#IMWAYR May 13, 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 missed posting last weekend because I dropped my laptop on the floor and damaged the screen. It could have been much worse, but I am still $550 dollars poorer.

I'm continuing to write and work on poetry just about every day, but I'm only posting on Poetry Friday. These days I'm working on drafts for a family memoir.

We are away in our Oliver home this weekend. I am feeling blessedly rested and managed to almost get my NetGalley commitments under control.


What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan & Genevieve Darling (Illustrations)

You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey & Soyeon Kim (Illustrations)

Poetry Friday May 3, 2019

Poetry Friday May 10, 2019

Also, if you are interested, Links to all my poems from the Poem a Day Challenge are here.


Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret E. Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully

Mattie Knight was an amazing girl and woman! I found this book on the shelves in the library I am working in. I put it on display at the checkout counter, meaning to read it to a group of students. I read something else, but one young girl wanted it. After she finished it, it was checked out in turn, by three other girls.
Mattie was an innovative inventor who among her many achievements, created the machine that makes paper bags with a flat bottom and started her own business producing them.

Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez & Felicita Sala (Illustrator)

Joan Procter was an amazing young woman who accomplished more in her short lifetime than many people do in twice as many years. That she accomplished it while in chronic pain is even more remarkable. I had never heard of her before reading this book. Not only did I learn about her, but I learned a lot about reptiles. I’m still not going to go in search of Komodo Dragons in the wild, but it’s good to know that if they are well fed they are gentle creatures.
Patricia Valdez text is poetic. Felicita Sala artwork is gorgeous as usual.
The back matter includes two pages of additional information, photographs of her as a child and as an adult, as well as an extensive bibliography. This book held rowdy grade 6 and 7 students in rapt attention.

The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America's Hero by Barb Rosenstock & Terry Widener (Illustrations)

As I finished this book I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone will ever beat DiMaggio's record. Pitchers throw balls much faster today than they did then. Still his accomplishment is phenomenal.
I can’t help but wonder who stole Betsy Ann, DiMaggio's bat and why.
I appreciate that Rosenstark connected his story into the larger picture of the world at war, and showed us how his success inspired a nation.
The back matter includes of all kinds of additional information. There’s a note with more details about DiMaggio. There’s a chart of his statistics. There’s an extensive bibliography that includes websites that were active at the time of publication. 
I'm planning on testing this on that rowdy grade 6/7 group this week. 

What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan & Genevieve Darling (Illustrations)

This feminist manifesto addresses a spectrum of issues that encompass all the ways that sexism destroys the lives of girls and boys. In places it isn't a comfortable read, but then, generally it isn't comfortable being a girl either and in some places it's harder than others.
Pair this book with Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan. Their characters could have written this book.
Both of these contributors are Canadian. 🍁

You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey & Soyeon Kim (Illustrator)

The whole earth is our community and we exist within "the blast of it's love."
Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim, with lyrical text and gorgeous art, make the interconnectedness of life here on our blue planet very clear. The positive message is scientifically based. Our relationships benefits us in remarkable ways. These two creators remind us that "Mother Nature has your back."
Elin Kelsey has a home in Victoria BC, and Soyeon Kim now lives in Toronto. 🍁


New Kid by Jerry Craft

Jordan's parents have forced him to go to a posh private school, although what he really wants to do is study art. He struggles to fit in and make new friends, but manages that well enough. That would usually be enough in a graphic novel, but in the middle of all that, the book addresses issues of racism and stereotyping. Although there's some bullying, mostly we are just exposed to ignorance. I really appreciated the level of kindness that is portrayed. It's a brilliant story that belongs in all school libraries.


Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience by Monique Gray Smith

This book is based on the author’s life. Tilly started drinking while in grade seven. She didn’t stop until she was in her twenties. This is her story of becoming sober, healing, and finding out how to help others.
Through it, readers discover the experiences of many indigenous people across Canada: residential schools, 60’s scoop, dysfunctional families, poverty, addiction, abuse and survival. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. There’s a reason the full title of this book includes, A Story of Hope and Resilience.
Monique Gray Smith is an indigenous Canadian. 🍁

Property of the Rebel Librarian by Allison Varnes & Monika Felice Smith (Narrator)

This book is a lot like Ban This Book by Alan Gratz.
I liked June, her sister, and most of her friends, but I hated her parents, the principal, and the school board. Of course I'm pretty sure that this is what is supposed to happen.
When her parents get involved with banning books in her school library, and getting the teacher librarian fired, June opens up a lending library in a locker next to hers. Even though she eventually gets caught, in the process she makes new friends and discovers the person she was meant to be.
I had a hard time accepting that this scenario could actually happen. Perhaps there are places in the United States where there are no teacher unions, and all parents are right wing rednecks, but it's hard to believe this is possible. I also can't imagine that there are no parents who would advocate for reading choice.

If there's anything in this scenario that chills me, it's that it shows how easily people can be lead down a dark and dangerous path.

When a Ghost Talks, Listen (How I Became a Ghost #2) by Tim Tingle

This continues the story of Isaac, a young Choctaw boy, who died on the Trail of Tears and became a ghost. Readers learn more about the horrific conditions the people underwent on that journey as well as more about Choctaw culture. The important learning here is how General Pushmataha died. Like the youngsters at the end of the story, I can't help but wonder if the scenario here is true or not.
Tim Tingle is one heck of a story teller! I wish I could claim he is Canadian, but he's Choctow American. 

