#IMWAYR May 30, 2016


Alwyn is another one of my fabulous library monitors who I have watched grow from a kindergartener to a young adult in grade seven. I love to talk books with her since we have similar tastes in literature (except for the Twilight series). Alwyn guest posted on my blog this week writing about Where You'll find Me by Natasha Friend. 

It's Monday and time for #IMWAYR. Thanks to Jen at Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting this weekly event where kid lit aficionados share what they have been reading.

I am happy to be back.

It's been three weeks since my last post. First there was the funeral for my mother. Then last weekend I was away with women friends. Although the cabin on the ocean now has internet, I had no time to write an entire blog post about books. We were too busy talking about them and catching up on each other's lives.

Here is what I've been reading in the past 3 weeks. I'm not going to write about all of them even if they were mostly fabulous reads!



PICTURE BOOKS


5 stars
Thunder Boy by Sherman Alexie

I loved this book more than I expected to, and I expected to love it a lot. (What can I say, I'm a Sherman Alexie fan and can hardly wait to see him at Kidsbooks in June) I only hope that librarians, teachers and others outside the aboriginal community read Debbie Reese's blog posts about this book. http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.ca/2016/05/how-to-read-sherman-alexies-thunder-boy.html

5 stars
The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Heartbroken and in love all at the same time is how I feel at the end of this series. What I know for certain is these books will continue to inspire and nurture readers for generations to come. Thank You Mo Willems!



Horrible Bear by Ame Dyckman & Zachariah Ohora


5 stars
There is so much in this book. Ohora's bold illustrations are both humorous and poignant. A young girl overreacts to her kite being mistakenly broken by a sleeping bear. The story follows the consequences of this and along the way teaches readers about empathy and forgiveness. I love this illustration near the end of the book that shows us just what bear reads (mostly information)


I Don't Want to be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt Illustrations)

5 stars
In this lovely communication between a father and son, the child wants to be something other than a frog. He would rather be a cat, a pig, a rabbit, or an owl. He learns to accept who he is with the help of his father and a wolf. (Do they really not eat frogs?) If there is one good reason for not wanting to be a frog, the diet just might be it.

Pom Pom Gets the Grumps by Sophy Henn

3 stars
I know very few people who have not had one of those days where everything is irritating. Henn's illustrations of a young panda going through one of these are lovely. I especially appreciate how emotions are portrayed on Pom Pom and the other characters.



What This Story Needs Is a Pig in a Wig (A Hush and a Shush and A Munch and a Crunch) by Emma J. Virjan (3 stars)

These will be great for readers who are fans of Elephant and Piggie as they are humourous and are relatively simple reads.


CHAPTER BOOKS
4 stars

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black #3) by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)

I liked this one better than the second in the series, but I am mostly happy how popular these books are with my readers!


INFORMATION

3.5 stars
Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding by Linda Liukas

This book begins with a story that I think is supposed to represent a computer program, but that aspect didn't make sense at first. The second half of the book is comprised of activities that connect to the story. These introduce readers to programming language and logical thinking. They sort of work. I had a lot of trouble with the selection section on page 92 because the examples read from right to left. At least I think they do - I could be more lost than I think. Chunks of this book took me back to my first experiences with computers when we had to punch holes in cards to get the machine to do what we wanted it to.

I brought this book to school hoping to finish it (insert hysterical laughter here) and one of my library monitors picked it up. According to him, it is a really good book, so what do I know?


4 stars
Shh! Bears Sleeping by by David Martin, Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher (Illustrations)

This is written in rhyming poetry and it mostly works. The illustrations are gorgeous. There is additional information at the end of the poem. It is a great addition, but I wish it was organized better.



5 stars

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices by Lisa Charleyboy (editor)

This consists of a collection of writings by different individuals, although there are also visual works. It is a powerful book that portrays the diverse experiences of indigenous people from across North America.




