#IMWAYR MAY 25, 2020

Hello out there. 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.



I am celebrating.

First because I finished reading all the Chocolate Lily candidates. Mostly they are all really great reads so choosing the finalists is going to be challenging!


Second, because we now have our garden planted! (There is more to come, but for now we are on top of things.)





Tomorrow we start renovations.



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.


NOVELS: High Interest - Low Vocabulary


I need to begin this section by giving a shout out to the Orca Current novels written by British Columbian authors. These are, according to their website, "short, high-interest novels with contemporary themes written specifically for middle-school students reading below grade level. Reading levels from grade 2.0 to 5.0. Interest level ages 10–14." Many of these are written by award winning authors and from what I am reading, many are own voices books. I'm impressed as heck. 



4 stars
Embrace the Chicken by Mahtab Narsimhan 🍁

This little novel packs a lot of important messages into it. Like many newcomers to Canada, Shivani is struggling to fit in and find a place for herself in her new school and community. She is terrified that if people meet her mother, who is struggling with English, people will make fun of her. If they do that, they will also end up making fun of Shivani.

I cringed at how Shivani was ashamed of her family and her culture. Thankfully, her parents are smart and their new community is diverse and accepting. I really appreciated how responsible and responsive all the adults in this book are. I also liked how thoughtful the students are. This is the reality of the multicultural world I spent many years teaching in.


4 stars
Tick Tock Terror by Melanie Jackson 🍁

I don't do scary at the best of times. That's why it took me a while to garner enough courage to open this book. As an adult reading books for children, my perspective is different from the target audience. I'm so busy worrying about what will happen to the characters, I don't get involved in the way younger readers might. On the other hand, I know the Edgar Allan Poe story this one references so that might just be another reason for my anxiety.

Anyway, this is a fast paced, tense, thriller for younger readers. Connor, who loves to climb, is coerced into hiding a stolen object high on a 'Pit and Pendulum' fairground ride. Fixing the mess he's gotten himself into isn't easy.
What I really liked about this book is how the many different characters are shown to be more than Connor assumed.


4 stars
Dressed to Play by Jennifer Manuel 🍁

The publisher asserts that "Sports Stories are action-driven sports novels that turn reluctant readers into all-star readers! Plus, they feature characters with diverse racial, physical, mental, and economic backgrounds."

Dressed to Play impressed me much more than I anticipated. I admit to even getting a bit weepy at the end. Jordan loves basketball almost more than anything else, but when she starts getting called names and has to deal with bullying, she almost quits.
I especially appreciated how this book takes a hard look at misogyny and body image within the world of sports. It has made me appreciate all those young women athletes across time even more than I did before reading this.
You can find out more about this series here.
http://www.lorimer.ca/sportsstories

NOVELS



4 stars
The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead & Rachel L. Jacobs (Narrator)

This character driven book is just charming. I loved the authenticity of Bea as she struggles with all the changes in her life. When her father acknowledged he was gay, her parents divorced, but continued to have her best interests at heart. When her father decides to marry Jesse, Bea discovers that Jesse has a daughter. Sonia takes longer to embrace their new sisterhood, but Bea is undaunted.

Throughout the book Bea sees a therapist to help her deal with her anger issues. Eventually we become privy to a big secret that has been eating at her.
I appreciate how much Rebecca Stead deals with in this book - separated parents, living in two different places, therapy as part of a normal life, homophobia, and the ordinariness of spats and arguments with friends and family.


5+ stars
Cold Falling White by G. S. Prendergast 🍁

This book is the jewel of my reading week. 

It just wowed me. I started reading and couldn't stop. The world building, the characters, and the story held me in its sway till it was finished. I still can't stop thinking about it.
I have the first in this series somewhere in a box, but alas, we have moved and I have no idea where it is. Otherwise I would have jumped right in. I did read a synopsis before starting this just in case I needed to know what happened before. I don't think it was really necessary.
Earth has been invaded by alien creatures called The Nahx. The Nahx, who are a cross between machine and clone, hunt humans and kill them with a special kind of poison dart. The series focuses on a group of Canadian friends who were camping in the Rocky Mountains when the invasion took place. This saved their lives, but they were still hunted by Nahx soldiers.
This begins with Xander being escorted across Nahx territory by August, a rogue Nahx. August loved Xander's friend, Raven, who died in the previous book. He gives up his life to save Xander who eventually ends up in a refugee camp near Prince George.
Raven wakes up after being darted to find herself transformed into a human version of a Nahx.
The action packed tale is brilliantly told through the perspectives of these three characters. I'm desperately hoping there will be another in series. 

It is pure genius. I just can't recommend it enough. 


CURRENTLY


I'm reading March: Book Three (March, #3) by John Lewis, and rereading Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch for an upcoming book club. I'm listening to The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo.


