#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.
BTW, I've followed the lead of Shaye at The Miller Memo, so if you clink on the title link for each book, it will take you to the GoodReads page for that book.
We are at our Oliver house this weekend. We just wanted to get away, and also to attend the Remembrance Day Ceremony at our home town. When the names on the roll call are familiar ones, the intimacy of it brings a heightened understanding of what war takes away from us.
It's been relaxing and sort of productive. I've gotten a lot of reading in and accomplished a bit of knitting, but haven't touched the fabric I planned to cut up while here. Maybe I'll get to it Monday afternoon after reading all your blog posts?
This book is fun, factual, and fabulous!
The front end covers show us all the characters in this book. (I’m fond of Flappy Squirrel myself)
The book has one big story that’s loaded with Mo Willems classic puns and nonsense. It’s delightful. Then there are joke and information sections. The layout reminds me of Ben Clanton’s Narwhal and Jelly books.
Every primary classroom needs this. (And Clanton’s series as well)
I am in awe of Michael Ian Black & Debbie Ridpath Ohi. Their characters, a little girl, a potato, and a flamingo, reveal to us, in 40 pages, important truths about what it means to be human. Sometimes we are sad. Each one of us gets over it in different ways. We don't love each other less because of this. Laughing together helps.
As a reader and a knitter, it is inevitable that I would enjoy this book. My knitting, thankfully, has never gotten nearly this out of control. Greta the Goat ends up getting carried away with her knitting and her emotions. In the process, she creates a few monsters. It's a close call before she figures out how to unravel them all.
About a year or so ago I was called in to evaluate papers written by grade seven students. They had been given the first part of this rhyming poem and were asked to analyze it. I have been itching to read the rest of the poem ever since. So when I discovered this picture book on display, I had to have it.
It begins with a description of an elderly, gifted wizard, travelling around in search of welcome. This section is all the students saw.
The poem is so much more. There's a lonely sociable cat. Eventually the two characters meet and end up becoming best of friends. Gillian Johnson's magical illustrations bring their shenanigans to life.
While Maggie is away at an all girls’ summer camp, she becomes infatuated with one of the camp counsellors. It appears that her feelings might be reciprocated. It’s Maggie’s first awareness that she is queer, and it’s not an easy revelation. She finds solace in her unexpected giftedness at the rifle range, but that relief is disrupted by antagonism from the other young woman in competition with her.
I enjoyed this coming of age memoir. I appreciated the brutal honesty. While I don’t generally appreciate teen angst, it fits into this story because of its authenticity. My only quibble is that while I like the simplicity of the artwork, there are a lot of characters with complex personalities, and I had difficulty sorting them all out. I suspect that additional details would have helped with that.
The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale & LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
This might be my favourite title in the series so far. Princess Magnolia sets off to a science fair. While she is there a monster pops out of a volcano. She changes into the Princess in Black and together with the Princess in Blankets, they attempt to subdue the monster, who is only looking for a home and something to eat. Eventually the two heroes and three other Princesses band together to take it where it can live.
I like the science focus here, but I love that these princesses work together to find a solution that works for everyone, including the monster. The ending, that suggests that all princesses can be heroes, is the best!
I forget how much I love Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s writing until I finish another book by her. She writes historical fiction imbued with the truth of impeccable research. Not only that, she writes characters that you can’t help but connect with and care for.
Making Bombs for Hitler tells the story of Lida, a young Ukrainian girl, who was taken by the Germans during WW2 to be a slave labourer.
Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch reminds us that war has many victims. Yes we need to remember the 25 million fallen soldiers, but up to 80 million civilians died in the Second World War and its aftermath. I’m thankful to Skrypuch, and writers like her, who tell their stories.
I also highly recommend Dance of the Banished, another of Skrypuch's historical novels
I also highly recommend Dance of the Banished, another of Skrypuch's historical novels
Another Aurora County novel from Deborah Wiles is cause to celebrate! This is especially true given that I had thought the series was complete with the publication of The Aurora County All-Stars, (my favourite so far)
The Cake family, with five boys, one girl, and their parents, arrive in Aurora County in the middle of the night. This itinerant baking family travels around from place to place baking cakes and helping people out until it is time to move again. They are a delightful crew who work together as a team when it is time to bake, but those boys can be raucous when the work is done and it’s time to play.
Emma, the only daughter, has had enough of moving and leaving friends behind. She is determined to harden her emotions and not develop any close relationships this time. Luckily, she is no match for Ruby Lavender, the protagonist from the first book in the series. Together the two of them hatch a plan to force the Cake family to stay.
I’m pretty sure I gained weight reading about all the cakes, cookies and muffins the family prepares. I kept wondering and hoping if there would be recipes at the end. You will be happy to know that there is, but you will have to read the book to find out what kind!
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, Will Patton (Narrator), Ann Marie Lee (Narrator),Danny Campbell (Narrator)
I was worried that this book was going to be a thriller that would scare the bejeezus out of me. It’s terrifying all right, but not for those reasons. It's truth, not fiction.
In the early 1910’s, when oil was discovered on their land, the Osage Nation became wealthy. Each member received a share, known as their headright, of the proceeds.
Unfortunately Indians were not considered competent to look after their own money and so guardians were appointed to monitor their spending. What ensued among the whites in the area of was a culture of corruption and murder. Not only were the Osage taken advantage of through price gouging and embezzlement, David Grant ends up concluding that between 1910 and the 1930’s around a hundred Osage people were murdered by white people for their headrights. Few of these murderers were ever brought to justice. It ended only when the Osage were able to handle their own money, and laws were put in place so that individuals had to be at least 1/2 Osage to inherit these rights.
This book focuses primarily on the role Bill Hale and his compatriots played in this reign of terror, and how their apprehension led to the consolidation of the FBI.
What terrified me and continues to distress me is the magnitude of prejudice and corruption in these circumstances. I can’t help but make connections to the many murdered and missing indigenous women in North America today and contemplate that much of this is connected to law enforcement officers and others in power being blinded by their own racism. It’s left me wondering, how much graft we would find if we scratched the surface of political influence today.
Many thanks to my cousin Rhoda Peters, Sue Jackson at Book By Book and and others who encouraged me to read this book.
If it isn't on your must read list, it should be.
I've started listening to Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga. I'm reading, with my eyes, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices.
I'm planning on getting to When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore. I'm also hoping to get to Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty. Truthfully I've got a pile of riches from the library and I want to read all of them!
PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS
It seems that I am making headway here! I might even accomplish my goals this year, and early to boot!
25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 22/25 1 in progress
Goodreads Reading Challenge 385/333