It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/27/2021 #imwayr


I can’t believe we’re almost to the end of the month! My birthday is this Thursday, the last day of September, and I guess there’s no reason to be secretive about the fact that I’ll be turning 49. There was a time when I thought that kind of thing was to remain hush-hush, but now… meh. We’ll have a quiet celebration at home with the kiddos this year, where hubby is planning to make me a birthday meal and a cheesecake. YUMMO! 😋

If this is your first visit to my blog, welcome! Today is Monday, and I regularly participate in a weekly #IMWAYR meme. 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!

In addition to my other reads, this week I will be reviewing two books I received as ARCs from NetGalley. Hopefully you’ll find something of interest to add to your reading list.


Say It Out Loud
Allison Varnes
August 24, 2021
Random House Books For Young Readers

We all know we should speak up when we witness bullying or any sort of injustice. Right? But what if speaking up draws attention to our own flaws? What if we can’t get the words out right and people laugh at us? Charlotte Andrews has chosen to stay quiet for most of her life to keep people from hearing her embarrassing stutter. However, when she refuses to speak up over a school bus incident she witnessed, she damages her relationship with her very best friend. Is protecting your pride really worth ending a friendship?

This story highlighted the power of the written word. Because even when we’re nervous about saying things out loud, we can still write! Also emphasized is the importance of being a friend who LISTENS. There are multiple ways to support those who are bullied and oppressed and this book was a real call to action. This is also an #ownvoices book as Allison Varnes has struggled with stuttering. If, like me, you enjoyed reading Allison Varnes’s Property of the Rebel Librarian, I dare say Say It Out Loud was even better! I’m happy to recommend this one.

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.


(The Overthrow Series, Book #3)
Kenneth Oppel
May 4, 2021

If you haven’t yet picked up book #1 of The Overthrow Series by Kenneth Oppel, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I was 100% hooked during book #1, Bloom (reviewed HERE), and then I felt so much closer to each character during my read of book #2, Hatch (reviewed HERE). So Thrive had a lot to live up to if it was going to carry the momentum of the series through to the very end. And MY OH MY, what an incredible finale to this three book sci-fi/horror series series!

Kenneth Oppel created an amazing world with Anaya, Petra, and Seth, building suspense and keeping me guessing throughout each book. I deeply appreciated the thoughtful questions about humanity, friendships, and emotions. We’re also forced to consider how our childhoods impact how we see the world and how difficult or easy it is to bond with others. So I appreciated the realistic questions in relationships and the philosophical questions hanging in the balance when it comes to things like differences between these particular aliens and what we’ve done as a human race OR about body modification vs. accepting who we are. It’s also natural to read this series and consider what we would or wouldn’t be willing to do to ensure the continuation of the human race – particularly in regards to environmental concerns. LOTS to discuss in this series and I highly recommend for children and teen homes and libraries everywhere!

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.


Show Me a Sign
Ann Clare LeZotte
March 3, 2020
Scholastic Press

This book was on my #MustReadin2021 list and yet I still missed the fact that it was a historical fiction novel. It focuses on Martha’s Vineyard in the early 19th Century which had a rather large deaf community that resided on the island. Everyone was fluent in sign language and there were certain manners everyone understood when speaking in the presence of citizens who were both hearing and deaf.

The main character, Mary Lambert, recently lost her older brother in an accident. As her family is grieving his loss, Mary is secretively blaming herself for the accident. Meanwhile, a young scientist visits Martha’s Vineyard in search of a reason for the predominantly deafness on the island. By his questions, it’s obvious he sees the deaf community as a problem he needs to fix.

This story takes some mysterious twists and turns, but all the while LeZotte beautifully showcases the biases faced by two groups living on the island: the Wampanoag people and the deaf community. I loved this story and would note that it is an #ownvoices book as LeZotte is deaf, bilingual, and bicultural. Her professional focus is on underserved populations and inclusion. I’m happy to recommend this title!

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.


Everything Sad is Untrue:
(a true story)
Daniel Nayeri
August 25, 2020
Levine Querido

This book was quite a ride! Khosrou, who is called Daniel by everyone at school, is a storyteller. And as he shares the stories of his life in his classroom in Oklahoma, going back to his beginning in Iran to his travels to America, no one believes him.

While there was hardship and fear logged in these stories, there was also such beauty – little nuggets of gold found, throughout, that showcase the things we all yearn for in humanity. And I was simply amazed at how he was able to cobble together such a hodgepodge of childhood memories that seem to flow almost seamlessly in his writing – legends, religious conversion, political struggles, marital strife, physical abuse, and yearning to be reunited with family members in the afterlife (even when they’ve chosen different religions).

I’ve read some reviewers that dislike the amount of poop discussion in this book. But have you actually MET any tween/teen boys. I mean, not even just boys – most kids that age appear to be full of jokes and pranks surrounding butts and poop. 😂  It was just all a part of the story. Some middle graders won’t appreciate how profound some of these stories are, but for more mature, thoughtful readers, this will be quite meaningful. I also wouldn’t hesitate to hand this #ownvoices novel to young adults and/or adult readers.

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.


