It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/5/2020 #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 to share what you’ve been reading!

My, it has been quite a week due to illness around here. I suppose with a big family, you have to expect the dominoes to fall. So far just three of us, thank goodness! In any case, I’m posting four days late. So if anyone happens to stop by late in the week, I hope you’ll find at least something of interest to add to your reading list.


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Brother’s Keeper
Julie Lee
July 21, 2020
Holiday House

My thanks to Libro.fm for providing me with a complimentary audiobook of Brother’s Keeper. This historical fiction novel explored the realities of families living in Korea during the Korean war. There’s a great deal of fear in this Communist community. Citizens are not allowed to speak their mind. And if anyone suspects you do not agree with your leaders, you’ll be executed. Sora Pak is a big sister who must give up school to help take care of the family while her parents tend a farm. Young boys are to be educated, but girls are a different story. Their value lies in cooking and caring for the home. Sora is bitter about this view of young girls, but there’s really nothing she feels she can do. As the war escalates, friends of the family decide to attempt an escape, leaving the Pak family looking as though they knew of the plans and did not turn them in. So Sora’s family must hide her father for a period of time. As the political climate continues to worsten, it appears the best option for their family is to flee their mountain village and head for Busan. However, when Sora and her little brother Young get separated from their parents, they soon discover they will have to get to Busan on their own.

This book did an excellent job of showcasing cultural expectations in Korean families of the 1950s while also sharing the realities of this horrific war. The story is very dark at times, but also powerful. And there’s an author’s note explaining the story was loosely based on her own mother’s experiences in Korea. She shares that 3-4 million lives were lost and that, while there was eventually a cease fire, there has been no victory for either side for more than 60 years. This story was written for the middle grade audience, nevertheless I think this novel would be an equally wonderful read for adults who know little about the Korean War.

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


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A Story about Afiya
James Berry
Anna Cunha, illustrator
April 7, 2020
Lantana Publishing

Afiya has only one dress and that’s all she needs. Wherever she goes, her white dress records the memories of her adventures. The beautiful artwork was created using mixed media, and completed digitally. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Story-About-Afiya-SPREAD

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


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Nesting
Henry Cole
March 3, 2020
Katherine Tegen Book

This lifecycle picture book is black-and-white and accented only with robin’s egg blue, throughout. From beginning to end, we get to witness two robins as they build a nest and eventually raise four baby robins. There’s an Author’s Note at the end that shares more about American Robins. The artist used Micron pens and acrylic paints to create this lovely artwork. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Nesting-SPREAD

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


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The Bold, Brave Bunny
Beth Ferry
Chow Hon Lam, illustrator
February 11, 2020
HarperCollins

Perhaps children from larger families will especially appreciate this book about a bunny named Teetu who needs a break from his burrow full of so many bunnies. He heads out to explore the great wild and to record his journey in a book. But it’s not long before he begin to miss his family and he’s so very happy to find them, again. The artwork really makes this book! The artist used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Bold-Brave-Bunny-SPREAD

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


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Hooray for You
Marianne Richmond
April 2, 2019
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

With bright and cheery artwork, this book is all about celebrating everyone’s unique qualities. I appreciate that the story includes people of different abilities and from various cultures. I could not find a note on how the artwork was created, but I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

Hooray-for-you-SPREAD

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


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What If?: What Makes You
Different Makes You Amazing!
Sandra Magsamen
February 5, 2019
Sourcebooks Wonderland

This cute little book is a splash of color with big bold fonts, intended to highlight the importance of uniqueness. In rhyming text, we see page after page of truly unique animals. For example, there’s a puppy with two difference colored eyes and an extremely tall giraffe. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of the artwork and message, below:

What-If-SPREAD

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


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You’re Just What I Need
Ruth Krauss
Julia Noonan, illustrator
January 22, 2019
HarperCollins

