#IMWAYR February 17, 2020

Here we are. It's #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.

My partner and I are enjoying a respite from city life here in our home in Oliver BC. I love to look out our living room picture window.  A skiff of snow on the mountains emphasizes where earth meets sky. Stark branches of deciduous trees are etched in front of dark green coniferous. Hardy birds take to air or perch on tree branches and along the power lines. Then there are the quail scurrying around the ground searching for things to eat. In the middle of February, we are in a holding pattern, aware that spring is on its way, yet knowing that winter still has a grip on the land.

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

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


5 stars
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards & G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)

This one hits the sweet spot for me for so many reasons. It's got that relationship between generations. It's about acts of kindness and love. But mostly, it's because I am a knitter who has tried to teach youngsters and older folks how to knit. The truth in it makes me laugh. Brian Karas' art is lovely. I am impressed by the note on the jacket cover saying that he learned to knit to prepare for illustrating the book.

4 stars
16 Words: William Carlos Williams and "The Red Wheelbarrow" by Lisa Jean Rogers & Chuck Groenink (Illustrator)

This is the author's interpretation of what might have motivated Williams to write his famous poem. Along the way we readers learn a lot about the poet's life as a doctor and author. It's beautifully written and illustrated. I especially appreciate that they highlight Williams' ability to notice and write about ordinary things and ordinary people. His gift, through choosing words so carefully, is to make them seem extraordinary. I love the way the art brings it all together.

5 stars
Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler

Based on a true story, this tells the tale of a mother and her eight children who made a home out of a shack deep in the woods. They lived there for five years. Told from the perspective of Marvel, the author's grandmother, it follows the family across one year. At first dismayed by the cabin's appearance, they were able to transform it into a place of beauty and love. I loved the illustrations and story so much that I've read it about three times now. I can't help but connect to the time my family lived up north in a slightly larger, if equally inhospitable cabin.
I loved that they found a root cellar with a pump for water. Those jars with rings irritated me because I thought everyone used glass tops with rubber rings. I went and researched the history of canning jars to discover that metal rings and tops would have been available in the 1930's.


5 stars
Son of a Trickster (Trickster #1) by Eden Robinson Indigenous 🍁

I adored this and was pretty much gobsmacked by it. It's one of the most brilliant coming of age novels I've read in ages. It's the first in series of books about Jared, a young man growing up in a culture almost decimated by the actions of colonialism.
It reminded me of Lee Maracle's books, Ravensong and Celia's Song. All of these books integrate indigenous ways of knowing the world into their novels.

4 stars
The Size of the Truth (Sam Abernathy #1)by Andrew Smith & RamΓ³n de Ocampo (Narrator)
I took a bit of a break from reading Andrew Smith because the book I read after Grasshopper Jungle, didn't live up to my very high expectations for his work. I'm glad to have gotten to this one. It's got that weirdness that I love as well as showcasing the sweetest boys.

5 stars
Empire of Wild by Cherie Dimaline & Michelle St John (Narrator)  Indigenous 🍁

This is one hell of a read! The writing is absolutely exquisite. Michelle St John’s narration is spot on. I'm so impressed by how Dimaline's work functions on so many levels. It's a stand alone brilliant love story showing what we will do for people we care about. I'm not a huge can of creepy, but was so riveted I couldn't stop listening even when I was terrified of what would happen next. At the same time, it ends up being a profound examination of indigenous/settler relationships historically and today.
At first I thought this book was very different from The Marrow Thieves, Dimaline's previous novel, but as I got into it I began to make connections. Both books integrate indigenous history into modern or futuristic settings. In Marrow thieves we see a repetition of the residential school system. This novel harkens back to the role of missionaries in the first stages of colonial takeover. It's terrifying that here it connects to getting acquiescence for a pipeline. I also appreciated the Red Riding Hood theme. I connected it to the murdered and missing indigenous women and the rogarus inside the men who are responsible, but also to the harm we do to ourselves when we hold hatred inside.


I'm listening to The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman.  I'm trying to finish up all the Canada Reads books before March 19th when the debate begins. I've finished three  already and have started reading Radicalized by Cory Doctorow. I'm also reading The Afterwards by A. F. Harrold.


I'm not sure what will be my next audiobook. I plan on delving into the boxes of books I have to read as a juror for the Chocolate Lily awards.


#MustReadIn2020: 3/25

#MustReadNFIn2020: 2/12

25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors: 10/25 one in progress

100 books by Canadian Authors: 14/100

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 65/333


  1. Some great looking titles this week. I am really interested in Eden Robinson's book (I can't imagine it would be appropriate for my elementary school?) and Empire of Wild. I also enjoyed The Size of Truth. The picture books all look like beautiful additions to any library. Thanks for the post, enjoy your break from the city!

    1. Neither of those books are appropriate for elementary schools Aaron. Son of a Trickster is too full of drugs, alcohol and sex. Empire of Wild is a crossover adult/YA novel. They would be good additions to high school libraries.

  2. I have a copy of The Afterwards, but haven’t read it yet. I’ll be curious to hear what you think after you read it.

  3. I loved 16 Words, but even more I loved A Home In The Woods, amazing & wonderful story. Thanks for the cute knitting book. My youngest granddaughter decided she wanted to learn how to knit, & she & her mom learned from a youtube video! She has made a scarf so far & is having fun with it. I'll find this book, Cheriee. Thanks for the chapter books, too!

    1. I have learned all kinds of fancy knitting stitches from watching youtube videos. I am so thankful for all the knitters who share their knowledge!

  4. Good luck with your reading committee!
    The chapter books you mentioned are intriguing me - I'll have to see if my library carries any of them!

  5. I really enjoyed Home in the Woods, too! I’ll definitely have to check out the other books on your list! Have a great week!

  6. Size of Truth is the perfect level of Smith weirdness and awesome Smith writing. :)
    I love "Red Wheelbarrow," so I look forward to the interpretation in 16 words. And have fun with your Canada Reads books!

    Happy reading this week :)

  7. I'm so glad you've reminded me of Home in the Woods, Cheriee. I haven't yet read it, so it's time to start hunting down a copy. Also, I've not yet read Son of a Trickster -- I think this is the first I've heard of it. I need to go check it out on Goodreads. As always, thanks for the shares!