It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/26/2019 #imwayr

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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!

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I’m getting a very late start this morning because we had quite a storm, last night. One of our huge trees split down the middle, landing on our daughter’s new-to-her car. And wouldn’t you know, today is her 16th birthday! Luckily, it only put a dent in her roof and it knocked out one of the headlights. It could have been SO much worse! We’ve had many city workers on our property, along with trucks, caterpillars, and other large machinery working to clear our street — such a distraction. Anyway, I’ll make today’s post quick. I have one book in each age category: Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Children’s Picture Book. I hope you find something of interest to add to your wish lists.


Michelle Obama
November 13, 2018

I L-O-V-E-D this autobiography of Michelle Obama! And waiting for months and months for the availability of the audiobook was well worth it. It’s not like I’m surprised that it was well-written, but it was quite inspirational and gave me all the feels as I learned about the life of Michelle Obama from childhood on up. In fact, I was all in before the Preface was finished. I sobbed through the death of Michelle’s father, was intrigued to hear her openly name specific mistakes she felt she made over the years, and I felt her description of experiencing infertility and miscarriage was so open and honest. There were things about the White House life with children that I hadn’t considered — particularly how easy it might be to feel imprisoned when almost every decision you make involves fierce oversight and security detail. Sasha and Malia spent most of their childhood under intense scrutiny, so the Obamas had to take every opportunity to provide some sense of normalcy, including family bonding opportunities. Michelle Obama’s narration was strong with equal parts vulnerability — what a TREAT. I can’t wait for my husband to read this one so we can discuss it!

AWARDS: Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Memoir & Autobiography (2018), NAACP Image Award Nominee for Biography/Autobiography (2019)

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


Wicked Fox
(Gumiho #1)
by Kat Cho
June 25, 2019
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

This was an exciting first book in a new series based on Korean Folklore and set in modern day Seoul. 18 year old Miyoung is part Gumiho — this is a fox with 9 tails who feeds off the gi (energy) of men in order to survive. As Miyoung is half human, she does not feel right killing innocent humans. So she searches for men who’ve done terrible things in order to rid the world of them. Miyoung has a poor relationship with her mother, who is said to be stunningly beautiful, and she has an absentee father (and no memory of him). As fate would have it, one day Miyoung is in the woods when she witnesses a goblin attacking a handsome boy from her school named Jihoon. By rescuing him, she is risking revealing who she is. But she might also be risking discovering very human feelings she’s never felt before. The story was intricately woven and fast-paced — I’ll definitely be interested in reading book #2 when it is released. It was also my last “big book” of the Summer of 2019. PLUG: Don’t forget, you can join the Big Book Summer challenge next year which starts Memorial Day weekend and goes through Labor Day weekend.

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


A Wolf Called Wander
Rosanne Parry
Mónica Armiño, illustrator
May 7, 2019
Greenwillow Books

Swift is a young wolf cub who lives in the mountains with his pack. They live happily together until an unexpected attack scatters the pack, leaving Swift to wander the surrounding lands, lost and alone. This story is told through the fictional voice of the wolf, but it’s important to note that it’s based on the true story of a wolf named OR-7 (…including how he left his home and traveled over 1,000 miles when he was 2 years old. Scientists were able to watch OR-7 find his mate and have his own pups. We learn that he’s now 10 years old and has had 5 litters of pups.). In this tale, it’s clear that this journey is a dangerous one. There are bloody encounters and nothing is sugarcoated — so beware for younger sensitive children. Nevertheless, readers will find themselves cheering on this brave wolf as he attempts to survive and desperately seeks a companion. At the close of the book there are a number of wolf facts about their body, eating habits, and various pack behaviors. I really like how they mixed the fictional story with the nonfiction details about OR-7 and wolves, in general!

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


We Are Grateful
Traci Sorell
Frané Lessac, illustrator
September 4, 2018
Charlesbridge Publishing

Following the four seasons, beginning with Fall, we witness the modern Cherokee life and customs taking place. The beginning page explains:

“Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude. It is a reminder to celebrate our blessings and reflect on struggles — daily, throughout the year, and across the seasons.”

