Monday, March 20, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 now...you 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. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Week in Books: 

Illustrated cover of the book Cartographers.  A young woman is sitting on an escalator. The colors are mostly red with a little bit of orange and blue here and there. Here shoes are green. She has long dark hair and has an intent look on her face. Above the escalator, New York buildings can be seen in the night sky.

This week I have only read the YA book The Cartographers by Amy Zhang. Much of the book is internal dialogue and some of it takes place within an online document between two people so there isn't a lot of action. There's a lot to think about and deals quite a bit with mental health. I got a copy from the publisher and will write more about it for Rich in Color later.

The Coming Week: I am not sure how much reading I will accomplish this week. I have my regular school district jobs - 5o% as a teacher librarian at an elementary school and 25% as a library tech at a K-12 school for independent study. That second one is a newer job and I am still weeding, shifting, and getting used to my duties there. I also have my almost 25% public library job in the evenings. We have a book fair at my elementary school so that adds a bit of extra tasks. And then, it will be Spring Break when I will get to go visit my mother and sister in TX. I just got my copy of Karuna Riazi's A Bit of Earth that's a Secret Garden re-telling and I will likely take that on my trip. Have a great week!

Monday, March 13, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 now...you 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. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

three book covers. The first is redefining realness and has a photo of Janet Mock in a peach v neck dress. The second is Drunk on Love and shows a silhouette of a man and woman in an embrace each holding a wine glass. The third is throwback and has one young woman at the top upside down holding a cell phone with an antenna and a young woman right side up at the bottom wearing airpods in her ears.

The Past Week in Books: This week was not a big one for reading, but I did finish reading the digital ARC of Throwback by Maurene Goo to review on Rich in Color later this week. It's a cute time travel rom-com that made me smile a lot in spite of time travel books being something I usually avoid.  

I also read a Jasmine Guillory adult romance called Drunk on Love. I enjoyed it okay, but I like her other books better. I am just realizing that both fiction books I read this week take place in CA. This one was in Napa and I think the Maurene Goo book is in the LA area. 

One other book got my attention this week and that was the adult memoir by Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. It was on my personal shelf and I had picked it up quite some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. Writing is already a pursuit that leaves one vulnerable, but a memoir seems to be on the far end of the scale. This was a difficult memoir to read, but it had to be incredibly difficult to write. 

The Coming Week: I am not sure what I will be reading this week, but will surely pick up something. Happy reading!

Monday, March 6, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 now...you 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. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Two Weeks in Books:  I've finally started to pick up the pace of my reading. It's been a while since I've been reading large amounts of books. I work very part-time at the public library and I was able to read through some of the newly processed books last week while I was at the reference desk. 

Cover images of the four books described below. The first shows a child with dark hair that is crying and the title is within the dark shape that is her open mouth. The second is all in earth tones and shows and grandmother and granddaughter leaning their faces together with smiles. The third shows a young girl and an even younger boy sitting on the floor playing on a circular carpet with many brightly colored toys from a box that has the Star of David on it. The final on is called All Aboard the Schooltrain and shows a girl with braids holding up a book with a big smile. Behind her is a line of children walking to the right.

This is Not My Home by Vivienne Chang illustrated by Eugenia Yoh depicts a child and her family moving to Taiwan to help her grandmother. Lily is not pleased to be in a place where so many things feel unfamilar. It was very interesting and I think that there are many people who can connect with this specific situation, but there are also those who can relate simply to feeling out of place somewhere. 

Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers illustrated by Julie Flett is simply beautiful. The illustrations are lovely of course, but the relationship between the grandmother and grand-daughter is also just a joy to see. 

The Not-Quite-Perfect Passover by Laura Gehl illlustrated by Olga Ivanov & Aleksey Ivanov is a cute story about Ruby and her family trying to get ready to host the first Passover seder since their Bubbe, who usually does this, broke her leg. Ruby wants it to be perfect, but many things happen, often because of her younger sibling, but they manage to pull it all together with a theme of being not quite perfect. 

