It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/26/2020 #imwayr

2020-10-26-COLLAGE

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

I hope everyone had a wonderful reading week! I know that I did and now I’m eagerly anticipating Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend, which will be released TOMORROW!! It felt like the we’d never arrive at U.S. publication date (because Australians got it a month before we did!!), but here we are. I absolutely LOVE this series and hope the third book is as good as books #1 and #2 were!

We received our ballots in the mail and plan to drop them off in the courthouse dropbox later this week. So in addition to the novels I finished this week, it seemed appropriate to share a few of the election/president/vote children’s books I found in my local libraries. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list. NOTE: I’m having to slightly alter the format to my posts because, with the forced WordPress re-model, my emailed posts are now coming out all wonky and my old format is just not working out. So this is me just trying to go with the flow and adjust.


37829267

Dear Justyce
(Dear Martin, #2)
Nic Stone
September 29, 2020
Crown

Dear Martin was one of my absolutely favorite reads of 2018. At the time, so many people were comparing it to The Hate You Give and I remember thinking that, while I enjoyed both books, Dear Martin was my favorite. In any case, as soon as I learned there would be a sequel, I wanted to read it. In this story, after Quan is sent to prison for the shooting of a police officer, he begins writing letters to Justyce.

“We were all looking for the same things, man: support, protection, family…”

What I appreciated, so much, about this book was the exploration of what happens to your options when you come from a troubled home in a troubled neighborhood. It studies domestic violence and gangs from the inside and really challenges the reader to take another look at the lack of options and just how easy it is to get where Quan lands.

“We find the families we were desperate for and learn different ways of going about things.”

I won’t spoil the story, but I’m so grateful my library already had this book and I’m happy to recommend it!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


50948214

A Place at the Table
Saadia Faruqi
Laura Shovan
August 11, 2020
Clarion Books / HMH

I’m grateful for this book, told in alternating voices of two sixth grade girls — one who is Pakistani American and the other being Jewish. While they each have different levels of privilege, it’s clear that Sara and Elizabeth share some important struggles. For example, both their mothers are attempting to become American citizens. Still, it is difficult to be vulnerable and trust that someone else will have your back when you need them most.

Much of the story revolves around a South Asian cooking class where the girls become partners and enter a cooking contest. So don’t be surprised if your mouth waters uncontrollably as the descriptions of the foods they’re creating. YUM! Also part of the story are depression and financial struggles. Both are important experiences that bring life to each girl’s home life and must be boldly addressed.

Racism and stereotypes are common issues in today’s school, therefore I was glad to see it faced head-on in this story. We know many children are merely repeating the misinformation they’ve heard at home, but the ending to this book provided so much “feel good” joy and hope that these obstacles can be overcome in our society. I hope children’s libraries everywhere will be sure to stock this very meaningful #ownvoices story!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


48717633

The Voting Booth
Brandy Colbert
Robin Eller, narrator
Cary Hite, narrator
July 7, 2020
Disney-Hyperion
Dreamscape Media, LLC

My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me with this audiobook so that I could review it on my blog. I had such fun listening to this story, told in two voices, about Marva Sheridan and Duke Crenshaw. They wake up on election day ready to go out and do their duty — VOTE! But Duke Crenshaw runs into a problem, immediately, and might have given up altogether if he hadn’t met Marva that very day. Marva is very driven and has made it her purpose to get as many people to the voting booth as possible. In an effort to get Duke’s vote to count, they end up skipping school and facing a run-around on voting location. They also must spend a chunk of time searching for Marva’s beloved cat who got out of the house by accident.

I didn’t want to stop listening to this book and I actually learned a lot about voting. For example, I didn’t know that even if you aren’t registered on election day, in some places you can fill out a registration application on the spot and still vote. This was a fun and light-hearted ready!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


Election Day Books

This week I’ve had a large collection of local children’s books all about voting, the President, and Election Day. Instead of reviewing all these books in detail, I’ll just share a collage of what I picked up and links to each book on Goodreads, below:

Election-Day-2020-Collage

Vote! by Eileen Christelow
Froggy for President! by Jonathan London and Frank Remkiewiczi
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House by Susan E. Goodman and Elwood H. Smith
LaRue for Mayor: Letters from the Campaign by Mark Teague
Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans
Amelia Bedelia’s First Vote by Herman Parish and Lynne Avril
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White and Nancy Carpenter
Papa’s Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert and Colin Bootman
Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy, Eric Stein and James E. Ransome
Otto Runs For President by Rosemary Wells
What’s the Big Deal about Elections by Ruby Shamir
The Night Before Election Day by Natasha Wing and Amy Wummer
One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote by Bonnie Worth, Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu
My Teacher for President by Kay Winters and Denise Brunkus
Susan B. Anthony by Alexandra Wallner
Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone and Rebecca Gibbon
So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George and David Small
If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier
Election!: A Kid’s Guide to Picking Our President by Dan Gutman
Votes of Confidence, 2nd Edition: A Young Person’s Guide to American Elections by Jeff Fleischer
I Can Be President (Barbie) by Christy Webster and Kellee Riley
The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents by Kate Messner and Adam Rex
The U.S. Presidency by Bill McAuliffe
How to Be President of the U.S.A. by Murray I. Suid
We Can Vote by Ann Bonwill
Susan B. Anthony: Fighter for Women’s Rights by Deborah Hopkinson, Amy Bates and Amy June Bates
Citizen Baby: My President by Megan E Bryant, Daniel Prosterman and Micah Player
Citizen Baby: My Vote by Megan E Bryant, Daniel Prosterman and Micah Player


To Be Read:

I am currently enjoying The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay and I’ll continue reading through my election, vote, president books with the kids, this week. I also hope Hollowpox arrives by Tuesday so that I can dive in to book #3 of the Nevermoor series.

2020-10-26-TBRb


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  292/300


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/19/2020 #imwayr

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

We’ve had the most gorgeous autumn in western Nebraska! The colors are so vibrant and yet the temps have been surprisingly warm. Then this weekend we had a nice little snow, completely covering all grass and topping cars with a thick blanket of white. We are also so happy that we got our new-to-us piano moved in last weekend and on Thursday our new washer and dryer arrived. This place is starting to feel more and more like HOME! ❤

In celebratory news, today is my hubby’s birthday! Last night he requested biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs for supper. Then today he will be taking off work a couple hours early and we’re all looking forward to homemade nachos, cake, ice cream, and two football games this evening. YAY! Sadly, I had a mishap with his birthday gift because I was trying to keep it super secret. I participate in a national survey program that gives me points each month. So here’s how the surprise was supposed to work:

  1. Convert my survey award points to three digital Mastercards,
  2. Convert the digital Mastercards to Paypal,
  3. Use Paypal to purchase three Ebay gift cards,
  4. Combine Ebay gift cards with other Paypal source to secretly purchase big surprise for hubby.
  5. Sit back and watch my mastermind plan play out beautifully!!!!

I, unfortunately, got stalled at purchasing the Ebay cards which landed me on the phone with customer service for a while (only to discover it’s actually a glitch in their system that will hopefully be worked out before my husband’s next birthday). It looks like I’ll be printing out a photo of this year’s gift. LOL

On to books… It’s been a great reading week! I’ll be sharing three middle grade novels that were published in the last couple months along with a new pile of 2020 picture books. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.


49397817Hatch: A Novel
(The Overthrow #2)
Kenneth Oppel
September 15, 2020
HarperCollins

My thanks to Netgalley, HarperCollins, and Kenneth Oppel for providing me with a digital ARC so that I could write an honest review. As I shared back in April, this series has been an incredible match for what we’re currently experiencing in real life with Covid-19. Book #1, Bloom, seemed almost prophetic when I first read it as the US blames China, there’s no toilet paper, and people begin wearing masks. Nevertheless, this series is definitely science fiction with the alien element to it. Strange plants appeared practically overnight and they couldn’t be killed. As the death toll increases, Anaya, Petra, and Seth appear to be the key to the planet’s survival.

Then book #2, Hatch, pulled me much deeper into the fictional world as we learn that this trio, with their unique abilities, are not alone. There are more like them. In fact, they quickly discover they can communicate telepathically, which is unusually personal and intimate with elements of smell and color. As we’d expect, the government realizes these children might not be 100% human, so they take them into custody to study. But one thing is for certain, even behind several feet of cement or buried in a deep bunker, there’s nowhere safe on Earth with so many things hatching.

I cannot spoil the storyline, but just do yourself a favor and go purchase the first two books of this series. The third book will be released this spring and it’s going to be a very difficult wait! Talk about a cliffhanger… Hurry up May 4th!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


53033829._SX318_SY475_Three Keys
(Front Desk #2)
Kelly Yang
Sunny Lu, narrator
September 15, 2020
Scholastic

I’ll admit I was a tad worried that I wouldn’t enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Front Desk, but there was really nothing to fear. Yang is an incredible writer and these characters are so well developed (and downright lovable). Three Keys starts off where Front Desk left off. This book in the series seemed even more of a historical fiction because much of it was based on the controversial ballot initiative in California known as Proposition 187, which would boot all children of undocumented immigrants out of public schools. To remain spoiler-free, I can’t share much more (especially if you haven’t read Front Desk, yet). However, I love the fact that in this heartfelt story, children are assured that the term illegal alien is an incorrect description of a person. Because humans aren’t illegal. And they’re not aliens. When one of Mia’s friends is asked about what it’s like to be undocumented, she shares: “It’s like being a pencil when everyone else is a pen. You worry you can be erased any time.” 

