#IMWAYR Septermber 23, 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 am trying hard to get on top of all the Netgalley titles I signed up to read and review. When I go to the site I am like a kid in a toy store at Christmas time. I want to read scores of them so I sign up for too many. I'm left trying to figure out how I am ever going to get to all of them. On top of this, a couple of days ago I got an email that Gae Polisner's new book, Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me, is available to read. Of course I squealed in delight and added it to my list. 

We are here at our Oliver home to attend the funeral of one of my Uncles today. It's a sad, but wonderful time as he had a rich and rewarding life. I am looking forward to connecting with my cousins and other family friends. I will do my best to respond to everyone's blog posts this week, but can't guarantee how that will work out. We are heading home on Tuesday to celebrate my son's birthday and then I work the rest of the week. 


The House at the End of the Road by Kari Rust

Just Lucky by Melanie Florence

Poetry Friday September 20, 2019


4 stars
The Toy Brother by William Steig

I needed a picture book to teach the basics of a story - setting, characters, and problem. (The classroom teacher had left one of those paper cubes to fill out.) The gender norms in this are a bit dated, but it’s still a classic full of all kinds of weirdness and humour. It fit my need perfectly. Magnus Bede is an apothecary. When he and his wife, Eutilda, are away, his older son, Yorick, ends up disobeying him and while experimenting in the lab, shrinks himself. The younger son, Charles, finally has Yorick’s undivided attention, but It looks like Yorrick might be stuck that way forever! Don't you just adore these names!

4 stars
The Bus Ride by Marianne Dubuc

Marianne Dubuc is brilliant. Her books make me think hard, but this one was uniquely intriguing. A lot is going on in this little girl's journey to her grandmother's house. I loved that she ended up making friends with the wolf. I must have gone through the book four times before making the connection between the newspaper and and what was happening on the bus.
Marianne Dubuc is Canadian. πŸ

4 stars
Lucy and Company by Marianne Dubuc

I’m automatically hooked by any book that has a map on the opening pages, so I was already disposed to love this one. It turned out to be enchanting even without the map.
It's composed of three short stories perfect for beginning readers.
In the first we are introduced to the characters. Lucy climbs a tree to have her snack. She is soon joined by Marcel, the mouse, Henry, a rabbit, Dot, the turtle, and Adrian, a snail. They discover that sharing snacks is fun.
The Treasure Map ends up in with a birthday party for Henry.
In The Hatchlings, Adrian discovers eggs. When they hatch into little chicks, they follow him but when he can’t keep them warm, the group snuggle the little chicks into Anton the bear’s fur.
Marianne Dubuc is Canadian. πŸ

5 stars
The House at the End of the Road by Kari Rust

Old people are pretty cool characters in Kari Rust's The House at the End of the Road. Some of us already know this, but you can't have too many reminders of how important relationships between the oldest and the youngest of us are. This book is a hybrid - a cross between a graphic novel and a picture book. 
Kari Rust is a Canadian author from my city. πŸ


4 stars
Operatic by Kyo Maclear

I sure wish I had had a music teacher like Mr. K. He introduces his students to a gamut of musical genres and encourages them to find a song that is them - one they feel at home in. His room has an empty desk. In other classrooms the desk would have been removed but in here it is moved to a corner, but still there reminding students of Luka and what happened to him.
Charlie (Charlotte), the protagonist, has some solid friends and a crush on one of her classmates, Emile. She wonders and worries about Luka. When she is exposed to the art of Maria Callas, Charlie discovers the song and music that becomes 'home' to her. Inspired by Callas' story, she begins to make changes in her own life.
The art is gorgeous. Different time periods and different places are offset in different colours. The yellowish background is connected to school and home. The blue background refers to the past. The sections in red deal with the life and times of Maria Callas.
I appreciate the diversity in this book. It's there in the ethnicity and gender norms of the students and in the music. I love that Maria Callas is featured in a graphic novel for teens. I learned a lot about her and so will middle grade and high school readers.
Kyo Maclear is Canadian. πŸ

4 stars
Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

I wish I hadn’t waited so long to get to this book, but at least I don’t have to wait forever for the sequel.
I appreciate that the book begins with a quick graphic recap of The Lunar Chronicles so I was reminded of the backstory.
At this time, Iko is now on earth tracking down and rounding up renegade Lunar wolf soldiers who are wreaking havoc on Earth. One of them has become an alpha leader and plans to force Queen Cinder to return them to their previous state.
I appreciated the tension between Kinney and Iko and can hardly wait to find out what happens next!


