#IMWAYR October 14, 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.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I'm writing this on Sunday from Oliver, B.C., where we are happily looking forward to having dinner with friends this evening. I just have to prepare and bring some stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer. I tested the recipe yesterday on company we had over. They were delicious!

By the way, this coming October 19th, is #IReadCanadian day. Of course some of us read Canadian all the time, but it's nice to have a special day to acknowledge how much talent our country has. I hope all of you, even if you are not Canadian, will take time to read something from one of our authors next Saturday.

Titles with a 🍁indicate this is a Canadian Author.
Clicking on the title of the book will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.


The Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-el & Kelly Pousette (Illustrator) πŸ

Beverly, Right Here (Three Rancheros #3) by Kate DiCamillo


5 stars
A Carnival of Cats by Charles Ghigna & Kristi Bridgeman (Illustrator)

We have read this board book a gazillion times I think. My two year old granddaughter can now name the different kinds of 'kitties.' Much thanks to Charles Ghigna for another kid pleasing board book.

5 stars
You Made Me a Dad by Laurenne Sala & Mike Malbrough (Illustrations)

Heartwarming, tender and poignant are words to describe this book. It fills my heart up to overflowing. I love this father's perspective of what it means to be a parent. Alas, my library does not have, You Made me a Mother, by the same author.

5 stars
A Normal Pig by K-Fai Steele

Oh wow! Pip, the pig considers herself normal until a bully moves in and makes her aware of her differences. When her parents find out they take her to the city. There Pip is exposed to many languages and all kinds of different looking people. Upon her return home, Pip has regained her confidence in being herself.
I'm a person with one foot in a small, predominantly white, town, and another in a vibrant multicultural city. This book seems to showcase both of these realities.
This book has so much potential for profound classroom conversations. I'm itching to share it with a group of students!

3.5 stars
Turtle Pond by James Gladstone & Karen Reczuch (Illustrator) 🍁

Karen Reczuch's illustrations are drop dead gorgeous. I enjoyed the repetition in James Gladstone's poetry. Readers visit a pond across a year and discover interesting details about turtles. I appreciated the author's note in the back matter that provides additional information.

3 stars
The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol

I admire a lot about this book. Brosgol's art is gorgeous. I nearly swooned at the first page that begins,
"You are looking at the strongest guys in the whole forest.
Down here.
On this island."
These words take us from the top of the page, to the middle, and finally to the bottom where what we see looks like a deserted island.
I'm not sure if making a connection between these little creatures and the Wee Free Men of Terry Pratchett's novels is a good or bad thing. I loved Pratchett's creatures but these Little Guys here aren't nearly so endearing.

5 stars
Birdsong by Julie Flett 🍁

This book is so wonderful. In the spring a young girl and her mother leave their home by the ocean and move to the country. Agnes, an elderly artist is their neighbour. Across the year the girl connects with Agnes.
This book made me shiver. As an aging person myself, I’m coming more and more to understand the importance of cross generation friendships.

4 stars
A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo & Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)

Mercy’s origin story is just as awesome as I could have imagined!


4 stars
The Very, Very Far North by Dan Bar-el & Kelly Pousette (Illustrator) 🍁

If you are looking for a story that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling of contentment, and a deeper understanding of how friendship works, look no further. It's sure to appeal to fans of Frog and Toad, Winnie the Pooh and Wind in the Willows. You can read my full review here.

5 stars
Beverly, Right Here (Three Rancheros #3) by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo creates characters that crawl inside your heart and fill up empty places inside you that you didn't even know you had. You can read my full reviehere.

4 stars
Doll Bones by Holly Black & Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)

I finally finished this book! I tried at least three times before, but was determined this time not to let it freak me out.
I read it while paying close attention to how Holly Black incites frissons of fear that cumulate and heighten the readers tension. I came away with even more appreciation for her brilliance.
Imagine a porcelain doll created from the bones of the maker’s daughter. Imagine he used her golden yellow ringlets for the doll's hair. Imagine her ashes are stored within the torso. Imagine this doll is haunting and threatening three 12 year old friends.
Yes it’s terrifying, but ultimately this is a coming of age tale. In the end, the biggest fear is that their friendship won’t survive their growing up.