The Author’s Note at the end is an absolute must read! Kelly Yang was only 10 years in 1994, but she well remembers the anger and rampant racism during Prop 187. One in four California residents were Latino, so every non-white child in California faced undocumented assumptions on a regular basis. This section is packed full of facts and statistics, including what’s taken place since Donald J. Trump took office while Mexicans were labeled as criminals and immigrant children were separated from their parents. Furthermore, the number of deportations of undocumented immigrants with no prior criminal records has actually tripled over the last three years and immigration arrests have gone up 40%. Sadly, Trump also rescinded the DACA program, leaving an estimated 700,000 immigrant children in limbo. Highly recommend this series!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


49189485Letters from Cuba
Ruth Behar
August 25, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

Whoa. I am on a roll with deep and meaningful historical fiction books this week. Don’t be fooled by that adorable, cozy cover, though. I wasn’t fully prepared for the depth of emotion and fear in this story. Twelve year old Esther is a Jew living in Poland on the eve of World War II. In an effort to get the family to safety, her father heads for Cuba to prepare a safe home for his whole family. It takes him three years to raise enough funds to transport just one of his children to be with him in Cuba. He chooses Esther, which turns out to be the right choice. Because she is able to use her amazing skills to raise far more money than her father ever could.

While this story isn’t a constant upbeat story of glitter and rainbows, the sun shines through at the most crucial times, highlighting the value of community and hope. The reader is given wonderful insight into Jewish customs and beliefs while sharing how Esther and her father give themselves grace on which religious practices to follow to perfection and which can be altered considering their new home. There’s a wonderfully detailed author’s note at the end where we hear about Ruth Behar’s grandmother (who this story was actually based on). We also learn that Behar is a cultural anthropologist. She mentioned Letters from Rifka written by Karen Hesse as a book that helped inspire her to write Letters from Cuba. So I’m definitely adding that title to my list. This was a wonderful book and I’m happy to recommend!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


48727535._SX318_A Perfect Day
Sarah S. Brannen
July 20, 2020
Philomel Books

This book had me laughing out loud. It’s a story with few words, but so much feeling. The bird sees a perfect day. The crab sees all the imperfections. Then after an unexpected life-threatening scare, the two decide they can agree to disagree because they have a friend with which to share the perfectly imperfect day. The artwork was done in watercolor on 300 lb Arches Bright White cold press paper. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

A-Perfect-Day-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


53103436._SX318_SY475_Danbi Leads the School Parade
Anna Kim
July 7, 2020
Viking Books for Young Readers

What a sweet, sweet picture book about the first day of school for a young Korean American child named Danbi. She doesn’t know English yet, she feels like everyone is staring at her, she didn’t know how to write the English alphabet, she didn’t know the dances or games, and her lunch was so different from everyone else’s. In the end, music and a parade save the day and she begins making a new friend. The artwork is so lovely and highly detailed. The author’s note is very special as it shares the experiences of Anna Kim on her first day of school in America. When her nieces were born, she hoped to find some books with characters with whom they could identify. Thus began the birth of this book. I cannot see how the artwork was created, but I’ll provide one page spread, below:

Danbi-Leads-the-School-Parade-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


53104590._SX318_SY475_Finding François: A Story about
the Healing Power of Friendship
Gus Gordon
July 7, 2020
Dial Books

In soft watercolor illustrations, this picture book begins with Alice Bonnet, a young girl who lives with her wealthy grandmother in France. However, Alice is lonely and wishes she had a young friend to talk to. One day she tosses a glass bottle into the river with a note hidden inside. And thus begins a long distance message-by-bottle friendship with François, a young boy who lives far, far away in a lighthouse with his father. When Alice eventually faces the loss of someone she loves, a year goes by without communication with François and he begins to wonder if she’s forgotten him. However, little does he know that a grand plan is being concocted — he will not be disappointed. It’s a somewhat unusual story and might be a great segue to a unit on penpals. The illustrations for this book were created using watercolor, pencils, and old found papers from a wide variety of sources. I’ll provide one page spread, below:

Finding-Francois-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52195834._SX318_SY475_National Regular Average
Ordinary Day
Lisa Katzenberger
Barbara Bakos, illustrator
June 23, 2020
Penguin Workshop

Ahhh, the long summer days where children’s can so easily become bored. Peter and Devin have fallen into a rut where every day is pretty much the same thing: action figures, shooting hoops, and building blocks. Peter discovers that he is super bored, so he goes on a quest, of sorts, to find all of the unique holidays to rate on a scale of 1 to 10. Until one day when he discovers there’s no holiday. NONE! What will Peter do? In the end, every day can be fun when you have friends with which to share it. There’s no explanation on how the artwork was created. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

National-Regular-Average-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52119209._SX318_SY475_

Mayhem at the Museum:
A Book in Pictures
Luciano Lozano
June 16, 2020
Penguin Workshop

I adore wordless picture books, so I was delighted to find Mayhem at the Museum through our Inter-college loan option. Humorous pictures depict a young girl’s class taking a field trip while the paintings and statues come to life, interacting with the children by giving them hats, flowers, fruit, a guitar. At the end they leave the museum empty-handed, but clearly full of joy. The only words in the entire book are on a red sign just near the opening of the museum. At the beginning of the book it says “No Touching the Art” and at the end it says “The Art Touches You.” I’ll provide one page spread as an example of the artwork, below:

Mayhem-at-the-Museum-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52031625._SX318_SY475_Can I Give You a Squish?
Emily Neilson
June 9, 2020
Dial Books

Personally, I always enjoy a close squish with my littles. But would my next door neighbor like a squish? What about the postal employee who drops off my mail? Can I squish my dentist? Perhaps not everyone wants to be greeted with a squish and it’s always helpful to ask before touching someone. With adorable illustrations, this young merman learns this important lesson so that everyone in his area of the ocean will feel appreciated while not being touched in ways that make them feel uncomfortable. The artwork in this picture book was created digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Can-I-Give-You-a-Squish-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52650103._SX318_Runaway Signs
Joan Holub
Alison Farrell, illustrator
June 2, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

Hey, signs are people, too! Right? Well, these feisty signs are about to test that theory when they take a day off from work to run around the city and even visit an amusement park. It doesn’t take long before the entire city is utterly confused, driving backward on one way streets, not knowing where to cross the street, and being clueless about how fast to drive. Will these road signs ever be able to safely leave their posts, again? 🙂 These cute and colorful illustrations were done in gouache and ink. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Runaway-Signs-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


49219863._SX318_SY475_I’m Trying to Love Rocks
Bethany Barton
June 2, 2020
Viking Books for Young Readers

Apparently this book narrator has a whole lot to learn about rocks. Because they’ve gotten the idea that rocks are boring. Watch how this adorable science-loving child patiently schools the narrator on the great variety of rocks that can be found in the world and all their many purposes and uses. The artwork in this book was created using Higgins inks on paper, Photoshop CC, and Rebelle 3. The main text was lettered with hand-carved bamboo calligraphy pens and ink. I’ll provide one page spread as an example of the illustrations, below:

Im-Trying-to-Like-Rocks-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52565391._SX318_When the Storm Comes
Linda Ashman
Taeeun Yoo, illustrator
May 26, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

I may be weird in the fact that I love storms. When the winds begin to blow and the sky darkens, I get excited when all my chickies (and sometimes their friends) run home to safety. Maybe we’ll start the fire or bake something or play some games or make some popcorn and watch a movie (if the electricity is still working). In any case, this entire picture books is about preparing for an impending storm, the things we do while we wait out the storm, and then the community clean-up efforts afterward. The soft, comforting illustrations for this book were created using digital and pencil drawings. I’ll provide one page spread with some great onomatopoeia as an example, below:

When-the-Storm-Comes-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


53002409._SX318_SY475_Piglette
Katelyn Aronson
Eva Byrne, illustrator
May 26, 2020
Viking Books for Young Readers

Sweet, little Piglette was the seventh child in her country family. She seemed unusual to her family with her curiosity and need to explore. One day she packed up and parted for Paris where she did all the fancy things she couldn’t do in the country. But eventually, she knew she had to return home to be with her beloved family. Of course, Piglette discovered a way to have the best of both worlds to entertain both her city friends and her country family. Very cute!

There are lots of “p” words in this book, so it would be a nice addition to any Kindergarten unit on the letter P. This one may also be a cute book to add to your list of “graduation gift” ideas since it’s about venturing out into the world, but always returning home. I see no explanation for how the artwork was created. However, I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Piglette-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

This week I have a gigantic pile of president, election, and vote picture books to peruse. I am also currently reading the YA book Dear Justyce by Nic Stone, which is the second book to the Dear Martin series. I’m right in the middle of Cities in Layers: Six Famous Cities through Time by Philip Steele and illustrated by Andrés Lozano (which I won in September from a giveaway Linda hosted at TeacherDance). And I hope to start A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan.


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  290/300


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/12/2020 #imwayr

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

I’m doing things a bit different in this post simply because I wanted to dedicate a full week of reading to children’s books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I was amazed when I discovered 11 children’s books (two due for publication in December). Many of the events and experiences from Ginsburg’s life are repeated in each book, so I won’t attempt to rehash or summarize each book. I’m mostly wanting to provide a glance at the general layout of the book, the artwork, and graphics.

I’ve learned a great deal, this week, and have felt a terrible sense of loss while flipping through these pages. The Supreme Court press release referred to Ginsburg as “a tireless and resolute champion of justice.” And this is apparent once you take a look at her record, including any failures she experienced. However, it’s the small interactions and every day happenings that fully revealed her character — those ongoing choices that can truly make or break a person’s integrity. She believed that leading a meaningful life meant living for one’s family and one’s community, not for oneself. And this was certainly exemplified in the decisions she made over the course of her lifetime. So if you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading these books, I hope you’ll find something of interest to add to your wish list.