4 stars
Just Lucky by Melanie Florence

Just Lucky is a brilliant book that looks at the life of an indigenous teen who has to cope with a grandmother with Alzheimers and a series of foster homes. I cried, more than once.
Melanie Florence is Indigenous Canadian. πŸ

5 stars
Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt

Cricket comes to America in this book. It comes by way of August Paul Bowles-Fitzpatrick, Butler extraordinaire, to Marysville, New York and the family of Carter Jones. Butler is there for them when the family need him most. This is especially true for Carter, who is coming of age against a backdrop of all kinds of family hardships.
I laughed. I cried. I loved this book.

"Make good decisions and remember who loves you."
I looked at him. "I thought it was 'remember who you are.'"
The Butler looked back at me. "It is the very same thing," he said...
"We are what we love, young Master Carter."

4 stars
Glass Houses by Louise Penny

Gamache is now head of the SΓ»retΓ© du QuΓ©bec.  Acknowledging that they have lost the war on drugs, Gamache and a few trusted senior officers come up with a plan to take on the main crime syndicate in that province. It doesn't take long for them to realize that the murder of the cobrador visiting Three Pines intersects with their plans.
If you read this, make sure to read the author notes at the end of the book.
Louise Penny is Canadian. πŸ


4 stars
Our Familiar Hunger by Laisha Rosnau

These profound poems provide an overview of immigration from the Ukraine area to Canada. The poems from earlier times tell of the hardships women endured and how those experiences are manifest in later generations. They connected me to my ethnically German great grandmothers who also immigrated to the Canadian prairies from the Odessa region in the early 1900's. The poems of recent emigration from the area are heartbreaking stories of desperation and different variations of sexual slavery. I can't help but acknowledge that had my ancestors not made that journey, I could have been one of them.
Laisha Rosnau is Canadian. πŸ


On my device I'm reading Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo and The Squatchicorns by Ellen Potter. I'm still reading This Was Logging by Ralph W. Andrews, and have started The Creativity Project by Colby Sharp. The poetry I'm in the middle of is Rooster Summer by Robert Heidbreder. I've just started Strangers by David Robertson. I'm listening to The Next Great Paulie Fink.


I plan to get to more of my Netgalley titles but also have a pile of books from my local library. I'm hoping to read The Very Very Far North by Dan Bar-el, What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn and After Life: Ways We Think About Death by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox.


#MustReadIn2018 22/25 - one in progress

#MustReadNFIn2018 11/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 19/25 - one in progress

25 books by Canadian Authors 58/25

Big Book Reading Challenge 10/4

Goodreads Reading Challenge 299/333


  1. Great list this week. I ordered ALL of the picture books from my library. I'm sorry for the loss of your uncle, but glad that you have an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family. Thanks for sharing and have a good reading week!

  2. Good luck on getting on top of your Netgalley titles. I’m now down to just a few and needing to refill my bucket! And I’m so glad to hear your uncle had a good, fulfilling life. I hope they'll be able to say the same thing about me one day!

    Oh my, I just read your full review of Just Lucky on Goodreads and I’m adding this one to my list. Sounds good and important! And I must have been in the perfect mood for The Next Great Paulie Fink because I was quite impressed. I liked how different school subject matter was layered into the story to allow Caitlyn to better understand herself. Very interesting story approach. I’m also glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed The House at the End of the Road. I read it again and again — looking forward to seeing a copy of the hardcover book now that I’ve read it as an e-ARC. Hope you've had save travels and we'll see you next week, Cheriee!