All Aboard the Schooltrain: A Little Story from the Great Migration by Glenda Armand illustrated by Keisha Morris is a story based on things from the author's family history. It is about some families in the south slowly seeing others leave their town. Rather than taking a bus to school, they walk together to school in a line like a train, but there are also trains taking people to other places. It's a good one for introducing the Great Migration.
Young Japanese woman is wearing a crown and there are cherry blossoms framing her on each side. She is smiling. The background is green.

I finished reading the young adult novel Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean. It's the sequel to Tokyo Ever After and is a nice follow up to the first novel. She and her mother both have to deal with the ever after part of happily. What happens after you find your love and the every day details start to get in the way? 


I was able to go to the California School Library Association annual conference this week and I took along the graphic travelogue Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City's Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Florent Chavouet. I figured it would be easy to pick up and put down in between workshops and things and it was a good one to have there. I really enjoyed the maps and remembering different places that we have visited. Some of the authors humor didn't appeal as he has a tendency to make fun of the way people look, but the art is nice and I started to skim the commentary towards the end. 

There are some tall flowered plants on the right and a tree on the left. In the middle, the ocean can be seen. There is a small area that is darker and that is the top of the kelp where the sea otters were floating.

It's a beach view with many rocks. There are some trees in the distance on the left. They look like they have been sculpted by the wind. There are waves rolling into the beach. The sky is blue with some white clouds.

The conference was on the California coast and we had some opportunities to walk along the ocean. It was beautiful. In the top photo, it is difficult to see, but there were sea otters out there in the kelp floating around. It was fun to have gone into Pacific Grove to the bookstore and library. I was able to read a board book called Sea Otter Pup by Victoria Miles illustrated by Elizabeth Gatt so I knew that it was the kelp that was keeping them altogether so they wouldn't float away. 

In the exhibit area I read Mommy's Hometown by Hope Lim illustrated by Jaime Kim tells of a young boy and his mother traveling to Korea to visit her childhood home. He has heard many stories about this place, but it many things have changed. It's fun to watch them explore and discover things on their way.

Gibberish by Young Vo is about a child who has moved to a new country and doesn't understand the language around him. You can really empathize with him and see what that might be like. If that's an experience that a reader is familiar with it could also be affirming. 

A young child is lying in a field of grass looking up at the bright sky.

A Kite for Melia by Samuel Narh and Freda Narh illustrated by Valeria Suria was at one of the tables and I was able to meet the author. It's a sweet story about a child wanting to make a kite and her determination as she goes to the library to find out how to do that. 

A family is standing together. The father has light brown skin and a short haircut. His hand is on a daughter standing in front of him. Her skin is darker. She has two blue bows in her hair. She's smiling at the baby in her mother's arms. Her mother has dark shin and shoulder length hair. The title says Love is All Around.

There were a few other authors there. Nikki Shannon-Smith was there. I had heard her speak at our county library a few weeks ago. She has a relatively new board book named Love is All Around illustrated by Ronique Ellis.

We were also lucky because Minh Lê was the guest speaker since Drawn Together won the California Young Reader's Award last year. It was nice to see him again and it's always lovely to hear him speak about that book. It's a treasure.

It was fun to have dinner with many of the other librarians from our school district, but also have the authors Nikki Shannon-Smith, Nadia Salomon, and Robin Yardi with us to chat. Nikki is a fourth grade teacher in our school district and we are lucky to have her in our community.

Two young children are staring out a window. We see them from the back. Out in the stars like a constellation, there is an image of Ganesha. There is a face and trunk of an elephant and four human arms with hands and two legs and human feet. The book has a dark cover with gold and red patterns in the curtains and designs.

Nadia was right next to me and I got her book Goodnight Ganesha right after dinner. The trailer is here. The book was illustrated by Poonam Mistry and I have really loved her previous books like You're Safe with Me. Her designs are always vibrant and gorgeous. They used the very slick paper too so the pages are very smooth and shiny. It's a bedtime story and has lots of love.

