#IMWAYR September 16, 2019

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

I've missed a couple of weeks. First I went camping with friends away from internet. We were in the middle of a forest beside a gorgeous lake. I wish I had thought to take a photograph or two, but I was too busy reading, swimming and visiting. Then we arrived home to 250 pounds of ripe tomatoes ready for preserving. It was a good thing I lazed around while camping, because I put in ten hour days canning tomatoes, making juice, salsa and sauce. Thank goodness for audiobooks!




If you clink on the title link it will take you to the book's Goodreads page.

BLOG POSTS LAST WEEK

Poetry Friday August 30, 2019: Miserable Physics
Poetry Friday September 12, 2019
#MustReadIn2019 September Update
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
And Then the Seed Grew by Marianne Dubuc

PICTURE BOOKS



4 stars
And Then the Seed Grew by Marianne Dubuc

When I got over my difficulty reading this on my ipad because of formatting issues, I ended up enchanted by this book.  Like all of Duboc's work, it's fascinating and a bit mind bending. Readers can spend a lot of time poring over the artwork and pondering meanings. You can read my full review at the link above.
Marianne Dubuc is a Canadian author.🍁

3 stars
Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

This isn't my favourite Ed Vere book. It's a little bit too dark and twisted for me. While I was reading it I anticipated my 2 1/2 year old grandkids reaction to a monster coming to eat them. I don't think it will lead to sweet dreams. That said, I suspect that more sophisticated readers might find it hilarious.

5 stars
Gondra's Treasure by Linda Sue Park

I might love this more than others will because the story fits my granddaughter's life. Her mother is Korean and her father is a mixture of all kinds of backgrounds, primarily German. Their daughter is like like the child dragon in this story, half east and half west. She is our treasure, just like Gondra is theirs.
There is too much text on the page to entertain a two year old, but the two of us enjoyed looking at the gorgeous artwork. She pointed to the little dragon and called it Ada dragon and identified the adults as Mommy and Daddy. She loved the flying images and claimed that she would fly someday. I guess that's enough for her age.

5 stars
The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone & Michael J. Smollin (Illustrator)

This was a favourite of both my sons when they were young, so it was a delight to introduce my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter to it. At our first reading, she told me she was scared of monsters. The next time she made me stop reading because she didn't want to get to the end of the book. I'm certain Grover loved her for it. However, in the space of 48 hours, we probably read this book 6 times. I'm not sure if she understands it, or if it's just that she likes Grandma reading with all that expression.

5 stars
Up the Mountain Path by Marianne Dubuc

This is a picture book for all ages. Every Sunday Mrs. Badger hikes to the top of Sugarloaf Peak. One day a young cat, Lulu, approaches her and Mrs Badger encourages her to come along. During their weekly treks she schools the cat on how to live in harmony with the environment and live a rich and satisfying life. When Mrs Badger can no longer make the climb, Lulu continues without her, but always returns to tell how what she saw. Eventually Lulu is shown taking a young rabbit to the top.
I have climbed to the top of a high mountain and looked up at the world in 360 degree magnificence, and completely understand why "Lulu doesn't say a word. She's on top of the world."
This book is satisfying on so many levels. The artwork is sublime. The deeply philosophical message scratches my itch for profundity in children's picture books. It's a beautiful story highlighting the cycle of life and our responsibilities towards others.
Marianne Dubuc is a Canadian author.🍁

NOVELS

3 stars
The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

I like this book a lot. It’s the story of a group of children who go out of their way to help a new student in their classroom. It turns out that he is a refugee who has arrived in Britain without his parents. His four new friends get themselves into a mess of trouble trying to reunite them, but fortunately it all works out in the end.
I like the message behind this book. Children are much more accepting than adults. I liked that we don’t know the gender of the protagonist till near the end. I appreciated the supportive teachers and parents these children have.
I do have a few quibbles. These characters seem very young for their age so I’m not sure how this will work for older readers. I also wonder about navigating the British cultural aspects and nomenclature for North American readers.

5 stars
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo & Roger Clark, Jay Snyder, Elizabeth Evans, Fred Berman, Brandon Rubin, Kevin T. Collins, Lauren Fortgang, Peter Ganim (Narrators)

This is the second in the Six of Crows series. If possible, I loved it even more than the first. All the characters are at least slightly damaged by circumstances before they became members of the Dregs, a street gang run by one of them. We learn much more about each of them in this novel. Give me good characters and I can read just about anything. This book has that and all kinds of adventure, excitement, and intrigue. I sure hope Leigh Bardugo hurries up and gets the next one written soon!
Listening to the audio has the feel of a radio play because the different characters are narrated by different actors.

