Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for reviewing it. Let me say before I go any farther, that you are going to want to preorder your copy for September 5, 2017. If you haven't read the first in the series, Mighty Jack, you better order it too. You don't have to take my word for it, eight year old Payton, who read my digital copy while we were camping, was mesmerized by the story and is now hooked on graphic novels.

In this sequel to Ben Hatke's Mighty Jack, the illustrations once again explode with rich colours and magnificent depictions of other worlds. Readers are guaranteed to spend hours immersed in the splendour of these details.

Spoiler alert here! If you haven't read the first book, you might want to skip this next bit.

The story begins where Mighty Jack ends, with Jack and Lily chasing after the ogre who has taken Jack's sister, Maddy. Jack's emotional state impairs his ability to think clearly. He's impervious to Lily's attempts to talk sense to him. Soon Jack leaps into a fight with a larger and more powerful foe and Lily saves him, but at great cost to herself. Still nothing can impress caution in Jack, and undaunted, he continues on. Lily follows him.

As the two of them cross a rotting vine bridge, they are attacked and separated. From this point on, in a series of one action packed scene after another, the story alternates between their separate adventures.

Before Jack can reach them, the ogre takes Maddy into what seems to be an impenetrable fortress. Responding to a cry for help, Jack helps an old goblin, Jerry, make his way back into the pipes on the outside of the building. This good deed is rewarded when Jerry and his friend Tig show Jack how to climb up the pipes to get into the fortress. 

Meanwhile, Lily is in serious trouble. If rats didn't terrify you before, they probably will now.

Luckily she is rescued from her battle with the rats by a group of goblins who treat her with goblin medicine. I adore the energy, charm, and language of these goblins. They remind me of Skarper in Philip Reeve's Goblin series. From the goblins Lily learns that they are at a Nexus Point, "a place of connection between several worlds." This place and other worlds have been taken over by giants and rats.  

Just as Jack is about to leap in to rescue Maddy, and probably kill himself in the process, Phelix, Maddy's dragon friend saves him from his foolhardy attempt. They come up with a plan. Phelix will wait on the top of the fortress for them and fly them to safety once Jack has freed Maddy. Once inside, Jack discovers that Maddy is to be fed to 'the beast.' It's here that we make a connection to the original Jack In The Beanstalk tale, when the ogre states that the beast will, "boil her blood and grind her bones."

It looks like Lily has landed in clover until it is revealed that she is expected to be the bride of the Goblin King. Rather than marry the him, Lily challenges him to single combat. 

There is much in this book that enthralled me. Humour makes it's appearance in many of these scenes with the goblins, such as where where, 'the Majestic Goblin Hideaway' is a sewer, and when the Goblin King asks his followers, "Is make me look fat?"

This is a satisfying read with even a bit of romance. I finally got some of my questions answered about the man who sold those beans to Jack in the first place. It doesn't seem to be a big deal in the book, but I was excited that Maddy started to talk and eventually spoke Lily's name. The title is a delightful surprise. I love that Lily is set out on her own trajectory that will include the other children, but she sure isn't following Jack anymore.

I was not expecting this ending, and am now waiting for the next book in the series. It's full of promise of more adventures to come. The worst thing about finishing this book is that the next one isn't ready yet.

I hate to wait.

The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson

This is the true story of Nokomis (Grandmother) Josephine Mandamin who began Mother Earth Water Walkers, a movement of women (and men), who walk to raise awareness of how precious water is to us.

Nokomis loved nibi (water) in all its iterations. 

Nokomis gathered her friends around her, and in 2003, they set out walking around the Great Lakes. A movement was begun. She herself has worn out three knees and eleven pairs of sneakers. In 2005 she walked almost 4,500,000 steps for water!

The story is told using Ojibwe vocabulary. At first this was disconcerting but I was mostly able to figure out the story without peeking into the glossary at the end of the book. The illustrations help to make the new vocabulary clear. I still went back and reread it a few times to check my interpretations.

The illustrations are bright and bold with stylized people and lots of colour. I love how Nokomis' love of nibi is captured in the first pages. 