50797960._SX318_The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg:
A Biography Book for New Readers
Susan B. Katz
March 3, 2020
Rockridge Press

This book is a nonfiction chapter book with pictures, graphs, and bolded quotes scattered throughout. I found it very helpful because it’s currently the latest publication on her life. And at 62 pages, it packs in a great deal of information for young children with important timeline events highlighted and quotes shared. The chapters are as follows:

Chapter 1: A Trailblazer is Born
Chapter 2: The Early Years
Chapter 3: A Woman in a Man’s World
Chapter 4: Fighting for Equality
Chapter 5: It’s a Woman’s World, Too!
Chapter 6: Inside the Courtroom
Chapter 7: Justice Ginsburg
Chapter 8: So… Who Was Ruth Bader Ginsburg? (Quiz included)
The back matter includes a 6-paged glossary and a 4-paged bibliography

Since both Goodreads and Amazon say this book was published last spring, I was surprised when the end of the book discussed Ginsburg’s death on September 18, 2020. So clearly, the e-book has been updated to share her recent passing. I’ll provide one page spread as an example of the illustrations, below:

Story-of-Ruth-Bader-Ginsburger-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


44328243._SX318_Ruth Objects: The Life of
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Doreen Rappaport
Eric Velásquez, illustrator
February 11, 2020
Disney Hyperion

This picture book was another 2020 publication that I was delighted to find already catalogued in our college library. The artwork is STUNNING with sometimes more than one very detailed illustration spread across two pages. I wish I could share more than one image of this book on my blog, just to showcase more (but… fair use rules)! There’s a surprising amount of text on each page, which I was happy to see because it added to my understanding of RBG’s life experiences. While the beginning of the book shared details about her childhood, schooling, and marriage, a good half of this book was devoted to sharing very interesting court cases she argued (and mostly won). Quotes were set aside in bold text, as well.

The back matter includes a timeline of important dates, an authors’ note, an illustrator’s note, and a selected bibliography. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of the gorgeous artwork:

Ruth-Objects-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


46266945._SX318_Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg?
Patricia Brennan Demuth
Jake Murray, illustrator
December 3, 2019
Penguin Workshop

This is another (even more lengthy at 112 pages) nonfiction chapter book that chronicles the life of Ginsburg from her birth on March 15, 1933 through 2018. It starts with a section on “Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg?” which talks about how her mother taught her to care for others who had even less than they had. So for every birthday, Ruth celebrated at a nearby orphanage with children who didn’t have parents. She and her mom brought treats and she enjoyed the smiles on their faces, immensely. And wow, this little childhood story doesn’t surprise me in least! The remainder of the chapters are as follows:

Chapter 1: An Immigrant Family
Chapter 2: A Terrible Secret
Chapter 3: Opposites Attract
Chapter 4: Law School
Chapter 5: Changing Times
Chapter 6: Landmark Cases
Chapter 7: From Lawyer to Judge
Chapter 8: “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!”
Chapter 9: “I Dissent!”
Chapter 10: RBG Today

A few points of interest:

  • This book shares more about Ginsburg’s fascination with art and opera.
  • The library she frequented as a child was built over a Chinese restaurant, so the smell of soy sauce and egg rolls always reminded Ruth of books.
  • Her mother surprised the family for after her death when they discovered she’d hidden away $8,000 to help pay for Ruth’s college, despite her terrible bouts with cancer.
  • While Ruth was good at many things, she actually flunked her driver’s test five times before finally passing.
  • This book is also the first time I learned the story behind her nickname of “the Notorious RBG” when she suddenly became a pop-culture hero.

The back matter includes a timeline of her life, a timeline of the world, and a bibliography. The illustrations are mostly black and white sketches between large sections of text. I’ll provide one page spread as an example of what to expect:

Who-is-Ruth-Bader-Gindburger-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


39338568Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader
Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice
Debbie Levy
Whitney Gardner,, illustrator
November 5, 2019
Simon & Schuster Books
for Young Readers

Okay, with each new RBG book I’ve read, I keep finding a new favorite. But I think this one is really my favorite. I’m actually not much of a graphic novel reader these days, but I was thrilled to find this 208-paged graphic novel that revealed more of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s attitude and spirit with wonderful facial expressions. A few new points of interest:

  • We see more about her life as a Jew in America and how she and her family reacted to the various happenings of WWII.
  • We see the impact Elenor Roosevelt had on both RBG and her mother.
  • Her husband, Marty, originally was a chemistry major and appears to have dropped that major to be in classes with RBG.
  • Ruth’s cooking was a disaster, so Marty felt he had to learn to cook by necessity. He loved cooking and felt it was just like chemistry.
  • At Harvard Law School, women had to run across campus to find a women’s bathroom.
  • As RBG began working with other law students and fighting against differential treatment that oppressed women, they called the system of oppression “Jane Crow” (a takeoff on Jim Crow).
  • I love that RBG’s mother continues to re-appear as a memory, reminding her of the lessons she was taught as a child.

The book contains 37 chapters focusing on different period of her life and then ends with a lengthy 8-paged Epilogue (not in graphic novel format) which was a beautiful conclusion to an amazing biography. The back matter includes a Timeline from 1933 to 2018, a 4-paged Selected Bibliography, and 9 pages of detailed Quotation Sources. Please go get this book! I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example, below:

Becoming-RGB-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


43822577Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(You Should Meet)
Laurie Calkhoven
Elizabet Vukovic, illustrator
August 27, 2019
Simon Spotlight

This 48-paged picture book covers all the main details available in other books and I really liked the adorable illustrations found throughout. Young children will definitely appreciate the detail (and some pages have more than one illustration). The Table of Contents is as follows:

Introduction
Chapter 1: Brooklyn Born
Chapter 2: College Dreams
Chapter 3: Professor Ginsburg
Chapter 4: The Women’s Rights Project
Chapter 5: You Can’t Spell “Truth” without Ruth!
But Wait… There’s More!

New points of interest:

  • Ruth’s mother, Celia, was extremely committed to Ruth’s education.
  • She had to sneak into quiet bathrooms to study, during college.
  • It was RBG’s tuna casserole that made Marty begin cooking. LOL!

Here’s one page spread to serve as an example:

Ruth-Bader-Ginsburger-You-Should-Meet-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


38240387._SX318_I Look Up To…
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Anna Membrino
Fatti Burke, illustrator
October 2, 2018
Random House Books
for Young Readers

This one is a cute little board book with only 22 pages. As it’s intended for toddlers, there are very few words on each page. In fact, every other page begins with “Ruth is…” and fills the space in with smart, strong, a leader, and a feminist, followed by another page spread with a few details. It’s a great way to introduce very young children to Ginsburg. Here’s one page spread as an example, below:

I-Look-up-to-RBG-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


35271016._SX318_No Truth Without Ruth:
The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Kathleen Krull
Nancy Zhang, illustrator
February 27, 2018
Quill Tree Books

I’m so happy my college library had this title in print because the 48 pages were a delightful mix of colors and information to read in non-digital format. The book kickstarts the story by reminding the reader that there is more fairness for women, today. “Sometimes the things we take for granted today happened because of a single person. This is the story of one of those change-makers: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, fierce fighter for fairness and truth.” Points of interest:

  • Ruth chipped a tooth while twirling her baton.
  • She kept her mother’s battle with cancer a secret from everyone she knew.
  • She missed her graduation since her mother died just the night before.
  • Other college students referred to Ruth as “scary smart.”
  • In Ruth’s first case as a lawyer before the Supreme Court, she was met with stony silence. Not one of them asked a question (which was highly unusual).
  • She always wore her mother’s pin and earrings to her cases before the Supreme Court.
  • During her years on the Supreme Court, she went parasailing, white-water rafting, horseback riding, paddleboarding, and water-skiing.

The book ends with a timeline, a detailed explanation of the American federal court system, a “Top 10 Moments When Ruth Bader Ginsburg Fought for Fairness on the Supreme Court” page, and a list of sources. The artist used traditional arts media and digital techniques to make the illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

No-Truth-Without-Ruth-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


33606292._SX318_Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The
Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality
Jonah Winter
Stacy Innerst, illustrator
August 8, 2017
Harry N. Abrams

This is another great 48-paged picture book and I really appreciated how it began like a court case: “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: During this trial, you will learn about a little girl who had no clue just how important she would become. You will see the unfair world she was born into–where boys were valued more than girls, where women were not encouraged to achieve and aspire. You will see evidence of that unfairness, just as she herself has seen it all her life. Here are the fact of her case.” Isn’t that wonderful! Points of interest in this book:

  • Ruth’s father owned a fur shop for many years and later worked at a clothing store.
  • Her father never finished high school.
  • Ruth’s mother never went to college and she got a job to pay for her brother’s education. But she wanted a different life for Ruth.
  • Ruth had many interests in high school, such as editing the newspaper, playing cello, twirling the baton, etc.
  • One of her most famous quotes about her mother during her acceptance speech for the Supreme Court: “I pray that I may be all that she would have been had she lived in an age when women could aspire and achieve, and daughters are cherished as much as sons.”