GRAPHIC

Long Red Hair by Meags Fitzgerald

4 stars
There is so much to admire about this book. The illustrations are gorgeous. Meags Fitzgerald's memoir deals with growing up in the 1990's and coming out as bisexual. She had strong loving parents who accepted and supported her. They introduced her to Dungeons and Dragons. (How cool is that!) The book references all kinds of powerful women from Queen Elizabeth 1 to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. An interesting component is Fitzgerald's examination of celibacy. This book will be a good addition to our grade 7 shelf.


NOVELS

Frognapped and Vampire Brat (Araminta Spookie # 3 & 4) by Angie Sage & Katherine Kellgren (Narrator)
4 stars

Katherine Kellgren's narration keeps me coming back for more of this series, but it is a lot of fun to listen to the adventures of Araminta and her best friend Wanda and the mischief they get up to. I'm just not sure that readers will appreciate the humour as much as I do.
4 stars

Birdie by Tracy Lindberg
This isn't an easy read, but it is worth the investment in time and emotional energy. It was one of the Canada Reads Finalists. It is about much more than the transformation of an individual person. It's about the power we have within us and our connections with others to heal and recover from traumatic experiences. I really appreciated the author's notes at the end of the book.

5 stars

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

The conclusion to the The Raven Boys quartet was a satisfying read to a series I have adored.

3 stars

The Interrupted Tale (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #4) by Maryrose Wood & Katherine Kellgren (Narrator)

This wasn't my favourite of the series, but it was still enjoyable.


4 stars

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and numerous narrators

I enjoyed listening to this retelling of Gaiman's merging of two fairy tales, imagining what would happen if Snow White and Sleeping Beauty should meet. It was a delightful surprise. I will have to find a hard copy of the book to explore the images and see what I have missed.



CURRENTLY 

I'm listening to These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly narrated by Kim Bubbs. I've started Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty and am going to have to read like crazy since it will be returned from my device in two days!

UP NEXT

I have The Boy Who Knew Everything by Victoria Foster and I'll Be There: A Novel by Holly Goldberg Sloan out from the library so I will have to get to those.

14 comments:

  1. I too loved The Raven King and Dreaming in Indian, Thunderboy Jr. and a few of your other picture books.

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    1. Dreaming in Indian is an amazing title!

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  2. Great to see you back and "all" the books you've read, Cheriee. I loved The Raven King too, sorry it and the E & P books are ending. I'll look for Long Red Hair, so interesting to hear about it. Have a nice holiday today.

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    1. Alas, no holiday here in British Columbia. Ours was last weekend. I got the heads up about that title from my niece's blog where she writes almost exclusively about queer characters. This is a book she wished she had growing up. https://caseythecanadianlesbrarian.wordpress.com/

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  3. I really enjoyed Where You'll Find Me also. Fun to see what a middle-schooler thinks of it. Love your list of picture books: Horrible Bear!, I Don't Want to Be a Frog, and Thunder Boy are all awesome! I'll have to look at my library to find some of the other titles.

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    1. I hope to get to Where You'll Find Me sometime this summer. It is always fascinating to find out what my readers think of books. Sometimes I think it is garbage and the kids devour it. Other times I think a title is fabulous, and they are meh..

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  4. Ah, so many amazing books!! I haven't seen the other "what this book needs" titles yet but I'm pretty excited to try them out at my next class visit, they seem like a good fit for the "E&P" crowd.

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    1. They are ok. I think I might have appreciated them more if I hadn't picked them up at the same time as I got The Thank You Book. Nobody compares well to Mo Willems.

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  5. I completely agree with your feelings about The Thank You Book. It was the perfect way to end the series but also so sad that it's over at the same time.

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  6. I LOVE the Princess in Black and its huge appeal. I can't wait to read The Raven King. I own it, but am saving it for the beginning of the summer!

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    1. I know - I was talking to Bea about it when she was here volunteering at Sport's Day (such delightful children you have) It's a fabulous read.

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  7. So many wonderful books here! I have been saving The Thank You Book but will probably read it this week--along with Thunder Boy. I've read Debbie Reese's posts and am looking forward to thinking through those issues when I read the PB. I think I need to get Pom Pom Gets the Grumps--I have those days more frequently than I would like!

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    1. I think it appealed to me, because so do i!

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