Later on the images reveal all the ways water is threatened; from individuals letting water run while brushing their teeth, to corporations spilling oil and dumping toxins into oceans.

My only wish is that the text was formatted differently. It is small and some pages are almost overwhelmed by it. 

This is an important book to use during a unit on the hydrosphere with all ages of students. It pushes beyond basic understanding of the water cycle into its importance for our survival. At the same time as it introduces readers to cultural awareness of nibi, it directs students of all ages to think politically about water. Perhaps they can come up with their own powerful ways to answer the Ogimaa's question, What are you going to do about it?

Josephine Mandamin is an indigenous woman from Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island. She now lives in Thunder Bay Ontario, Canada. Click here to find out more about Mother Earth Water Walkers.

#IMWAYR August 28, 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. 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.

It's quiet on the home front this week since my son and daughter-in-law have taken my granddaughter to Korea to meet family there. Not only have I managed to get some serious reading in with eyes, thanks to audiobooks, I'm almost finished scrubbing out the kitchen cabinets.


Patina by Jason Reynolds

Max and Bird by Ed Vere


5 stars
Zoe And The Fawn by Catherine Jameson, Julie Flett (Illustrator)

I just want to gush about this book.
Catherine Jameson, the author, is Shuswap/Okanagan and the story includes Okanagan (Syilx) language in the book.
When a young girl and her father go out to look at the new foal on their land, they spy a spotted fawn under a tree. Then they go off in search of its mother. The patterned phrasing is reminiscent of Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman and will facilitate learning to read.
It was in on the shelf at my local library and had to pick it up because of Julie Flett. Her illustrations are, as usual, just beautiful. I grew up in the Okanagan valley, and her images have captured the landscape of my heart.

5 star
Hello Humpback! by Roy Henry Vickers & Robert Budd, illustrated by Roy Henry Vickers (board book)

This book makes me happy. The rhythm and rhyming pattern have much to do with it. With only 40 words, it's one of those perfect books for beginning readers! There's a tactile component to the illustrations that encourages the reader to caress the illustrations. Even without this, they are spectacular. Traditional renditions of different animals and plants are highlighted against exuberantly colourful backgrounds. One page is filled with a variety of labeled ocean animals and plants. This does interrupt the flow of the story, but will be appealing for readers to go back and pore over. Check it out here!
I'm going to have to purchase copies for my grand babies! I tested it with my grandson, Everett, tonight and he stayed focused through it. I think that means he loves it!


5 stars
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People by Monica Brown & Julie Paschkis (Illustrator)

This picture book biography is absolutely glorious. Julie Paschkis' illustrations are exquisite. Words are imbedded into every possible aspect of them. Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was also a "student, a diplomat, a senator, an activist and a fugitive."
This biography does everything I want a book like this to do. It made me curious to know more about him and his poetry.


4 stars

Lola Levine Is Not Mean! by Monica Brown & Angela Dominguez (Illustrator)

I like Lola a lot! She epitomizes much of what we want for our children. She's an athlete and a writer. Lola has some pretty cool parents too. When Lola ends up accidentally hurting someone during a soccer game, she does her best to make amends.
I have two quibbles with this book. First, I was uncomfortable with the mean girl cliche. Second, what's with this liking of boys and or girls 'in that way' in kindergarten and or grade two?


4 stars
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock & Robbie Daymond, Jorjeana Marie, Karissa Vacker and Erin Tripp (narrators) 

I listened to this book because it was on the Walden book shortlist and just happened to be available at my library. It tells the story of four teenagers: Ruth, Dora, Alyce and Hank, growing up in Alaska in the 1960'sNone of them have easy lives. I love the promise and hope for the future that I was left with after reading this novel. 
There is some controversy about this book, and I appreciated reading Debbie Reese's concerns as well as the responses in the comments section of her blog. I agree that it would have been good had Dora's parents' history been there to put the abuse into perspective. At the same time, this is set in 1970 and I don't think we even spoke about residential schools at that time. 