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan

I wish I had teenaged nieces to give this to. Told in two voices, the story introduces us to two young girls who challenge misogyny at their high school. Their intersectional analysis of how girls are treated there ends up creating conflict and gets them into trouble. Both of them learn much about themselves and each other before the end of the book.
I especially enjoyed reading the girl's poetry.
Pair this up with What Makes Girls Sick and Tired by Lucile de Pesloüan & Genevieve Darling


Feel Free: Essays written and read by Zadie Smith

This was my introduction to Zadie Smith. I will absolutely read more. In this collection of essays she addresses a huge spectrum of issues. She analyzes the dismantling of public libraries, the misogyny and beauty of rap music, racism, how she came to adore Joni Mitchel's music, and much more. Each essay is brilliant and fascinating.


The Journals of Susanna Moodie by Margaret Atwood & Charles Pachter (Illustrator)

I found this gem on a bookshelf in the flea market. I was looking for logging history but as soon as I read the first poem I knew I had to have it. How’s this for a poem ending?
“I am a word
In a foreign language.”
An added bonus is that someone penciled in notes in the margins. I can compare my interpretations of the different lines and sections with their's.
Margaret Atwood writes these poems from the perspective of one of Canada’s most famous pioneers. Now I think I’m going to have to find and read Susanna Moodie’s real journals.
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author. 🍁


I am listening to Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography written and narrated by Andrea Warner. With my eyes I'm reading Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith. I'm also immersed in numerous a couple of nonfiction titles dealing with the history of logging in BC. I've just started Space Boy by Stephen McCranie.


I will start The Essential Gwendolyn Brooks and hope to get to Internment by Samira Ahmed before it has to go back to the library. I will also try to get the growing pile of picture books under control.


#MustReadIn2018 12/25

#MustReadNFIn2018 6/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 9/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 27/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 161/333


  1. I agree those love/hate feelings in Property of the Rebel Librarian are intended. And it does seem far-fetched for today, but I also remember parents writing letters to have Judy Blume books removed from my school library when I was a kid. I'm so glad you enjoyed Watch Us Rise. I'll have to check out What Makes Girls Sick and Tired since you mentioned it would pair well. Your progress goals are looking really good, by the way. Have a great week, Cheriee!

    1. Shaye, I never would have anticipated the alt right movement taking hold like it has in the United States and gaining so much ground here in Canada, but it has, so I guess anything is possible!

  2. New Kid is an important book. Watch Us Rise sounds great.

    1. It really is important. A new generation will understand racism in profound new ways. I loved how the characters in Watch Us Rise brought feminist issues front and centre in their school.

  3. Wow, you found an Atwood poetry book! That's awesome! And you shared so many wonderful books I do want to read, Cheriee. I liked Joan Proctor a lot, & soon after, one granddaughter & I visited the Komodo dragons at our zoo. Interesting reptiles & her story was amazing. I loved New Kid, too, & really hope I can get to Watch Us Rise soon. It does sound good. Thanks!

    1. I know! Wasn't that a score! I have long been a fan of Atwood, but more from her novels than her poetry. a friend of ours got bit by a Komodo dragon when they were in Indonesia. He ended up having to go on a long treatment of heavy duty antibiotics.

  4. I still have yet to read The New Kid. And I'll have to look for You Are Never Alone.

  5. I thought New Kid did a terrific job depicting those microaggressions that we so seldom see in literature. I loved that book, and I think at least half the students in my Children's Lit class read it too. It ended up on a bunch of their Top 10 reads of the semester lists. I just bought Watch Us Rise this week, so that might be my next YA read (or something from the library!). Tilly sounds incredible! I have to get that one. So sorry about your laptop. My cat spilled coffee on my laptop a couple of years ago and it cost $2000 to get it fixed. Thankfully my work insurance covered it, but it was embarrassing to cost my work so much money for something that could have easily been prevented with more vigilance and care on my part.

    1. That's it exactly about New Kid. I lost a laptop once because I spilled coffee on a table and the coffee leaked into my laptop from the back air vent. I had only had the machine for a year so that one really hurt.

  6. New Kid!!!! Definitely a favorite from this year. I've had a few 4th graders read it in a book club I'm doing with them and it's interesting to hear their thoughts.
    At some point I would like to read a Tim Tingle book. He's an author I have not read yet!
    Sorry about your laptop - it's amazing how much we rely on our electronics nowadays.

    1. I'll be expecting New Kid to be a contender for awards this year.
      You should really read a Tim Tingle. My favourite of his is House of Purple Cedar.

  7. I really enjoyed Property of the Rebel Librarian; interesting look at book censorship and I like that a little free library was featured in the story. Sorry about your computer! Hope this week is better for you!

    1. I liked Property of the Rebel Librarian too, not just for the censorship, but also for the friendships that developed and how reading became so cool at the school.

  8. New Kid is a must read for parents, teacher, students (well actually everyone). The audiobook is amazing which goes to show you this is one graphic novel with a lot of depth.

    1. Wow! I can't imagine it as an audiobook, but I agree that it has a lot of depth.

  9. Sorry about your lap top! Yuck. I have New Kid on my list and need to get to it! I recently read Tilly - realized that Monique must have been at school around the same time I was in Kamloops. What an emotional read.

    1. You are going to love New Kid!
      Tilly really was intense. That's amazing that you were in Kamloops at school at the same time. I enjoyed reading Tilly and the Crazy Eights more because there was more humour in it (and of course many of the characters are older like I am.)