The book concludes with a detailed 2-paged glossary and an Author’s Note with many more details about RBG’s life. The illustrations in this book were made with gouache, ink, and Photoshop. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of what to expect in this picture book:

Case-of-RGB-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


28210996._SX318_I Dissent: Ruth Bader
Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Debbie Levy
Elizabeth Baddeley, illustrator
September 20, 2016
Simon Schuster Books
for  Young Readers

Aaaaaand I’m now at my final RBG picture book. Sniff, sniff. But at 40 pages, this was another good introduction to Ginsburg’s life. Throughout the story, the author playfully points out that Ginsburg disagreed, protested, objected, disapproved, resisted, did not concur, and dissented. Points of interest:

  • Ruth grew up in a very diverse neighborhood full of immigrants — there were people from Italy, Ireland, England, Poland, and Germany.
  • She read books about Nancy Drew, Amelia Earhart, Athena (goddess of Greek myths).
  • Ruth had a very bad experience with trying to be forced into writing with her right hand, when she was left-handed.
  • Her music teacher wouldn’t let her sing out loud in the chorus because her voice was so bad.

The back matter includes a lengthy 2-paged section with more details about RBG’s life followed by Notes on Supreme Court Cases, a Selected Bibliography, and Quotation Sources. The illustrations for this book were rendered using a mix of traditional and digital media. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

I-Dissent-Ruth-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


The following two books will be published in December, so feel free to add them to your Goodreads “Want to Read” List:

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

Who Is Ruth Bader Ginsburg? by Lisbeth Kaiser.
My Little Golden Book About Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Shana Corey.


Currently Reading:

49397817


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  277/300


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/5/2020 #imwayr

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

My, it has been quite a week due to illness around here. I suppose with a big family, you have to expect the dominoes to fall. So far just three of us, thank goodness! In any case, I’m posting four days late. So if anyone happens to stop by late in the week, I hope you’ll find at least something of interest to add to your reading list.


52130749._SX318_SY475_

Brother’s Keeper
Julie Lee
July 21, 2020
Holiday House

My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me with a complimentary audiobook of Brother’s Keeper. This historical fiction novel explored the realities of families living in Korea during the Korean war. There’s a great deal of fear in this Communist community. Citizens are not allowed to speak their mind. And if anyone suspects you do not agree with your leaders, you’ll be executed. Sora Pak is a big sister who must give up school to help take care of the family while her parents tend a farm. Young boys are to be educated, but girls are a different story. Their value lies in cooking and caring for the home. Sora is bitter about this view of young girls, but there’s really nothing she feels she can do. As the war escalates, friends of the family decide to attempt an escape, leaving the Pak family looking as though they knew of the plans and did not turn them in. So Sora’s family must hide her father for a period of time. As the political climate continues to worsten, it appears the best option for their family is to flee their mountain village and head for Busan. However, when Sora and her little brother Young get separated from their parents, they soon discover they will have to get to Busan on their own.

This book did an excellent job of showcasing cultural expectations in Korean families of the 1950s while also sharing the realities of this horrific war. The story is very dark at times, but also powerful. And there’s an author’s note explaining the story was loosely based on her own mother’s experiences in Korea. She shares that 3-4 million lives were lost and that, while there was eventually a cease fire, there has been no victory for either side for more than 60 years. This story was written for the middle grade audience, nevertheless I think this novel would be an equally wonderful read for adults who know little about the Korean War.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through Bookstore Link HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


50875517._SX318_SY475_

A Story about Afiya
James Berry
Anna Cunha, illustrator
April 7, 2020
Lantana Publishing

Afiya has only one dress and that’s all she needs. Wherever she goes, her white dress records the memories of her adventures. The beautiful artwork was created using mixed media, and completed digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Story-About-Afiya-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


45691661._SX318_

Nesting
Henry Cole
March 3, 2020
Katherine Tegen Book

This lifecycle picture book is black-and-white and accented only with robin’s egg blue, throughout. From beginning to end, we get to witness two robins as they build a nest and eventually raise four baby robins. There’s an Author’s Note at the end that shares more about American Robins. The artist used Micron pens and acrylic paints to create this lovely artwork. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Nesting-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


45730501._SX318_

The Bold, Brave Bunny
Beth Ferry
Chow Hon Lam, illustrator
February 11, 2020
HarperCollins

Perhaps children from larger families will especially appreciate this book about a bunny named Teetu who needs a break from his burrow full of so many bunnies. He heads out to explore the great wild and to record his journey in a book. But it’s not long before he begin to miss his family and he’s so very happy to find them, again. The artwork really makes this book! The artist used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Bold-Brave-Bunny-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


54236404._SX318_

Hooray for You
Marianne Richmond
April 2, 2019
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

With bright and cheery artwork, this book is all about celebrating everyone’s unique qualities. I appreciate that the story includes people of different abilities and from various cultures. I could not find a note on how the artwork was created, but I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Hooray-for-you-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


40003928._SX318_

What If?: What Makes You
Different Makes You Amazing!
Sandra Magsamen
February 5, 2019
Sourcebooks Wonderland

This cute little book is a splash of color with big bold fonts, intended to highlight the importance of uniqueness. In rhyming text, we see page after page of truly unique animals. For example, there’s a puppy with two difference colored eyes and an extremely tall giraffe. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of the artwork and message, below:

What-If-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


39855006._SX318_

You’re Just What I Need
Ruth Krauss
Julia Noonan, illustrator
January 22, 2019
HarperCollins

My youngest has very strong opinions about book covers. There are some books I sit down to read with her and she outright refuses for the simple fact that the cover just isn’t attractive to her. Sadly, that was the case with this book, for some reason. But as soon as she saw me flipping through the pages on my own, and wow’ing over the message, she said she’d like to read it with me. It’s a sweet story of a mother playing a game with her child — the youngster is hiding under a bundle of covers and the mother is pretending to not know what is under the covers. CUTE! While this story was recently republished, I saw that the original publication date was from 1998. The illustrations make me feel all warm and cuddly. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of the artwork, below:

Youre-Just-What-I-Need-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


36748571._SX318_

Inky the Octopus
Erin Guendelsberger
David Leonard, illustrator
April 3, 2018
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

In cute rhyming text, the picture book shares the actual story of Inky’s real-life aquatic escape! The back matter tells more of the story of the escape, including details about other odd octopuses and an “Are You Squidding Me?!” page followed by a bibliography. I’ll provide a one page spread as an example, along with a video clip of how an octopus can squeeze through a tiny hole.

Inky-the-Octopus-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


49646692._SX318_SY475_

My Best Friend Is a Dragon:
A Lift-The-Flap Book
Rachael McLean
May 26, 2020
Penguin Workshop

I picked up this little board book for my youngest since she loves dragons. There’s nothing particularly deep about it, just a little rhyming poem with bright, cheery illustrations and flip-up flaps to continue the text on each page. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

My-Best-Friend-Dragon-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


My thanks to Becky Herzog of Sloth Reads for the four books, above. I won them in a giveaway and have enjoyed reading them with my daughter. Each book takes the lyrics of a well-known song and creates illustrations to go with them. My favorite of the book was We’re Not Gonna Take It, written as babies speaking out to their controlling parents. So Cute!

Were-Not-Gonna-Take-It-SPREAD

I’ll link to all four titles on Goodreads, below:

We’re Not Gonna Take It by Dee Snider
African by Peter Tosh
Good Vibrations by Mike Love
Don’t Stop by Christine McVie


To Be Read:

I am still working on Hatch, book #2 of the Overthrow series by Kenneth Oppel. It’s so good, but I’m just lacking time to sit and read right now. I’m also planning to finish reading the stack of Ruth Bader Ginsburg picture books I’ve acquired over the last three weeks.

49397817


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020:  268/300


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/28/2020 #imwayr

 

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

Thank you for visiting, today. It’s been a somewhat slow week with planning for company and fighting a stomach bug. However, I did enjoy what I was able to read. I finished a young adult contemporary novel in verse and a handful of picture books. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.


9780062996480Punching the Air
Ibi Zoboi
Yusef Salaam
September 1, 2020
Balzer + Bray

This was a very moving novel in verse to read — a serious “punch” to the gut, at times. For while it’s a fiction novel, it’s based on many real life stories where the criminal justice system is clearly broken and abused. We’re too often in a hurry to punish someone for the crime, even when we lack firm evidence. This is one rather heartbreaking story of a young man facing such a scenario. It was incredibly touching when the main character, Amal, was looking for meaning in prison — including figuring out what he should have done differently to not end up behind bars. I mean, we’re talking about an innocent human being, here. Wow. I listened to this one as an audiobook. My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me with this title. I’m so glad this title is out in the world!

NOTE: Yusef Salaam is one of the authors of this book and, if you’ll remember, he was one of the Exonerated Five after being accused and convicted in the horrific rape case (Trisha Meili) back in 1989. It was only when another inmate made a full confession to the crime (and his DNA matched) that Yusef was released. When They See Us on Netflix is a social drama based on the experiences of the Exonerated Five.  

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52659200._SX318_SY475_Brick by Brick
Heidi Woodward Sheffield
May 5, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

I love this story showcasing the pride of young Luis in the hard work his Papi does as a brick layer. We catch glimpses of Luis at school while his father is working in the hot sun, building a surprise for Luis and his Mama. The collage art is so beautiful and I love the inclusion of onamonapia, throughout. I would definitely put this one down as a Caldecott contender. The illustrations were created using photographs digital painting, and collage. Sheffield used brick photos to create Papi and Luis, emphasizing their strength and fortitude. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Brick-by-Brick-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


44281059The Girl and the Dinosaur
Hollie Hughes
Sarah Massini, Illustrator
January 14, 2020 (U.S.A.)
Bloomsbury Children’s Books

My littlest is in love with dinosaurs, so I always love finding books on the topic that will spur on her imagination. In rhyming text, this book begins with a young girl named Marianne. She’s digging up dinosaur bones until she has enough to make an entire dinosaur! When she goes to sleep that night, she makes a wish that her bony dinosaur will come to life. And he DOES! In her dreams, of course. There are adventures and all sorts of magical elements they discover in their dreams. But the book ends the same way it began — back on the beach, with many children digging for more dinosaur bones. Perhaps they’ll each meet their dinosaurs when they go to bed, too.

