#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.
It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. That first week, I was occupied with sewing and visiting my cousin in the hospital and just didn't get much reading in. Then we had company over the weekend so I scrapped writing that post.
I've had a better reading week this time round. I'm happy to state that my cousin has been released from the hospital and is now home. I've continued to sew like crazy. Although I'm not close to ready to start putting all the bits together, I finally decided to assemble one block of That Quilt to motivate me to continue on. I am impressed if I do say so myself.
BLOG POSTS THIS WEEK
Maxwell the Monkey Barber by Cale Atkinson CL
Maxwell is a cute little monkey who cuts and combs different animals hair. He's challenged when an elephant shows up, but manages to come up with a solution.
Although I likes the repetitious refrain, the rhythm of the poetry didn't work for me.
Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey by Margriet Ruurs & Nizar Badr (Contributor) CL
There is so much to love about this book. These images are remarkable. Combined with the poems, they are profoundly moving. I appreciate that the money from sales of this book goes to support refugee groups.
The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story by Kallie George & Stephanie Graegin (Illustrations) CL
Stephanie Graegin's illustrations are poignant and stunning in this delightful tale of four woodland friends who help Santa deliver a dropped present. I was charmed by all of these characters, but especially the grouchy squirrel.
In The Red Canoe by Leslie Davidson & Laura Bifano (Illustrations) CL
These beautiful illustrations and descriptive words capture a beautiful world of love and nature. The relationship between the child and grandfather is sublime. Unfortunately, the poetry didn't quite work for me.
Ooko by Esme Shapiro
This is a delightful book about friendship and being who you are meant to be. The illustrations are charming.
The Day I Became a Bird by Ingrid Chabbert, Raúl Nieto Guridi (Illustrations)
I am infatuated by anything these two artists create. At first I was kind of creeped out by this idea of trying to be someone or something you are not, in order to form a relationship with someone. Thankfully Sylvie, the bird fanatic, recognizes our hero for who he really is and loves him anyway. I think, perhaps, this is what good relationships are all about.
Public Library Enemy #1 (Jasper John Dooley #6) by Caroline Adderson, Mike Shiell (Illustrations) CL
This book is just delightful! Jasper is devastated when, with the help of his father, he accidentally kills his library book.
He's terrified to go back to the library even though he really wants to read to Molly, the dog.
Before it is all over, there is a toast stand, a pet reading party, and lots of sweet humour and delightful surprises.
The Missing Magic (The Magical Animal Adoption Agency #3) by Kallie George & Alexandra Boiger (Illustrations) CL
I was enchanted by this little chapter book about a girl who volunteers in a magic pet adoption agency. Clover does something she shouldn't, and this action causes near disaster for all the magical animals and people. To resolve the problem she has to learn to work collaboratively with Oliver, a fellow volunteer.
Jake Reynolds: Against the Tide by Sara Leach CL
This is a solid short novel for readers moving beyond chapter books. Multidimensional characters deal authentically with friendship issues. There is enough tension and action to keep readers engaged.
I really liked how supportive the adults are and that even the troubled kid seems to find a redemption of sorts.
Now I'll have to go and read the first in this series.
Word of Mouse by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein Joe Sutphin (Illustrations) & Chris Grabenstein (narrator) 3 stars
This was an ok read. It reminded me of Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, but with less depth. Still, I think some younger readers will find it interesting, and perhaps could be persuaded to read the classic tale afterwards.
Here is a sample of the audiobook.
A Rare Gift (Crystal Journals #1) by G.Rosemary Ludlow CL
This is the first in a series about a young girl who is 'chosen' by a magical crystal to be its guardian. The crystal takes her through time and space to help people who need it. At first Susan is very unhappy with this responsibility, but by the end of her first adventure, aiding a young orphaned boy on an immigrant ship on it's way to New York, she has accepted and even appreciates the challenge of the crystal. Ludlow integrates historical detail seamlessly in this novel.
Pharaoh's Tomb (Crystal Journals #2) by G. Rosemary Ludlow CL
In this book Susan travels back in time to ancient Egypt and the creation of the crystals. She is adopted by an evil magician. Eventually, she makes friends with the grand vizier's son, but is instantly despised by Neferure, daughter of the ruler.
I appreciate Ludlow's ability to entertain and educate me about many aspects of life at that time. The book has plenty of action and suspense.
I want this to be 3.5 stars. It might have been more except that I had a hard time dealing with a plot that posits a young female character in conflict with other female characters, especially when the reason is jealousy over a boy.
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee & Emily Woo Zeller (narrator)
I wanted to like this more than I actually did. I appreciate the diverse cast of characters. Two girls, Samantha, a Chinese American, and Annamae, a runaway slave, pose as boys as they flee across America on the Oregon Trail. Along the way they connect up with a crew of three cowboys. There is just a bit of romance that will appeal to older readers.
I acknowledge that as a Canadian, I am woefully ignorant about the Oregon Trail. Still it bothered me was that there were so few mentions of the indigenous people who inhabited the country they crossed. It reads as though the group are travelling across empty landscapes. There are a few mentions of bow and arrows being acquired from different people, but the people themselves are profoundly missing.
Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart
I had a hard time with this book. It felt too much like Lord of the Flies, a book I hated when I had to read it in high school, a very very long time ago. I tried to ignore, and even skipped over some of the more intense violent bullying episodes. Eventually though, somewhere in there I was hooked on the story and couldn't stop reading.
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Nothing compares to a brilliantly written middle grade novel! This is one of them. Sloan writes beautiful characters, puts them in situations where we get to watch them grow and mature, all the while making us fall in love with them. I adore this diverse collection of actors working on a theater production of The Wizard of Oz. I especially appreciate that the author shows us how important the arts are in our lives.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
OMG! Swooooon. This book is so beautiful I had to keep writing down quotes from it. It takes place in one day in New York City. A young man of Korean ancestry and a young Jamaican girl whose family is about to be deported meet and fall in love. This is one of those books that you don't want to miss. I've come to the conclusion that if Nicola Yoon writes it, I'll read it.
It's almost impossible to come up with one quote that resonated most with me, but since I'm writing this on a Sunday, I'll give you this one:
"God is the connection of the very best parts of us."
I'm currently listening to Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I've started a library book, The Left Handed Fate by Kate Millford, and Everyday Hero by Kathleen Cherry, a Chocolate Lily candidate. I've got another audiobook on the go, but I've forgotten about it. I think I have a netgalley title I should be attending to also.
I'm digging into the box of Chocolate Lily contenders and plan to read Root Beer Candy and other Miracles by Shari Green as well as at least 2 others from there. There are two titles by Becky Citra, one of my favourite BC authors, in the box, but I'm saving those for when I need a special reading treat.
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
#MUSTREADNFIN2017 1/12, 1 in progress
50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 11/50
Chocolate Lily (CL) 33/52
Goodreads Reading Challenge 110/333