It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/20/2021 #imwayr


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!

This week I’m only sharing two middle grade books I enjoyed. However, my college library just sent me home with three boxes full of new books to work on over the holidays, so I can’t wait to dig in later this week. I know many from our community are taking the next two weeks off, but I plan to be back next week for the final Monday of 2021. Hope to see you again then!


How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco – It took me around two solid weeks to read this book, but that’s not because it wasn’t interesting. Quite the opposite! It was so full of information that I had to read it in bite sized pieces. I often stayed up WAY past my bedtime, bent over the pages, taking in all the details. The illustrations are truly wonderful and I love how Rocco set aside multiple pages throughout each chapter to highlight individuals who might otherwise go unknown. I cannot get over the amount of research that went into the making of this book. I’ll admit, before reading this, I only had the tiniest bit of understanding of all that went into our first trip to the moon. However, there was a tedious balance of temperatures, volumes, weights, propellants, oxygen, safe exhaust options, trajectories, pressure waves, etc. Each section is complete with science experiments to do at home to better understand the dilemmas faced while attempting to get humans to the moon and back. Multiple trials and errors were discussed and many sections were written as Problem —> Solution. I’m so impressed that I’ve already bought a copy for our home for Christmas. I cannot wait to share this with my family!

Under the Broken Sky by Mariko Nagai – I knew nothing about Manchuria or why so many Japanese people were living there in 1945, during WWII. But this historical fiction novel, written in poetic form, was extremely informative and kept me thoroughly engaged. It’s an extremely fast read about a twelve-year-old girl named Natsu and her younger sister as they become refugees attempting to get to safety, in Japan. It’s beautifully written, yet also very open about the horrors these refugees experienced. DO NOT forget the back matter where the author provides even more details to help fill in the gaps (and potentially answer the question about what happened to one of the characters).

Currently Reading:


This week I’m working on my last two books from my #MustReadin2021 list: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo and Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliott Friedman. I also plan to start on these new boxes of picture books. They have more on the way, so I need to get to work!


Reading Challenge Updates: 

Goodreads Challenge:  275/365
#MustReadIn2021: 47/49

What are YOU reading?

5 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/20/2021 #imwayr

  1. Hey! We finally blogged on the same week. I really enjoyed reading about these two posts, as we have been fans of a few of John Rocco’s books in our house, but haven’t checked on this one yet. I have also been meaning to read Six of Crows, but I still don’t read too much YA. Under the Broken Sky is totally new to me, but looks really interesting too. Thanks for sharing these. I don’t really plan on taking a break either. I take too many when I am working. Have a great holiday!


  2. I just finished listening to Elizabeth Acevedo’s Fire On High, a stunning portrait of a teen mom working towards a career as a chef. Now, I’m listening to Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boully and I’m reading Carolos Hernandez’ Sal and Gabi Break the Universe.

    I’m also doing a Christmas re-read of the Children at Green Knowe, a book I love although as an adult, I’m re-reading it with an awareness of the colonialism and classism that makes owning such an estate possible.


  3. I hope you enjoy reading all of those books during the holiday break! And it’s awesome that you just have two books left for #MustReadin2021—I’m considering joining for 2022, but I don’t think I can muster up that ambitious of a list! How We Got to the Moon sounds absolutely excellent—the amount of detail seems really impressive and informative. And Under the Broken Sky sounds like a really powerful read as well! I’m taking this week and next week off mostly because I don’t think many people will be showing up, but I’ll still be around to read your post next week as well. Thanks so much for the great post, Shaye, and happy holidays!


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