#IMWAYR November 4, 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.

Halloween is over and I only managed to finish reading one creepy novel and one creepy graphic novel last month. How did you do? 

Although I am a second tier Cybil judge in the graphic novel category, I've been trying to read many of the nominations anyway. I like to know what the finalists were up against. Really tiny font is a killer for me no matter how fabulous the story and artwork!

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.


Poetry Friday November 1, 2019

Poetry Friday October 25, 2019


3 stars
Red Parka Mary by Peter Eyvindson &  Rhian Brynjolson (Illustrator) 🍁

I enjoyed this heartwarming tale about a boy and an elderly woman who become friends. The characters are indigenous but the author is not. It was published in 1996, before the #Ownvoices movement. All the money from the sales of this and the author's other books go towards funding homes in Haiti for abandoned children. I'm wondering if this justifies cultural appropriation.

4 stars
Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin & Samantha Cotterill (Illustrations) 🍁

I read this picture book about a girl and her pet rock in a classroom I was in. They were studying geology. Readers will learn there are advantages and disadvantages to having a rock for a pet. I liked the surprise ending but wish there had been some hints earlier. Delightful vintage illustrations.

4 stars
Poppy's Best Paper by Susan Eaddy & Rosalinde Bonnet (Illustrations)

I read this one while subbing in Carrie Gelson's classroom recently. It's a charming book with two important messages: celebrate our friends' successes and it takes work to be a great author.


3 stars
Grimoire Noir by Vera Greentea & Yana Bogatch

In this small town all the women have special powers. There is a special force field around the town that makes it impossible for them to leave. Our hero, Bucky, once longed for a power of his own, but then his sister was kidnapped. As he searches for her he learns the dark side of having powers.
I was impressed as all get out by the artwork here. I had a devil of a time reading the font though. I appreciate the story line, which is truly creepy, but the ending didn't leave me feeling satisfied.

4 stars
Click by Kayla Miller

This is a delightful novel about friendship and finding your own way of fitting in. When the Fifth Grade Variety Show is announced, all of all of Olive’s friends form groups and make plans for what they want to do. Olive is left out. At a sleepover with her aunt they watch old variety shows and Olive finally decides what she would like to do. I love the diverse cast of characters. I like Olive and her friends. I’m looking forward to meeting them again.

4 stars
Guts by Raina Telgemeier

What I loved most about this book is that Raina and her friends discovered that authenticity is best. Being and sharing who you are helps all of us realize that we are not so different.

5 stars
Best Friends by Shannon Hale & LeUyen Pham (Illustrator )

In this book Shannon Hale explores the difference between being part of a popular group, and having real friends. Her grade 6 year is full of near crippling anxiety. Her worries about fitting in get in the way of her just being who she is. She makes some terrible mistakes before she comes to understand that it is ok to follow her own passions.


5 + stars
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss & Nick Podehl (Narrator).

Just Wow! What a story! It was more than 28 hours of listening, but I hated each time I had to pause and deal with the details of real life. In this book Kvothe, the protagonist, tells of his early life and time at the university learning magic. I feel compelled to start the next in the series, The Wise Man's Fear, but at 994 pages, I might wait for next Summer's Big Book Challenge! At almost 43 hours, I don't think I will listen to it.

4 stars
Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

As you might have noticed from the quote at the top of this blog, I am a hard core Terry Pratchett fan. Sometimes a person needs to escape the realities of of their ordinary life and visit Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. This hilarious novel is a parody of football. Like all of Pratchett work it’s full of important messages about living a good life and getting along with others. I always come back from his worlds refreshed and full of laughter .

5 + stars
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Gu Miyoung is half Gumiho. She needs to feed on human energy. Her conscience is appeased by killing only evil men. Then she rescues Jihoon, a teen boy, from a goblin. Their fates become entwined.
I couldn't put this book down. I adore the combination of mythology and modern times. Readers will discover plenty of pathos, action, and humour in this love story that highlights doing the right thing. Although it has a satisfying ending, it also introduces us to the sequel. (I can't help but wonder if schools in Korea really have this level of bullying.)
I don't say this often about a book, but this was the jewel in my last two weeks reading life.