The artwork in this book was created with watercolor, pencil, printed pattern collage, and Photoshop. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Girl-and-Dinosaur-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


45730527._SX318_The Good Egg Presents:
The Great Eggscape!
Jory John
Pete Oswald, illustrator
Saba Joshaghani, illustrator
February 11, 2020
HarperCollins

I thought this book was part of The Bad Seed series since it features none other than “The Good Egg” and is written by Jory John and Pete Oswald (with The Bad Seed, The Cool Bean, etc.), but it doesn’t appear to be listed under the series list. Am I wrong? In any case, the story includes eggs coloring themselves and hiding from Shel. So it will be just perfect for a read aloud around Easter! With colorful pictures and adorable expressions, children will certainly enjoy the personalities and humor in The Great Eggscape! The artist used pencil sketches scanned and painted in Adobe Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Eggscape-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


52648654._SX318_SY475_The Stray
Molly Ruttan
May 19, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books

This cute little book is about finding a stray dog, but with an alien twist. Unfortunately, the dog doesn’t really belong to them, so there’s a bit of sadness at the end. *sniff, sniff* When I was a child, we found a super cute and friendly dog roaming around. When we had no luck finding her owners, we adopted her, bathed her, fed her, got her a collar, and we absolutely fell in love with her. Several weeks later, maybe even months, her owners suddenly turned up. We were sad to see her go, but glad to see them so happy. So yeah, this book may be a comfort to those who are in a similar situation or who are fostering a dog who eventually gets adopted! The illustrations were brought to life with charcoal, pastel, and digital media. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Stray-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


46206677._SX318_I Believe I Can
Grace Byers
Keturah A. Bobo, illustrator
March 3, 2020
Balzer + Bray

In rhyming text, the message of this book clearly shines through that we can do anything we want to do, if we truly believe in it. Mistakes happen, though, so we must learn from them. Also clear in this book is the fact that many different identities are represented: ethnicity, gender, size, physical differences or disabilities. The facial features are quite beautiful. The book doesn’t share how the artwork was created, but it almost looks like colored pencils were used. I’ll share one page spread as an example, below: 

I-Believe-I-Can-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


978037585347010 Trick-or-Treaters:
A Halloween Counting Book
Janet Schulman
Linda Davick, illustrator
August 11, 2009 (board book)
Knopf Books for Young Readers

My six-year-old has been counting the days to Halloween for over a month, now. She is WAY too excited about putting on a costume and getting candy. So over the last week, she’s been reading and re-reading this old favorite. In rhyming text, the book counts down from 10 to none as children’s slowly disappear from the trick-or-treating group. They’re scared off by spiders, bats, a vampire, a mummy, etc. The sing-song rhythm and brightly colored images have kept my youngest coming back for more. I’ll provide one page spread as an example of the artwork, below:

10-Trick-or-Treaters-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndiBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

I am in the middle of both Hatch by Kenneth Oppel and Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee. And I’m saving my Ruth Bader Ginsburg picture books to share when I have to several here at once (still waiting on two ILL books to come in).


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 255/300 (upping my challenge to 300)


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/21/2020 #imwayr

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

Upcoming Releases: There are always books I’m looking forward to being released, but two very big series have releases in October and I’ve been anticipating both for a looooong time: (1) Return of the Thief (The Queen’s Thief #6) by Megan Whalen Turner, which is due for publication October 6th, and (2) Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #6) by Jessica Townsend, which is due for publication in the U.S. on October 27th. So if you are looking for an excellent series to jump into before the next book is released, these are both very engaging series with excellent world building, memorable characters, and complex relationships.

Thank you for visiting, today! This week I’ll be sharing one YA book, two middle grade novels, and six picture books. I hope you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading wish list!


51457347Millionaires for the Month
Stacy McAnulty
September 1, 2020
Random House Books for Young Readers

My thanks to Netgalley and Random House for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is the story of an unlikely friendship forged by a twenty-dollar bill. Benji is fairly wealthy, he’s the tallest kid in his class, and quite outspoke. Felix, on the other hand, is small, quiet, and his single-mom obviously struggles, financially. Happenstance places both boys in the right place at the right time to be thrown into a game of spending millions in free cash. The catch is, they have to spend over $5,000,000.00 in 30 days or they lose it all. Oh, and did I mention there are a number of rules they must follow. For example, no real estate, no jewelry, no art, and whatever they buy must be used by the boys (so no gifts for others). Easy peasy, right? WRONG! Because they cannot tell a soul about the challenge. Just imagine being the parents of THESE boys as they burn through millions in mere WEEKS!

While I admit I wasn’t enamored by the cover art, the story was captivating right up to the end. I believe the book will make an excellent middle grade read aloud – kids will be talking in class, in hallways, at lunch, and after school as they come up with ways THEY would have made the challenge work, despite the strict rules. But there’s more to this story than money and math. The family relationships and management of an unusual friendship are both insightful and touching. McAnulty writes so well for this audience! And be sure to check out the math information and charts available in the back matter.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Something to Say
Lisa Moore Ramée
Bre Indigo, illustrator
Sisi A. Johnson, Narrator
July 14, 2020
Balzer + Bray

For such a short middle grade novel, this one addressed several deep topics. Eleven-year-old Jenae thinks she possesses the power to do things to others without even touching them. She is certain she’s the reason her brother is injured, the reason her grandfather is ill, and she’s even sure her powers will allow her to manipulate her teacher into not giving an assignment she hates. But ultimately, the story isn’t really about a magical gift at all. It’s a story of family love and devotion, a story of fear and vulnerability, and a story that encourages the reader to look at all sides of an issue before holding so tightly to only one opinion. I adore Jenae’s friend, Aubrey. He’s this sweet, devoted, and yet awkward new kid who has latched onto Jenae. He is doing everything in his power to be kind, supportive, and inclusive. But Jenae won’t have it. Many young readers will identify with her fear of being truly seen — and the fear of rejection. And personally, as a performer who has suffered from stage fright more times than I care to admit, Lisa Moore Ramée nailed the emotional and physical exhaustion of confronting those horrific situations. My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me this audiobook so that I could review it on my blog.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through Book Links HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Toll
(Arc of a Scythe #3)
Neal Shusterman
November 5, 2019
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

People are vessels. They hold whatever is poured into them.”

Indeed they do. Oh my goodness, how can this series already be OVER?! At 625 pages, I feared this final book would feel like climbing a mountain. Simultaneously, I hoped it would be a momentous climax because the series was outstanding. Of course, I cannot share any of the details without spoiling books #1 and #2, but there were so many twists and turns. I was really invested in some of these characters (and happy to say goodbye to others). Also, I am completely jealous of IMWAYR host Kellee getting to meet Neal Shusterman this year. I may or may not have had tears in my eyes when I read about that author visit last March. Over the last year I’ve enjoyed Dry and the whole Scythe series. What Shusterman deliciousness shall I begin, next? I’m considering his Unwind series, so if you have any experience with it, please sound off in the comments.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Very Last Leaf
Stef Wade
Jennifer Davison, illustrator
August 1, 2020
Capstone Editions

Fall is my favorite season of the year. As the weather begins to cool down and the colors change, I look forward to so many yearly traditions. So The Very Last Leaf was a welcomed book to my monthly stack. Lance Cottonwood is a leaf, standing proud and determined while all the other leaves let go and fall to the ground. This one brave act is the final thing he must be graded on in leaf school. Everyone does it, it’s totally natural, but he’s not having it. There’s an internal emotional struggle before he finally gives in. And, of course, the bigger discussion here is the fear of death. Whether children will make that connection without discussion, I’m not sure. But there was a scattering of scientific vocabulary (photosynthesis, deciduous, etc.) in the story that would also lend this text as a good companion for the study of life cycles. My thanks to Netgalley and Capstone Editions for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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I Am Brown
Ashok K. Bankerax
Sandhya Prabhat, illustrator
March 3, 2020
Lantana Publishing

This cute picture features Black children of various sizes, cultures, families in each page spread — celebrating their accomplishments, foods, homes, clothing, etc.  No two “brown” children are exactly alike in each page spread. The point being that each child is unique and amazing, just as they are. I’ll share one page spread as an example of what to expect, below:

I-Am-Brown-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Shark Report
(Benny McGee and the Shark #1)
Derek Anderson
February 4th 2020
Penguin Workshop

Benny’s class is studying sharks and it has made him very fearful of swimming in the ocean. His assignment is to write about sharks, but he’s in for a surprise because a shark follows him home from his trip to the beach. It doesn’t take long before Benny realizes that sharks are pretty friendly and that he has nothing to fear, after all. He spends the day playing with the shark, which he names Mr. Chompers. However, he’s having so much fun that he forgets to write his shark report. Oops! I won’t spoil the ending, but at on the final page it says “coming soon…” so I’ll be looking for book #2 before too long.

