#IMWAYR July 26, 2021

Hello everyone. 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.

The world is on fire. At least, our part of it is. As of Sunday, we have 1,217 fires burning in our province. One of them is raging across the valley from where I live. So far it has burned 6,871.8 hectares (16,980.6 acres) It's moved from the grassland areas where people live into the treed area above it. On Sunday evening we sat on our front lawns with friends. Looking through our binoculars, we watched trees candling. I wept. 

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

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


This book features a diversity of boys engaged in all kinds of activities. They all focus on positive attributes. The books works to eliminate toxic masculinity from boys and men.

4 stars

Story Boat
by Kyo Maclear & Rashin Kheiriyeh (Illustrations) 🍁

A family of refugees makes their home in different places on a daily basis. It’s the small things: a special cup, blanket, or light, that comfort them.
Rashin Kheiriyeh’s lovely artwork “was created with the coloured pencil and watercolour, oil and acrylic paint and painted paper, with additional natural materials including wood, wall and cut paper.”

4 stars

Escape Goat
 by Ann Patchett & Robin Preiss Glasser (Illustrations)

When this adorable goat decides it wants to see more of the world, it ends up getting accused of all kinds of things it didn’t do. I loved Robin Preiss Glaser‘s detailed artwork. She used ink and watercolour to create these illustrations. Many thanks to Shaye Miller for turning me onto this book.

4 stars

The Rock from the Sky
 by Jon Klassen 🍁

This is dark and weird and screamingly hilarious.


4 stars

The Bat
 by Elise Gravel 🍁

Elise Gravel creates absolutely delightful nonfiction titles for younger readers. They are so much fun, you hardly know you are learning. She proves that bats are fascinating in this one. I appreciate that she even mentions how we humans are threatening bats with extinction.

5 stars

Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued
 by Peter Sís

I knew about the kindertransport, but this similar story is new to me. Nicolas Winton was a young man in 1938 when he arranged for 669 Jewish children to leave Czechoslovakia before the German invasion. Vera is one of the young girls he saved. This beautiful book, that celebrates the good that an ordinary person can do, gave me shivers.


4 stars

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend
 by Dawn Quigley & Tara Audibert (Illustrations) 🍁

Jo Jo is a first grade Ojibwe girl. Her first best friend is a cat. She’s not sure about Fern, her school best friend. At the same time as this book is delightfully funny, it also deals with the important topic of how to be a friend.

Jo Jo reminds me of Junie B Jones.
Tara Audibert is Canadian. 


4 stars

Ways to Grow Love
(Ryan Hart, #2) by Renée Watson

There is less cooking in this second Ryan Hart novel, but that's because Ryan has so much going on in her life! Her pregnant mom is on bed rest so she spends more time with her Grandma. She's busy reading books from the library for their summer reading program. There is the excitement of summer camp with her best friends. It isn't until the end of the book that we see this young chef cooking up a storm again.
Ryan learns a lot about caring for all your neighbours, even the ones you don't know. She comes to understand forgiveness. At the end of the book, Ryan discovers the overwhelming love of a baby sister when she arrives.

5 star reads

Instructions for Dancing
 by Nicola Yoon & Bahni Turpin (Narrator)

Every time I read something by Nicola Yoon, I fall more in love with her writing. If you add Bahni Turpin's narration into the mix, you get about as close to perfection as is possible.

I thought this would be a light fun romance. I needed it after all the intense adult nonfiction I've been reading. It has many of the aspects of a fun filled romcom. It's even got a bit of magic.

Ever since Evie Thomas caught her father kissing another woman, she doesn't believe in romance. Then she developed the ability to read the past and future of kissing couples. None of them have had happy endings. This new ability of hers led her to a dance studio where she ended up partnering with X, a gorgeous young man. The two of them enter a dance contest. Of course they fall in love. It seems perfect until Evie has one of her visions while the two of them are kissing.

What suprised me about this book is how deeply it looks into the nature of love. It's a lot about forgiveness, living for the moment, and embracing the love you get for however long you are lucky enough to have it.

