It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/17/2018 #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!

I JUST finished grading the last of my students’ semester portfolios, projects, presentations, and final exams only minutes before starting this blog post. It’s now after 10pm and I’m EXHAUSTED! But I’m glad to say that after today, I’m taking the spring semester off teaching college courses so I can focus more on family. YAY!

On to this week’s reading…

Kiss-Quotient-2018The Kiss Quotient
(The Kiss Quotient #1)
Helen Hoang
June 5, 2018

I’ve wanted to read The Kiss Quotient for quite a while, but about 10% into it I thought I was going to be deeply disappointed. One reason I avoid popular adult romance is the whole jump-in-bed-with-anyone-after-the-first-date behavior. Call me old-fashioned, but I’ve always felt sex should be a sign of closeness and sincere commitment, not just something you do at the end of a date. So I often struggle to relate. In any case, I admit that I’m glad I kept reading because they took an unexpected turn and I found myself quite engrossed in the development of the romantic relationship. The chapters switch focus between the two main characters. Michael’s family is Vietnamese and his father left the family in dire straights, so he took on a job as an escort. Stella is a math whiz with Aspergers whose mother is really pushing for her to get married and have babies, so she’s determined to understand how relationships and intimacy work.

The whole time I kept thinking The Kiss Quotient had a lot of similarities to Pretty Woman, but in reverse. If you read it, let me know if you agree! NOTE: This is an “own voices” novel, as Hoang was diagnosed with Aspergers in 2016. I love how she explains the everyday difficulties of Aspergers in a way that completely normalizes the syndrome.

The book has also been picked up by Lions Gate for film and TV rights, so I imagine we’ll be seeing this one on the big screen in the next couple years.

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

Track #4
Jason Reynolds
October 23, 2018
Simon & Schuster

Lu is the final installment of Jason Reynold’s middle grade “track” series. We get to know Lu as an only child who, SURPRISE, is expecting a baby sister. But HOW DID THIS HAPPEN since his birth was a sheer miracle. We learn that his father, Goose, used to sell drugs and so now he tries to help people straighten their lives out. Reynolds takes us deep into the lingering regret of the decision to deal — looking at the people those choices impacted and how the pain never fully goes away. We also get to know Lu’s mom as the artistic fruity mom who can barely make it a few feet before needing to vomit from morning sickness. And finally, we really see the track team come together in this one, work out differences as they bond in a way they haven’t yet. That ending just might leave tears on your cheeks. *sniff, sniff*

Over the last year, I’ve fallen in love with the four main characters from this series, feeling like I really know each one. And while they are all very special, I admit Sunny remains my favorite. I seriously cannot WAIT to see what Reynolds does next!

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

Yuyi Morales
September 4, 2018
Neal Porter Books

This book was inspired by the author’s real life journey from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to El Paso, Texas. After becoming an immigrant, Morales’ mother in law brought her to the library and it opened up the whole world to her. The artwork is stunning — dream like! The back tell us the pictures were rendered with acrylic paint drawn on paper with ink and brushes and a nib pen that once belonged to Maurice Sendak. Yuyi Morales also photographed and scanned many things to include within her artwork. It’s truly a sight. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:


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

One-Snowy-Night2018One Snowy Night
M. Christina Butler
Tina Macnaughton, illustrator
May 1, 2013
Good Books

This is an older title that my public library just acquired a few weeks ago. It’s the story of a hedgehog who receives a wooly hat as a gift. But after trying to wear it, he passes it on to a friend as a Christmas present. The hat ends up making the rounds among a number of critters before eventually finding its way back to hedgehog. This is a touch-and-feel book where the red hat is made of a soft velvet for little fingers to enjoy. I’ll provide one page-spread as an example, below:


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

To Be Read:

I have a nice pile of YA and MG books on my shelf, but am just sooooo glad to be done grading that I can hardly think about what novel to start. I at least know the following picture books are in my line up for reading next week:


It’s Monday! What are  YOU reading?

