#IMWAYR February 9, 2015

I love Mondays! If you are looking for a good read, come join hosts Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and discover what other readers are blogging about!

From picture books to novels, I read some fabulous books last week! I've been trying to keep up with my book club members at school, so I've dug into the nonfiction bin and read two books from there, as well as finishing up two novels from fiction bins.


Locomotive by Brian Floca (BookClub)
5 stars
This is why books win caldecotts. The illustrations and text come together in exquisite harmony to create a unique and enduring beauty.


Do You Know Porcupines by Alain M Bergeron (BookClub)

2 stars

I can't figure out why this one has an average goodreads rating of 4.2 stars. 
"This is a kind of nonfiction book with information text at the bottom of the page and an illustrated joke at the top half. The information at the bottom of the pages was great. I even appreciated some of the humor at the top of the pages, but I got tired of it pretty soon. On top of this, it didn't always work together. When it did, it added to the readers understanding, but at other times, it is confusing. For example: on page 26, it says that porcupines are nocturnal animals, but then goes on to show a porcupine with coloured leaves sticking all over it. (this is the cover image) It doesn't help the reader come to any kind of understanding of what nocturnal means. (although this word is noted in the glossary)
There are readers who like this kind of book. I'm not one of them."


4.5 stars

Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (BookClub)


There are few things in life as fine as a book that grabs you by the throat and won't let go until you are done. This is how it was for me with this one. Skrypuch has created fantastic characters set against a riveting historical backdrop. To top it all off, isn't this a beautiful cover?


5 stars
 The Whispering Skull (Lockwood & Co # 2) by Jonathan Stroud

If you haven't read or listened to any of this series, you are living a deprived life. Simply put, these are some of the best adventure yarns it has been my pleasure to read in a very very long time. I long for the next one. The Dagger in the Desk (a novella) is, according to Goodreads, available as an ebook today. I'm getting it. 


Fortunately The Milk written and read by Neil Gaiman (BookClub)

4 stars


"I enjoyed listening to Neil Gaiman narrate this audiobook.  I wandered down to the local grocery store and back while listening. Anyone noticing me might have wondered what I was up to as sometimes I just laughed out loud. When their father goes off to get milk for their breakfast cereal, two children wonder what happened to him as he is gone for ages and ages. Upon his return, he proceeds to tell them a very tall tale that involves; space aliens from outer space, a time machine wielding stegosaurus, pirates, vampires, and an exploding volcano. I'm sure I have left something out, but you should get the picture by now. It is a delightful tale. Unfortunately, because this was an audiobook, I missed out on all the whimsical illustrations created by Scottie Young. I peeked at them using Amazon's Look Inside! feature enough to realize what I missed. I will have to get a copy of the book just to spend some time appreciating them fully."

Currently I'm in the middle of Nanny X by Madelyn Rosenberg. So far it's pretty funny and a good mystery for younger readers to boot!


My partner and I have been out of town for the family day long weekend. I haven't read as much as I thought I would, but we've both really enjoyed this respite from our regular lives. We are heading back to Vancouver tomorrow and I'm still trying to figure out what audiobook I'll put on so I can read and knit at the same time. I'm thinking that once
Nanny X is done, I'll start reading with my eyes, how i discovered poetry, by marilyn nelson. Elizabeth Ellington recommended it so I know I'm going to love it.

25 comments:

  1. Seems like you had a mixed week with these reads. Some good, some not so good!

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    1. Yes, but thankfully, mostly really good!

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  2. I want to go work as an office manager for Lockwood and Co. I think they really need me, and I would do a good job keeping the office tidy and biscuits in stock. Sigh. Why CAN'T we work in fictional places?

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    1. I know! I swear this is one of the finest middle grade adventure series, and a great read for anyone of any age!

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  3. Dying to read Lockwood & Co. I've heard such fabulous things about the series and I adore Straud's Bartimaeus books!

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    1. Me also. I'm thinking that while I wait for the next one, I might have to go and reread them.