4 stars

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Matthew is a 12 year old kid whose OCD has gotten to the point where he can't leave his house for fear of germs. He spends his time watching the world outside his window and taking notes. Then Teddy, his neighbour's fifteen month old grandson, disappears. Matty might be the only one who can help the police.
I enjoyed this novel. I can't say how authentic the aspects dealing with Matthew's mental health issues are, but they felt real to me. The mystery component was fascinating. Lisa Thompson has created complicated characters as seen through Matthew's eyes. Mr Jenkins, the PE teacher is everyone's worst teacher nightmare, but Teddy's older sister, Casey, is the creepiest kid I've ever seen.

5 stars
That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

This was an eminently satisfying read. I don't say that lightly. It's a book that sucks you deep into its reality and when it spits you out at the end, something significant has happened. It's populated with complex multifaceted characters it's impossible not to care deeply about. Everyone can connect to these themes of friendship, first romance and mature love.
I'm carrying this quote with me:
"Because the love of the Sufi mystics, the love the poets mirror, is divine love. Humans are terribly flawed. Humans hurt each other. Humans become bored, humans become sick, humans are weak. When you are consumed by human love, it is like looking into a fire of your own making-you believe you are seeing your beloved, but it is a mere reflection of the intensity of your own emotion. When that fire cools, your beloved's true face, flawed, hopelessly mortal, is revealed. The only beloved who will not disappoint when you see his true face is Allah, because he is the source of all love, all light."

5 stars

Patina by Jason Reynolds

There was never any doubt that I would love this book. Jason Reynolds has a super hero magical power that enables him to transform love, hope, and promise into words. This story of Patty Winter, a girl with much to run away from, is another example of this.

4 stars
Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston & Jorjeana Marie (narrator)

Wow! I'm not sure how this book came to my attention, but whew! am I glad it did. Johnston is a Canadian author who sets her characters in a small Ontario town. It is a testimony to her writing and Jorjeana Marie's narration that I was absolutely sucked into this novel about cheerleading. Of course, it's not all about cheerleading, it's about Hermione Winters, and her experience of being drugged and raped and then not only surviving, but thriving in spite of it. 


5 stars
Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

I think if I understood music I would appreciate the architecture of the book better. Still, even without this knowledge, it's a darn riveting story of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the events of the massacre at Tiananmen Square. It is brilliantly written. While I have read other works that dealt with the Cultural Revolution, Madeleine Thien has personalized these historical events for me and placed them in a larger context.


I've started Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. I'm still reading The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King, although last week I didn't get to it. I will do better next week. I'm listening to Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson. 


I have Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee, and This is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang to finish and return to the library. I've also got a mess of picture books. 


#MUSTREADIN2017 21/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 7/12 1 in progress

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 25/50 2 in progress

Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51

Big Book Challenge 4/6

Goodreads Reading Challenge 265/333

Patina by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds transforms love, hope, and promise, into powerful words and characters. We readers are helpless to resist embracing his realities, be they windows or mirrors. 

Patina is a coming of age novel about a young girl learning to find or make her place in the world. It is the second in Reynolds' Track series for elementary and middle grade students. Ghost is the first. The novels address the lives of members of a track team. It looks like they are companion books rather than series since so far, it doesn't seem necessary to read them in order, although readers learn more about the coaches in the first book. Every school library should have at least one copy of each of these in their collection!

Through the team, members learn important lessons about how to help each other be their best selves both on and off the field. Patty Winters, (Patina) is one of the runners who has a lot to run away from. All too often it seems like she has taken the weight of the world on her shoulders. She is trying to adjust to going to a prestigious, high falutin, charter school. Navigating her way through this social and academic quagmire is stressful. She takes on responsibility for her younger sister who she loves deeply. While she is reliable and dependable, she has a temper that she tamps down inside of her. She also has an unhealthy obsession with winning. 

Patty's father died just before her younger sister, Maddy was born. Their mother is unable to look after them. Due to complications from diabetes, she lost her legs and has kidney disease. Patty and Maddy live with their aunt and uncle. While their lives are complicated, they are surrounded by smart, caring adults. 

I am infatuated with Reynolds capacity to write such authentically rich and complex characters. It isn't just that he crafts remarkable protagonists, although he does indeed. It's that all the secondary characters are equally full and interesting. As a reader I want to know more about all of them, from the members on the track team to the students at Patty's new school. 