My youngest has very strong opinions about book covers. There are some books I sit down to read with her and she outright refuses for the simple fact that the cover just isn’t attractive to her. Sadly, that was the case with this book, for some reason. But as soon as she saw me flipping through the pages on my own, and wow’ing over the message, she said she’d like to read it with me. It’s a sweet story of a mother playing a game with her child — the youngster is hiding under a bundle of covers and the mother is pretending to not know what is under the covers. CUTE! While this story was recently republished, I saw that the original publication date was from 1998. The illustrations make me feel all warm and cuddly. I’ll provide one page spread to serve as an example of the artwork, below:

Youre-Just-What-I-Need-SPREAD

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


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Inky the Octopus
Erin Guendelsberger
David Leonard, illustrator
April 3, 2018
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

In cute rhyming text, the picture book shares the actual story of Inky’s real-life aquatic escape! The back matter tells more of the story of the escape, including details about other odd octopuses and an “Are You Squidding Me?!” page followed by a bibliography. I’ll provide a one page spread as an example, along with a video clip of how an octopus can squeeze through a tiny hole.

Inky-the-Octopus-SPREAD

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


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My Best Friend Is a Dragon:
A Lift-The-Flap Book
Rachael McLean
May 26, 2020
Penguin Workshop

I picked up this little board book for my youngest since she loves dragons. There’s nothing particularly deep about it, just a little rhyming poem with bright, cheery illustrations and flip-up flaps to continue the text on each page. I’ll provide one page spread as an example, below:

My-Best-Friend-Dragon-SPREAD

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


My thanks to Becky Herzog of Sloth Reads for the four books, above. I won them in a giveaway and have enjoyed reading them with my daughter. Each book takes the lyrics of a well-known song and creates illustrations to go with them. My favorite of the book was We’re Not Gonna Take It, written as babies speaking out to their controlling parents. So Cute!

Were-Not-Gonna-Take-It-SPREAD

I’ll link to all four titles on Goodreads, below:

We’re Not Gonna Take It by Dee Snider
African by Peter Tosh
Good Vibrations by Mike Love
Don’t Stop by Christine McVie


To Be Read:

I am still working on Hatch, book #2 of the Overthrow series by Kenneth Oppel. It’s so good, but I’m just lacking time to sit and read right now. I’m also planning to finish reading the stack of Ruth Bader Ginsburg picture books I’ve acquired over the last three weeks.

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Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge 2020:  268/300


What are YOU reading?

8 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/5/2020 #imwayr

    1. Yes, I just hate missing weeks and figured I should go ahead and get it done. But between midterm grading and illness in our household, I’m really lucky to have posted at all. LOL Thanks for swinging by, Jean!

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  1. I was getting worried! I hope everyone feels better soon and they don’t share it with the rest of the family. I am trying to stop putting books on my list until I catch up with the Cybils reading, but I really want to read Brother’s Keeper. I enjoyed Nesting when I read it this week. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You just keep doing what you’re doing — I’m excited to hear the outcome of CYBILS!! But yes, Brother’s Keeper is well worth adding to your future list. My husband’s uncle fought in the Korean War and was severely injured, yet I still didn’t know what it was about. I’m so grateful for good historical fiction! Thanks for visiting, Beth!

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  2. I’m thrilled to see that you got a post in for this week—honestly, with such a crazy week, I would have just given up! I’m sorry you’re dealing with so much illness at the same time as midterm grading! These books sound wonderful! Brother’s Keeper sounds like a great story, especially since I’ve never read anything about the Korean War. Nesting looks beautiful, and A Story About Afiya reminds me of The Hundred Dresses, which is always a good thing! Thanks for the great post!

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    1. I knew practically nothing about the Korean War. I mean, it’s actually referred to as “the forgotten war” since those three years are sandwiched between WWII and Vietnam. But it was a very enlightening read. Thanks for dropping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Never too late to post! Sometimes my reviews are mid week just because the weekend is all about the reading. Afiya looks gorgeous and is a new title for me. Have you read Inky’s Great Escape by Casey Lyall? It’s another picture book about the real life Inky. Hope you and your family are feeling better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just had to look up a read aloud of Inky’s Great Escape on Youtube after reading your comment and that was FUN! I also just learned about another picture book: Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery. How did I not know about Inky before this week?! And I loved the artwork in Afiya — so lovely! Thank you for the well wishes, Laura!

      Liked by 1 person

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