The Coming Week: I have a newish Jasmine Guillory book on my Kindle and I am also reading a digital ARC of the new Marene Goo young adult rom-com Throwback. What will you be reading? I hope it's a great week for you. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 now...you 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. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Two Weeks in Books:  

I've been reading some of the award books and this week that meant grabbing Kapaemahu and Love, Violet. They both won a Stonewall and were lovely. In the first, we see Indigenous people who are healers with dual male and female spirit. There is a movie that you can watch that tells this story here. Love, Violet is a sweet Valentine's Day book. Another award book was Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams's Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration which got the Sibert Award. It includes photos and commentary about the pictures. It was interesting to see how the perspective of the photographers and their purposes shaped the images and determined what would be captured and what would be omitted. Related to this was the picture book Love in the Library about two people who fell in love while living in a Japanese incarceration camp. The author talks a little bit about her grandparents that the story is based on in this video

A new book I listened to via Libro.fm is Finally Seen by Kelly Yang. Her books are always so completely relatable. I'm excited to get this one in the hands of students. It also has a brief storyline related to censorship and I really wish so many US students didn't have to relate to that so much right now. 

I am partial to romance books and since it was Valentine's Day (month) I checked out a few adult romances to zip through. They were all pleasant and entertaining and made me smile for the most part. I read The Singles Table, Good Morning Love, and one very quick one Wrapped Up in You

Somebody's Daughter was one I took on my quick trip to TX to see my mother for her birthday last weekend. I was glad I had it since I got delayed at the airport. It's the story of a young Korean American adoptee who travels to Korea to look for her birth mother. It's intense and shows both the perspective of the adoptee and the birth mother. There's a lot to think about especially about international and interracial adoptions and how they can affect the young people.

The Coming Week: I'm listening to the YA romcom Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute again in preparation for our Rich in Color group discussion coming up in March. I started reading Tokyo Dreaming which is a sequel to Tokyo Ever After. I have also started reading the ARC of a new young adult novel by Maurene Goo. Have a great reading week. 

Monday, February 6, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 now...you 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. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Three Weeks in Books:  

I've been reading a lot of picture books for our Mock Award units. For our Coretta Scott King unit, the students chose Bessie the Motorcycle Queen by Charlot Kristensen illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr.  We were all enthralled with her story of cycling across the nation. Another one I enjoyed was Music is a Rainbow by Bryan Collier. It's full of emotion and the healing power of music. 

For our Sibert Award, the students chose Blips on a Screen: How Ralph Baer Invented TV Video Gaming and Launched a Worldwide Obsession by Kate Hannigan illustrated by Zachariah OHora. His story is fascinating and also, video games are just a wildly popular topic. 

For our Pura Belpré, the students chose My Town, Mi pueblo by Nicholas Solis illustrated by Luisa Uribe. We also really enjoyed How to Hear the Universe: Gaby González and the Search for Einstein's Ripples in Space-Time by Patricia Valdez illustrated by Sara Palacios. We really had fun learning about sounds in space. I didn't have time to read it with the students, but I also really loved Tía Fortuna's New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey by Ruth Behar illustrated by Devon Holzwarth. 

A student had asked me for a book about early kings in Korea so I had ordered a book called Letters from Korean History 1: From Prehistory to Unified Silla and Balhae. It was quite interesting and I think I'll have to get the next one in the series too. What was really cool was that the author included basic history of early humans and not just those in Korea so it helps the reader relate the history in this very specific place in relation to the history of the rest of the world. It would be useful with any class that is learning about early humans.

I also read a few random books like The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill. This is a lovely, lovely middle grade book that asks a lot of questions about love, community, and where to put trust. I also picked up the picture book Brown is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar illustrated by Noor Sofi. It's beautiful both in the writing and the illustrations. Knight Owl is another book that's a delight for the eyes. It is also just a sweet little bit of fantasy. I got the audio version of Talia Hibbert's young adult book Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute. It's a delightful rom-com and since I already adored Hibbert's adult romances, I was not surprised. 

