It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/01/2018 #imwayr

Collage created using TurboCollage software from

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!

Between travel and family happenings, I’m still a tad lost in overwhelm this semester. However, I found just a little bit of time to read this week. YAY! Once I get out of class this morning, I can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to this week!

Louisianas-Way-HomeLouisiana’s Way Home
Kate DiCamillo
October 2, 2018
Candlewick Press

I was so excited to get to read DiCamillo’s new middle grade book!  This is a continuation of the story that originated in Raymie Nightingale. This installment is told in the voice of 12-year-old Louisiana Elefante and picks up two years later, beginning with Lousiana’s grandma dragging her out of Florida in the middle of the night (leaving behind her dear friends, Raymie and Beverly — presumably forever). On their journey, they quickly hit one obstacle after another and eventually land in a Georgia motel where Lousiana meets a young boy with a crow. Oh my, there’s a lot going on in this story with a variety of interesting characters, each being developed in full DiCamillo detail. But amidst the many experiences and side-adventures, Louisiana’s needs remain the focus.

It was easy to fall into this story as it’s one of hope and bonding. One thing I was pleased to see in this leg of the story (that gives it a bump over Raymie Nightingale) was Louisiana encountering a couple healthy adults who truly care about HER and want to help her do whatever she needs to do. There’s something so difficult about holding in a deep, potentially dark, secret. And middle grade literature, in general, often presents the child and adult as adversaries. Nevertheless, the young reader will find comfort in this story as Louisiana discovers a grown-up she can trust in her big, confusing, and sometimes scary world.

NOTE: While we encounter characters we met in the first book, Louisiana’s Way Home could easily be a stand-alone book for anyone who hasn’t yet read Raymie Nightingale. In fact, dare I mention that I enjoyed Louisiana’s Way Home much more than Raymie Nightingale? I grew far more attached to these characters and the final pages brought me to unexpected tears. Thanks to Candlewick Press and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC of this book for an honest review.

You can add it to your Goodread list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it HERE.

Winnies-Great-WarWinnie’s Great War
Lindsay Mattick
Josh Greenhut
Art by Sophie Blackall
September 18, 2018
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

A couple years ago, I read Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear — a children’s book that shares the true story behind Winnie-the-Pooh. It was a little 54-paged picture book, appropriate for a young child. However, in this new installment, Mattick takes that brief glimpse and broadens it into a complete 244-paged tale full of both truth and fantasy elements.

In this book, the reader is witnessing Mattick tell the story of Winnie to her son, young Cole. There are plenty of hard facts and dates and names of real people who were part of the true story of Winnie. And Captain Harry Colebourn’s real diary entries mark the dates and locations along the way. However, I loved how these truths were intertwined with vivid imagination. In the end, we learn that Cole is the great, great, great grandson of Harry Colebourn — he was even named after him! Such a precious story for those of us who grew up loving Winnie-the-Pooh.

You can add it to your Goodread list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it HERE.

Charlie-and-MouseCharlie & Mouse
Laurel Snyder
Emily Hughes, illustrator
April 11, 2017
Chronicle Books

Found this cute little easy reader in my college library and had to bring it home — it feels chapter-ish with four distinct sections to the story, but it isn’t too wordy for a beginning reader. The text was super cute as we get to know Charlie and Mouse through humor. The illustrations, rendered by hand in graphite and with Photoshop, really complete the book. Great for predictions, too! I’ll provide one page-spread, below:


You can add it to your Goodread list HERE.
If you do not have a local bookstore, you may purchase it HERE.

To Be Read:

I’ve just barely started the following two books this week and really hope to finish them both this week.



24 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/01/2018 #imwayr

  1. You know that I did love Louisiana’s Way Home, too & am happy to read your review, Shaye. I will look for Charlie & Mouse for my youngest granddaughter, & put your new books started on my list. Both are new to me! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After Raymie Nightingale, I was quite relieved for Louisiana to get the support she needed in Louisiana’s Way Home!! I hope you enjoy the new books, too. And thank you so much for swinging by today, Linda!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved Louisiana’s Way Home, too! Definitely one worth sharing with young readers, especially those that enjoy Kate DiCamillo’s other work. Thanks for sharing and have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think we all were a bit intrigued by Louisiana in Raymie Nightingale, so this book was a gift — getting to learn more of her story. Of course, I still have more questions about her (and wonder if there will be a third book, eventually). Thanks for swinging by, Jana!


  3. Oh, I really LOVE Kate DiCamillo’s novels but I haven’t kept up with her latest ones – I haven;t yet read Raymie or this new one. I really want to , though. My sons really enjoyed listening to her books read aloud or on audio on our road trips when they were young (and so did my husband and I!).

    Enjoy your books this week, Shaye!


    Book By Book

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If memory serves, I listened to Raymie as an audiobook (how can I not remember these things??) but I read the E-ARC, of course. I tend to fall more deeply into books I read with my eyes, but that’s probably because my house is always so loud. LOL Thanks for visiting, Sue, and have a wonderful reading week!


    1. Yes! Louisiana’s Way Home really drew me in (in a way that Raymie Nightingale didn’t). I probably wouldn’t even recommend that people read Raymie first, in case they don’t connect with that story. Thanks for dropping by, Michele!


  4. My kids love Charlie and Mouse! I have Louisiana’s Way Home downloaded and waiting for me but haven’t started it yet. I’ve also been really curious about Winnie’s Great War. I saw Sophie Blackall speak about Finding Winnie and it was one of the best author/illustrator presentations I’ve ever been to. Such a fascinating story. Have a great reading week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my! I would have loved to see a Sophie Blackall talk!! The story was so sweet — sentimental — and kinda written in the style of A.A. Milne. I hope you enjoy Louisiana’s Way Home! Thanks so much for swinging by, Katie!


  5. I am a huge fan of Charlie and Mouse! The sequel, Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy is delightful as well, and apparently there are two new books coming out next year. I can hardly wait!
    I have a copy of Louisiana’s Way Home from Netgalley and I really must get to it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t wait to read the sequel to Charlie & Mouse. Such a cute little story!! I hope you enjoy Louisiana’s story — a different context and location than Raymie, but I really liked it! Thanks for visiting, Cheriee!


  6. I LOVED Louisiana. I loved Raymie, but WOW! Louisiana was so good!
    Charlie & Mouse are great (I made the teaching guide if you want to check it out!)–don’t miss out on the sequel too!

    Happy reading this week 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree on Louisiana — REALLY good!! I’m looking forward to the sequel of Charlie & Mouse, too. It’s so exciting to be witnessing more of these types of books coming out with such sweet natured humor that can get kids and parents both giggling. Thanks for sharing about your teaching guide, too! Thanks for stopping by, Kellee!


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