#IMWAYR November 11, 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.

Today is Remembrance day here in Canada so last week schools were preparing for their own ceremonies. I set up a display of books in the library I was working in. Of course I sat down and read a few that were new to me. I've written about them here today. I'll be off at the local cenotaph this morning to think about all the people: men, women and children, who die in wars. I'll say a prayer for peace.

Titles with a 🍁 indicate this is a Canadian Author and or Illustrator.

Clicking on the title of the book will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.


Poetry Friday November 8, 2019

What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn & Kathy Lowinger


5 stars
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion by Jane Barclay & Renné Benoit 🍁

This is my new favourite Remembrance Day book. A young boy helps his grandfather get ready for the ceremony at the cenotaph. It's beautiful writing with beautiful art, just perfect for elementary students. My eyes leaked at the end.

4.5 stars
Memorial by Gary Crew & Shaun Tan (Illustrator)

This is set in a small town in Australia. When men come back from World War I, a statue of an unknown soldier is erected, and a small tree is planted in memory of those who served and didn’t return. Three generations remember their return from war in ceremonies under the tree. A child from the fourth generation does his best to save the tree from being cut down.
This is best for older readers as the text and images are complex and require close attention to understand the message. Just like war itself, this has an unhappy ending.

5 stars
Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Found this in a drop in centre where I took my grandkids last week. It was a lot of fun to read this tale out loud to a group of toddlers! One laughed every time I used a special voice for the different characters. As a witch and her cat are flying on a broom she keeps dropping things. When she goes looking for it, an animal finds it for her and then joins them on the broom. Then disaster ensues. 

4 stars
In Front of My House by Marianne Dubuc & Yvette Ghione (Translator) 🍁

If I were still teaching and working with students learning English, I would use this book. It's a circular journey that includes many prepositions and surprises before the reader returns home.

4 stars
Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc & Yvette Ghione (Translator) 🍁

Gorgeous illustrations and repetitive language makes this a great book for beginning readers. Each time I was starting to grow a bit bored, Dubuc threw in a complication. Just delightful.

5 stars
Lizzy's Lion by Dennis Lee, Marie-Louise Gay (Illustrator) 🍁

It doesn't get much better than this duo.
When a robber breaks into Lizzy's bedroom in search of loot, even the candy he brought along won't stop Lizzy's lion from putting an end to him.
Bouncing, four line, rhyming stanzas make this a delight to read out loud and listen to. Don't read it to anyone who has a soft spot for thieves since this one comes to a messy ending.

5 stars
Merry Christmas, Ollie! (Gossie and Friends) by Olivier Dunrea

I know it's a bit early for seasonal books, but some of us shop early. I have been purchasing Gossie and Friends titles as baby gifts for ages, but until I started reading them with my grandkids, I had no idea how perfect they are for toddlers. I wasn't so enamoured with the Halloween book, but I will most certainly purchase this one for my darlings!


4 stars
Positively Izzy (Emmie & Friends) by Terri Libenson

It took me until the end of the book to figure out what was going on with the alternative plot lines in this book. One story is told in graphic novel format and the other is primarily text based. I sill enjoyed all of it.


5 stars
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward  & Cherise Boothe (Narrator)

Jesmyn Ward is one of the finest American writers today. I'm not going to say this is a comfortable read. It's an emotionally hard slog. Eche is fourteen and pregnant. She lives with her three brothers and alcoholic father in a coastal town in Mississippi. The novel begins 12 days before Hurricane Katrina hits. It's brilliantly written with passages that made me swoon. It's also terrifying at times (I skipped over the part with the dog fight) but these characters have so much heart and love you won't be able to let go of them when you are finished the book.

5 stars
Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend

I’m a Natasha Friend fan. My upper elementary girls loved her. At one point I had at least 4 copies of Perfect in our school library. They were always out. She writes with authentic grittiness about real issues that are pertinent to these middle grade readers.
I expect they are loving this one.
At the beginning of 8th grade, Anna’s best friend informed her that they could no longer be friends. Shortly after that, Anna's mother attempted suicide. Anna found her. Her mom ended up in the hospital with Anna staying at her father’s place with his new wife and their baby. It’s a heck of a lot to deal with.
Through the course of the novel Anne makes new friends, connects to her step mom and half sister, reconnects with her father, and begins to forgive her mother. It’s a thoroughly authentic satisfying read!

