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!
They 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.
We 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!
A 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!