This book deals with sexual assault.
Kiran Kaur was raped by her brother in law to be, a police officer, when she was still in Punjab. She left to go to Simon Fraser University, and didn't tell her mother about her pregnancy til she had safely arrived in Canada. Her mother doesn't believe her. 
Kiran was lucky to make a good friend, Joti, at university. Kiran moved into their house and Joti's family became Kiran and her daughter, Sahaara's family. 
Kiran remained in Canada as an undocumented immigrant while Sahaara grew up. When Sahaara was eighteen, Kiran was picked up by border officials. This is when Sahaara learned about her mother's history.
This book tells the stories of Kiran and Sahaara. At first Sahaara wonders about who her father was, and then when she finds out she struggles with hating herself. 
This is written in both poetry and prose. It's intense - so intense that I could only read it in bits and pieces. It's an emotionally hard read that speaks authentically about the reality of sexual assault and it's ramification for survivors. It's a story of love, survival, and speaking your truth. 

“This [is] has been a book about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems.”

We are living in the Anthropocene age. In our meddling with ecosystems, we always end up making things worse. We have destroyed our planet to such an extent, that we have put our species at great risk. A review in the New York Times states, "Leaving the natural world to repair itself isn’t an option anymore — or, at least, it’s not an acceptable one, considering the death and suffering that would inevitably ensue."
Kolbert writes about different mega projects either in the works, or in the research stage, in an effort to mitigate the worst of the damage. All this just so we can save ourselves from ourselves. She shows us an electrified river created to keep the voracious Asian Carp out the the great lakes water system. She talks about the terraforming attempts to return land to the areas around New Orleans. There are attempts to remove carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into rocks, ideas for seeding the atmosphere with diamonds, and projects to genetically modify coral polyps in hopes of saving the Great Barrier Reef. It isn't very hopeful.
As I finish this we have another wildfire burning out of control across the valley from us. It's the fourth fire in our vicinity this year. We haven't even reached the traditional fire season yet. While Kolbert didn't talk about fires in her book, I can’t help but make the connection between the constant roar of the helicopters and airplanes in the air here trying to keep us safe and what it's costing us to cope with this aspect of the climate crisis.


Code Name Hélène by Ariel Lawhon with Barrie Kreinik & Peter Ganim (Narrators)
The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt 
History Is Delicious by Joshua Lurie

The Fabulous Zed Watson! by Kevin Sylvester & Basil Sylvester
Bruised by Tanya Boteju
I'll continue to work at getting the picture book pile under control.


A Kid Is a Kid Is a Kid by Sara O'Leary
History Is Delicious by Joshua Lurie


#MustReadIn2021 20/25

#MustReadNFIn2021 8/12

#MustReadPBIn2021 48/100 

Big Book Summer Challenge 5 one in progress

Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 24/25

Books by Canadian Authors: 76/100 - one in progress

Canada Reads 2021 4/5 

Discworld Series 41/41

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 276 /333 


  1. So many great, new-to-be books. The Jon Klassen book sound great and Story Boat looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

    1. I loved The Rock from the Sky. I'm not sure that kids will get all the humour in it, but I think they will.

  2. I am so sorry about the wildfires where you all are—I can imagine that is a truly horrifying sight to have to be near. It looks like you've found some wonderful books lately! I'm hoping to read Story Boat soon, and The Rock from the Sky sounds great as well! Instructions for Dancing sounds like a fun read, and I always hear so much praise for Nicola Yoon's books. If I Tell You the Truth and Under a White Sky both sound very powerful, but definitely very intense! I hope you enjoy your books this week, and thanks so much for the great post!

  3. Your description of Rock from the Sky is perfect. I can't really think of a better way to describe it!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your post, especially because I was hoping to hear that you were not too near to the Nk'mip fire. Those are tough pictures to look at , as it is an area we have always enjoyed visiting. It seems like with the increase in resources that things are getting slightly better this week, but I am not looking forward to this next heat wave.
    I really appreciated reading about all of your books this week. The only one that I have read is the Elise Gravel book, oh, I forgot I read Rock from the Sky too. I particularly liked the looks of JoJo Makoons and If I Tell You the Truth. Nicola Yoon is an author I have been meaning to try. She seems outside my usual age group and genre, but I have been reading a few books like her's and sharing with my fourteen year old.
    All the best of luck to you and your friends this week with the wildfires.

  5. You have a few books on here that I need to read. Nicola Yoon's book stands out in my pile but I've been reading so slowly lately, it's just sitting there! And the next Ryan Hart! I really need to get to that before school starts. I need more time...

  6. JoJo Makoons is in my TBR stack and plan to read it soon. I love the Renee Watson's Ryan Hart series and am hopeful for more.

  7. This has been such a hard summer. It's so hard to watch my province turn to kindling and burn. My heart breaks. :-(