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Lizzie Demands a Seat!:
Elizabeth Jennings Fights
for Streetcar Rights
Beth Anderson
E.B. Lewis, illustrator
January 7, 2020
Calkins Creek

In 1854, twenty-four year old Lizzie Jennings was kicked off a streetcar, illegally. The rules were that Black people could ride the regular streetcars as long as no Whites objected. She’d been born free and was a respectable school teacher. And no one objected to her riding. After her dismissal, a white man ran up to her and gave her his contact information in case she wanted him to testify on her behalf. And on February 22, 1855, her court case, Jennings v. Third Avenue Railroad Company, was heard and won. It was the first recorded court case won in the fight for equal rights on public transportation — 100 years before the well-known Rosa Parks encounter.  The back matter provides far more details, including the fact that her attorney, Chester A. Arthur, went on to become the 21st President of the United States. In addition to the Author’s Note, there’s also a Bibliography, and an Artist’s Note. The soft illustrations for this book were done in watercolor on hot-press paper. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Lizzie-Demands-a-Seat-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Max the Brave
Max Series, Book 1
Ed Vere
E.B. Lewis, illustrator
June 5, 2014
Calkins Creek

I’ve not had the pleasure of reading any of the Max books until this week. This is such a great series for allowing the reader to know and understand something that the main character does not. It will get children giggling since they know exactly who Mouse is, even when Max overlooks Mouse. The artwork is very simplistic, but quite expressive and funny. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

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You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Max at Night
Max Series, Book 2
Ed Vere
E.B. Lewis, illustrator
January 7, 2020
Calkins Creek

I bet children everywhere are loving this one before bedtime! Max has done everything he’s supposed to do before bedtime and now he just needs to say goodnight to everyone. But where is Moon? So simple, but so effective. I’ll share one page spread as an example, below:

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You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

This week I would like to start Hatch by Kenneth Oppel, which is book #2 of the Overthrower series. And with the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to honor her memory this week I’m reading Ruth Bader Ginsburg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality and I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. I also have No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on ILL order, so hopefully that will come in before the weekend.


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 248/250


What are YOU reading?


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/14/2020 #imwayr

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

This week has been better on the unpacking front. We made it through many more boxes, moved more items to the correct place in the house, and even took several trash bags full of clothing and odds/ends to a local rummage room over the weekend. We ordered our new washer/dryer (which won’t be delivered for a few weeks) and are arranging for our piano to be moved in very soon. It’s exhausting and tedious work, but I do believe there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

After taking a month off blogging this summer, I’m not pleased with the recent changes to WordPress. My posts are taking longer to publish because I’m having to go into the HTML coding and alter things that are not converting correctly. What a MESS! Anyone else in the same boat? Maybe I just need to block out more time to play around with it. Grrrrr!

On with the show…

Thank you for visiting, today! This week I finished one young adult novel, three middle grade novels, and a small stack of picture books — I’ll share seven of them. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading wish list!


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The Land of the Cranes
Aida Salazar
Narrated by Dani Gonzalezx
September 15th 2020
Scholastic Pressx

My thanks to Libro.fm for providing this Audiobook ARC. The story is a beautiful intermixing of English and Spanish. Lyrical and poetic, the words invite us to experience the world of 9-year-old Betita while she and her mother are captured by ICE and sent to live in extremely cold conditions, on hard cement floors, with only a metallic “cape.” Disease and lice ravage the refugees as they eat nasty mush and are called horrible names. The title, “Land of the Cranes” alludes to Aztec legends Betita’s father shares about cranes. It’s a metaphor for her family who have come home to America and who can now fly in safety and freedom. However, their experience with ICE clips their wings as they’ve been seeking political asylum.

I would call this book an #ownvoices book because, while Aida Salazar wasn’t detained by ICE, she was brought to the states as an undocumented child. Over time, her family got their green cards. But her family understands the fear and treatment of those coming in from Mexico in search of safety. She based this historical fiction story on the real life stories of many migrant children whose families were seeking asylum before they began living the nightmare in ICE detention centers. In many ways, this story reminded me of Santiago’s Road Home, released just last May. The story is painful, but moving. This title will release tomorrow, September 15th.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through the print book or audiobook through Bookstore Link HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Before the Ever After
Jacqueline Woodson
Guy Lockard, narrator

September 1, 2020
Nancy Paulsen Books
Listening Library (Audible)

This new middle grade contemporary realistic fiction novel in verse took my breath away. I had to stop a few times to talk about it with my husband. Wow. It’s about the devastating fallout a family experiences due to a brain disease known as CTE. ZJ’s father is a pro football player. He plays tight end and is a hero to all ZJ’s friends. Their house is the place to be as his father treats everyone like they belong. However, there’s a painful shift that takes place over many months/years as his father begins experiencing headaches, mood swings, confusion, depression, aggression, and terribly memory loss (even to the point of not knowing his own son). At the end, the Author’s Note shares about the discovery of CTE and thanks Dr. Omalu for his research that allowed us to better understand the condition. I’m so glad for a middle grade book that examines football injuries and these resulting experiences — from a time when someone is completely healthy, all the way through the devastating effects on an entire family, neighborhood, and country. Woodson’s carefully crafted words bring home the pain experienced by a child who loses his father, even though he’s still right there in the room with him. It definitely made me want to watch the movie Concussion, again. My thanks to Libro.fm for providing this Audiobook. This title was just released this month and is currently available in bookstores.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
You may purchase the print book or audiobook through Bookstore Link HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Anger is a Gift
Mark Oshiro
May 22, 2018
Tor Teen

My goodness, there’s a lot to unpack in this book. Moss (Morris) Jefferies is now in his sophomore year of high school. But back when Moss was a child, his father was murdered by law enforcement even though he wasn’t doing anything wrong. So today, Moss suffers from panic attacks that can be triggered from time to time when he encounters police officers. He experiences one of these panic attacks when he and his friends happen across a protest. And this experience also happens right as Moss meets Javier, who he is immediately attracted to. At the same time, Moss’s school has begun treating students like criminals — searching their lockers, installing metal detectors, having all-day patrol officers with guns, etc. Eventually, these high schoolers come together, with the support of their community, in an effort to stop the unfair treatment and provide a safer learning environment. Change is necessary. And anger is a gift.

I am worried about saying too much to spoil the story, but I just love the relationship between Moss and his mother. So often YA literature doesn’t allow for this level of closeness and mutual respect, so it was a welcomed aspect. There are important messages in this book that need to be shared with the world. And there was so much representation for a variety of communities like Black, Latinx, and LGBTQIAP+, so a number of readers will be able to relate to this cast of characters in ways they normally cannot relate to in YA literature. However, with a HUGE cast of secondary characters, it requires a lot of focus. I’ve witnessed other readers refer to the story as “police and white people bad, everyone else good” — and I suppose I can see this perspective, as well. Unfortunately, it may mean the crowd who really needs to read this story will be turned off when they are unable to relate to any of the characters. But maybe not. The story is a bit on the long side and these teens are having incredibly polished discussions about political activism, which occasionally comes across as preachy (as opposed to teens simply trying to figure some of this stuff out, together, and arriving at some meaningful conclusions). But one very important message that I hope everyone walks away with is that activism may be brutal, but it can also create much-needed change.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The One and Only Ivan
(The One and Only Ivan #1)
Katherine Applegate
Patricia Castelao, illustrator
January 17, 2012
HarperCollins

My Children’s Literature students have been studying award winners this month, and we started off this last week with our first Newbery winner: The One and Only Ivan. Of course, this isn’t my first time to read the book, but I wanted to review it so that I could be reminded of elements and be prepared to listen to what the class thought as they are to discussing the Newbery Award criteria. I’ll leave the detailed examination to them, but the story examines the humans, first and foremost. Also explored is the treatment of animals through both humor and pain. Ivan is just so lovable and relatable! In the Author’s Note, Applegate shares more about the real Ivan and which parts of this story were fact and which were fiction. If you liked the One and Only Ivan, be sure to read book #2: The One and Only Bob, which I reviewed last May. Also, my family really enjoyed the new movie on Disney+. Check out the trailer:

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Wild Baby
Cori Doerrfeld
March 5, 2019
HarperCollins

This one is such a great book for parents of toddlers. This wild mama is chasing her wild baby all over the place, starting from their very first “wild stretch.” The book shares that the author wrote this book as a homage to her daughter who was “a fearless, impulsive, wild baby.” Very cute! Reminds me of this video I remember seeing a couple years ago:

The artist used digital ink to create the illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Wild-Baby-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Lost and Found Ducklings
Valeri Gorbachev
February 12, 2019
Holiday House

Brother and sister duckings venture off to explore the woods with their new nets. But before too long they’re lost and cannot find their way back home. The forest full of animals come together and begin calling for Mama and Papa Duck, but ultimately it’s the “Peep! Peep! Peep!” of the ducklings that bring the parents to them. This one is about community, but also about the bonding of children and parents. The artwork was created with watercolors, gouache, and ink. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Lost-and-Found-Ducklings-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Good Night, Wind
Linda Elovitz Marshall
Maëlle Doliveux, illustrator
February 26, 2019
Holiday House

Based on a Yiddish folktale, this story follows the wind through its many adventures throughout the year. The Author’s Note is located at the very beginning of the book and explains all about the original “Der Vint, Vos Iz Geven In Kas” tale this story is based on. I really wish the book shared how the artwork was created.  It looks like digitally manipulated collage, but I don’t know for certain. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of what to expect, below:

Good-Night-Wind-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Olive & Pekoe: in Four Short Walks
Jackie Davis

Giselle Potter, illustrator
March 5, 2019
Greenwillow Books

This is an ADORABLE early chapter book that follows Olive and Pekoe as they face four different experiences. One dog is boisterous, playful, and impatient. The other dog is older, calm, and reassuring. Oh my, I want this book in my home collection! Watercolor, ink, and color pencils were used to prepare the full-color artwork in this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Olive-and-Pekoe-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Frederick Douglass:
The Lion Who Wrote History
Walter Dean Myers
Floyd Cooper, illustrator
January 24, 2017

HarperCollins

I missed this picture book biography by Walter Dean Myers back when it was published, so I was thrilled when one of our tri-college libraries ordered a copy. The artwork is detailed and inviting, following Douglass from his birth as a slave until he served the United States government in Washington and as consul-general in Haiti. Children and adults will appreciate the storyline and the beauty of the illustrations.

