: I will continue reading a lot of kidlit because my time is running out to prepare my list of what's new and wonderful in kidlit these days. Have a fantastic week. :)


  1. It looks like you've been reading some wonderful books, Crystal! I made note of the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series, which I keep hearing good things about. And all the kidlit you've been reading to prepare for your class looks great too—I actually just read Stacey's Extraordinary Words and will recommend it next week! Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

  2. Excellent titles! You’ve helped me add to my TBR list!

  3. Loved your Lupe Lopez review! e.E. is a favorite!
    I liked Pixels of You also, but you are right--it was a bit short; however, I still enjoyed it.
    TOTORO COMICS?!?!?!? I LOVE TOTORO SO MUCH!!! I will have to find them ASAP!

    Happy reading this week :)

  4. Thanks for the heads up about Pixels of You. I've been fascinated by AI relationships since reading Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro . Have you read it?