It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/29/2019 #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!

Earth-Day-2019-4-29hope everyone had a wonderful Earth Day! This past week we also gathered up books from home and the library that might somehow fit with the Earth theme. It was also our first week to service our lawnmower, mow the grass, and begin planning out what we want to do in our flowerbeds. Aaaaaaand believe it or not, we’re now expecting up to 12″ of snow over the next three days!! *sigh*

On to my reading… I’m sharing six new books from my reading this week, including the soon-to-be released Up For Air by Laurie Morrison. I hope you’ll find something to add to your TBR pile.

41104100Up For Air
Laurie Morrison
May 7, 2019
Amulet Books, an imprint of

Thirteen-year-old Annabelle is the fastest swimmer on her middle school swim team, but she struggles terribly with her academic school work. She has tutors and special learning plans with her school administrators to keep her grades as high as possible. Clearly, she’s not enjoying anything about school outside of swimming. Now that she’s been invited onto the high school swim team, she’s feeling a bit more confident in her skin. She’s particularly interested in Connor, an older high school boy who has definitely noticed that she is no longer the little “hummingbird” he knew, before. Annabelle enjoys the way he looks at her rapidly developing body and she is willing to go the extra mile just to get more of his attention.

Annabelle’s experiences and desires were spot-on for her age — she is clearly someone who wants to grow up more quickly than she should, but does this mean she must leave behind her younger friends? She faces mature high school topics as she learns about her friend’s eating disorder and attends a beach party where everyone is drinking alcohol. However, Annabelle reaps painful lessons after making some impulsive decisions. And as we so often learn during adolescence, the pain may be exactly what is needed to get her focus back on track.

I really enjoyed Up For Air and think it will be an especially great title during the upcoming summer months with so much swimming and beach visits. There’s been a bit of recent discussion in Teacher-Librarian circles about those readers (usually around 8th to 9th grade) whose reading interests are often too old for middle grade literature and yet they’re not quite mature enough for young adult literature. This book will be a really good bridge for these readers — providing a small window into realistic high school experiences without diving too deeply. For that reason, I would say it’s appropriate for both middle school AND high school libraries.

My thanks to Amulet Books and NetGalley for offering an e-ARC so that I could provide an honest review. This title will release on May 7th — go order it now. I doubt it will stay on the shelves!

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

37868569We Set the Dark on Fire
Tehlor Kay Mejia
February 26, 2019
Katherine Tegen Books

Daniela Vargas (Dani) is a student of the Medio School for Girls. She was born across the border, but her family yearned to give her a better life. Therefore, she got into the school with forged identification papers.  Dani has already been given a shocking marriage proposal by one of the leading bachelors of a high political family. Now, all she has to do is make it through the graduation ceremony and then she will be the Primera wife in a top-notch family.

About the school: The purpose of the Medio School for Girls is to prepare women for their future roles as wives. Husbands take on two wives: the Primera and the Segunda. The Primera does not let emotions control her actions and she firmly handles the business aspects of her husband’s life. The Segunda births and raises children, providing a relaxing home for the husband. The two wives function as a team with their husband to make up a fulfilling marriage and household.

As graduation/marriage draws near, Dani discovers there’s a new verification process for identification papers and she’s in imminent danger of being discovered. It’s at this point that she is approached by someone from a resistance group who offers to clear her name so she can have the life she wants. But does this leave her in their eternal debt?

This is a very fast-paced book that was difficult to put down. Don’t be surprised by the cliff-hanger ending that is sure to leave readers eagerly anticipating the release of book #2!

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

37598648Good Enough
Jen Petro-Roy
February 19, 2019
Feiwel & Friends

Twelve-year-old Riley has been admitted to an inpatient treatment center for her anorexia. The book is written as her detailed journal as she documents what has happened in the past and what is currently happening in the treatment facility. She meets a wide variety of girls of all sizes and ethnicities — each one forced to face their own demons. While in the facility, Riley is required to eat everything she’s given, she cannot exercise, and when she urinates she must have someone standing outside the door while she counts aloud (to prove she isn’t secretly vomiting her food). The journey is a very honest depiction of the shame, fear, and anger experienced during treatment. And it’s downright heartbreaking listening to the internal battle. Also shared are the difficult family interactions and frustrations with insurance providers who don’t see an eating disorder as a medical condition unless you’re in eminent danger.

It should be noted that this is an #ownvoices book as Jen Petro-Roy is an eating disorder survivor. I didn’t actually know this until I’d finished the book — so all along I kept wondering Is this really the type of thing they do in these facilities? It’s an insightful and important book — both a window and a mirror for the many experiences associated with discovering and addressing an eating disorder.

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

25318441Two Naomis
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Audrey Vernick
September 13, 2016
Balzer + Bray

I placed Naomis Too on my #MustReadin2019 list and didn’t realize it was book #2 in a series. So in book #1, Two Naomis, we meet two 10-year-old girls named Naomi: Naomi Marie and Naomi Edith. Their parents met and fell in love and so they want the two girls to get to know each other. Without their knowledge, their parents enroll them in a technology camp where they must work in teams to program games. Uh oh. Bad move, mom and dad. They’re the same age and seem to have a lot in common, but neither appreciate being forced into a friendship. Over the course of the book, both families work on coming to grips with the previous divorces and having better overall communication. I’m excited to get my hands on book #2 just as soon as it’s available at my library (I’m next on the “holds” list – YAY).