Racism, Antiracism, and You
Jason Reynolds
Ibram X. Kendi
March 10, 2020
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I’ve read Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist and so I knew I needed to add Jason Reynolds’s remix of Kendi’s Stamped for Middle Grade/Young Adults to my #MustReadin2021 list. And now I know there’s a reason it’s currently rated 4.47 stars on Goodreads! I appreciated how it broke the bigger message into smaller pieces for younger readers (with little jokey language in between each section). There was focus on Black figures who were well-known historical leaders, as well as discussion of modern-day events that included the experiences of people like Rodney King and OJ Simpson. I learned a whole lot, including much about past American Presidents who I previously thought did good for Black Americans (eh, not so much). Also included was the discussion and explanation of how many movies and TV shows are racist and actually hurt the Black community (Rocky, Cosby Show, etc.). It’s a lot to digest, even in this shortened version, but hopefully this book will have tweens and teens thinking and discussing the application of these lessons into their personal lives, going forward.

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 Piglet Named Mercy
Kate DiCamillo
Chris Van Dusen, illustrator
April 2, 2019
Candlewick Press

Earlier this summer, I enjoyed finishing reading the six books in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive Series and I plan to get the books for the Mercy Watson Series. But when I saw we had a copy of a recent Mercy Watson picture book, I had to immediately put in a request for it. It is short and sweet – just showing how Mercy came into the picture. Super cute! The artwork was done in gouache. I’ll provide one example, below:


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.

Currently Reading/To Be Read:

I am still working on Elatsoe, which is nothing like what I expected (although I was pretty much going just off the cover). I’d also like to start at least one of the graphic novels I have checked out. Perhaps Operatic or Pashmina or Dragon Hoops? Additionally, the college library delivered a new pile of picture books for me to explore, so I’ll begin working my way through that before they come due in October.



Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  176/200
#MustReadIn2021: 25/49

What are YOU reading?

12 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/27/2021 #imwayr

  1. I shared Show Me A Sign today, too, also one of my must-read books, Shaye, so good! And I still need to read Everything Sad Is Untrue, also on my list. I loved the Oppel series, was sad when it ended, also Stamped is a ‘must read’ for everyone & Mercy for the young ones. Thanks for all & wishing you a very special Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad I encountered The Overthrow Series. It was a very enjoyable adventure! And I was pleasantly surprised by Show Me A Sign. I’m really looking forward to book #2! Thanks for swinging by, Linda! #lateresponse


  2. Wow, you’ve been reading a LOT! I have not yet read The Overthrow series, but I always enjoy Kenneth Oppel, so I will add it to my list.

    Show Me a Sign sounds like a fascinating and little-known bit of history – I’d never heard of the deaf community there!

    And I keep hearing great things about Everything Sad Is Untrue – want to read that one, too!

    Of your three graphic novels, I have read Pashmina, which I thought was good but not great, and Dragon Hoops, which was excellent.

    Enjoy all of your books this week!

    Book By Book

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe The Overthrow series was my first introduction to Kenneth Oppel. And it was fantastic! I can’t way to start Dragon Hoops. I have so many well-reviewed books in my TBR stack that it’s hard to know where to start, some days. Thanks for visiting, Sue! #lateresponse


  3. Wow, so many great novels here. I loved Thrive, and Stamped was an informative and important read for sure. The Mercy Watson origin story was a riot, a favourite at my school. I also really enjoyed Elatsoe and look forward to reading an ARC of Darci Little Badger’s next book, A Snake Falls to Earth, in the next month or so.
    I haven’t read the others but certainly enjoyed reading your opinions of them. I kind of missed the boat on Everything Sad is True, I thought it was YA, which usually makes me less likely to pick up a book, being for the most part a gr 5/6 teacher. I may have to find that one, and also Say it Out Loud. Thanks for the great shares, I am happy to come back to your blog this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I originally thought the same thing about Everything Sad is True. The title even sounds YA, doesn’t it? And I was definitely impressed with Say It Out Loud. It’s great to “see” you, Aaron. Thanks for visiting!


  4. Elatsoe had a very interesting tone — I think it’s deliberate but I felt it kept going left when I thought it was going right. I ended up liking that about it, but it took me a while to settle into it. I’ve read some of the others, and now I want to pick up the ones that are new to me — the Mercy origin story and the Oklahoma memoir.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love how you put that: “it kept going left when I thought it was going right.” I can totally see that. I’m just almost finished with it, but I’ll have to share more about my experience at our next #imwayr. Thanks for dropping by, Beth!


  5. Happy birthday tomorrow—I hope you enjoy your birthday cheesecake! It sounds like I’m missing out on Bloom/Hatch/Thrive—I need more reading time so I can read all these great books! I’ve heard great things about Everything Sad Is Untrue and Show Me a Sign. The Mercy Watson picture book looks fun as well—Kate DiCamillo seems to be equally good at all the kidlit age ranges!

    Also, about your upcoming reads, I recommended Operatic back in January, and it was BRILLIANT—I hope you enjoy it! I read Pashmina but it didn’t stay with me, and I haven’t read Dragon Hoops but have heard rave reviews of it. Thanks so much for the wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I picked up book #1 to The Overthrower Series on a whim and never looked by. I don’t know why I don’t read more sci-fi because I find it very enjoyable – especially when it’s written by a great author like Kenneth Oppel or Kevin Emerson or Martha Wells. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

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