It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/06/2018 #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!

Blood-Water-PaintBlood Water Paint
Joy McCullough
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)
Jason Reynolds
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)
Abby Hanlon
March 6, 2018
Dial Books

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!

27 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/06/2018 #imwayr

  1. Good luck to your Mom in her recovery!
    Dory is one of my favourite series, but for no acceptable reason I haven’t purchased the fourth book yet. Both my daughters are waiting. My eleven year old casually mentioned just the other day that she had been looking forward to pretending not to listen to me read it with my eight year old. Wink, wink, Dad! We are considering dressing up as Dory characters for Halloween, but I think Amulet is going to win that one. I would have been a great Mr. Nuggy.
    I agree with what you wrote about Sunny, and I won’t tell!

    Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness, that’s too cute about your 11 year old! And Dory characters would be an awesome Halloween costume — you’d HAVE to post pix! Thank you for the well wishes. She’s out of surgery and I’m told doing well in recovery. Can’t wait to get to talk to her. Thanks for stopping by, Aaron!


  2. Best wishes to your mother and happy travels, too! Blood, Water, Paint sounds serious but needed, too. I haven’t read Sunny yet, but will! And I love the Dory books, have them for the granddaughters, especially now waiting for the younger one to read herself! Thanks, Shaye!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blood Water Paint is definitely needed, sadly. And I am so glad I finally go to read some Dory books after all this time. So cute and full of the spirit of childhood. Thank you for the well wishes, Linda!


  3. I LOVE Dory–and hadn’t even realized there was a new book! Not even new anymore! Just requested from the library. I still have to get to Sunny. Just sooo many books to read! And I still haven’t read Patina. So I think I will start there. Safe travels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so fun to meet Dory for the first time, this week! LOVE the imagination. We put Sunny back in your mailbox, so once you finish Patina you’ll be read to rock and roll! 😉 See you once we get back home, Elisabeth!


    1. YES! It was so moving — sad, but also encouraging. Now that I’ve listened to it on audio, I want to read it with my eyes. ❤ Thank you for dropping by my blog, Beth!


  4. A Dory reading binge sounds divine! How I love these titles! I have got to get my hands on Sunny! So far I can’t imagine that I could love another of these titles more than Ghost but . . . we shall see!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was so fun reading one right after the other. I just love the imagination! Oh, I HOPE you love Sunny! We can still be friends if he’s not your favorite. 😉 Thanks for stopping in, Carrie!


  5. My daughter and I have not read Dory but we will be looking into them! We loved reading through the Junie B Jones series.


    1. Oh my, wasn’t that incredible?! I’m going to have to read it again — just beautifully written (I listened to it as an audiobook the first time, but I’d like to read it with my eyes next time). Thanks so much for checking in, Hallie!


  6. Sunny sounds good – I haven’t read any of the books by that author yet but have heard great things.

    Good luck with your trip – hope that your mom’s recovery is quick and as easy as can be!

    Enjoy your books this week (plan time now means lots of uninterrupted reading time for me…but I remember the days of traveling with young kids!) –


    2018 Big Book Summer Challenge

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is her second knee replacement surgery, so we’re hoping it’s a little smoother this round. And YES on traveling with littles. We have a 7-hour layover at one point. I sure hope I can keep my youngest entertained. LOL Thanks so much for swinging by, Sue!


  7. I still haven’t read any of the Dory Fantasmagory books either. I know they’re very popular, but I just haven’t gotten around to them yet. I really need to check out the first one at least. Thanks for the reminder. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dory’s imagination is so much fun. I love how Abby Hanlon expresses the creative mind of a young child! Hope you can find the first one nearby. I had to ILL these (and now I can’t believe we have absolutely NO local options!). Thanks for visiting, Jana!


  8. OK, is anybody looking…I have to admit that I’ve never read a Dory book either!! And they look perfect for my students. How the heck have I missed these?! Glad you shared so they’re on my radar. Good luck to your mom, and you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the Dory books so much 🙂
    The other two books are in my shelves of books that I wanted to get to this summer and just didn’t have time. Hopefully soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve discovered I’m going to have to start the school year with a kinda large leftover summer pile. Thankfully, that’s not exactly a bad thing! LOL Thanks for swinging by, Michele!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s