3.5 stars
The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills 🍁

Three generations of Cree women live together. They all have the ability to see ghosts, catch them, and help them move on. Shelly, the youngest of them is in 6th grade and looking forward to following the family tradition. When her mother dies in a car accident Shelly searches for her ghost and ends up collecting and keeping a menagerie of other ghosts in her bedroom.
I liked the three characters. My problem with this book is that it's more about dealing with grief than it is about the ghosts. I wanted more. I wanted to be more connected to and afraid for Shelly but that never happened.


3 stars
Meet Tom Longboat by Elizabeth MacLeod, Mike Deas (Illustrator) 🍁

This was ok. I appreciated reading this biography of an important indigenous Canadian. I tried to find out if either the author or illustrator have any indigenous connections but unfortunately couldn't find any. I can't help but wonder how different it might be if it was. This was published in 2019, well after the #Ownvoices movement. I don't see how Scholastic Canada can justify this cultural appropriation.

4 stars
Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia by D. Anne Love, Pamela Paparone (Illustrator)

This is a good introduction to an unknown philosopher and mathematician. It doesn’t address the challenges that must have faced Hypatia and her father as she was brought up with the freedom and education only available to men. The art is spectacular.

5 stars
What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn & Kathy Lowinger 🍁

The history of indigenous peoples since first contact with Europeans isn't comfortable reading. This makes it necessary to read about it from an indigenous perspective.
I've written a blog post that I will share this week, closer to the publication date. If I was still in my library I would preorder two copies of it. I would book talk it at a staff meeting and strongly encourage every teacher in the school to read it.


5 stars
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris (Illustrator)

As gorgeous as the poetry in this book is, it's almost completely overshadowed by the spectacular art.


I've just started listening to Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I'm into Positively izzy by Terri Libenson. I made a bit of progress on The Creativity Project by Colby Sharp and The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago.


I've got Miles to Go by Beryl Young, Estranged by Ethan M Aldridge,  Exit Strategy by Martha Wells are up next. I'm also planning on reading the full version of Pumpkinheads: A Graphic Novel by Rainbow Rowell. I downloaded it from Netgalley without realizing it was just the first bit. In retaliation I decided to read the whole novel before reviewing it. (I hope the rest is as good as that snippet)


#MustReadIn2018 23/25 one in progress

#MustReadNFIn2018 11/12 - one in progress

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 24/25

25 books by Canadian Authors 79/25

Goodreads Reading Challenge 353/333


  1. I love seeing about Click, and have Best Friends, both for my older granddaughter who will be in 6th grade next year. I love The Lost Words, and you've reminded me I haven't even shared it yet. Good questions about the 'Red Parka Mary' book! Thanks for all, Cheriee!

  2. Gimoire Noir sounds very interesting. I hope the ending wasn't satisfying because they made room for a second book. I can't wait to read Guts. It's on my very large pile of must reads.

  3. Thank you for mentioning the font of Grimoire Noir! I really want to read it, but this might be a deterrent for me. Wicked Fox is on my TBR, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Have a great week.

  4. I've just put in a request for Shannon Hale's Real Friends, so I'll plan to start Best Friends after that. I'm happy to be hearing such great things! And I don't know when I added The Name of the Wind to my list, but I see it's already there. I'm so glad to hear how much you loved Wicked Fox and I'm excited to see where book #2 takes us in that series. Thanks for all these shares, Cheriee!

  5. Best Friends has been sitting on my desk since September. I really need to read it. Students enjoy Click. Have a great week!

  6. Wow. What a lot of wonderful books.

    The line for Raina Telgemeier at the Texas Book Festival was out the door and around the block. I think it was the longest line at the festival.

    Have a great week!

  7. Lots of great graphic novels this week! The biggest issue I had with Best Friends was when the girls were calling boys and having them rate the girls. Yes, I remember things like that happening when I was growing up. I just wish there had been a moment when young Shannon realized how wrong this was. Don't want a resurgence of that happening!!

    1. Thank god I don't remember anything like that. I agree that it was distressing and am with you that we don't want a resurgence!

  8. Poppy's New Paper is a good title for me. I will definitely see if my library has it.