“Frederick listened carefully to the Auld children. They spoke clearly and directly, and he knew that it was because they had also read the words they used. He felt that reading could make a difference in how a person lived.”

The back matter includes a timeline of Frederick Douglass’s Life, a Bibliography, and a copy of the document signed by Auld officially freeing Frederick Douglass. The artist used erasers & oils on board to create the illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example, below:

Frederick-Douglass-Lion-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Chicken in Charge
(Zoey the Chicken)
Adam Lehrhaupt
Shahar Kober, illustrator
March 5, 2019

HarperCollins

This is an I Can Read book about a farmer leaving the farm with the chicken in charge. Chicken has a perfect plan on what to do for the lambs — feed them, bathe them, and put them to bed. Sounds simple, right? HA! Not exactly! It’s a humorous little story that will appeal to beginner readers. There’s no mention of how the artwork was completed for this book, but I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Chicken-in-Charge-2-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Farmer
Ximo Abadía
Grace Maccarone, Translator
Kelly Loughman, Translator
March 19, 2019

Holiday House

Paul is the farmer in this unique little picture book. What readers learn, most of all, is that Paul works hard on his farm while everyone else rests. However, in the very end, when Paul begins to despair, friends appear when he needs them most. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of what to expect from the artwork, below:

Farmer-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

I am loving Millionaires for the Month and I hope to be ready to review The Toll by next week, as well. I’ll also share The Shark Report (Benny McGee and the Shark), which I checked out mid-summer and lost during our move. I’m so happy it turned back up just yesterday. YAY!


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 239/250


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/7/2020 #imwayr

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

Thank you for visiting, today! I’ll be sharing three novels I recently enjoyed and a small pile of picture books. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading wish list!


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Black Brother, Black Brother
Jewell Parker Rhodes
March 3, 2020
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

So glad to see this new middle grade novel about two brothers named Donte and Trey. Donte is black and Trey is much lighter-skinned. It’s not long before we witness Donte facing obvious racism due to his darker colored skin, which leads Trey to realize he is experiencing privilege due to his lighter coloring. When Donte is surprisingly arrested and suspended at school, he finds a way to showcase his determination through fencing as he gets even with the school bully. The determination, personal growth, and bonding makes this an especially good read for this age group! The only other Jewell Parker Rhodes book I’ve read is Ghost Boys. I’m interested in adding another of her previous books to my reading list for 2021, so if you have a favorite you would like to recommend let me know!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Nickel Boys
Colson Whitehead
July 16, 2019
Doubleday Books

The Nickel Boys was the winner of the 2020 Pulizer Prize for Fiction. It’s absolutely horrifying and infuriating because, guess what! It’s based on a real-life reform school in Florida that operated for over 100 years! And that little tidbit just makes the story even more sickening than it already was. There’s really no way for me to prepare anyone for this book, but I think it’s quite worthwhile and great material for an adult discussion group. It’s only 213 pages long, so something that could be easily read in an afternoon. However, the neglect and abuse made me take much longer to finish it — it’s so hard to know this dehumanizing stuff actually happened!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Middler
Kirsty Applebaum
April 4, 2019
Nosy Crow/Henry Holt & Co.

This is a middle grade dystopian novel that will keep you guessing as to what is actually taking place. The main character is 11 year old Maggie. She’s what they call a middler — the middle child in her family. She lives in the town of Fennis Wick, which is surrounded by a boundary no one is permitted to cross. The Eldest of each family are treated like royalty and sent off to camp when they come of age. However, then they are usually never seen again. As the secret comes to light, Maggie will discover who she really is and her loyalty will be thoroughly tested. The story reminded me of a Midnight Shyamalan movie where deep secrets are kept from villagers, but everyone religiously follows the rules. It’s also been compared to The Giver by Lois Lowry, and I can definitely see why.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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High Five
Adam Rubin
Daniel Salmieri, illustrator
April 16, 2019
Dial Books

What a peculiar book to be reading during the Covid-19 pandemic. In rhyming text, this picture book is all about how to give the best high fives to win a high fiving competition. While it’s a really cute idea under normal circumstances, maybe it’s just not the best time to use with a classroom full of kids high fiving. Here’s the lines from one page:

Let’s make sure you understand
how to position your hand:
Palm out
Fingers spread
Wrist straight
Elbow bent.
Next, we need to find a friend,
someone to high five against.
You cannot high five yourself–
that’s called clapping, that won’t help.

Even if a child is reading the book alone, the story also encourages the reader to high five with the characters from the book. So when a hand appears in the illustrations, the reading will slap the illustrated hand. Unfortunately, this book didn’t share how the illustrations were created, but they look like they were colored with actual crayons. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

High-Five-RUBIN

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


40819218._SX318_The Panda Problem
Deborah Underwood
Hannah Marks, illustrator
April 2, 2019
Dial Books

When I brought a pile of picture books into my six-year-old’s room, last night, she said she hoped there was a book about a dragon or dinosaur. When she discovered there was not, she looked at the covers and picked this one to read. And we both had some pretty big giggles over a panda that simply won’t cooperate with the narrator. You’ll encounter a friendly spider and even an alien in this one, which is surprisingly very funny. There’s a cute twist ending where the panda turns the tables on the narrator. Just wait for the very last page – HA! HA! I could see this one being used as a funny introduction to the typical elements of a narrative story.

The artwork was created digitally with Photoshop. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example, below:

Panda-Problem-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Lizzy McTizzy and the Busy Dizzy Day
Sarah Weeks
Lee Wildish, illustrator
April 2, 2019
HarperCollins

This book was another reading option for my youngest last night, but she refused to read it because she thought the cover was freaky. And that’s really too bad because once I read the book to myself, I instantly knew she’d love it — so we’ll probably try again tonight. Lizzy McTizzy is heading out to a party, but she cannot find her shoe. In rhyming text, she looks in every possibly space throughout her entire house. She doesn’t actually find the shoe, but she finds something else that will work for her. Despite the cover looking a little “freaky” in my daughter’s words, the illustrations inside are actually quite adorable. The artist used Corel Painter to create the illustrations for this book. I’ll share one page spread as an example, below:

Lizzy-McTizzy-Busy-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Music for Mister Moon
Philip C. Stead
Erin E. Stead, illustrator
March 26, 2019
Neal Porter Books

This story is full of imagination and feels as though the main character (Harriet) is perhaps having a dream. She clearly has stage fright, so when her parents mention her playing her cello in a big orchestra one day, she retreats to her room — which becomes a small house. She begins creating everything from her imagination at that point, including  a short trip around town with Mister Moon to help him fulfill his deepest wishes. The illustrations are all very soft with mostly blues, greens, and a splash of yellow. The artwork was made with mono printed oil inks, colored pencils, and graphite. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example, below:

Music-Mister-Moon-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Dear Ballerina
Monica Wellington
March 19, 2019
Holiday House

My youngest has suddenly become enamored with dance and she cannot WAIT for the pandemic to subside so we can see what classes are available. So over the weekend, we watched Feel the Beat on Netflix for our family movie night (which they all loved). After the movie, I knew this book would also strike a chord. And it DID! The book is a letter from a young, beginner dancer, writing to a professional ballerina. The young girl discusses stretching, rehearsals, costumes, etc. And in the end, she shares that the ballerina is her inspiration for all her hard work. The back matter includes information on pointe shoes and tutus, for children who would like to learn more about them. The somewhat simplistic pastel-colored artwork was created with gouache paints and colored pencils. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Dear-Ballerina-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Tomorrow is Waiting
Kiley Frank
Aaron Meshon, illustrator
January 8, 2019
Dial Books

This picture book is an inspirational encouragement for the reader to get out in the world and do amazing things. In very bold colors, beautiful thoughts are shared alongside multi-colored scenery of mountains, rivers, forests, oceans, etc. It’s the kind of book that could be read at any time, including bedtime. And it might even make a great graduation gift for a young adult heading off into the world.  The artwork in this book was painted with acrylic and gouache paints. The back page shares that “Aaron Meshon was inspired to paint from his memories of favorite places, such as Japan, Iceland, New Zealand, Hawaii, and anywhere else where the Earth’s crust is thin and it’s nice to take a long warm nap.” I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Tomorrow-is-Waiting-SPREAD

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

I was able to get much further into Anger is a Gift, but I still have a long way to go on Millionaires for the Month. So these two will remain my biggest focus for the coming week.

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 228/250
Big Book Summer Reading Challenge: Today is the last day of this challenge. So if I counted correctly, I completed 5 “big” books, this summer. My thanks to Sue of Book by Book for hosting this community, every summer.


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/31/2020 #imwayr

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

I’m having a hard time believing I’ve skipped over a month of blogging while moving our family of seven into a new home and starting back to teaching at the college. It’s all been too much for me. …too much overwhelm to simply sit down at my laptop and start organizing what I read and what comes next on my list. In fact, there are books that I finished reading this last month that I’ve had to question whether I actually finished (initially, I couldn’t remember some of the plot lines without notes!! 😮 EEEK). Yet here I am, on the last Monday of August, downing the java and making myself take the first crucial steps back to my beloved IMWAYR community. I’ll be posting late today, but I really hope to get better settled into the weekly reading/blogging grove during the month of September.

