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 to share what you’ve been reading!
This week has been filled with more hard labor (particularly on landscaping, packing/moving boxes, and painting) and we’re getting closer to having our house on the market. I’ve barely had a moment to myself all week, but thanks to Overdrive’s extensive library of audiobooks I was still able to finish over 1400 pages of reading. ALSO, last week was the first time I didn’t sit down early in the week to read and comment on the entire group’s #imwayr posts. I finally made all the rounds, but YIKES, I’m really off my game this summer. Things are looking better and better around here though, so brighter days are ahead. I’m sure!
It was fun to have such reading variety this week. Hopefully you’ll find something that sparks your interest!
Sweeping Up the Heart
March 19, 2019
Amelia Albright is a 7th grader who is very disappointed that her father, the Professor, doesn’t want to travel or do anything fun for Spring Break. So instead, she spends the bulk of the week at the art studio where she meets her teacher’s nephew, Casey. Threaded with melancholy, this story normalizes the struggles many youngsters face today, like strained child-parental relationships and the pain and complications of divorce. While it didn’t have a tidy, all-things-are-perfect ending, there were beautiful moments and heart-felt conversations. Amelia expected the most boring and non-eventful summer, but she ends up learning and growing in surprising ways. ❤
A Monster Like Me
Wendy S. Swore
March 5, 2019
Sophie has a blood tumor that covers nearly half her face. She wasn’t born with it, so she believes she was cursed at some point during her early childhood, turning her into a monster. She carries around her Big Book of Monsters in an effort to learn how to become a human again — especially before her mother realizes what her daughter really is. While the synopsis may seem silly and highly imaginative, at crucial points this story was quite philosophical for a middle grade book. There were chapters from her Big Book of Monsters interspersed between the regular story that share important information about different types of monsters and how to treat/handle them, including the importance of offering forgiveness, having gratitude, etc. Pay special attention to those brief sections!
No Place Like Here
May 21, 2019
I’ll be totally honest about this one — I picked it up only because of the cover. I’m a sucker for how cover art makes me feel. I don’t think I knew anything about this story before I began reading it, so it was all a surprise. Ashlyn Zanotti is in between a rock and a hard place. Her father is going to prison for tax evasion and her mother is going to rehab for severe depression. So Ashlyn is sent off to stay with her cousin for the summer, working at a retreat center with no access to her cell phone. She’s without her best friend and is REALLY hoping she doesn’t have to return to her boarding school in the fall.
While this book had many of the typical coming-of-age experiences, including a little romance, what I really liked was the fact that it dealt with child/parent relationships, including miscommunication, and the fact that our internal voice inevitably comes directly from the adults who speak to us (and about us) the most. Unfortunately, one of the voices Ashlyn constantly hears is pretty critical of all her choices and judgmental of others she encounters. Will she be able to overcome the humiliation of her father’s actions and her mother’s rehab? More importantly, will she find the courage to speak up for herself and the things that she wants in life?
June 4, 2019
My thanks to Razorbill/Penguin Random House for the Goodreads giveaway that landed this book in my mailbox! This was a fun pleasure-read, this week. I didn’t have huge expectations since I’m not hugely into paranormal, but once I started I found it it very enticing — especially right before bed (which was probably a bad idea prior to dreaming – EEEK!). The main character, Hendricks, had a bad experience with her ex-boyfriend. This is why her family moved her from Philadelphia to a small community in New York. Her parents like to flip houses for a living, but little did they know that the house they purchased, Steel House, is haunted. People were murdered in this house and now their ghosts want revenge. This is a super-fast read! Vega made it difficult to put down as there were more answers to uncover around every corner.
What We Buried
Kate A. Boorman
February 26, 2019
Henry Holt & Company
What just happened? That’s precisely what I thought when I finished this one. When I reached the end, I started back near the beginning to review and make sure I didn’t miss something important. However, after a while I got on Goodreads and read that many others were just as uncertain, so that’s a relief. What we know is that Liv and Jory Brewer are siblings who have experienced very different lives under the same roof. Liv grew up competing in many beauty pageants while Jory had facial paralysis and struggled to even speak clearly. Both have faced parental abuse in different ways, but neither can remember some important details of their childhood AND their last few days. The majority of this book takes place in conversations and memories while the two siblings are on a long car ride. If you decide to read this one, we really should compare notes to see if we agree on what really happened!
To Be Read:
I’m finally writing my review of The Friendship Lie later this week and I hope to start You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn. And somewhere, SOME way, I hope to squeeze in another book from my #MustReadin2019 list — just not sure what, yet. 🙂