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.
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)
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.
A Wolf Called Wander
Mónica Armiño, illustrator
May 7, 2019
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!
We Are Grateful
Frané Lessac, illustrator
September 4, 2018
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)
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!!
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.