#IMWAYR July 22, 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.

We are taking a break from the city (and our grandchildren) by spending a few days in our house in Oliver, BC. We had a lovely family barbecue with relatives on Saturday.
I managed to get the binding finished on the quilt my sister and I created. It's going to be really, really hard to give it away! When I showed it off at the gathering, my cousin's five year old quipped, "Dad and I will take it off your hands." I'm going to have to make that kid a quilt.


Poetry Friday July 19, 2019 Invincible

Chirri & Chirra series by Kaya Doi & Yuki Kaneko (Translator)


4 stars
Chirri & Chirra series by Kaya Doi & Yuki Kaneko (Translator)

Chirri & Chirra are twins who have adventures while riding on their bicycles. In each book, Dring-dring, dring-dring! transitions the two girls into new experiences as they pedal their way into and through fantastical lands. Thank you Earl Dizon for introducing me to them.

Click on the above link if you want to find out more about them. Go ahead. I'll wait.

4.5 stars
Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine & Fred Koehler (Illustrations)

This is one of those books that, once you get to the delightful ending, you have to go back and reread. I'm not always a fan of rhyming picture books, but loved the rhythm and rhyme in this one. Fred Koehler's art divinely complements the fantastical adventures a flashlight at night can take you to.


4.5 stars
Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

I’m not quite sure how to write about this book. It’s brilliant and multilayered. On the surface it’s about grade five twins who are in separate classrooms for the first time. They have to learn to navigate these small worlds on their own. It isn’t easy. One of them has to learn to vulnerable, the other to be assertive. They have to trust and believe in the other.

All this is played out against a backdrop of magic and an evil shop keeper. On the one hand, this story reminds us how important it is to learn to be independent. On the other is the acknowledgment that as true as that might be, we are stronger together. You don’t ever want to tangle with those Awesome Girls!
I would love to give this five stars, but I’m not sure how this will be received by students.
I had this on my #MustReadIn2020 list. Does this mean I am way ahead of my game?

4 stars
A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #7) by Louise Penny & Ralph Cosham (Narrator)

In the middle of a murder mystery, Louise Penny reminds us of what it means to be human. The revealing of the culprit wasn’t nearly as surprising as the revelations about the different characters in the Sûreté and in Three Pines. I admit that I read these novels as much to see what they are up to as I do for the mysteries themselves. I can hardly wait to see what will happen next!

Louise Penny is one of Canada's finest mystery writers! 🍁

4 stars
Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson

I've just finished this. I will be writing more about it, but what you need to know is that it was so good I got caught up in it and forgot to take notes for a review!

4 stars
Takedown by Laura Shovan

I was slow getting into this book as I wondered how it would compare to There's a Girl in my Hammerlock by Jerry Spinelli, a novel about a girl wrestler that I read ages and ages ago. It didn't take long and I was entirely engrossed by Mikayla and Lev. The story is told from both of their perspectives in alternating chapters.

Spinelli's book, about the only girl on a wrestling team was written in 1991. I wish this book showed that things have changed more. Alas, they have not.

I came to care a lot about both of these protagonists and was invested in how their relationship with each other and their families and friends evolved. I appreciate how the book takes a close look at competition and what gets left behind in the lives of elite athletes and lost in the joy of a sport as competitors move up into higher levels of play. I appreciate that our protagonists learned more about themselves in this book, but I'm equally happy that the secondary characters underwent transformations as well.

This book reminded me of my five year old boys playing soccer just for the crazy joy of being on a team and not really even understanding winning and losing. I think of them and other kids who ended up sitting on the bench because a coach doesn't think they are good enough to produce a win. I think with great fondness of the one coach who scrupulously played every kid on my son's hockey team, no matter that they lost every game. It was one of my son's best years of sport. 

4.5 stars
OCDaniel by Wesley King & Ramon De Ocampo (Narrator)

Daniel is a thirteen year old boy with OCD, but he doesn't know this is what it is. He's successful in many aspects of his school life but struggles with math because the numbers get in the way of thinking logically. He's highly capable as the backup kicker for his school's football team, but his anxiety interferes with consistency.

I liked the secondary characters a lot. His best friend, Max, might be a jock, but he's also a strong, good hearted young man. The two girls in his life, Raya and Sarah, are strong, positive individuals. It wasn't easy to connect to Sarah's belief that her mother and boyfriend murdered her father, but not completely unrealistic either given the circumstances.

Daniel's struggles, especially the sections when he is dealing with his evening routine are brutally intense. I had a hard time listening to it in spite of acknowledging that it must be worse to experience. In the afterward, King explains that much of this is autobiographical. It shows in the authenticity of the book.

Wesley King is a Canadian author from the other side of the country from me!  This is the first book of his I've read. There will be more. 🍁

5 stars
The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart (Tales from the Chocolate Heart #1 by Stephanie Burgis & Jill Frutkin (Narrator)

I adored this fantastic fantasy. Aventurine is a spunky dragon who is tired of being constrained inside her cave with her relatives. She sneaks out with the intention of showing her family that she is not as incompetent as they think. When she is tricked by a man she plans to eat, she ends up becoming human herself. Determined to make the most of her new life, she sets out to become an apprentice chocolatier.

