#IMWAYR January 23, 2017

#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. The adult version of this meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. The kidlit rendition is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.


Wasn't that a Saturday? 
Wasn't that a march?

Against the backdrop of hate and bigotry, of misogyny and homophobia, of 'alternative truth' and pure BS, we marched. Certainly there is more work to be done, but knowing that so many of us have each other's back, that we are the resistance together, empowers me/us to continue on.

My friends and I wore our pink pussy hats at the Vancouver, BC March. 


I've been contemplating A.S. King's Glory O'Brien's History of the Future these days. When I first read it, I thought the idea of women losing what they had gained was fanciful and impossible because American women wouldn't put up with having their rights and freedoms stripped from them. I hate that we might be about to see if this is true. 

BLOG POSTS THIS WEEK

The Dance of the Violin by Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petricic

For those of you who read and review ARCs, when do you post your reviews for books that won't be published for a while?

PICTURE BOOKS

4 stars
The Dance of the Violin by Kathy Stinson and Dušan Petricic (Netgalley)

This is based on an incident in the life of Joshua Bell, renowned violinist and conductor. It's a story of persistence, resilience, and passion. The writing and imagery are powerful, but sometimes they didn't merge together seamlessly. I still think it is a great read, so mark your calendars for March 14 when it is released. 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

4 stars
Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (Narwhal and Jelly) by Ben Clanton (Netgalley)

In this sequel, Narwhal and Jelly discover their superhero powers. I enjoyed this novel more than the first one in the series. Even the nonfiction spread talking about the real superpowers of sea creatures was fun. The release date for this is May 2. Full review to come. 


KIDLIT NOVELS

The Year of the Garden (Anna Wang 0.5) by Andrea Cheng & Patrice Barton (Illustrator)(Netgalley)

4 stars
I've been meaning to read some of Andrea Cheng's work ever since I had two very excited grade three students argue over who would be first to read The Year of the Baby. They were shocked that I had not read The Year of the Book. This was a good one to start with since it is a prequel to the first in the series. I now get their joy. Cheng's authentic characters deal with realistic problems. Their diversity doesn't get in the way of solid friendships as they all learn to be better human beings. These children have loving parents and normal siblings who live within a supportive community. It is a delightful series for readers ready to move beyond beginning chapter books. It's publication date is April 11th. Full review to come.



Goblins vs Dwarves (Goblins #2) by Philip Reeve & David Thorpe (Narrator) 

5 stars
So if you are wondering what book or series to read to your younger children, (6 to 10ish?) check out Goblins by Philip Reeve. I just finished this one. Skarper, the goblin, is a character I adore. Reeve wrote this series for his son, so they are already kid tested. They are hilarious, cheeky, and filled with important lessons on how to live a satisfying life and get along with all kinds of individuals. This one deals with how a group of people (the dwarves) get seduced into following an empty headed leader. (Sounds familiar doesn't it?) I was both suprised and impressed by how it backfired. Apparently the books are filled with illustrations, but I listened to them. David Thorpe's narration was perfect. This is my favourite in the series. I now want to go and binge on Philip Reeve. I'm looking forward to reading another title of his, Pugs of the Frozen North, the first in a series he writes with Sarah McIntyre that is supposed to be appropriate for 7 year olds to read on their own. I'm hoping to find time for Mortal Engines sometime this year since I was impressed as heck by Fever Crumb when I read it a number of years ago. 

The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey


4 stars
This is a book that needs to be in elementary and middle school libraries. George and Gracefully Grayson tell the story of transgender girls. This is the story of a transgender boy. Shane has been at a new school for a few years and has established himself as his baseball team's star pitcher. He's got a best friend and even the beginning of a relationship with a girl. Then one of the older students discovers his past and posts a picture of him from his previous school. I was worried that this might take the book into a deep hole of bullying, and while there is a bit of that, it isn't the most important aspect of the plot. What's important is that Shane has loving parents, even if his father has a harder time than his mother dealing with his identity. Adults at school are also supportive. He is lucky to go to a support group and get paired up with a trans girl who helps him navigate all the challenges he has to deal with. He's got a true best friend. Ultimately, this is a book that shows all of us how to be accepting human beings. 

YA NOVELS

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa, Narrated by Michael Curran-Dorsano, Imani Parks & MacLeod Andrews

3 stars
This debut novel tells the story of three teens, Mira, Sebby, and Jeremy, who become best friends. My niece loved this book or I might not have persisted. I did appreciate the diverse cast of characters, but they are all so damaged in their own way. The story is filled with A LOT OF ANGST, almost too much for me. It deals with depression, drug addiction, bullying and bisexuality. Thankfully there are many supportive adults, although I wanted to smack Mira's father and the high school principal. On the other hand, I loved Jeremy's two dads. This is definitely for older teens as there are some pretty graphic sex scenes.

ADULT NOVELS

The Break by Katherena Vermette

5+ stars
Books win awards for a reason. This is why. The Break is profound, heartbreaking, and gritty. Vermette places her readers in the bitter cold Winnipeg winter where generations of women survivors are trying to cope with the brutal rape of their 13 year old daughter/granddaughter/sister/niece/cousin. Vermette reveals how much work it takes to maintain their strength and continue to survive in their world. It's a world permeated with fear, a world marked by violence, a world where many of them can go missing. It's told through the perspectives of the different family members, the policeman investigating the crime, and others connected to it. The writing is exquisite. 

