#IMWAYR October 16, 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.

Early Monday morning I am heading off to Portland with my brother for four or five days. I am not sure when I will get to respond to everyone's blogs but I will try once I have wifi and am settled in.


3.5 stars
Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns by Richard Van Camp

The babies and I admired the photographs of the diverse families. The text is lovely, but more appealing to adults than very small children. I tried singing it and that engaged my granddaughter a bit. Still, just looking at these pictures while holding your little one is worth your while.

4 stars
Who Does Baby See? by Flowerpot Press

We like lots about this book. It portrays diverse babies with members of their family. Each two page spread names the relationship and shows two different families. Guess which page is my favourite. 

We just wish it included cousins and don't care so much about the bath buddy and dog.

4 stars
Newtonian Physics for Babies by Chris Ferrie

This series is ideal for adults like me who are not conversant with the world of physics. Our four month old babies seem to like the bright colours.
This library copy is bilingual in both English and Chinese. I appreciate the colour coding in the text that matches the illustrations
I've read it at least three times and almost get the concept. Maybe babies are smarter than me?

4 stars
Ojibway Animals by Jason Adair

I fell in love with the illustrations in this book when I was out visiting Fort Langley Historic Park this weekend. I didn't have time to read the whole thing at the gift shop, so I had to purchase it.
Each animal is accompanied by a sentence about them. "Beavers love to chew on bark. Frogs can hop far and wide." The name of the animal is in a different coloured font. I read this with my four month old grandbaby. She scanned her head to look at the different images on each page. I call this successful reading for this age.


4 stars
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton

This nonfiction picture book provides just enough information about a number of influential women, to whet readers’ appetites for more. I can see this used in schools in many different ways. First, as a springboard to learn more about these individuals. Second, as writing models for students to publish information about their own collection of important women.
Upon reading it I wanted a book just like this that highlights Canadian women. I regret that I’m not still working or I would rustle up some classroom teachers to work on a similar project.


4 stars
Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

This was a delightfully creepy and suspenseful read. Not my usual fare, but satisfying none the lest.
Harper Raine and her family have moved from New York City to a haunted house in Washington DC. She isn’t happy, and being unable to remember chunks of her past is only part of the reason. When her little brother becomes possessed by an evil spirit, Harper, her new friends, and her estranged grandmother have to do something before it’s too late.
I appreciated the Korean cultural components as well as the mystery and ghost busting. Ellen Oh has created some interesting, authentic characters. I sure hope there is a sequel so we can get to know them better!


3 stars
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

I enjoyed a lot about this book. I loved the characters. I loved how strong the young women are and how principled Rishi is. Both the primary and secondary characters are multidimensional and realistically developed. My only question is, are there really teens as bad as the nasty ones here are made out to be?
The window into another culture is fascinating. What didn’t work for me is the romance. I suspect I’m just way too old to read all that emotional angst. 

5 stars

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

Holy shit!

Nobody writes with such sharply honed honesty, vulnerability and talent like Sherman Alexie. His depictions of life on the reserve are nightmarishly gritty. There is humour, but he doesn’t flinch at revealing all aspects of its dark underbelly and where this darkness originated. 
No other human could narrate their own work with the poignant authenticity of Sherman Alexie. His grief in sections is palpable. I wept. Then I wept some more.
As I listened to this memoir, I often stopped to rewind and repeat a chunk in order to fully appreciate his power with words. I scribbled bits and pieces of it down.

Who else could have imagined writing something like this?

I whispered, "I love you," and walked, grief drunk and afraid, into the rest of my life.

or this,

Listen. I don’t know how or when

My grieving will end, but I’m always
Relearning how to be human again

I’m thankful I got to listen to this, but I’m also thankful to have a hard copy of my own. I’ll go back to it again and again.


I'm reading Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. I'm listening to Wishtree by Katherine Applegate and I just started Encyclopedia of An Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.


My brother and I will decide between They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera or Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward as an audiobook for our journey. I've packed Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez and other than that, I'm going to read what I have on my device until I visit Powell's and other bookstores in Portland.


#MUSTREADIN2017 25/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 7/12 1 in progress

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 30/50 1 in progress

Chocolate Lily (CL) 51/51

Big Book Challenge 4/6

Goodreads Reading Challenge 326/333


  1. I had Alexie's book from my public lib system but had to return it because I was all tied up with books for work and it was an interlibrary loan. Need to get that back for Christmas break. Spirit Hunters looks good too. Scholastic was just asking teachers what kind of people we would like to see written about in biographies. Hopefully, there is someone who will do something similar to what you suggest regarding She Persisted. Thanks for the post!

    1. See if you can access the Alexie book in audiobook format.
      That is really cool about Scholastic. Let's hope they do that.

  2. Spirit Hunters is not one I've considered picking up to read, but with Halloween approaching this would be a good time of year to read it.

    1. I think it would make a great read aloud. I liked that it is kind of creepy, but also has the Korean cultural component.

  3. I'm looking forward to the books by Ellen Oh and Sherman Alexie. Thanks for your review. Have fun in Portland!

    1. Thanks Stacy, we are! I'll be looking for your books in Powell's books.

  4. Enjoy Portland! Sounds like I need to pick up Alexie's book.

  5. Sherman Alexie's book is on my radar. I don't know if I'll actually have time to read it this year, though!

    1. You can always add it to your must read list for next year!

  6. I really want to get to Dimple/Rishi. I have a feeling it's not one I'll get to this year. Too many others on the list!
    I really loved Spirit Hunters. I am not a creepy books fan, but it was very good and I know a lot of readers for it!

    1. I agree. It is just the right kind of creepy and there are lots of kids I can think of who will love it.

  7. I loved Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and hope you enjoy it, too. It’s arranged in such a fun way, especially with all of the cross references! Have a wonderful week!

  8. Thanks for the reviews of the baby books and the Alexie, which went on my reading list. I can't wait until I have grandkids to share books with/

    1. Grandchildren are the best! It's like rediscovering your own children! I am loving understanding everything I learned about reading all over again.

  9. Hi Cheriee,

    I really should purchase a copy of Sherman Alexie's memoir STAT!!! It does sound like an immensely powerful read. I see that you're also reading Last Night I sang to the Monster - that one is also .. wow. Raw and Vulnerable and all sorts of Beautiful.

    1. Absolutely Myra! Check out the audiobook!
      I love Sáenz' writing!