I can hardly wait to read Sunny's story next!

Thanks to Simon and Schuster Canada for an ARC of this book. It will be published August 29th, 2017. Mark your calendar.

If you haven't read Ghost, you will want to purchase it as well!

Max and Bird by Ed Vere

Max is a naive young kitten who attempts to act like a traditional cat, but is sidetracked by his sweet nature. Usually this means he ends up befriending his dinner. I've been smitten with him since being introduced to him in Max the Brave. In that first book, Max went in search of a mouse to catch. Unfortunately, he had no idea what a mouse was. I loved him even more in Max at Night, when Max headed off on a quest to find the moon and say goodnight. If you haven't been introduced to Max yet, you are going to want to get copies and read them. 

In this book Max meets a baby bird. After some negotiating, Max agrees to help the little bird learn to fly. I adore that the two of them go to the library to check out books about flying. 

After some research, they figured out what to do.  Both of them concentrated, stuck out their wings and flapped hard. Nothing happened. 

No matter how hard they tried and how much they dreamed of flying, they couldn't take off. 

You are going to have to read the book to see how the flying and friendship lessons go. 

Ed Vere's sweet humour appeals to adults and children alike. His books teach all of us that friendship can be found in all kinds of people, no matter how different they are from us. 

#IMWAYR August 21, 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. 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.

My spouse and I were gallivanting around southern parts of BC last week. We ended up in Sorrento for a 90th birthday party for one of my cousins. It was a wonderful celebration full of lots of love and laughter. Thankfully, there was only minimal political conversation. The best part was getting to know that branch of the family better. 

Last week I read Hymn: A New Poem by Sherman Alexie. These two lines have stayed with me.

"I am one more citizen marching against hatred.
Alone, we are defenseless. Collected, we are sacred."


150 Fascinating Facts About Canadian Women by Margie Wolfe and other contributors


Max and Bird by Ed Vere (Netgalley)

I've been smitten with Max ever since being first introduced to him through Netgalley in Max the Brave. I loved him even more in Max at Night. Max is a naive young kitten who attempts to act like a traditional cat. He is regularly sidetracked by his sweet temper. Usually this means he ends up befriending his dinner.
I'll have a full review up for this one soon.


Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley

Even though the font is small for my aging eyes, I still love this book!

I started and finished it in two sittings, only because I had to go to my singing class in the middle. I love that this memoir has recipes included in it. I can't wait to try out the lamb and the chocolate chip cookie ones.


Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks & Colin Bootman (Illustrator)

I've read other books about Vivien Thomas, the man responsible for developing a safe process for heart surgery on infants. Maybe it's Colin Bootman's realistic art, but this reading made the unfairness of the racism he had to deal with more pronounced. 
I am appalled that Dr Blalock and Dr Taussig took credit for his pioneering research and innovative medical procedure. 
I am left with all kinds of questions. Did those two doctors ever say anything about what they did to Thomas? How did Thomas. finally get the recognition he deserved? Who made this happen? 
I appreciated the bibliography, glossary and additional information about tetralogy of fallot at the end of the book.


150 Fascinating Facts About Canadian Women by Margie Wolfe (Contributor) (Netgalley) Published by Second Story Press

In spite of my quibbles with this book, it is a great starting point for learning more about important Canadian women. My hope is that someone will start writing some picture book biographies about more of these remarkable individuals and groups. 


Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh

I really wanted to love this book because I mostly adore Nancy J. Cavanaugh's writing. Maybe I didn't give this book enough of a chance, but I gave it 100 pages and I still wasn't engaged enough to really want to continue. Given that this is a book for children, that isn't a good sign. Not only that, but I was loathe to even think about reading it. I give up on books when it feels like work.

It isn't that the book doesn't have some good qualities. It does. I like that Elsie Mae has goals and actively tries to make a difference. Elsie Mae, her cousin, Henry James, and the other characters are interesting. I appreciated learning about the Okefenoke Swamp.
I wish this book had appealed more to me, but it just didn't.