These few sentences punctuate a section from Flora's perspective.

IN THE END, all that matters is what is right here...

IN THE END, all that matters is what has been given...

IN THE END, all that matters is what is left behind. Moments go so quick...

This is one of my books for my goal of 50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors. You should read it. 

CURRENTLY

I've started reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. Honestly going from The Break to this is pure reading ecstasy. I've started listening to Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and am plodding away at Spin: How Politics Has the Power to Turn Marketing on Its Head. Thankfully I found my reading glasses to help with the small print in that one.

UP NEXT

I'll probably get to Catching A Storyfish by Janice N. Harrington, and The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid since they have to be returned to the library soon. I've also got a pile of picture books to get to. Next week I've got to pick up a box of books to read in preparation for being a juror for the Chocolate Lily book award. All my library reserves have been put on hold for a while.

PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS

#MUSTREADIN2017 1/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 1 in progress

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 2/50

Goodreads Reading Challenge 19/333

32 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to the second Narwhal and Jelly book. I have never read Year of the Book or any of the others in that series. After reading your thoughts I'm thinking I need to put it on my list. I have some readers in mind who I'm thinking might like the series.

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    1. They are very sweet books that appeal to many readers.

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  2. The Year of books do well with my 6th graders. Sad there won't be any more. The other boy has done okay, too.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that Karen. I noticed that the readers who liked them in grade 3 continued to read them as they got older, but I'm glad students still read them later on.

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  3. Wow, such a lot of books that sound wonderful, Cheriee. I'll be sure to find The Other Boy, and thanks for the one about Joshua Bell, too. Do you know The Man With The Violin? It's also about Bell. Have a great week! Love your picture at the march!

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    1. I have also read The Man with the Violin. Joshua Bell really is an amazing man.

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  4. YES! Wasn't the march incredible?!

    I'm definitely looking forward to that new Narwhal book, so sweet and fun.

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    1. It is just delightful. Narwhal's super power is heart warming.

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  5. I think you should continue to post your reviews of galleys and ARCs as you read them because that way the rest of us know what to add to our TBR list. I'm very excited for all the books you posted, especially The Year of the Garden. I think that one will be a hit with my students because they've liked the other books in the series. I'm looking forward to your full review. I haven't heard about The Other Boy. Definitely one to find.

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    1. Thanks Stacy for the advice. The Other Boy is a powerful and important read.

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  6. You've piqued my interest with Break and the Year of the Garden and the other books in this series. The Break sounds particularly interesting in a deep and sad sense.

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    1. The Break is unforgettable. It's dark, but there is also hope.

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  7. The Dance of the Violin looks like a great book! I'll have to check it out!

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    1. It is Jana. Kathy Stinson is a fine writer.

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  8. I can't wait for the next Narwhal and Jelly book!
    I write my posts as soon as I finish the ARCs, but I don't post them until a month or a month and a half before publishing. I may tweet that I finish it as soon as I read it, but wait for the actual post.

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    1. Thanks Michele for that information. Super Narwhal and Jelly is adorable.

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  9. Great job on the progress you've made for your reading challenges! So many awesome books you've shared today! Thank you! I will be on the lookout for The Other Boy. I have a bunch of middle grade novels waiting to be read so it might be a while before I could get myself a copy. Here's to more reading done this week! Cheers!

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Fats. The Other Boy will fit in with all the other middle grade books you have on the go.

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  10. A new Narwhal?!?!? I can't wait!!!
    And I was out and about on Saturday too! So proud to be a part of the marches.

    Happy reading this week :)

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  11. Awe, I love the "Year of the" books, and will be on the lookout for the newest release! Super Narwhal is new to me, but looks like a fab edition to my classroom library! Thanks for sharing so much.

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    1. Your students will love the Narwhal and Jelly books and you for bringing them into your classroom Nicole.

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  12. Thank you for The Other Boy! I am glad to read your review and will order it! I hope you've had a good day!

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    1. You are welcome Ricki. I think I liked this book about a transgender kid best of all the MG titles so far.

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  13. I love that you read everything from kidlit and picture books to middle grade and adult books within a week! You must really have a great idea of writing and mental development.

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    1. It helps that I am retired... I am trying to do some writing and find that the more I read, the more inspired (and intimidated) I am.

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  14. And I still haven't read the first Narwhal book! Time to order, methinks. I'm so excited about that series by Philip Reeve. My son (who is dyslexic) is just starting to read books independently and this sounds like a series he would really enjoy. He has been reading a ton of basketball biographies aloud to me and I AM SO BORED by them. So I'm hoping he can get behind goblins! I've read a few of Reeve's books for older readers and loved them. Need to binge his books too!

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    1. I looked up the reading level of the Goblins series for someone and found they are considered a grade 6.6 level, which is why I suggested them as a read aloud for younger readers. I hope your son can get into them!

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  15. I didn't even know there was going to be another nfpb about Joshua Bell. Thanks for sharing. Seeing pics of people participating in the Women's Marches always make me smile.

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    1. The march was a brilliant starting place to bring together people from many different perspectives. I've already been learning so much from reading both critical and positive articles about it.

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  16. I just ordered Do Not Say We Have Nothing - really looking forward to reading it. - Myra from GatheringBooks

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