#IMWAYR March 21, 2022

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. 

Happy Spring everyone!

I'm going to be out of town next weekend so I thought this Monday, I better post what I've been reading. We will be in Vancouver, BC, where I will be delivering this quilt to my youngest granddaughter. I hope she enjoys it as much as her six month older cousin enjoys hers. 

Friday was International Quilt Day. The forecast was for rain, so I only hung a few wall hangings in my front window. I posted a collection of some of the quilts I have made over the years on Facebook

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.


4 stars

I Am Golden
by Eva Chen, Sophie Diao (Illustrator) February 1, 2022

Sophie Diao's illustrations are absolutely stunning! I love how inspirational and affirming Eva Chen's text is. This is one of those books that can be a mirror, a window, and a way to make connections between our own stories and history, and those of others. 
Unfortunately, my ebook was wonky and chunks of text were either missing or out of alignment. 


4 stars

Powwow, A Celebration Through Song and Dance
 by  Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane
April 21, 2020 πŸ

This book should be in every community and school library in North America. While the author focuses on Canadian First Nation Powwows, her scope extends into Native American Powwow culture and dances. The beautiful captioned photographs make the book worth picking up, even without the extremely informative text.
The back matter includes a glossary, an index, a resources section, and a note from the author.

We meet twelve year old Sara Martinez, a brilliant hacker, while she is talking with her legal aid lawyer. Sara hacked into the system to get information to show her foster parents up as the criminals they are. Instead, Sara is facing time in juvenile detention and no computer access for at least two years. 
A classily dressed man enters to replace her legal aid lawyer and before she can fully take stock of what is happening, Sara has been recruited as a spy and is on her way to Scotland. Within a couple of weeks she has to be ready to go on her first mission. 
The rest of the crew, also recruited by Mother, (Sara's saviour,) are a diverse group of teens and preteens from around the world. 
I needed this book. It has just the right amount of fun, excitement, intrigue and escapism. I've already put a reserve on the next one in the series. 
Thanks to the many #IMWAYR posters who have written about James Ponti. I have finally joined the fan club.  

John, a 30ish year old Cree man, lives a relatively reclusive life on his ranch in Saskatchewan. Not far from him is Nadine who carries a torch for John. Nadine teaches traditional dance and has organized a tour of Europe with her troupe. When food poisoning brings Nadine and her dancers low, John's brother, the chief, manipulates him into taking her place along with Edna, an older woman, and her niece, Desiree. Neither of them are dancers so he's going to have to teach them. At the airport they meet up with the last member of their troupe, Lucas Pretend Eagle, a young, slightly manic Native American. It starts off inauspiciously with their plane being hijacked. Meanwhile, Nadine has recovered from her food poisoning, connects up to someone else who claims to be Lucas Pretend Eagle and the two of them set off to meet up with the dancers in Germany. It continues on with one debacle after the next. 
At the same time as this book is full of humour, it's loaded with heart-aching sweetness. 
The story is told through the perspectives of John, Edna and Nadine. By the time they return home, we have learned a lot of their backstories and they have all learned more about themselves. Some of them might even have found love. 
I didn't know til I read the blurb on Goodreads after finishing the book, that this is very loosely based on the true story of a group of Indigenous dancers who left Saskatchewan and toured through Europe in the 1970s.

Understanding how other people experience the world is it's own kind of challenge. Connecting to how Octopus experience it requires a whole other level of comprehension. Just what is consciousness anyway?
Sy Montgomery takes us with her as she learns about, and bonds with, these remarkable animals. This book is full of humour, awe, and heartache. 

Some of the animals Montgomery connected with spent their entire life in captivity. I wish she had more fully addressed the incongruity of keeping such brilliant, beautiful creatures in what to them, are small cages. Some aquariums, like the Vancouver Aquarium near me, justify having them on display by only keeping each one for a limited amount of time before returning them to the wild. When I asked one of the staff there why they keep them in such small spaces, he told me it was because if they were bigger, the animals could get enough speed and force behind them to break the glass. 

If I hadn't already stopped eating octopus after watching My Octopus Teacher, I certainly would now. 


Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez πŸ
    This is a reread from me and I am having a hard time with it. I now know the ending for some of these characters and Hernandez' writing is so good, that I am emotionally invested in them and dread revisiting what happens. 

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of Katherine Johnson by Katherine Johnson

Bewilderment  by Richard Powers


Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson


#MustReadFiction 6/24 

#MustReadNonFiction 3/18 - 1 in progress

Canadian Authors 17/100

Canada Reads shortlist 5/5 rereading one

Indigenous Authors 7/25 

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 70/250

#IMWAYR March 14, 2022

 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. 

I'm here today with a couple of weeks of reading. It's a schedule I might adhere to since I seem to have a lot happening in my life these days. 

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.


5 stars

Aaron Slater, Illustrator
by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts (Illustrations) November 2, 2021

Just Wow! I think this is my favourite title from this series. This story, told in verse, is based on Aaron Douglas, an American painter, illustrator, visual arts educator and a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance. 
Aaron Slater is a young boy with dyslexia. Learning to read is hard for him, but he is a gifted story teller and artist. He is lucky to be surrounded by supportive family and teachers who love and appreciate him as he is while they help him learn to read. Every school library should have at least one copy of this book. Classroom libraries should have copies of it. I wish it had been around when I was still teaching to share with students who struggled with learning to read. 

As someone who sews, I was predisposed to love this book. I did. I read it twice. I especially love that the collage illustrations show Elizabeth's designs in real fabric. I liked that the book didn't gloss over the horrible things that happened to her while she was a slave.
I'm left wondering what she wrote in her book that made Mary Lincoln so mad at her.

These biographies in verse are a delightful introduction to these three young women. Maria Merian and Maria Mitchell are new to me. I have been reading about Mary Anning, so I knew a fair bit about her. I like how Jeannine Atkins' poetry brings an emotional poignancy to these biographies.


This is a fictionalized account of Mary Anning, known as the Mother of Palaeontology. Some of the events in her life are mixed up (like the opening of her shop), but this is an interesting look into her life.

4 stars

Pax, Journey Home
 by Sara Pennypacker, Jon Klassen
 πŸ (Illustrator) & Michael Curran-Dorsano ( Narrator)

The war is over. In this book we see how Pax has moved on with his life and new family. In the mean time, Peter is still coming to grips with almost overwhelming loss. He joins the Water Warriors to help cleaning up the land and water destroyed by war. He doesn't want to connect with others because he doesn't want to experience that kind of loss ever again. In the end, when Pax needs him, his healing begins in earnest. 
I started reading this about the same time Russia invaded Ukraine. It left me wondering how people recover from these kinds of atrocities. 

The more I read of Nnedi Okorafor, the more I want to read.
It's almost impossible for me to put one of her books down once I've started. AO and DNA just might be the sweetest couple I've read in a long time. It helps that their romance is really incidental to the brilliant science fiction. I hope this is the first in a series. 

4 stars

by Nnedi Okorafor & Ben Onwukwe (Narrator) August 18, 2020

It says a lot about Okorafor's writing that I was totally engaged in this super hero novel. It's a genre that I generally avoid. After Nnamdi's father, the police chief, was murdered, he and his mother end up living in near poverty. Then the ghost of his father gives him an ikenga, a small artifact that confers magical powers. Nnamdi uses these powers to fight crime and search for his father's murderer. He agonizes over his use of violence. When his friend Chioma learns what is going on, she ends up helping him. The numerous confrontations with the father's possible murderers and the almost completely corrupt police system make this a fascinating read. 

I am not well acquainted with the bible, but I enjoyed this fictional history that deals with the lives of women. It has been on my want to read list for a decade or so. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. 

  • Powwow, A Celebration Through Song and Dance by  Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane πŸ
  • Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez πŸ
  • The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour by Dawn Dumont πŸ
  • The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery
  • Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
  • Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of Katherine Johnson by Katherine Johnson

#MustReadFiction 5/24 

#MustReadNonFiction 1/18 - 2 in progress

Canadian Authors 15/100

Canada Reads shortlist 5/5 rereading one

Indigenous Authors 5/25 - 2 in progress

Goodreads Reading Challenge: 56/250