Like so many others, we’ve had some rather unusual weather this past weekend. I just have to take a moment to share some of our forecast from yesterday and today (3/14-3/15). See the very center of the storm in the map, below — that little yellow blobby area where it says 42.9 inches of snow expected? Wave, cuz that’s my county. 🥴
And these are our current highway closings. So yeah, schools are shut down today and tomorrow. We’ll see about Wednesday. But nobody’s getting in or out for the time being:
It is sure beautiful coming down, though! ❄️ And thankfully, no lost power this time — we only lost internet for a short bit, no biggie. We decided to watch The Day After Tomorrow, which seemed completely appropriate, all things considered. HA!
If you’re a new visitor today, WELCOME! On Mondays, I participate in a weekly meme sharing what the kids and I have been reading. 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 was one of my BEST weeks of reading 🥰, so hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your wish list.
(Amina’s Voice #2)
March 9, 2021
Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
I LOVED this follow-up book to Amina’s Voice! Amina has developed a true love of Pakistan during her visit overseas and as she returns to the states, her uncle has given her the challenge of letting her American friends know what Pakistan is really about. Yet sadly, her friends don’t seem all that interested in hearing about her trip. Therefore, she struggles to know how, exactly, to fulfill this challenge. In the meantime, she’s assigned the task of sharing the life of someone important — she is delighted to share her Pakistani hero Malala Yousafzai, even if her presentation doesn’t go exactly the way her teacher hoped. Amina faces continual misunderstandings of her family’s culture and is happy to make a new friend named Nico, who is Egyptian, and who has a musical talent that just might help her meet her uncle’s challenge. The family relationships are simply beautiful in this leg of the story. And Amina is, yet again, met by friendship concerns that she will have to work out in her own way. I’m more than happy to recommend this book and I certainly don’t expect it to stay on the shelves! My thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC.
January 5, 2021
Walden Pond Press
This was one of those deep children’s novels that is full of mystery and heart. Set in South Carolina in the 1960s, eleven-year-old twins Jay and Jezebel Turner encounter discover family magic and learn how and when to use it. While under their uncle’s tutelage, they encounter paranormal beings and must determine where there’s danger and where there’s good. This is somewhat long for a middle grade novel, but there’s such depth to this story and I enjoyed it thoroughly! My thanks to Libro.fm for providing this title to me as an educator.
This is My America
July 28, 2020
Random House Children’s Books
Oh my. This was quite moving. I’ll just start by saying it gets my whole hearted 5 STARS. Seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont has spent the last nearly seven years writing to the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization that helps review and retry death row cases for people who they believe were wrongly convicted. Her father is living on death row and yet the family knows exactly where he was during the time of the crime he supposedly committed. No one would listen to their testimony! In the meantime, Tracy’s big brother, Jamal, is suspected of murdering a girl in their high school. It’s a devastating blow to the family, who knows he’d never do such a thing. Nevertheless, the he certainly looks guilty based on the facts of the case. The reader doesn’t know who did what and the mystery continues to unfold over the course of the whole story. A great deal of their community’s history is revealed as I appreciate that there’s nothing simple about any of it. There are so many shades of gray as we see humanity at its best AND its worst. The story is full of family love while addressing community racism, murder, jail and death row, high school politics, and even some romance. My thanks to Libro.fm for providing this title to me as an educator. I hope every high school, college, and public library has this one on their shelves!
February 2, 2021
Wolfboy is huffy and drooly and growly and fussy! But will he gobble up the first rabbit that hops into this path? This one is super cute as most of us can relate to that awful feeling of being “hangry.” And the artwork is such fun!
Note from Harkness on the artwork: “Each piece of art begins with a rough pencil sketch projected onto a piece of glass as a guide for sculpting. The illustration is shaped in clay by hand, then wooden tools are used to create the smallest details. The clay sculptures are photographed outdoors in natural light and then digitally painted with as little retouching as possible.”
The Bookstore Cat
Charles Santoso, illustrator
October 20, 2020
Balzer + Bray
Awww. This is the perfect alphabet book for the cat lover. Bookstore cat is Adorable, Bossy, and Cuddly. And I bet you’ll discover other words that begin with every letter of the alphabet to describe this multifaceted bookstore cat. The artist used Adobe Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book.
What ARE avocados, exactly? Fruit? Vegetables? Avocado travels the width of the grocery store, looking for a place to belong. It turns out that Avocado isn’t alone in struggling to find his place — there are other foods who aren’t so easy to place. 🤣 While the story is cute, there’s plenty to learn in this book about fruits and vegetables.
Two of my sons have a thing for avocados. In fact, for Christmas their Mimi bought them both a squishable avocado to sleep with (which they both LOVE). So as soon as I hear of this book, I just knew I had to check this one out.
To Be Read:
I am currently reading The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste aloud to my four youngest children. This week I plan to start reading When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie by Erin Soderberg Downing and I also hope to begin listening to The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore, which I purchased on sale through Chirp. It’s a very long book (nearly 500 pages) and so we’ll see if I can finish it this week.