I'm still reading The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King. The font is very small, and I am taking time to absorb the writing. Here's one quote from it: "a simulacrum is something that represents something that never existed. Or, in other words, the only truth of the thing is the lie itself." I had to return The Rain in Portugal: New Poems by Billy Collins to the library because someone else wanted it. I'm continuing to listen to Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. It's one of my big book challenges for this summer and it's also one of my MustReadIn2017 books. I've just started reading Lola Levine is not Mean! by Monica Brown. 


I have to read and review Patina by Jason Reynolds so that will be one of the first books I start next. Then I'll start The Goldfish Boy. I hope to get more reading in next week since my son and daughter-in-law are taking their baby to Korea to meet her Korean family. 


#MUSTREADIN2017 18/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 7/12 1 in progress

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 22/50  1 in progress

Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51

Big Book Challenge 3/6

Goodreads Reading Challenge 254/333

150 Fascinating Facts About Canadian Women by Margie Wolfe and other contributors

This book was created to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary of confederation. In some circles it is referred to as 150+ years of colonization. I think the latter is a more correct interpretation of the event, but that isn't really the point here. Margie Wolfe and others collected facts about Canadian women and then limited them to 150 for this book. I am struck by the artificiality of this. Still I am appeased somewhat by this dedication. "To the women who are recognized in this book, and more importantly, all those who should be." The next two pages are a more in depth apology for this. I am deeply appreciative of this.

All that aside, there are plenty of positive things about this book. The format is easily readable making it applicable for students in grades 5 on up to adults. A lot of information is packed into these 120 pages. When I was a teacher librarian I created small posters about Canadian women to post around the school for International Woman's Day. This book would have been the ideal resource. It provides basic information about significant Canadian woman or womens' organizations from 150 years ago through to today. While the beginning couple of pages address white women, the first twenty tell the stories of a diverse group of individuals: Gracie Annie Lockhart, Clara Brett Martin, Clara Lacoste Gerin-Lahore, Bertha Wilson, Rosalie Abella, Violet king Henry, Pauline Johnson, Maria Campbell, Hattie Rhue Hatchett, Mrs Kwong Lee and Mary Ann Shadd are referenced in the first few of these. I knew about Pauline Johnson and Mary Ann Shadd, and recognized the names of a couple of others, but the rest were new to me. The book includes scientists, politicians, social activists, and artists of many kinds. I was inspired and amazed by the women mentioned here.

For example, I did not know the story of Frances Kelsey and her work on thalidomide. It's a sad story of a woman not recognized in her own country for her work and the sorry consequences for a generation of children.

The book is formatted so that one or two women are highlighted in large print on one page. Here are some sample facts:

(I was lucky to have worked with Lorna when
she worked with the Vancouver School Board)

This just might be my favourite, but then, I am a huge fan of Mary Walsh to start with.

This is a good introductory book for a number of reasons.

First off, I can see having a couple of copies of these in a school library. It is an easy read that can be browsed. It would make a perfect jumping off point to find a little bit about one woman, and then do more research.

Second, It's a starter book in that it is limited to only 150 women. I was acquainted with many, but not all, of the women in this book. I appreciated that diverse voices are represented here, but I wish the authors hadn't limited it to 150. Perhaps they could have come up with 150 issues or categories that are relevant to woman, and then identified women who have done something about it. The book is organized in this way generally, with statements about women connected to a specific aspect of history. 

This will make the perfect stocking stuffer gift. At just under $10, I plan to purchase numerous copies of it for just this purpose. I'll give it to the women on my list, but I might give a copy to my son who takes part in trivia competitions and loves to come up with his own questions. 

Quibbles: I've mentioned some of these previously, but there is one more that I need to express. A number of influential musicians are mentioned here. k d lang and Joni Mitchell are referenced regarding their American success with out mentioning their Juno awards or induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. It's a sad and sorry truth that here in Canada we often don't acknowledge the quality of our artists unless they make it big in the States, but still, couldn't their Canadian awards at least be noted in a book that celebrates Canadians?

Now I want to see some picture book biographies of more of these women!

#IMWAYR August 14, 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. 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.

My reading life this week is dedicated to all you #IMWAYR participants. Because of you, I've got some brilliant older titles on my list today. I'm also thankful for all the 'hot off the press', and 'you have to wait awhile for this one' reviews. I'm thankful to all of you for introducing me to so many books that I would otherwise have overlooked. You make my reading life immeasurably rich and satisfying.

