Welcome readers! It's #IMWAYR time again, when bloggers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to. 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. These are fabulous places to start your search for what to read next.
It's been mostly a better post Covid week. Although my energy levels come and go, I have managed to get the garden under control (for now at least.)
Clicking on the title will take you to the Goodreads page of the book.
Bear and the Whisper of the Wind by Marianne Dubuc 🍁 March 1, 2022
Although Bear lives a comfortable satisfying life, one day he gets the the urge to leave and explore the world. Along his way he makes new friends. He also experiences terrifying events before he finds a new place to settle into again.
In a note from the author, Marianne Dubuc writes, "Sometimes life forces us to move, whether physically of mentally. It's important to let ourselves be guided by this ebb and flow, remembering that everything will be fine in the end and that there is always a comforting corner of the world to find."
Abuelita and Me by Leonarda Carranza & Rafael Mayani (Illustrator) 🍁 April 12, 2022
Just Wow. Thanks to Lisa Maucione @Literacy on the Mind for introducing this book to us. I picked it up because I thought it would be a lovely feel good story about a grandparent/grandchild relationship. It is, but it doesn't shy away from darkness either. A young girl and her abuelita have wonderful times inside, but when they go outside, they experience racism in many different ways. After one scary incident on the bus, the girl doesn't want to leave the house. Abuelita helps her to process the experience until she is strong enough to take the bus again.
This book packs an emotional wallup!
Kirkus calls this "A lexical story of emotional evolution." I wish I had come up with that line for this book.
Give me a character I can love with my whole heart, and I will love that author forever.
I read Worser in one sitting. William Wyatt Orser, named Worser in his primary years, is a nerdy kid with a passion for words and wordplay. His life has recently fallen to pieces. His mother had a stroke and his artistic, creative Aunt Iris, the antithesis of his academic mother, has come to stay and look after all of them. The last straw is when the school library is closed after school due to budget cuts and Worser has no place to go for respite.
I wish I had felt more emotional connection to the characters. They are people I like and even admire, but I never felt invested in them. Maybe my attachment to them will grow in other books in the series.
"Satellite Love is a heartbreaking and beautifully unconventional debut novel about a girl, a boy, and a satellite--and a bittersweet meditation on loneliness, alienation, and what it means to be human."
This blurb is a good overview of this book, but doesn't come close to acknowledging the complex and multilayered weirdness of it.
It's set in Japan in 1999. The girl is Anna. She's been bullied for years by classmates at school. She lives mostly alone with her grandfather who has some kind of dementia. The boy, Soki, is new to school. He is the only person in the book Anna has some kind of real conversation with. She has a crush on Soki, but he has a crush on another girl in their class. So, all of that is within the realm of the ordinary.
The story is told through the perspectives of these three main characters.
I tried at first to listen to the book, but that format just didn't work for me. I began to read it, but got Covid and for two weeks couldn't focus on much with my eyes - especially not something as unique as this book. When I started reading again, I ended up skipping ahead to read the ending. After than I had to read the whole book. It's not an easy read. I agree that it is an examination of loneliness, alienation, and what it means to be human. It's also a dark descent into madness. This could by a YA title.
The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell by Jordan Sonnenblick