5 stars
Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London #7) by Ben Aaronovitch & Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Narrator)

I read this with my eyes last February, but as soon as my library brought in the audio, I put it on hold. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is Peter Grant. I am infatuated with the character and his voice. Everyone I recommend this series to ends up adoring it. Give it a try!

3.5 stars
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers

kit, deliberately spelled without a capital letter, is a young girl who is already grappling with too much. Turning into a naked mole rat when she gets stressed doesn't exactly help. I liked a lot about this quirky novel, but all the issues seemed overwhelming.
I am in the middle of writing a more detailed review, which I'll publish next week.
Karen Rivers is a Canadian author.🍁

5 stars
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

The most important thing you need to know about this book is that the writing is so beautiful it made me ache. These characters, as flawed and fabulous as they are, will claim a place in your heart. What more do you need in a book?
You can read my full review at the link above.

4 stars
The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman

Alba is an inspirational character for elementary aged readers. She has a goal to run the school’s annual two km run. The problem is that she’s still wearing a cast from her most recent surgery to correct her clubfoot. Her best friend, Levi, has his own issues with asthma. The two of them suspect that their teacher librarian has a wormhole in her office.
Alba works very hard to get her new foot in shape for the run and ends up being successful even if it wasn’t what she first wanted.
I loved the characters in this novel. The adults are caring and responsible. Alba’s concerns about her peers laughing at her turn out to be unfounded. On the contrary, they end up being very supportive.
Michelle Kadarusman is a Canadian author.🍁

5 stars
A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry & Mónica Armiño (Illustrator)

I sat down and devoured this in one sitting. It is a beautiful read from start to finish. It's the story of a young wolf, Swift, who ends up separated from his family. He travels a long distance before finding a new place to call home and changing his name. I love that it is told from his perspective. I appreciated the black and white illustrations.
The back matter is full of information about OR-7 the real wolf the story is based on. It also includes pages full of details about other animals, wolves in general, and the 1000 mile journey OR-7 traveled alone.
If I was still teaching I would be reading this one to my class ASAP.

4 stars
The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #11) by Louise Penny & Robert Bathurst (Narrator)

A young boy's murder sends Gamache and the citizens of Three Pines searching the past for the creator of a deadly weapon, and into the present for who might be wanting to keep it a secret.
I worried about whether or not this audiobook would work for me since Ralph Cosham, who narrated the previous books, died of cancer after finishing The Long Way Home. It didn't take long before I was believing in Robert Bathurst's voice as Gamache.

4 stars
A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #12) by Louise Penny & Robert Bathurst (Narrator)

Gamache takes a job as head of the Sûreté academy in an effort to change the way cadets are trained. He ends up dealing with a murder and moves four young cadets, who were involved with the victim, to Three Pines to protect them. By the end of the book, I was only sorry that the victim died so quickly.

I think it's pretty evident that I am addicted to this series. I'm already listening to the next one.

NONFICTION

5 stars
March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin (Goodreads Author), Nate Powell (Illustrator)

It's one thing to know about something in a kind of abstract way. It's a different thing completely to delve more deeply into it. Book Two brings the reader into an intimate awareness of what it meant to be a Freedom Rider. It's not easy to be there. I couldn't read this book without again and again setting it aside for a few minutes to catch my breath and let my fear and fury ease off.

CURRENTLY

I'm reading Just Lucky by Melanie Florence on my device. The nonfiction title I have on the go is This Was Logging by Ralph W. Andrews. I'm listening to Glass Houses by Louise Penny.

UP NEXT

I plan to get to Operatic by Kyo Maclear, Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt, and Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer. I'm also hoping to get to another netgalley title, Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo.

PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS

#MustReadIn2018 21/25

#MustReadNFIn2018 11/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 18/25 - one in process

25 books by Canadian Authors 53/25

Big Book Reading Challenge 10/4

Goodreads Reading Challenge 289/333


Poetry Friday September 12, 2019

Poetry Friday is hosted today by children's author & poet, Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids. She is showing off Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle, her final published book of 2019. It's a delightful, rhyming, nonfiction picture book that shows different animals getting ready for winter. If you are really creative, do some poeming to let her know how you get ready for those colder months!

When you are done admiring other's posted poems, make sure to check out the links to other participants sharing poetry today.