4 stars
Tournament Trouble (Cross Ups #1) by Sylv Chiang 🍁

Jaden‘s mother has forbade him from playing video games because she thinks they will make him violent. Unbeknownst to her, he has been playing them for years and has become an expert in one specific game. When he receives an invitation to a tournament he hast to figure out how to make it happen.
I appreciated the authentic characters here. With the exception of the two bullies, they are all people you might meet. Jaden has solid parents. His mother has reasonable grounds for worrying when her background is revealed. He’s got two mostly supportive older siblings. I liked his relationship with Cali, the girl next door.

Gaming is integral to the plot and some game play is fairly detailed. This will intrigue some readers into opening up the book. Once into it, they will find themselves in the middle of a solid story with characters who learn and grow and become better human beings.

4 stars
Last of the Name by Rosanne Parry

I went searching for more of Parry's work after reading and falling in love with A Wolf Called Wander. I'm so glad to have discovered her work.
Daniel and his older sister, Kathleen, immigrate to New York during the time of the civil war. The destitute pair manage to find work in a fine house, but Daniel has to be disguised as a girl. In a bargain with one of their neighbours, he gets to be himself for a few hours a week doing her shopping while she takes on his laundry duties. While he is out he discovers his singing and dancing can earn him some money. Then he is noticed by someone planning on setting up a family theatre. He wishes he could take the man up on his offer, but knows Kathleen will have nothing to do with it. Everything changes when the New York City draft riots erupt.

4 stars
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green & Kristen Sieh (Narrator)

I went into this with no idea what it was about other than the author is brother to the other YA author with the same last name.
At first I wasn't sure if it was going to work, and then, Wham! I was hooked. While I wasn't infatuated with April, the narrator, at first. I did come to care about her and her connection to the Carls. While the situation with the Carls might be somewhat farfetched, April herself is an authentic character with all kinds of believable flaws.


I'm still enjoying The Creativity Project by Colby Sharp when I am work and The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago when I'm at home.  I kind of forgot about After Life; Ways We Think About Death by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox, but will get back to it. I'm listening to The Tree of Dreams by Laura Resau. I've just started reading a Netgalley title, What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn.


I'm hoping to read Are You Ready to Hatch An Unusual Chicken? by Kelly Jones; A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong; and The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills.


#MustReadIn2018 23/25

#MustReadNFIn2018 11/12 - one in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 22/25 - one in progress

25 books by Canadian Authors 70/25 - two in progress

Big Book Reading Challenge 10/4

Goodreads Reading Challenge 327/333


  1. I have The Last of the Name on my TBR list. I'm a little bitter about Canadian books ever since David Carroll's Ultra was published by Scholastic Canada and was never available in the US in hard cover. Grrr. But good for you for highlighting titles (if only to taunt me!).

    1. Are you sure it was available in hardcover ever? It's a sad fact that many Canadian books, especially for younger readers, are only published in softcover.

  2. I just finished Doll Bones too! Scary doll stories petrify me anyway, but I loved the bittersweet on-the-cusp-of-growing-up theme of this novel. I'm also going to look for some of the picture books, including A Normal Pig, for my preschooler. I think she'll love it. Have a great week!

    1. I admit that reading deliberately to see how Blake created so much terror, tended to make me less involved in the novel. But at least I finished this book.

  3. I have a number of these book on my TBR list, but Birdsong is completely new to me and sounds WONDERFUL! And I'm going to add Doll Bones to my list, as well. It looks spooky (and like something my 14 year old might love). Happy Thanksgiving to you, Cheriee!

    1. I'm wondering if I have it in me to read another scary book this October! Doll Bones is very good!

  4. I love A Normal Pig. It definitely will spark important conversations.

  5. I really enjoyed You Made Me a Dad, A Normal Pig, and A Piglet Named Mercy. These are good books to tug at the heartstrings and help kids learn about self-acceptance. I'm really looking forward to reading Kate DiCamillo's new one - Beverly, Right Here! Thanks for sharing and have a terrific week!

    1. There are so many fabulous picture books out there these days!

  6. I have a special fondness for pig books, and you've got a bunch here.

  7. Turtle Pond is definitely one I have to check out. I need to add more poetry to my read alouds. I just loved Normal Pig!

    1. I just read that Turtle Pond took home the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction!

  8. Some new picture books for me--thank you!
    I loved Beverly--I think it is my favorite of the series.
    I really want to read Hank Green's book; just waiting for the time.

    Happy reading this week :)

    1. I think Louisa is my favourite, but really, they are all so wonderful. I am looking forward to reading what you think of Hank Green's book. It was a delightful surprise!