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!
Blood Water Paint
March 6, 2018
Dutton Books for Young Readers
I sometimes go into a book knowing very little about the story line. I mean, I’ll hear it’s really good, read a summary, and I’ll add it to my list. But then when it’s time to check it out and read it, I often just start reading without reviewing the synopsis. And that’s exactly what happened with this book. So it was intensely sobering once I realized what was happening.
“When a women risks her place, her very life, to speak a truth the world despises, believe her. Always.”
Briefly, this book is based on the real Artemisia Gentileschi, an extremely talented painter from the 1600s. Her story is beautifully woven within the stories her late mother used to tell her of Judith and Susanna. Artemisia is working in a man’s world, secretly, and being used for her talents (without credit). The plot builds and there’s a period of time where things feel utterly hopeless.
“If I thought women would show compassion simply because we share a place in this world, I was a fool. I am a fool.”
But sometimes courage comes in the most unusual moments — and support from those you least expect. Written in verse, these stories speak of injustices done to women over the centuries, while simultaneously showcasing the beauty, power, and bravery of women. It’s an intense read that I have a feeling I will return to in the future.
Trigger/Content Warning: Sexual assault, violence, murder. The end of this book has an important afterword that discusses and shares resources for survivors of sexual violence. I adore the fact that this book ends with:
“You’re not alone.”
(Series: Track #3)
April 10, 2018
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
I definitely liked both Ghost and Patina, but Sunny is quite… special. It’s my favorite (shhhh! Don’t tell Ghost or Patty!). Just thinking about it makes me want to giggle, but it also brings a lump to my throat.
This whole book is a diary, so Sunny is not held to any writing rules. In fact, there are moments when his prose slides into poetry.
Gramps said running is moving.
I said, no, dancing is.
Gramp’s face turned into a question mark.
And mine, into a period.
Sunny is homeschooled and learns things authentically (measuring out recipes, etc.) while not being confined to a desk. But he also bears the weight of the world because of his late mother (and his father’s grief). And so there are things he must face and action he must take to stand up for himself. Since it’s written as a personal diary, Sunny’s inner voice feels so strong and authentic. I can see him struggling to sort through his thoughts and put down his feelings, by hand.
He’d busted out laughing. Like, laughing laughing. I don’t remember the last time I heard him laugh, and I definitely don’t think I’ve ever heard him laugh that loud, and for that long. It actually sounded kind of painful. Like a bad cough. Like hacking and hacking and hacking up something he’d been choking on for a long time.
The quote, above, came after a series of events that started out super sad followed by super funny. I wanted to remember this moment because I SO needed to laugh at that point. It felt like a heavy rain on the hottest day of the summer — such sweet relief. If you haven’t yet read this book, I hope you can find a copy and dig in SOON.
Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds
(Series: Dory Fantasmagory #4)
March 6, 2018
I had never read any Dory Fantasmagory before this week. *gasp* Judging by the book covers, I always assumed these were 32-paged children’s picture books. I was wrong. LOL Thankfully, it wasn’t too difficult to squeeze in these 470 pages of reading (three books), because once you start a Dory book they’re SO difficult to put down. I really don’t think there’s anything someone could have said to fully prepare me for Dory Fantasmagory (including comparing her to Junie B. Jones, as many do). But what exciting imagination and fun-loving adventures await any children (and adults!) who dive into these books. They’ve won a number of awards and honors, including a Cybil award, being named an American Library Association Notable Book, and all four books in the series are Junior Library Guild selections. Also worth noting is that Abby Hanlon is a first grade teacher and she taught herself to draw after not having drawn since childhood. Impressive!
To Be Read:
My mom is having knee replacement surgery tomorrow, so I’m taking my daughters and flying across the country to be with her during her initial recovery week (while my husband stays home with our three sons). I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to read or blog, but I hope to finish up A Reaper at the Gates and start on a couple ARCs. We’ll see… 🙂
Thanks for visiting. I look forward to reading your comments and visiting your blogs!