#IMWAYR JANUARY 4

Welcome back Mondays!

I haven't posted in #IMWAYR since the middle of December, so today's post is a recap of what I have been reading since then. Thank you so much Jen at Mentor Texts and Kellee and Rickie at Unleashing Readers for hosting this weekly event. I'm so very thankful for all of you who particip
ate so we can all discover more fabulous books to read. 


It has been a busy busy few weeks of winter break. I thought I would get a lot more reading time in, but that busy busy just got in the way... Most recently I've been trying to post about mind blowing books I read last year. So far I've done one on novels, one on series, a final post on my #mustreadin2015 list and another about picture books. I'm now in the throws of narrowing down my #mustreadin2016 list. 


Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko

4 stars
This was an enjoyable historical novel based on the true plague outbreak in San Francisco in 1900. Lizzie Kennedy is a spunky character who assists her physician father when he goes out to visit patients. When rumors of plague in Chinatown result in a quarantine of that part of the city, Jing, their manservant, is trapped inside. Shortly after this, Lizzie discovers that Jing's son, Noah, is hiding in Jing's room. Lizzie is determined to rescue Jing and eventually, with help from her older brother, Billy, manages to do so.
There is a lot to like about this book. I appreciate how it examines class, racism, and privilege. I liked that Lizzie finally realized that girls at her school were much more accepting than she supposed them to be.
Choldenko provides a fascinating section at the end of the book with additional historical details about San Francisco, Chinatown, the plague, immunization and the state of medicine in the 1900's. 

4 stars
The Imaginary by by A.F. Harrold, Emily Gravett (Illustrator)

Well, this was some delightfully creepy tale. Rudger has been imagined into being by Amanda, a highly creative young girl. Their life together is idyllic until Mr Bunting arrives on the scene. Mr Bunting hunts and devours imaginaries. I will most certainly get a copy of this for our library. I might even get two of them.

Bog by Karen Krossing (book club book)

3 stars
While I appreciated this story, especially the references to Norse mythology, it didn't quite work for me. Bog, a cave troll, is out hunting with his father when they are discovered by humans. They end up trapped till daylight, and when the sun comes up, Bog's father is turned to stone. It turns out that these humans had been learning from the Troll Hunter, and that is how they were able to trick Bog and his father.
After learning some disturbing news from his grandmother, Bog, his head filled with thoughts of revenge and anger, sets off in search of the Troll Hunter who he plans to destroy. Along the way he makes friends with Small, a very large Forest Troll. Eventually, Small, Bog, and a young human named Hannie, set off in search of the Troll hunter and a magical stone that is supposed to turn stone trolls back to their original form.
As I read I kept waiting for a message to be revealed in this book. Sure it deals with prejudice and perception, but to be honest, the final reveal was much bigger and more powerful than I expected it to be. Readers who are caught in the middle of a battle between their parents will appreciate Bog's dilemma. Their parents, should they read it, could be forced to have a hard look at themselves.

4 stars
Cress by Marissa Meyer & Winter by Marissa Meyer

While I was sewing shirts for my sons for Christmas, I binge listened to these audiobooks. What can I say? I became addicted to the story. I appreciate the complexity of all Meyer's characters, even the evil ones. Now that I am completely satiated, I'm ready to move on to something else.



4 stars
The Skunk by Mac Barnett, Patrick McDonnell (Illustrations)

This book is really out there. I finished it wondering what the heck had just happened. I gave it to my son who said, it's like The Cat Came Back. He's right, except that there is that weird switch at the end. All I know for certain is that Mac Barnett is bloody brilliant!


CURRENTLY

I'm reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin and Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone by Darlene Foster. Both of these were on my Must Read in 2015 list, but I never finished them so I think I'll transfer them to my 2016 list! I'm listening to The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud. 

UP NEXT

Jellicoe Road has been downloaded to my device. It is another title that I'm transferring to my 2016 must read list. 


24 comments:

  1. I really am looking forward to reading the Lunar chronicles soonest - I just started with Cinder last night. And LOVED Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud - Lockwood and Co. topped my fantasy reads from last year.

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    1. I agree with you on Lockwood and Co. It has been my favorite series for the past few years. I started Cinder because so many of my elementary school readers were into it and I wanted to make sure it wasn't too adult for them. I've been a goner ever since.

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  2. Chasing Secrets sounds good, Cheriee. I love learning about the past in historical fiction. I loved The Skunk, interesting story and makes me wonder where it might have come from. I admit I've still not read Cinder, maybe someday? Have a good week back!

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    1. I also love learning about the past through historical fiction Linda. I really appreciated the author's notes at the end of the book filling in more information. I was primed to learn it! I think you will find Cinder to be a delightful surprise.

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  3. I have tried to read Jellicoe Road half a dozen times and abandoned it every time, even though I have loved other books by Marchetta. Hope you get to it and report back! I have no idea what my block is with that book. Thinking The Imaginary might be a wonderful read-aloud with my son. Off to order!

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    1. I'll soon let you know if it works for me. It took me a while to get into the Mara Dyer book.

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  4. Imaginary didn't work for me- maybe too elementary? My readers like Cinder, but I need to read the last one in the series.

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    1. At 824 pages, Winter is quite a slog. I think I only completed it because I was hunkered down over my sewing machine for hours and hours and hours. Because I don't do creepy or scary, I think Imaginary was just about at my tolerance lever for that.

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  5. Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell really work so well together, I loved The Skunk, delightfully strange. :)

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    1. Once I recovered from how weird it was, I too loved The Skunk.

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  6. Chasing Secrets has been on my To Read list for some time. I need to check it out! Have a terrific week!

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    1. It is a great book. I'm sure you will enjoy it.

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  7. I really enjoyed Jellicoe Road. Happy reading.

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  8. I can't wait to get to Marissa Meyer's books. I have it on my #mustread list. Again.
    I really enjoyed Gennifer Choldenko's book. It surprised me how much I enjoyed it.

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    1. I really enjoyed the lunar Chronicles. In fact it surprised me how much. Mayors has done an amazing job developing the characters, even the nasty ones, and there are a lot of characters. I agree Choldenko's book with a delightful surprise.

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  9. I read Cinder, but I haven't read the others in the Lunar Chronicles, but I am intrigued by them--I need to read more of the series.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. I think it was when I read Cress that I became a goner. I'm not sure I would have finished them but luckily, they were available as downloadable audiobooks from our library. I'm happy I finished them.

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  10. The Skunk looks really good! I love books that are "out there," as you described, so I will have to get this one. Thank you for sharing it!

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    1. If you admire warped and twisted, this is for you!!

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  11. B read Winter - she was so exited to get this title for Christmas. I am going to tackle it during the summer. I loved The Skunk. My students really liked it too. I was surprised by how much!

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    1. I am going to have to purchase a copy for our library!

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  12. I loved the Lunar Chronicles. They are at the top of my list of favorite fairy tale retellings.

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    1. I agree with you Kay! After the sophistication and complexity of these, it's going to be hard for anything else to compare.

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