Carol Varsalona and I have switched hosting dates. Carol will be hosting September 27, 2019 at Beyond LiteracyLink, and I will take on her date, October 4, 2019, here at Library Matters.

In 1958, I was five when my family joined other relatives on a logging and homesteading adventure into the Pine River region of Northern British Columbia.
I'm committed to sharing a bit every week so that I don't give up. (with time out for camping and canning of course) I appreciate feedback on the construction of the poetry and ideas and questions about what information might be missing.
I am almost done with this part of the story. I'm still trying to determine if I should write this whole thing in present or past tense.


This poem might not make sense if you have not read the previous poem here. My mother told me about having to make this decision in one of our conversations about this event many years ago.

Difficult Decision 

Mommy had to make a choice.

If Daddy made it through the night
he would be airlifted to Vancouver.

Did she want to see him?

Uncle Wilf would take her.

They both knew it might be her last chance
to see him alive,
to say goodbye.

But it was a five hour journey
with no guarantees at the end.

And she was responsible
for five small children

So,
Mommy bet on Daddy’s strength
and started packing.


Here are links to previous poems in this collection.

Leaving
Characters
Journey
Arrival
Preparedness
Ready and Willing
Larder
Laundry
Diaper Duty
Skunk Trouble
Working
Pawns
Crossing
Bath Time
invincible 
Explorer
Time For Fun
First Snow

Miserable Physics

Snack, Snooze, Skedaddle, her final published book of 2019. It's a delightful rhyming nonfiction picture book that shows different animals getting ready for winter. If you are really creative you can poem up


Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

I am a Jacqueline Woodson fan, so I was thrilled when NetGalley gave me the opportunity to review this book. It will be released September 17, 2019, by Riverhead Books. Preorder a copy or two for your library.

The beauty of Jacqueline Woodson's writing always fills me with awe. This book is no exception. It is page after page of breathtakingly beautiful prose.

This story is told from the perspectives of five different characters. Iris and Aubrey are just teens when, at the age of fifteen, they become parents to Melody. Sabe and Sammy “Po’Boy” Simmons are Iris' parents. Through Aubrey and Iris' memories we meet Aubrey's mother. As a reader, characters are everything to me. Woodson's gift is to give us fictional people we can believe in. I ached for all of them within the first few pages.

The narrative moves back and forth in time. It begins with a coming of age celebration for sixteen year old Melody, but goes back to the race riots and bombing of Tulsa in 1921, Iris's teen pregnancy, and forward into the future when only two of them are left. Woodson explores class, racism, sexuality, religion, and ultimately, loving and belonging.

Red at the Bone is a quiet contemplative kind of book. Nothing exciting really happens. It's a slow melancholy reveal with characters showing us: This is who we are. This is our life, our history. This is how we’ve handled the cards we’ve been dealt. This is how we feel.

I promise that you will be right there with them.

I loved everything about this book and you will too. I don't want to hear it if you don't. 

#MustReadIn2019 September Update

Carrie Gelson at There's a Book for That, hosts #MustRead. I have been joining in for the past couple of years. If you have a "want to read" list on Goodreads (or somewhere else) that goes on forever, then you might be interested in joining. All you have to do is choose any number of specific books on that list, and do your best to read them all.
A few times a year Carrie reminds us that it's time to be accountable and post an update of how we are doing. It's a good thing for me since knowing these times are coming up reminds me to focus regularly on reading from my lists. You can see the list of participants on Carrie's Blog here.

This year I created a number of different reading goals from my never ending and always expanding want to read list on Goodreads. My goals were to read at least a specific number of books from different lists including some general fiction, some nonfiction, some from Canadian Indigenous authors, and finally, to read Canadian. You can see my original goals here.

I've done well so far except that I need to read more Indigenous literature. You might also notice that there is some crossover here. I have decided it's ok. 


Here is what I've completed since the last update.

#MustReadin2019 Fiction
I read another eleven of the books on my list bringing my total to 20/25. I also have one on the go! 


Go to this Goodreads list if you want to read more about these books.



The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Meet Yasmin!  by Saadia Faruqi
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman
Under Suspicion (Friday Barnes #2) by R.A. Spratt
Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #2) by Jessica Townsend

#MustReadIn2019 Non Fiction


I have read another six of these bringing my total up to eleven. All of them were brilliant. 


Go to this Goodreads list if you want to read more about these books.