24 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/17/2018 #imwayr

  1. I enjoyed hearing about the romance novel, deeper than the usual I guess. And I need to read more of Jason Reynolds’ books. I’ve loved what I have read, just finding the time is a challenge. Lu sounds very good. Dreamers is wonderful, I agree! Thanks, Shaye, & Happy Holidays to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Romance almost never works for me, but I might try The Kiss Quotient. I’ve got Patina and Sunny in my stack for holiday reading. Hoping to catch up on that series! I have two days left to read for the Cybils, and then I’m going to take a nice long break from graphic novels, LOL. I have so many YA and MG titles piled up, plus a lot of books for grown-ups I want to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m impressed with all the Cybils reading you’ve done, Elisabeth! That’s quite a job right there. I hope you enjoy both Patina and Sunny. And YES on piles of MG and YA. I’m afraid I’m going to have to turn two back in before I finish reading. I hate doing that, but I’ve bitten off more than I can chew this semester. It was WONDERFUL to see you, this morning. Nice little surprise since we weren’t expecting to be back up on campus today. Guess it was meant to be. 😉


  3. I agree completely with you about the Track series. I too adored this ending. I was also so thankful that nothing happened to that baby like it might have in other novels.
    I think I pored over Dreamers at least four times and found new things to marvel at in those illustrations with each reread.
    Thanks for the heads up about The Kiss Quotient. I’ve put a hold on the audiobook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was a special ending to the series! I know what you mean about the baby — I’d need to prepare many middle grade readers for something like that. And if you do little to the audiobook, I’ll be interested in hearing how the narrator does. That makes all the difference for me. Thank you for visiting, Cheriee!


  4. Congratulations on getting to your well deserved break! Hope you have fun catching up on reading your favorite books. I thought Dreamers was beautiful as well! One Snowy Night and Jackie’s Gift look like great books to add to my growing holiday book list. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the congrats. I really enjoy teaching at the college level, but some things happened this semester that made it obvious I needed to take some time off. I’ll be happy to have my weekends back for time with the kids. YAY! Enjoy your holiday break!


    1. Awwww. I hope you’re able to get your hands on it. Little fingers will sure enjoy stroking the soft fabric, too. Have a wonderful winter break, Jane! Thanks for dropping by my blog!


  5. I also loved the way Reynolds ended the Track series. Of the four, I think Ghost is my favorite, but I enjoyed them all. And I’m so excited that Owl Moon is on your to-read list. It might be my favorite picture book of all time. (Also, I totally didn’t realize I’d left the stars out of my post for today, but I went back and added them in!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll have to hop back over to check out your stars for today. I really do look at that as I determine what to add to my list. Too many books, too little time. LOL Thanks for swinging by, Katie!


  6. Two books here that I have been meaning to read for a while. I need to buy Dreamers, as I was hoping my public would first, but it did not. Lu, I did pre-order, but I haven’t pried it from student hands, yet. That is a good thing in a K-7 library. Let them be excited to read it before all the adults. I love that.

    The Kiss Quotient does sound like a movie in the making. Enjoy your time off!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dreamers is definitely a book for every library (or a great gift for a librarian)! And that’s so cool for students to get to select books that are brand new. I know my daughter and son love giving me recommendations. So fun! I hope you enjoy the winter break, Aaron. Thank you for dropping by my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I commented on your comment to my post before I saw this. I hope you enjoy your semester break! It sounds like you need it.

    That art work blended with the photography does indeed look stunning. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always rough when I teach a new-to-me course — so much to create and settle in to that first time through. I like it much better once I have three semesters under my belt. But yes, I need a good long break for my family’s sake. I’ve missed seeing much of my kids since August. Thanks so much for dropping by, Akilah!


  8. Congratulations on finishing! And on having the next semester off – you must feel a weight off your shoulders!

    I don’t normally read romance, but I have been hearing great things about The Kiss Quotient. To me, it sounds like the female version of The Rosie Project (but of course, I haven’t read it yet!). Definitely have to add that one to my list.

    Enjoy your time off & your family!!

    Book By Book


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