Now that I’ve finished this review, I’m off to see if I can download the next in the series.
I have Ms Yingling to thank for introducing me to this one because any time she give 5 stars to a book, it becomes a must read for me!


5+ stars
Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

Nayyirah Waheed has a gift for parsing out significant truths in a few words. Look at this poem here:

good + girl

-- rope

salt. overwhelms with this kind of stark profundity. If you have not yet read it, you should.


that your
needs and desires
come at the expense of another’s
life energy
it is being honest
you have been spoiled
by a machine
is not feeding you freedom
the milk of pain

— the release

My library copy had page after page of dog ears that I assume were marked because someone appreciated the poem on that page. It was a special treat for me to see if I too would be blown away by it. Mostly I was.


I'm reading Meet Yasmin! by by Saadia Faruqi and just started Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel J. McLeod. I'm presently listening to The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny. I'm savouring my way through poetry by Peter Trower.


I sent Outside in: A Political Memoir by Libby Davies and With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo back to the library unread, but I did manage to get through some of the picture books in my pile. I am hoping to get to Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali and Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai. If the reading godess is on my side, I might even get to Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman.


#MustReadIn2018 15/25 1 in progress

#MustReadNFIn2018 9/12 1 in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 16/25 1 in progress

25 books by Canadian Authors 35/25

Big Book Reading Challenge 4/4

Goodreads Reading Challenge 232/333


  1. So many that are on my list & I need to read, Cheriee! Thank you! I love reading about the new one by Renee Watson & need to read her first one, too! I loved The Lost Girl & Laura's Takedown is super good. I agree about the 'winning' & am so glad to see that Ingrid's softball coach is allowing the girls to "learn", not just win. Thanks for all! Love seeing this latest quilt - gorgeous!

    1. I have loved everything by Renée Watson so I was excited to get this one from Netgalley. I wish there was more focus in team sports on just having fun and learning.

  2. Thank you, I just requested Chirri & Chirra from the library. I think my preschooler will love it! I'm also putting Takedown on my TBR. I read The Lost Girl a few weeks ago, and was also struck by it, but not sure it would resonate with my 10 year old middle grade reader. I have a feeling it might be better appreciated by teens or adults.


    1. I hope you all enjoy Chirri & Chirra. I ended up appreciating them more fully when I read the series and made connections. I'm with you regarding who The Lost Girl will resonate with. I suspect there will be a few, select group of readers who will love it.

  3. Glad that you are able to spend a summer in the interior without forest fire smoke (at least so far, fingers crossed). Lots of great books, as usual. I really enjoyed OCDaniel and recently read A World Below by King as well. I have really wanted to read Takedown (which I requested from my ARC group but the copy got lost) and The Lost Girl. Flashlight Night is also one I will be adding. I hope you enjoy Girl of the Southern Sea, which I know you will appreciate was written by a Canadian. I have noticed though that a lot of the books I read by Canadians, lately anyways, are not set in Canada (Plain Kate, on my site this week is a fantasy so that is understandable). Have a great week and enjoy the weather over there.

    1. I've been so thankful to have no smoke so far this year! I just put a hold on A World Below. I have also noticed that many books by Canadian authors are not set in Canada. I wonder if it is because they are hoping to get sales in other markets.

  4. Ahhh, being up north sounds like a GREAT idea right now! I'm jealous - it was 100 and humid both days this weekend. I never even stepped outside :(

    That quilt is gorgeous!! The pattern is beautiful, and I love the bright colors - you and your sister are very talented!

    And so many good books! I am a longtime fan of Anne Ursu, both her adult novels and her MG books. My son and I both loved her Shadow Thieves trilogy years ago. This one sounds good, too.

    I just read my first Louise Penney this winter (her 1st in the series) and enjoyed it, so I would love to read more.

    Enjoy your getaway and your books this week!


    2019 Big Book Summer Challenge

    1. I'm thankful it's not to hot around here. We are getting rain on a regular basis so sleeping at night with windows open is possible. I hadn't heard of the Shadow Thieves trilogy so thanks for the heads up.

  5. Oh that quilt! It's just gorgeous! Love the colors.
    The Anne Ursu book was not a favorite with me. I really didn't like the characters and then I felt like it changed from a character driven novel to a plot driven one at the end. I had one reader in my Mock Newbery selection committee read it and it took her until the end to enjoy it.
    I'm looking forward to starting Renee Watson's book this week!

    1. I was wary of Lost Girl going in because the reviews are so mixed. I ended up appreciating that in the beginning, the girls were like halves of a whole person, and had to separate to find their whole selves. I'm not sure I would have appreciated it so much if all I had read was positive reviews.

  6. I really loved Some Places More Than Others. Flashlight Night is a great one, too!

  7. I really need to read Renee Watson's books. Maybe I'll read all her books as a challenge.

    1. That's a great idea. I've loved everything I've read so far, but Piecing Me Together remains my favourite.

  8. Your quilt is GORGEOUS, Cheriee! WOW! I'm adding Flashlight Night to my list, as this is a new title for me. I have an ARC of Some Places More Than Others, so I'm looking forward to reading this one very soon. I hope you enjoy With the Fire on High as much as I did! And I'll definitely go take a peek at Tales from the Chocolate Heart Series after your fabulous review. #superlatecomment