I got in a bit of reading with my eyes this week, but spent a lot of time listening since I was busy sewing a set of placemats to give away as a wedding present this weekend. I dug deep into my stash and found some leftovers from another placemat project and created four of these. I hope they like them! 

I also spent time babysitting with my grandson and read one of my favourite books to him.


4 stars

The Storyteller by Evan Turk

This is a glorious celebration of the power of storytelling.

The illustrations made me itch to capture some of these designs in fabric. There is so much to gush about: the beauty of the blues, the power of the golden brown and the details in the illustrations. All these things transport us into another world where anything is possible, even human beings' capacity to outwit the djinn of a desert storm.

5 stars
The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild & Freya Blackwood (Illustrator)

This book reminds us that stories in our libraries, especially the ones that show us ourselves, are more important than any kind of monetary treasure.

These gorgeous illustrations and Margaret Wild's prose tell us the story of a special kind of treasure worth more than jewels and gold. When a young boy and his father are forced to flee their homeland because of war, they take with them a book that tells them their history. As they flee they are forced to abandon their belongings. Eventually the boy is forced to bury the treasure. Much later he returns to find it.

4 stars

The Branch by Mireille Messier & Pierre Pratt (Illustrations)

I'm sure I have Linda B to thank for introducing me to this book by two French Canadian artists. It's set at the time of the ice storm in Montreal. When a young girl's beloved branch falls off the tree, her older neighbour helps her to create something new from it. 


5 stars
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Holy Carumba!

I really wish that this book had been available for me to read before I visited this remarkable place. The book takes us on a journey through the geological regions that reveal the history of the canyon. At the same time, it introduces readers to the different ecological habitats that exist in these different regions.
Notes in the back matter provide additional information for readers who want to know more. The bibliography provides sources for readers who thirst for even more, as well as showing us just how much research goes into a book like this.

4 stars

The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson (Netgalley)

Publication date: September 5, 2017

This is the true story of Nokomis (Grandmother) Josephine Mandamin who began Mother Earth Water Walkers, a movement of women (and men), who walk to raise awareness of how precious water is to us. The story is told using Ojibwe vocabulary and is filled with colourful bold illustrations. I will have a full review posted nearer to the publication date.


5 stars
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

It seems that people either love or hate this book. I am one of those who adore it. I love the slow thoughtful pace. I loved that as a reader I was constantly wondering, thinking, and doing my best to make connections in this coming of age allegory. It is exquisitely written. I'm not sure students will fathom the richness of this novel, but I would love to be part of a book club book discussing it.

4 stars
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Just Wow! This book is the reason I will join Carrie Gelson and the #MustRead gang again next year. I probably wouldn't have gotten around to reading it if I hadn't put the effort in to identify some books on my Out Of Control to read list on Goodreads. Honestly, there is so much to love about this twisted fairytale starring Hansel and Gretel. I was worried because that is the one fairytale that creeped me out as a child. It is still creepy, but also loaded with humour. If you haven't read it already, go get a copy and read it for yourself!


4 stars
The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum by Temple Grandin, Richard Panek

This is another of my #MustReadIn2017 titles. It is filled with all kinds of important information about cognitive science and how we have looked at autism across time. There is a pragmatic component that makes me think that it should probably be required reading for all people who work with other people.


I'm still reading The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King. I'm having a hard time with Elsie Mae Has Something to Say by Nancy J. Cavanaugh, (a Netgalley title,) and might just give up on it. Just how many pages do you give a book that just isn't working for you? Is 100 enough? I'm listening to Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien. I started it ages ago, but lost track of the story and had to start all over again.


I'm still focusing on books from my reading goals, so I'll start Relish, My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley next. This pile of books is my read with my eyes goal for next week. Unfortunately, I am easily sidetracked by a shiny new hardcover.


#MUSTREADIN2017 19/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 7/12 1 in progress

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 23/50 1 in progress

Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51

Big Book Challenge 3/6 1 in progress

Goodreads Reading Challenge 250/333