And throughout the remaining pages, the reader is given new Cherokee words and an explanation of why gratitude is constantly present in their lives.

The back matter includes a page of Definitions, and Author’s Note, and a Cherokee Syllabrary. The artwork in this book was created with gouache on Arches paper. I’ll provide one page-spread as an example, below:


AWARDS: Sibert Medal Nominee (2019), NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book (2019)

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

To Be Read:

I have several ARCs to review over the next two weeks, just in time for their publication in September. Additionally, I’ve a number of the books on my #MustReadin2019 list that I need to squeeze in over the coming months. So this week, I plan to work on the following titles: Trevor Lee and the Big Uh-Oh by Wiley Blevins, Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling, Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School by Carla Shalaby, and Some Places More than Others by Renée Watson. Wish me luck!!

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I also just checked out the following two picture books — award-winners that I missed this past year: Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship and Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams.

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Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2019 – 200/200
#MustReadin2019 – 23/42

10 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/26/2019 #imwayr

  1. After your remarks here and other praise in the Big Book comment section, I have added Becoming to my tentative #MustReadIn2020 list. I’ve put a reserve on Wicked Fox because 1. it sounds interesting and 2. my daughter-in-law is Korean. I have A Wolf Called Wander checked out from my library. I hope to get it finished before the books have to be returned!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Becoming was so fantastic. I did check out the book from the public library so that I could look at all the photos, but then I listened to the audiobook through Overdrive. Hearing it straight from Michelle Obama’s narration somehow felt even more authentic. I don’t know HOW she read through one of the saddest parts of the book without her voice cracking. Meanwhile, I was sobbing with a heaving chest. And reading a book based on Korean folklore will be especially great considering family heritage. There’s a little romance, but it’s not sappy in the least. I know how you feel with trying to finish reading before return time. I always overestimate what I can finish, but that doesn’t keep me from coming home with armloads. LOL Have a wonderful week, Cheriee!


  2. I still haven’t gotten to Becoming and I know it’s a must read! Maybe soon? I loved A Wolf Called Wander and We Are Grateful, will note Wicked Fox, Shaye. What a morning for you. Yes, your daughter’s car could have been crushed, so glad it wasn’t worse. Thanks for taking time to post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Becoming is one of my favorites for this year, Linda. It just hit the spot — highly recommend the audiobook. We’re very lucky that the branches didn’t smash right through her windshield. If the tree had fallen just about 4 inches further north there would have been glass everywhere and the entire inside would have been wet because it continued to rain and hail after the windstorm. So we are feeling extra grateful, today!


    1. Oh that’s great news, Lisa! I hope to squeeze that one in LATE in the weekend because I have three other ARCs that publish in the next week, so I have to prioritize them. But I just love Dusti Bowling’s writing. I’m sad that 24 Hours in Nowhere didn’t get as much attention as Cactus because it was one of my top 5 favorites of 2018. Hope you have a great week, too!


  3. You’re making me want to read Becoming now. I’ve had it on my TBR for some time now but have put it off. Glad there wasn’t too much damage on your daughter’s car; how does the insurance classify something like happening? I like the sound of the Korean folktale-inspired book and that lone wolf one.

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    1. Becoming was outstanding. I don’t read a lot of bibliographies, but I am happy I place this one on my #MustReadin2019 list! When the police showed up right after the storm, they said the damage would be considered an Act of God and so the city did the tree clean up that had crossed over into the street. The remainder of the tree that still stands, however, we would be responsible for. But I’m not sure it would be worth it to file an insurance claim after we pay our deductible since the car is a 2001. We can check with the junkyard for a used headlight for that car model (or possibly even superglue this one back in for now) and the dent in the roof is hardly noticeable unless you’re looking for it. We are SO lucky! The remaining tree, on the other hand — we would be happy for homeowners insurance to kick in and cover the removal of that. 🙂 Thanks for dropping by, Stefanie!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I agree on audio! I am delighted to hear you’re currently listening. It’s so special to hear her personal narration while pulling back the curtain on their personal lives. I had so many feelings of love and appreciation, throughout and really hope I can get Lee to listen to it SOON! Of course, he’ll have to get back in the ridiculously long line at our library. But it’s well worth the wait, IMHO!


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