It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/14/2021 #imwayr


We are going into our last five days at home before heading to Glacier National Park next weekend. It’s super exciting preparing to go with all our long lists of packing supplies and fun new hiking purchases like rain ponchos, backpacks, knives, a 6-pack of connected walkie talkies, etc. But it’s also been nerve-wracking. For example, buying bear spray and watching instructional videos on how to use it is just a tad unnerving. Also somewhat distressing to this mama’s heart is buying water treatment tablets, a venom removal kit, and a compass (in the event that we get separated or stranded or lost during our hours-long hike). But I keep having to remind myself that this is all just about being ultra prepared for the unexpected. We’ll likely return home with a bunch of unused items that weighed down our hiking packs merely to give us some false sense of security. 😬


Next Sunday is Father’s Day in the United States. So Happy Father’s Day to any dads out there, next weekend! I hope you have a deep and meaningful connection with your children and that you get a special time to celebrate with your loved ones. ❤️


I participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme on Mondays. 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!

I didn’t do much new reading this week. In fact, most of the week my 7-year-old read to me from the Wings of Fire series (which she’s totally obsessed with). Nevertheless, I did squeeze in a few new-to-me picture book titles and I’ve selected some books for the Big Book Summer Challenge.



Kelly DiPucchio
Raissa Figueroa, illustrator
January 12, 2021
Katherine Tegen Books

The illustrations are really adorable in this picture book about Oona, a mermaid who must face her fears to find what she really wants. Along the way she’ll run into trouble, but there’s an adventure to be had. The artist used Procreate to create the digital illustrations for this book.


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.


Dear Earth… from your friends
in room 5
Erin Dealey
Luisa Uribe, illustrator
December 1, 2020

This soft colored picture book chronicles the experiences of room 5 from January through December as they work to reduce, reuse, and recycle. As they write letters to Earth, Earth responds with more ideas and information. At the start of the next school year, some of them move to another classroom, but that doesn’t keep them from continuing to write letters to planet Earth. The end has two pages of back matter sharing more information on how to help. It’s not only great for Earth Day, but for all year long. The artist used Photoshop to create the digital illustrations for this book.


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 Will Live in This Forest Again
Gianna Marino
October 6, 2020
Neal Porter Books

Based on the author’s experiences during the wildfires that ignited across Northern California in October of 2017, this book tells the story of a wildfire from a forest animal’s perspective. Between the magnificent illustrations and the short poetic phrasing, the story is quite touching – showcasing both the fragility and strength of life in a community. The artwork was created using gouache on Fabriano watercolor paper.


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.



2021 Big Book Summer Challenge

I’m joining the Big Book Summer Challenge again this year, hosted by Sue Jackson. If you’d like to add some “big books” (titles with more than 400 pages) to your summer reading list, link up at Book By Book HERE and help cheer one another on in this community of readers.

My list is not nearly as long as it’s been in past years, but I hope to finish the following three titles between now and Labor Day Weekend:


Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (416 pages), Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (496 pages), A Promised Land by Barack Obama (768 pages).

Almost Ready to Review:


What are YOU reading?

14 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/14/2021 #imwayr

  1. I’ve read Amari & am just starting The Firekeeper’s Daughter, Shaye. Hope it is as good as everyone has been sharing! Thanks for the picture books, all new to me. And, wishing you a wonderful trip to Glacier. I’ve been there several times with students, a gorgeous place I bet you will love, despite the ‘extra’ things needed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in the same boat with The Firekeeper’s Daughter, having heard rave reviews. I can’t wait to dig in! I’m excited to see Glacier National Park. It’ll be a super long drive, so I need to load up on some great reading materials, for sure. Thanks for dropping by, Linda!


  2. What a great set of books! Now that I’ve started reading and reviewing picture books, I’ll have to keep Oona and Dear Earth… in mind—they both sound wonderful! Your selection for the Big Book Summer Challenge sounds great as well—I’ve heard a ton of praise for all 3 books. And your camping trip sounds super-fun—I certainly hope all of those extra items won’t be necessary, but it definitely makes sense to be prepared! Thanks so much for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really hope you can find and enjoy those picture books, Completely. And I’m grateful to Sue for hosting the Big Book Summer Challenge. I don’t remember how many years ago I started participating, but it’s a great encouragement to see if there are any longer books on my lists that I need motivation to complete. Thanks for swinging by!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa! My husband planned out a daily plan for the four days that we’ll be staying there, but I’m sure the best part will be getting to see family. Thanks so much for dropping by!


    1. Yeah, I’ll admit I was a little surprised when I saw the length of the book, too. I think I needed Sue’s Big Book Summer Challenge to encourage me to jump into it before September. LOL Thanks for visiting, Beth!


  3. I hope you have a wonderful time at Glacier National Park. Being ultra-prepared is always better than being underprepared. The artwork in Oona is stunning. That looks like a fun book. I love idea behind Dear Earth… from your friends. It’s fire season again . . . When isn’t it around here, really. I like the sound of We Will Live in This Forest Again.

    Good luck with the Big Book Summer Challenge! I’d have one down already if I was participating. It sounds like a great challenge and I wish you luck. You can do it! I have Firekeeper’s Daughter on my wish list. I hope you enjoy all your books.

    Enjoy your weekend away and have a great last few days of schooling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would definitely say we were ultra-prepared. But I completely agree with you on that point. We did see bears twice during our trip. But both times we were in our car and they were crossing the highway. Fun times! lol #superlateresponse


  4. Welcome back to Big Book Summer, Shaye! So glad you are participating again! I have been hearing nothing but rave reviews of The Firekeeper’s Daughter and, of course, Promised Land, is THE chunkster of the year! Looks like a good line-up!

    And heading to Glacier NP!!! So excited for you (and a bit jealous) – sounds wonderful! As I mentioned, we’ve been to dozens of NPs but that’s one we’ve missed so far and would love to visit. Are you backpacking or just taking a long day hike? You sound well-prepared! We used to love backpacking (i don’t have the stamina anymore, with my illness). I hope you and your family have an amazing vacation!!!


    2021 Big Book Summer Challenge

    Liked by 1 person

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