The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry by David L. Carlson
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King
Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy by Manjusha Pawagi
Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod
March: Book Two by John Robert Lewis
Too Young to Escape by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Canadian Indigenous Authors
I've read twelve more of my goal of twenty five, bringing my total to eighteen. I've got one on the go. Here is what I've read since our last update. (One of these Indigenous authors is not Canadian)


Go to this Goodreads list if you want to read more about these books.




Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock by Dallas Hunt
The Case of Windy Lake by Michael Hutchinson
Cold Skies by Thomas King
DreadfulWater Shows Up by Hartley GoodWeather
The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette
I Can’t Have Bannock But The Beaver Has A Dam by Bernelda Wheeler
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King
Li Minoush: Thomas and His Cat by Bonnie Murray 
Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod
The Red Power Murders by Thomas King
Tilly by Monique Gray Smith 
When a Ghost Talks, Listen (How I Became A Ghost, Book 2) by Tim Tingle

Canadian Authors

So far this year I have read forty eight titles by Canadian authors. I'm well over my goal of twenty five, but sill feel like I need to do more to highlight the amazing talent we have here. Here's what I've added since April. 

Go to this Goodreads list if you want to read more about these books.



The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8) by Louise Penny
The Case of Windy Lake (A Mighty Muskrats Mystery #1) by Michael Hutchinson, 
Cold Skies by Thomas King
DreadfulWater Shows Up by Hartley GoodWeather (Thomas King)
Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith
Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman,
The Golden Tresses of the Dead (Flavia de Luce, #10) by Alan Bradley,
A Great Reckoning (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #12) by Louise Penny
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Haunted Hills and Hanging Valleys: Selected Poems 1969-2004 by Peter Trower
How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9) by Louise Penny
The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King
The Journals of Susanna Moodie by Margaret Atwood,
The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10) by Louise Penny 
Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy by Manjusha Pawagi,
Love From A to Z  by S.K. Ali,
Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J McLeod, .
The Missing Donut by Judith Henderson
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers 
The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11) by Louise Penny
Now You're Logging! by Bus Griffiths,
OCDaniel by Wesley King
Otto and Pio by Marianne Dubuc
The Red Power Murders by Thomas King
The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman
Today by Julie Morstad
Too Young to Escape by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch
A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7) by Louise Penny
What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan
A World Below by Wesley King
You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey


And Then the Seed Grew by Marianne Dubuc

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released released September 3, 2019, by Kids Can Press.

The Goodreads description begins:

In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, little Jack and Mr. Gnome live above the ground, while Yvonne the mole, the Field Mouse family, Paulie the earthworm and Colette the ant live below the ground. Everybody is happy in the garden. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which soon sprouts into a plant. As the plant begins to grow (and grow, and grow), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those aboveground, and its roots disrupt the homes and passageways of those underground. Before long, the plant has gotten so large, it has become a huge problem for the garden's residents. So, the friends decided they must chop it down. Unless ... wait! What's that growing on the plant? 
read more here

I had trouble when I first tried to read this on my iPad. The story is composed of double page spreads that are integral to understanding what's going on. On my device, I was only able to read one page at a time. It also seemed a bit wordy and the font is very small. I went through some rigmarole to figure out which pages went together. I even brought a couple into Photoshop to see what the full spread would look like. It worked much better seeing this bigger picture, but the font is still too small.



When I finally figured out how the pages fit together and went to the trouble of combining them, I loved the artwork. I can see younger students poring over the details. Heck, I was fascinated by the cross sections of the animal abodes under ground.

I ended up enjoying the story. There are layers of meaning to ponder and messages of all sorts to take away from it. It addresses adapting to change, understanding the systemic nature of the environment, and working together with others, just to start. I am left wondering what students will take out of it.

The ending is a bit humorous, but I can imagine a heated discussion with students about what the community should do.

Poetry Friday August 30th, 2019

Poetry Friday is hosted today by children's author & poet, Kathryn Apel at The Kat’s Whiskers. She shares two Aussie verse novels and has an exciting announcement about her new picture book. When you are done admiring all that, make sure to check out the links to other participants sharing poetry today.

I'm travelling on Friday but will be sure to connect up with all your posts as soon as I am connected to the internet again! I'll be away camping next week so I'm not sure if I will be able to connect up with you next week.



In 1958, I was five when my family joined other relatives on a logging and homesteading adventure into the Pine River region of Northern British Columbia.

I'm committed to sharing a bit every week so that I don't give up. I appreciate feedback on the construction of the poetry and ideas and questions about what information might be missing.
I have one or two poems left in this part of the story. 