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  4. Thanks, Cheriee! I also listened to Fortunately the Milk on audio and realized afterwards that I'd missed half or more of the story because I'd missed the illustrations. SIGH. I haven't read any of the Jonathan Stroud books, but one of them is on The Hub's new Reading Challenge list, so I will look for it. It looks like one that would be especially good on audio. And yes, Locomotive is gorgeous, though I have a hard time reading it now without thinking about Debbie Reese's criticisms about how Floca erases Native Americans from his landscapes. They had a very interesting exchange on her blog, American Indians in Children's Literature. I didn't realize you were in Vancouver--such a beautiful city!!

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    1. I've listened to both of these Stroud books and they are fabulous this way, but readers at my school are enthusiastic about the written version as well. The lack of Native Americans in Locomotive is glaring. I kept looking for them, but they were not represented. Being Canadian, I also want my readers to see themselves in books, and this one is very American. On the other hand, paired with a novel like The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel, it would provide great background knowledge about trains for them.

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  5. Nice honest review on the Porcupine book, which I will now avoid ;) Lockwood! Best ever-I haven't had a chance to read the second one, but the first one made our state reading list!

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    1. Yes, I felt a bit hard on it, but.... The second one just might be better than the first!

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  6. I still haven't read the Gaiman book, a must read & I'd forgotten about it, so thanks for that, & for the two chapter books-new to me & I see others say they're great too.

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    1. I'm looking for books for readers into chapter books and hoped this one might fit the bill. I think the reading level might be a bit high, but it would be a delightful choice for those precocious young readers.

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  7. I bought the first Lockwood for Finn - hope he reads it soon. He has been on a real reading roll lately and feeling proud of it. He just finished Death by Toilet Paper. Hope you have had a nice time away!

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    1. Thanks Carrie, we did. Finn is one of a group of pretty hard core boy readers I see in the library. They like to read gritty kinds of stuff. I like to listen in on them recommending titles to each other.

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  8. One of these days soon I'll get to the Lockwood & Co. books. I've heard such great things about them. I too think of Debbie Reese when I see Locomotive. There was such a lost opportunity to include the Native history there. He could have addressed the issues, but this way, it looks like they were not even there. Fortunately the Milk was quite the quirky humorous book. I think the audio is likely better because I love to hear Neil Gaiman read. Also, the illustrations were problematic. Some of them showed the indigenous people in a stereotypical manner. They were a little cringe worthy unfortunately.

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    1. Thanks Crystal, you have made me thankful to have missed the illustrations. I just wish people would be more mindful about historical data when they are writing a book for children.

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  9. I still haven't read Locomotive (hangs head in shame)

    I loved the first Lockwood and Co, so I just requested this one from my library. I LOVE that feature of my library!

    I adore Gaiman, so of course I got Fortunately, the Milk. The illustrations are amazing, too.

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    1. Locomotive is beautiful, but as others have mentioned, completely leaves Native Americans out of the picture. The second Lockwood and Co gets your heart thumping right off the bat!

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  10. I have got to read Locomotive. I keep hearing such good things about it. I haven't read Lockwood, but now it looks like I have another series to add to my list!

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    1. We love Lockwood and Co at our school! It's one of our book club favourites. It is just so much fun to read!

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  11. I'm glad I read your review of Fortunately the Milk. I did not care for that book at all. But, our library just ordered a copy of the book. It's always good to hear other reviews because maybe, just the right reader, will come along for that book!

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    1. I understand your concerns. It isn't the kind of book that will have mass appeal. In part I think it's because it is so very British in the humour and language. It's the kind of book that will require a sophisticated younger reader.

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  12. I enjoyed reading Locomotive greatly quite awhile back. It made something potentially snooze-inducing as steam engines quite exciting and fun. I agree with you about the illustrations - just stunning. Jonathan Stroud is one of my favourite authors of all time - I loved his Bartimaeus trilogy - have you read those? I was truly riveted by that series, so I'm excited to know that he has new books out. I'm looking forward to reading them.

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    1. I've read the first of the Bartimaeus trilogy and enjoyed it. If you liked those,you will love Lockwood & Co.

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