It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 02/26/2018 #imwayr

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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 in every Monday!

TheyBothDieAtTheEnd2They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera was definitely not what I expected. Despite the title, I spent most of the book trying to figure out how they were going to get out of this mess. The two main characters are Mateo and Rufus. In their society, every person is notified just after midnight if they are going to die on that very day. They don’t know how it will happen and, to their knowledge, no one has ever escaped their fate. Mateo and Rufus want to make the most of their last day, so they both download the Last Friend app to meet another “decker” so their final hours won’t be spent alone or with friends who will be sad (or potentially in danger). While there is some regret, they want to lay that sense of loss aside and live their final hours without fear.

WeAreOkayWe Are Okay by Nina LaCour is a coming of age story that dishes out a large helping of confusing loss. It focuses on relationships and complications, and all the conflicting emotions that come with living and loving. Marin and Mabel are close friends who’ve faced some trials over the years. The present day setting of the book takes place over Winter break, primarily at Marin’s dorm in New York. Flashback chapters fill in the gaps of history leading up to now. I won’t spoil any finer details. However, I will share that this is a heartbreaking story written in such beautiful language. We Are Okay won the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award and made numerous other “best book” lists. It was my first Nina LaCour novel to read, so I’ll be interested to see what else she has published!

WrinkleInTimeA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle obviously does not need an introduction. Somehow it has slipped through the cracks for me over the years, so I was determined to read it before it comes out in theaters this March. We have a vintage copy that is an ex-library book from the 70s, still sporting the old library card and pocket in the back. I have a few books with the old library cards and I just love them because they represent important memories from my childhood! But as the pages of this book are so old and the font is quite tiny, I decided to check out a newer edition from the local public library to read my first time through. In this newer printing, the beginning provided “An Appreciation” written by Anna Quindlen which offered me helpful insight and context to consider while I read. It also made me wish, so badly, that I had read this book while I was actually coming of age. *sniff, sniff*

There’s too much to say about this book, but I was initially struck by the unexpected female characterization — that of the awkward young girl hero of the story and the brilliant scientist mother working from home and the three (somewhat gender-fluid, but still named “Mrs”) characters with gifts and wisdom who helped save the day. What a shocker this book must have been back in the 60s! I’m looking forward to seeing the visual representation of this book.

I’m not even going to lay out a detailed “To Be Read” list this week since I pretty much failed at sticking to last week’s sketchy plans. HAHA! Nevertheless, I definitely need to get to The War I Finally Won since it’s an ILL book due back by this Thursday. I loved the first book in the series, so it should be a great reading week. I will also start reading A Wrinkle in Time aloud to my five children so they’re ready for the movie. That will cut into my “new” reading time, but it’s worth it. I had this big idea to eat some of the meals and snacks from the story while we’re reading it, so let’s see if I can pull that off. I’ve never even TRIED liverwurst before! *snicker* And finally, I still need to finish some children’s books that look really good. I guess that’s it. 🙂

Happy reading, everyone!

16 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 02/26/2018 #imwayr

  1. I reread A Wrinkle in Time a few years ago and was really disappointed by it. I thought it was GASP boring. Really, really boring. But I did love it as a child. I would like to try Hope Larson’s graphic novel adaptation (which I have in case you’d like to borrow!). I still have to get to We Are Okay. I have read all of Nina Lacour’s other novels and am especially fond of The Disenchantments. They Both Die at the End has such a great premise–I have seen it at the library a few times and steered clear but now I think I need to get it ASAP.

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    1. Your comments on A Wrinkle in Time are precisely why I wish I had read it during my childhood or tweenhood. I mean, I remember my best friend from elementary/middle school going on and on about what an important book it was for her (she was an avid reader, too). And sooo many others have echoed that exact same sentiment. I feel like I missed that specific 70s/80s “coming of age” boat. I was talking to my husband about it after I finished reading and finally said that it wasn’t nearly as fulfilling as I had expected it to be, but that I think it must have served an important purpose for its time — giving young girls a creative science-y story where women were smart and brave and NOT in need of rescue. It certainly paved the #mglit road for the inclusion of strong female characters. But today, in my opinion, there are more rich, full characters and creative story lines across the spectrum of #mglit. I would really like to borrow the graphic novel adaptation once you’re finished with it. No rush as I do have several plates spinning. 😉

      I very much enjoyed LaCour’s writing style. I didn’t know We Are Okay had taken the Printz award until after I finished the book, but I’m not at all surprised. I am definitely adding The Disenchantments to my TBR list. Thank you!

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    1. I’ll be interested in seeing what my kiddos think about A Wrinkle in Time. My 14 year old wants to read it on her own, but I’ll read it aloud to the other four. Should be fun! And as I mentioned to Elisabeth (above), I didn’t even know We Are Okay had taken the Printz award until after I finished the book, but it’s not that surprising. It was very eloquent writing. Have a wonderful week!

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  2. I read A Wrinkle in Time for the first time as an adult and I really enjoyed it. I bought a DVD of a movie version that was made a while back, and it was all right. But I’m really looking forward to the new movie coming out in a March.

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    1. Oh yay! I’m going to have to hunt down any previous movie versions. We love to compare/contract screenplays, so that would be fun after the newest version comes out. Thanks for sharing, Jana!

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  3. I was at a dr. app’t today & read an article about the movie, A Wrinkle in Time, in the latest Oprah mag. The costumes looked amazing, so we’ll see. I too loved the book early on & have a copy, will read it before I see the movie. I know of the other books & they’re on my list, but still have not read them. There are just too many I want to read! Thanks for the great reviews of them.

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    1. I guess that’s one great thing about sitting waiting for a doctor’s appointment — time to read. LOL And YES! Too many I want to read and so little time. I am at least HOPING that my reading speed is continuing to increase over the years. lol Have a great week, Linda!

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  4. I adored They Both Die at the End and We Are Ok. Like you, I definitely want to read more of Nina LaCour. I reread A Wrinkle in Time after reading When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. I think I loved it even more this time than the first time round. Have you read Stead’s book? The main character carries a copy of A Wrinkle in Time around with her. Both of the books won Newbery awards!
    Make sure you have a box of Kleenex for the War I Finally Won!

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    1. Can you believe I have not yet read When You Reach Me?! So I just grabbed it from the library shelves about 15 minutes ago. It’s now in my TBR stack, but since I immediately read the first chapter I think I’ll be reading it sooner rather than later. Thank you for the suggestion!!

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    1. I definitely enjoyed BOTH of those books! And I’m taking the advice (above) to read When You Reach Me to revisit thoughts from A Wrinkle in Time. Maybe I can get my 14 y/o daughter to read it, first. Lol Have a great week, Ricki!

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  5. I think it was 15 years back when I read A Wrinkle In time – and it was one of the first novels I read with my then-book club, also called GatheringBooks, with two highly gifted girls (aged 9 and 11), and two of my university students in their early 20s (also gifted). It was a strange mix, the five of us – where I combined two of my worlds (the university where I teach, my clinic where I conduct counseling and psychological testing), and seeing it beautifully converge through narratives such as A Wrinkle In Time. There is also a graphic novel version by Hope Larson that I also enjoyed. You may want to check that out too.

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    1. What an interestingly mix that must have been! After all the recommendations, we looked up the graphic novel version and we don’t have in it our area, yet. Grrr! I may just have to get it on ILL. Thanks for swinging by, Myra!

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