On the home front, we may have gained over twice the amount of living space we had before, but you’d never know it because our formal living room and several other spaces are still piled with boxes. About two weeks into unpacking, I decided I was done. Like, that’s it. Time’s up. Now I’m half considering just moving the remaining boxes all into the garage and seeing if we miss anything before Christmas. I’m pretty sure that’s a valid decluttering strategy, right?

On a more serious note, August 31st is always a tough day for me, so I need a moment. It’s the day my dad very unexpectedly passed away. Eight years may seem like a long time. Nevertheless, I still remember the details of that morning as if it all happened yesterday. Chadron was battling three forest fires and one was creeping closer to our city limits, threatening to evacuate our whole town. Early that morning, my dad called me to check in, again, to see if we were okay. I was the last one he called before he was found unconscious at the middle school, having presumably suffered a heart attack or pulmonary embolism. We’ll never know. Grief is hard work, this I know. I grieved for years, read all about how to heal from loss, went through grief therapy, as well as GriefShare sessions with my mom, and still my heart breaks today when I remember the utter feeling of helplessness and despair felt when we discovered he was gone. He was a great husband to my mom, a loving and invested father to me (and my brothers), and an all-round fantastic human being. Thank you for giving me a moment to honor his memory, this morning.

I’m glad you’ve visited, today! I read some good novels this last month while packing and unpacking, ranging from middle grade to young adult to adult literature. And I picked up a good stack of children’s books from 2019. I’ll share a few this week and hopefully one of them will catch your attention and make it onto your reading wish list.

☕ This post is powered by coffee. ☕


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Six Angry Girls
Adrienne Kisner
August 18, 2020
Feiwel & Friends

The title to this book may turn some readers off. Our society gets uncomfortable at the idea of a girl being “angry.” But sometimes anger is a crucial emotion for causing change. The novel is written from two perspectives. First, we have Raina Petree, who is madly in love with her boyfriend of 5 years. And just a week after she agrees to sleep with him, she finds out he’s been cheating on her. This is not how she expected senior year to go. Then there’s Millie Goodwin, who goes to the same school as Raina, but they’ve never really talked before. However, one day Raina overhears Millie crying in a locked bathroom stall. She cautiously decides to check on the crier and make sure she’s okay before leaving. And as luck would have it, this tiny act of courage kickstarts the entire rest of the book, luring in six different girls from the same school who really, really need one another. There’s fun with feminism knitting (“anatomical yarning”), mock trial competitions, moving theatre performances, LGBTQIAP+ representation, a librarian who knows how to make something out of nothing (fundraising), and everyone’s story is important in the end. I wasn’t sure if I would get into this story, but it’s fun being pleasantly surprised by a book!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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What You Wish For
Katherine Center
July 14, 2020
St. Martin’s Press 

I’ve definitely been on a Katherine Center kick this past year with Things You Save in a Fire and How to Walk Away. I like that her contemporary romance stories are funny and lighthearted, while the characters still have emotional depth and realistic flaws. So I was pleasantly surprised when Netgalley approved an audiobook ARC of What You Wish For. Samantha (Sam) Casey moved to Galveston from California recover from her unrequited crush. Life in Galveston is pretty quaint, working as a librarian and living with a sweet widow who treats her like family. Until one day when her old crush makes an unexpected appearance in her new school district and she is beyond shocked. However, crush guy is not the same person she adored in California. Not even a little bit. Does he even remember Sam?

You’ll have to read the book to catch all the surprises in this one, but Thérèse Plummer’s narration was stellar as usual. Her voice and interpreted inflection add such volume to the story. I will forever hear Plummer’s voice if I read a print copy of one of Center’s books. At the very end, I was delighted to hear Center’s inspiring author’s note (narrated in her own voice), so don’t forget to listen to the very end if you listen to this audiobook: “It’s work, but it feels like play. It’s true for writing and it’s true for reading. The only compass you can follow is your own.” My thanks to Netgalley for providing me an audio-ARC of this book.

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Starting From Seneca Falls
Karen Schwabach
June 23, 2020
Random House Books for Young Readers

Both Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglas are brought to life in this fast-paced historical fiction story about two unlikely friends during the 1800s who participate in the women’s suffrage movement. Readers will hear more about the Irish Potato Famine, realities of the Poor Houses, the plight of orphans, and even the Erie canal. It was suspenseful and quite informative, so don’t be deceived by the cover and length, which might indicate it’s solely intended for young children. No, this book will be very enjoyable for older readers, as well. Don’t miss the historical note at the end!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Parachutes
Kelly Yang
May 26, 2020
Katherine Tegen Books

Whoa. This was so much heavier than I anticipated. I mean, I thought Front Desk had some heavy moments as a middle grade novel, but Parachutes is definitely a full on young adult or new adult novel with much more depth. It is so beautifully and painfully written. I just wish every young adult would read it. It covers a number of topics in the span of about 500 pages: privilege, cultural expectations, sexuality, racism, sexual assault, poverty, rape culture, classism, and there’s LGBTQIAP+ rep. This one will need to simmer a while and it would be fantastic for group discussion. And you cannot read this book without reading the Author’s Note at the very end as the story is deeply personal for Yang. I’ve so much respect for her ability to share the pain of her personal experiences within this fictional story!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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The Secret of White Stone Gate
(Black Hollow Lane #2)
Julia Nobel
March 3, 2020
Sourcebooks Young Readers

Last year I picked up book #1 in this series, The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane, and I was lured into the story very quickly. Since it’s a second book in a series, I cannot share much about the plot without spoiling book #1. However, for those who know nothing about this series, I’ll share a clip of my review last year:

Emmy lost her father on her third birthday and her “parenting expert” mother has shipped her off to Wellsworth boarding school when her work (in the US) gets incredibly busy. Emmy struggles to blend in and eventually stumbles upon a secret society and ancient artifacts that seem related to her personal family history… I’ve heard some think this is a Harry Potter rip-off, but I wouldn’t go that far. There are definitely similar elements, especially considering the main character is attending a boarding school in England where there are mysteries and secrets. But there’s no magic (at least so far) and the story offers enough unique components to make it its own story. I believe Harry Potter fans will dive into the charming Wellsworth world and I’m excited to continue with the series when book #2 is released!

Julia Nobel has my attention. I’ll look forward to what she writes, next!

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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A Father’s Love
Hannah Holt
Yee Von Chan, illustrator
April 9, 2019
Philomel Books

When I was younger, most books showcasing a parent and a child focused on the mother figure. So I’m always pleased when I find modern picture books breaking the mold and emphasizing the importance of the relationship a child has with their father. The main theme of this book is that a father’s love is always there in many forms. Using rhyming poetry and metaphors, each page shares a different color and animal focusing on the father caring for their young. The back matter provides more information on each of the animals highlighted in the book, providing more details on how the father takes care of the young. Awww! There are so many amazing fathers I know, today, including single fathers who will deeply appreciate this book. I love you, daddy!

The artwork for this book was done in hand-drawn outlines with pencil and pen, then colored digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

A-Fathers-Love

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


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Raise Your Hand
Alice Paul Tapper
Marta Kissi, illustrator
March 26, 2019
Penguin Workshop

This cute picture book is written by a sixth grader in Washington D. C. The story documents her experience of coming up with the “raise your hand” initiative in her Girl Scout troop. Her idea ended up becoming a national patch which landed her even on the news station. I appreciate that she documents both the good and the bad to implementing this idea – such a great book to discus in a classroom of both girls and boys as we all consider how our gender plays into the school classroom experience.

The book doesn’t share how the illustrations were created, but I’ll provide a page spread as an example of what to expect, below:

Raise-Your-Hand

You can add it to your Goodreads list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it through IndieBound HERE.
You may also choose to purchase it through Amazon HERE.


To Be Read:

I just got a pile of new picture books through ILL, so I’m looking forward to diving into some new titles I’ve been waiting to read. I’m also right in the middle of listening to Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro as an audiobook. Then I hope to start reading an e-ARC of Millionaires for the Month by Stacy McAnulty!

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020 – 217/250


What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/13/2020 #imwayr

Collage created using TurboCollage software from www.TurboCollage.com

Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give Kathryn’s (at Book Date) “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” meme a kidlit focus, reviewing books in children’s literature (picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in the world of kidlit). If you enjoy this type of reading, join us every Monday to share what you’ve been reading!

moving-boxes-4118678_1280

It’s finally happening, y’all. WE ARE MOVING!! We have a firm closing date set for this Friday, July 17th. I’m a mixed jumble of emotions, right now. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the only home all five of my children have ever known. In fact, our youngest two children were actually born IN THIS HOUSE — one downstairs and one upstairs in our bedroom. ❤ We have loved our home and have done so much to it over the last 14+ years. However, five kids means needing more space if they want to invite lots of teen and tween friends over for dinner, games, or movie nights. We feel quite lucky that this new home became available when it did. Even better, it’s only a block up the road from our current house. So we won’t really be forfeiting our amazing, longterm neighbors. Woohoo!! Be thinking of us this week as we face grueling heat while we pack and move. And send us all your positive thoughts and prayers that our old home will sell sooner rather than later!

Thank you for visiting, today. Clearly, I’m not getting as much reading done this month, so I’m going to make this post super short. So look up into the first image in this post. Everything in that book pile I either finished reading this week or I’m currently still reading. LOL I’ll just have to finish writing my reviews once we’re on the other side of this move. However, I’ll plan to make it around to everyone’s posts throughout the week.


What are YOU reading?