One adult book landed in my lap - The Love Con by Seressia Glass. It's a fun rom-com that involves fake dating and best friends. That's one of my favorite storylines and this one was a winner for me. 

The Coming Week: 

I am listening to Jennifer Chan is Not Alone. Other than that, I am not sure what I'll be picking up next. Have a great reading week. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
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 now...you 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. The lists of the books in the images below may be found at Goodreads. 

The Past Week in Books:  

When I read Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong in December (I highly recommend it - really you should read it), one of the chapters involved Riva Lehrer and they mentioned her book Golem Girl. I looked for it, but our local library didn't have it. Luckily, CA has a program called Zip Books and until the funding is exhausted, they will order one book at a time for you if you want a book that your library doesn't have. So, I requested Golem Girl and it arrived last week. It's also a memoir and was incredibly interesting. Riva Lehrer is an artist and tells the story of her life journey. She was born with spina bifida and the timing of her birth and the advocacy of her mother greatly affected how her medical care proceeded. There is much more to her story than the physical aspects of her life and I appreciate that she has shared so much of herself with readers.

I listened to a fun young adult romance over the weekend while doing my physical therapy and cooking and various other activities. I was excited to see that Talia Hibbert had ventured into YA since I've enjoyed her adult romances. It was charming and I hope she continues with both YA and adult books. 

Cover images of A History of Me which features a young Black girl with flowing hair and A Life of Service which features Tammy Duckworth smiling and sitting in her wheelchair with her prosthetic legs showing under her blue dress.

I've read quite a few picture books this week for our Mock units at school. I especially liked Christina Soontornvat's biography of Tammy Duckworth, A Life of Service and Adra Theodore's A History of Me

The Coming Week: 

I will continue to read books for the Mock activities I am having at my school this week and I am in the middle of another adult rom-com. Happy reading!

Sunday, January 8, 2023

It's Monday! What are you reading?

An image of books has another image on top that explains what It's Monday is all about. You may find the same information in the first two sentences on the post.
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. 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


The Past Week in Books: 

Our power was knocked out for 12 hours this weekend, so I read a romance called A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos while I waited for power to return. It was an easy and pretty predictable story, but I do usually like books with recipes so it was okay.

I also finished reading The Ch'i-lin Purse: A Collection of Ancient Chinese Stories retold by Linda Fang. I feel like I must have read some of the stories in the past or even the whole book because at least some of them seemed very familiar. They were quite nice. 

Because I am doing my mock award units at school, so I read several picture books like Daddy Speaks Love, A Perfect Fit, and R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I really enjoyed all of them. 

I did my first Korean storytime this week too. I paired 괜찮아 (It's Okay) by 최숙희 (Choi Sook-hee) and Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean. In this Korean book the child meets animals like a snake and basically says hey you don't have legs or to the porcupine that it has so many spines and they all say that it's okay. I had the students help me say 괜찮아 on every page. It was fun since there was at least one student in each of my classes that speaks or at least hears Korean fairly regularly. It made me think of Pete the Cat. Pete basically says it's okay when he steps into things and messes up his shoes. He doesn't get upset and is just calm about it. Sometimes things may seem to be a big deal to someone else, but might be just fine for you. The lesson was a reminder that we have books in languages other than English in our library. 

Girl with very large face is smiling. Her eyes are huge and she has pigtails on either side of her head.

The Coming Week: 
I will be reading lots of picture books for our Mock Sibert, Mock Coretta Scott King, and Mock Pura Belpré Award units with fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students. I'm not sure what I will be reading at home. I really haven't been reading as much since the school year started. I work at two different schools (20 hours each) and also work a few hours each week at the public library. I am also studying Korean and have various other family activities along with blogging at Rich in Color and am still doing physical therapy. Life is fairly busy.