UP NEXT


I'm hoping to go and reread the the first two in the March Trilogy. All my unread hardcopy books are in boxes so I've just downloaded The Case of the Missing Auntie by Michael Hutchinson and A Short History of Indians in Canada by Thomas King. It's about time I started reading to reach my indigenous goals.


PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS


Big Books Summer 2020 1/10


#MustReadIn2020: 9/25

#MustReadNFIn2020: 4/12 one in progress


25 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors: 9/25 


100 books by Canadian Authors: 91/100


Goodreads Reading Challenge: 172/333

23 comments:

  1. You had me at "character driven book" for Rebecca Stead's new novel. I'm someone who much prefers a character driven novel over a plot driven one. I'll have to move this one up my TBR pile.

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    1. So am I Beth, and then when character and plot are exemplary, there is nothing finer.

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  2. I've heard a lot about The List of Things that Will Not Change. That can give a lot of perspective to kids who are going through something similar. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It sure can! I liked that Bea feel guilt because of her actions and that her therapist helps her see that she isn't responsible for things that happened after it. I think many kids carry irrational guilt and worry.

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  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed The List of Things That Will Not Change! I agree, it's amazing how much Rebecca Stead packed into that relatively short book. Cold Falling White also sounds excellent! About Tick Tock Terror, I have basically never recovered from reading The Pit and the Pendulum, so I'd probably want to stay away from that book. ;) Your garden looks great, and good luck with renovations! Thanks for the great post!

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    1. Rebecca Stead always impresses me - no matter what she writes.
      The Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport Oregon had an Edgar Allan Poe room with a pendulum above the bed. I couldn't even go all the way into the room.

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  4. I'm waiting for the Stead book to come from my Indie, will read soon. So many have loved it! I like the idea of Tick Tock Terror, and don't read many scary books anymore either, but it sounds good! Your garden looks fabulously ready for the growing, Cheriee! Have a good week ahead!

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    1. It will be worth the wait Linda. I haven't started purchasing books yet, but I'm not sure how much longer I can hold out.

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  5. WHOA -- your garden looks amazing, Cheriee! I've done so little to ours and my 6-year-old is on me night and day about finishing the work we started last week. But I hope to get some stuff in the ground TODAY. After your rave review, I'm definitely adding Cold Falling White to my list. I already really enjoy science fiction, so this should be a very enjoyable read. Thanks for all these shares!

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    1. Today while emptying out the room we started gutting I found the first in the series. I am so excited! I have a couple to read and then that will be my next summer big book!

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  6. Your garden looks awesome! I really enjoyed Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, so The List of Things That Will Not Change seems like one that I should look for. Thanks for sharing and have a terrific week!

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    1. Thanks Jana. When You Reach Me is the book that turned me into a Rebecca Stead fan!

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  7. I have also been impressed with the Orca books, especially their sports titles. Stead doesn't do well in my library, and this one seemed young. Good luck on your renovations!

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    1. I haven't read the Orca Sports series, but I've liked all the ones from the different collections so far. I agree that Bea seems young. I had a group of readers who loved her work and think that it would work with grade fours.

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  8. I can't wait to read more of John Lewis's story from March to the hopefully upcoming Run.

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    1. I didn't even know about Run! Thanks for the heads up Earl.

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  9. Wow, you put my garden to shame! It looks absolutely amazing. What are you growing this year?
    I really enjoyed Stead's new book too. I think the length will appeal to many readers, too.

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    1. This is double what we usually put in.... We are growing a lot of the usual stuff, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, etc etc. What's new this year is that we are trying potatoes.

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  10. I loved The List of Things that Will Not Change. I also remember reading a Melanie Jackson book a long time ago, at my former school, so at least nine years ago, called The Big Dip. It also took place on a ride, a roller coaster, at the PNE actually. I remember it because I had a student and it was the only book he read that year, he read it twice. Also an Orca book, and it started with a bang and kept going. I will have to search up the one that you have here as well. Another book I was really attracted to but I could not read your review is Cold Falling White. I only just got the first book in that series, literally yesterday, so I don't want any hints. I did see the 5+ rating though. Hope you enjoy the new garden, and good luck with the renos, have a great week!

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    1. I just found my copy of Zero Repeat Forever and am so excited to be able to start it as soon as I am done with my book club books.
      Orca does a great job of publishing books that appeal to readers. I wish we as librarians took more time to encourage students to read them. They are ideal for reluctant readers.

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  11. The new Rebecca Stead is sitting on my bed table. I just need to finish Elizabeth Acevedo's new novel and then I'm ready! I am so glad to read these reviews of the Orca books. I'm definitely adding them to my next book order! Your garden is amazing!

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    1. I need to finish The Way You Make Me Feel so I can start Elizabeth Acevedo's new novel. I'm not sure our garden is amazing (yet) but it is big!

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