Miserable Physics


early December

headlights cut through
the afternoon darkness
of another winter storm

a truck fishtailed on the ice

before sliding into the snowed lot
beside our cabin

Uncle Wilf, 

who worked with Daddy,
emerged from the vehicle,
his face unusually somber

us kids were happy to see him

but as he entered

Mommy froze


went quiet


just looked at him


eyes wide open


lips already forming


the word


no


Evy,

his voice cracked,
I'm so sorry

she collapsed

into his arms
whimpering

her voice

an anguished
invocation
of denial

no, no, no,

not my Donny

uncle held her

as she wept

sitting at the table

he revealed details

a tree

a snag
back broken
internal injuries

Don would be on his way

air ambulance to Vancouver
next morning

didn't know how bad it was

didn't know if he would make it

more didn't need to be said


hanging between them

was the god awful truth of
Uncle Len, Wilf’s twin,
who, having met the same fate
a few years earlier,
was now confined
to a wheelchair

both knew it was

the best to be expected

on that day

those twin demons,
fear and grief
took possession of our home
and our lives

standing there watching it unravel,

I understood only that
something had happened to
my Daddy
knew nothing about what it meant

only that it was real bad



Today's poem has been the most challenging to write. So many buried emotions have come roiling to the surface. I feel like I don't do the event justice. In the process of writing I spoke to my siblings about how they imagined our mother would react. I've come to realize that I alone have memories of who my parents were in those days before my father's accident. This has helped me make more sense of the direction my relationship with my mother veered into later on. 

My brother thinks I should have named this one Widowmaker, but I thought it might give too much away. What do you think?


Here are links to previous poems in this collection.


Leaving

Characters

Journey

Arrival

Preparedness 

Ready and Willing 

Larder

Laundry

Diaper Duty

Skunk Trouble

Working

Pawns

Crossing

Bath Time

invincible 

Explorer
Time For Fun
First Snow


#IMWAYR August 26, 2019

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

I managed to get a lot of reading accomplished last week. I've discovered that I have to get up early to read before my granddaughter wakes up and demands my attention. Thanks to absorbing audiobooks, the garden is (temporarily) under control, I've cleaned out my closets and dressers, and I have washed all the crystals in the four chandeliers. They do look pretty and sparkly, but I would never put something like this in. They were here when we moved in.


If you clink on the title link it will take you to the book's goodreads page. 




BLOG POSTS LAST WEEK

Poetry Friday August 23, 2019: Honouring LBH and First Snow

PICTURE BOOKS


4 stars
Today by Julie Morstad 

This book is a wonderful celebration and acceptance of all the ways we humans are different.
Julie Morstad is a Canadian author who lives in my home town.🍁


3.5 stars
Another by Christian Robinson

I read this twice. I understand what the author is doing here - showing many different ways to see and be in the world, including possibilities for an individual to be more, but it didn't quite work for me.


5 stars
The Visitor by Antje Damm

This is one of those picture books that works for readers of all ages. On the one hand it's a lovely story about an unusual friendship. On a more profound level, it's a story about overcoming fear. Too many older people are fearful of, and complain about youth. The Visitor shows us how important multigenerational relationships are for all of us.

NONFICTION PICTURE BOOKS


4 stars
A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade & Veronica Miller Jamison (Illustrator)

I appreciate this biography for the younger set about Katherine Johnson, an important person in the history of NASA and space travel. I learned about her from the movie, Hidden Figures, but appreciated learning about her early life in this book.


5+ stars
The Crayon Man: the True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons by Natascha Biebow & Steven Salerno (Illustrator)

Just Wow! I could go on and on and on about why you should own this book, but this review from SLJ, by Eliazbeth Bird says everything I can think of, only better.
I am thoroughly impressed by the words and the art. I love the historical perspective. It begins with what Edwin Binney was creating before he started working on coloured crayons for children. It takes us through the process of coming up with a finished product and then in the back matter, takes the reader into a factory where crayons are created today.
I would love to have a copy of this to read during the first weeks of school.

NOVELS


4 stars
Finding Orion by John David Anderson

Orion Kwirk's father and grandfather are estranged. When Papa Kwirk dies, he has set a sequence of events into motion, beginning with a singing clown bringing news of his death. When they return to his father's home town for the funeral, the family ends up on a scavenger hunt.
The title of this book is more profound upon finishing this book. When you are immersed in the story, on the surface it seems to be more about finding out where Papa Kwirk's body is, and apart from his annual Christmas visits, who he was as a person. In the process, Orion also discovers more about his immediate family, himself, and how he belongs in it.