5 stars
Miles to Go by Beryl Young 🍁

In 1940's on the Canadian Prairies, two young girls have to deal with overwhelming loss. Keeping their friendship intact requires gargantuan effort. Beryl Young has created brilliant characters and put them into realistic situations.
I cried buckets.
I learned in the back matter that the book is based on real events.

5 stars
Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

I warn you, this series is addictive. In this one Murderbot rescues Mensah and her crew from from the corrupt Graycris corporation. I adore Martha Wells for creating this character. I love the fast paced plots. I adore the humour. I was heartbroken thinking this was the last in the series, but see that a fifth is scheduled for released next year. I can hardly wait.


5 stars
Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle, Rafael LΓ³pez (Illustrations)

The book contains poems about eighteen important hispanic individuals who lived in what is now known as the United States of America. The earliest character, Juan De Miralles, was born in the early 1700's and one of the most recent, Baruj Benacerraf, died in 2011. Women and men are highlighted. Many of them are mixes of African and indigenous peoples. Their contributions are diverse. Some, but not all of them are famous. I knew of a few of these people, but most were new to me. The back matter contains short biographies of each of them.
The poetry is exquisite. So is the art. If you click on the Poetry Friday post above, you can see samples of the art and read snippets of poetry.


I'm listening to Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy. I've started Just Jaime by Terri Libenson. I'm not going to mention The Creativity Project by Colby Sharp or The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago until I'm finished them!


Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge and Pumpkinheads: A Graphic Novel by Rainbow Rowell are up next. I've also got a pile of picture books.


How exciting is this? I have reached nearly all my reading goals!

#MustReadIn2018 25/25

#MustReadNFIn2018 11/12 - one in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 24/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 84/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 366/333


  1. Except for a couple, every book is new to me, Cheriee. Thanks for those 'remembrance' books. I hope I'll be able to find them. "In Front of My House" sounds fun, as do the Halloween & Christmas books! You might like Lee Bennett Hopkin's poetry collection, America at War! Thanks for every bit. You read a lot!

    1. I tried to find America at War! in my library but they don't have a copy. I have been feeling under the weather so I've done little other than laze around and read!

  2. My preschooler and I watched the movie version of Room on the Broom for Halloween, and enjoyed it a lot. I'll have to find the actual book. Salvage the Bones is on my bookshelf, I just have to find the courage to read it. Have a great reading week!

    1. It does take courage to read Salvage the Bones. Have you read anything else by her? I loved Sing, Unburied, Sing.

  3. I can't wait to get to the rest of the Murderbot series. I've just felt compelled to finish more of my #MustReadin2019 titles, which means putting others on hold. Ugh! Where You'll Find Me sounds fantastic -- adding to my list! And I enjoyed Jesmyn Ward's Sing Unburied Sing, but it was much heavier than I anticipated. Wow. Still, I'm adding Salvage the Bones to my list. You have so many great things to share, as always, Cheriee! Thank you!

    1. both Sing Unburied Sing and Salvage the Bones are emotionally intense reads, but oh so worth it! Where You'll Find Me is one of my MustRead titles!

  4. Kids like the Emmie and Friends graphic novels a lot. I have Just Jamie sitting on my desk to read!

    1. I'm going to go and have to find Invisible Emmie so I am caught up with this series.

  5. Lots of new titles for me -- thanks for sharing!

  6. In this world of constant competition, it is difficult to survive as a self-pub author. Every detail matters and getting reviews is a big part of my marketing strategy. I ordered a few reviews from https://usabookreviewers.com/christmas-gift to get more visibility and sales this Christmas season..

  7. All of these sound interesting, bit I am especially intrigued by Salvage the Bones and Positively Izzy. And I LOVED Ramona Blue on audio!! One of my favorite listens last year - enjoy!


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