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

40512383A Boy and a House
Maja Kastelic
September 11, 2018 (in English)
Annick Press

You’ll definitely want to add this title to your list of wordless picture books for young and older readers, alike. A young boy appears to venture out into the city after dark. Where is he going? What’s he doing? (And did you notice when his backpack came off?). It was so satisfying to explore all the details on every page — hidden keys, messages written on the wall, the activities of neighbors (and mice!). I won’t spoil the story ending, but I can share there’s a cat and paper airplanes involved. 🙂

The detailed illustrations are rendered in sepia coloring, except for splashes of muted reds. I was disappointed to not find information on how the artwork was specifically created, but I’ll share one page spread as an example of what to expect, below:


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

40554419Have I Ever Told You?
Shani King
Anna Horvath, illustrator
January 8, 2019
Tilbury House Publishers

This book is so much HAPPY!  I would have to place this title in the category of “possible Graduation Gifts” because, while it’s a sweet book to read with a young child, it’s also a gorgeous set of reminders to gift a grown teen who is heading off into the world. The pages speak of the child being loved, being special, being fun to listen to, etc. Then there are a series of important life instructions on how to do the right thing, even in tough situations. It’s so innocent, but also very meaningful.

The illustrations are quite creative and inviting. There is a beautiful mixture of skin tones throughout each page and playful animations occurring atop each hand. I did not see information on how the artwork was created, but I’ll provide one page-spread as an example:


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:

This next week I plan to finish reading Just South of Home by Karen Strong, Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn, and Fox & Chick: The Quiet Boat Ride and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier.

Collage created using TurboCollage software from

Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2019 – 113/200
#MustReadin2019 – 12/42

15 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 4/29/2019 #imwayr

  1. We Set the Dark on Fire sounds amazing! I love wordless picture book and A Boy and a House is one I don’t know. I’ve been complaining about the weather here because we’ve had a lot of rainy and cloudy days, but I guess I should just be glad it’s not snow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ll really love this wordless picture book. There’s so much going on in each picture, so it’ll be easy to get a slightly different story each time you read it. And I’m still stunned over this latest snow forecast. It’s been SO nice. I really do love snow, but the back and forth is especially frustrating for the kiddos. Thanks for dropping by, Lisa!


  2. I have ‘Up for Air’ on my list and A Boy and A House, too. You managed a lot of reading this week, Shaye. All the books shared sound good, am trying to limit what I keep on my list. I am overwhelmed with books I’d like to read! Enjoy The Quiet Boat Ride, so cute!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, how well I understand trying to limit the list. I’m afraid I’ve given up. lol And really liked the last Fox + Chick book, so I am looking forward to sharing this new one with my youngest. Have a wonderful week of reading, Linda, and thank you for visiting!


    1. I really hope you enjoy We Set the Dark on Fire, Danielle! It was not what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed it (and want to see what happens NEXT). And for a buddy read, were you thinking of a specific YA title? Lemme know what you’re thinking.


  3. I just started reading Up for Air a few days ago, and it seems like a good summertime read so far. I have had Two Naomis on my To Read List for some time now, but I’m not sure why I’ve never gotten around to it. I should look for it at the library. I added Have I Ever Told You? to my list to read as well. Hope you can shake free of the nasty winter weather and start enjoying spring. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Up For Air is an excellent summertime read! Lots of pool and beach talk… I keep deciding to read a book and discover it’s the 2nd or 3rd in a series. But I am very happy I started with Two Naomis so that I understand the backstory. Thanks for the good weather wishes, Jana! ❤


  4. I hope you love Caterpillar Summer!
    I completely agree with what you said about Up For Air. My daughter is in 8th grade and it’s been challenging getting books for her. I gave her this ARC and she really enjoyed it. Helped that swimming was the featured sport!
    Love the Naomi books. So much to talk about with them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard such great things about Caterpillar Summer, so this is one I’m super excited about. And I’m not at all surprised about your daughter. My daughter is 15 and I’m pretty confident she’ll enjoy Up For Air (once she makes it through her current pile of books – lol). She’s more of a real book reader, so I’ll have to either purchase it or check it out from the library for her since I only have the e-ARC. The wait for Naomis Too feels sooooo long. I expected it to become available this week, but no. *sigh* Thanks for dropping by, Michele!


  5. You have had an excellent reading week Shaye! I loved the sample illustration from A Boy and a House and have added it to my list. Have I Ever Told You? also looks wonderful.
    I am finding readers as young as grades six and seven who want to read books that I would consider to mature for them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fun finding picture books where you can get lost in the illustrations — that’s exactly what A Boy and a House is like. I hope you enjoy it! And with all the easy access to various media, I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising to have younger students wanting to read more mature books. But it’s difficult to know how to navigate. I’ve been hearing a call for identifying a new age-level of books that fits between middle grade literature and young adult literature, so it’ll be interesting to see if this come to fruition. Thank you so much or dropping by, Cheriee!


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