3 stars
Under Suspicion (Friday Barnes #2) by R.A. Spratt

Mostly I liked this mystery. Someone is digging holes all over the grounds of the private school Friday attends. As Friday solves mini mysteries throughout the book, the holes create their own kind of chaos and seem to make no sense to anyone, not even Friday.
I mostly love the humour that flavours this book and had me laughing out loud a time or two. Here's a sample:
"Friday turned to Melanie, but she’d already dropped off to sleep again. Friday could see why Melanie never got in trouble. As far as teachers were concerned, she was the ideal student. She never interrupted or asked difficult questions, and they never had to grade her assignments because she never handed them in."
I found the description of the relationship between Friday and Ian, another student at the school, problematic. Melanie, Friday’s best and only friend, insists that Ian is infatuated with Friday. Most of the time though, Ian is essentially nasty to Friday. This is not what we want girls to accept under any circumstance. He manages to redeem himself by the end of the book, but I'm still not happy with this.


4 stars
The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Emily Windsnap #1) by Liz Kessler & Finty Williams (Narrator)

This was a delightful surprise. I would never have gotten around to reading this except that it was on my recommendations from kid readers list. Emily Windsnap lives with her single mom on a boat. She is a strong girl who, at her first swimming lesson, discovers that she is half merperson. The book is full of excitement, fantasy and adventure with a despicable villain to boot. Luckily, the power of love wins out in the end.


4 stars
The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #10) by Louise Penny & Ralph Cosham (Narrator)

When Peter Morrow does not return home after living a year apart from his wife, Clara, she eventually goes to Gamache for help. A collection of individuals from Three Pines set out searching for him.
I adore Louise Penny’s characters. This is why this ending is so devastating. I shouldn’t have stayed up late at night to finish it because afterwards I had trouble sleeping.
I'm obsessed with this series. I'm sure it has nothing to do with catching up to where my sister is, but she is the one who got me started.
Louise Penny is a Canadian author 🍁


4 stars
Just Call My Name (I'll Be There #2) by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I love connecting with characters I've met in previous novels, so it was a no brainer I would enjoy visiting with them again here. This sequel has lots of tension and suspense for those who like these things. I survived it. What I appreciate most about this novel, and the prequel, is how Holly Goldberg Sloan positions privileged teens with those who are in distress and brings them together with positive outcomes. This book shows us that being a survivor isn't easy, but that redemption is always possible, especially when we have help.


4 stars
Carnival Catastrophe (The Problim Children #2) by Natalie Lloyd

What I admire about these books isn't the plot so much as it is the character development. In this book it is especially true about Mona. While she is fair of face, Mona has a darker side. She has to learn to find the good in everyone and let them know she sees it. It isn't easy.
That said, the plot, full of suspense and action, is impressive too. I only wish it didn't end on a cliffhanger.

GRAPHIC

5 stars
Now You're Logging! by Bus Griffiths 

I started this book as research to understand the world of logging. It became much more than this. I am still blown away. Bus Griffith's graphic novel showcases logging in the 1930's. I know the kinds of men portrayed here. They are my grandfather and uncles, especially the older ones. My younger uncles and father logged using chainsaws instead of crosscuts, but much of the industry, and certainly the culture, were similar. The romantic sections are a bit hokey, but I was charmed by the innocence of it.
I appreciated Griffith's explanations of the logging vernacular and his detailed descriptions of the different tasks involved.
The art is gorgeously detailed while the text is nearly poetic in places. I plan to use the phrase, 'It's colder than a timber tycoon's heart,' this coming winter.
My library copy is a 35th anniversary edition of a book that was partly written in the 1940's and first published in 1978.
Try and get a copy for the loggers in your life. It would make a fabulous gift. You will enjoy it too.
I finished it yesterday but want to start reading it all over again. I'll have to return my library copy and purchase my own.
Bus Griffiths is a deceased Canadian author.🍁

CURRENTLY

I'm listening to Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. I'm reading The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf and a collection of poetry, Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children by Shannon Bramer. On my device I'm reading a Netgalley copy of Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.

UP NEXT

I'm hoping to get to Silver Meadows Summer by Emma Otheguy, The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman, A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry, Just Lucky by Melanie Florence and Gondra's Treasure by Linda Sue Park. With luck I'll also get the picture book pile under control.

PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS

#MustReadIn2018 17/25 one in process

#MustReadNFIn2018 10/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 18/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 45/25

Big Book Reading Challenge 9/4 one in process

Goodreads Reading Challenge 273/333