#IMWAYR May 15, 2017

Hello Everyone!

#IMWAYR time again, when readers share what they have been reading and find out what others have been up to in the past week. Kathryn hosts the adult version of this meme at Book Date. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers host the kidlit rendition. Whatever you are looking forward to in your next great read, these are fabulous places to start your search.

The election I was working on is strangely incomplete. The results are very close, and we won't really know the final tallies in some ridings until the more than 176,000 absentee ballots have been counted. It looks very much like we will have a minority government. However, the candidate I was working for did win her seat. Hurrah! 

I am thankful that my part is over. I slept on and off for two days afterwards. 

There are still 9 more blocks to finish on the double wedding ring star quilt before it gets assembled. I'm still trying to decide if I want to hand quilt it, or send it off to be finished on a machine.

This week I meet with the rest of the jurors to determine the Chocolate Lily titles! I have only one more to go, and this will be a reread since I already read it a while ago.

PICTURE BOOKS

3 stars
Liam Takes A Stand by Troy Wilson & Josh Holinaty (Illustrations) (Netgalley)

I am conflicted about this book. There are some parts that I really loved, and other parts that just didn't work for me. Two older twin brothers, Lister and Lester, are highly competitive. They are so busy trying to outdo each other in everything, that their younger brother, Liam, who just wants to play with them, is ignored. One summer, the twins compete to see who can raise the most money through a lemonade stand. Neither will let Liam help, so he does odd jobs in the neighborhood to show them what a good worker he is. The twins, in their efforts to outdo each other, go deep into debt to their parents. Liam meanwhile, continues along saving up cash for his own eventual venture into business.
I liked Josh Holinaty's illustrations a lot. He captures the insanity of the older brothers outrageous schemes perfectly.
I appreciate that this book encourages kids to think like entrepreneurs and see that this is a future option for them. Competition, so long the primary goal is to make life better for oneself and one's community, is a good thing. I think this message of balance and thoughtfulness is there in the story, I'm just not sure most readers will get it.

4 stars
Big Nuisance by Junko Morimoto & Isao Morimoto (Translator)

Big Nuisance, a giant, visits a sleepy Japanese village and wrecks havoc. This folktale is both philosophical and humorous, as in when the giant, who is having a bath in the lake, farts and the villagers run from the smell.
Big Nuisance decides to make the village more interesting. He reroutes the river into tiny streams. He moves the houses together on a higher side of the village.
Then, while the tired giant lay sleeping, a bird dropped a seed into his ear and a tree grew from it. The tree pained Big Nuisance and he begged the villagers to remove it. A deal was reached, and the villagers worked together to help him, in exchange for the giant promising to not be a nuisance. The tree landed on the roof of the sacred temple, but eventually bore fruits that made the villagers happy. Ultimately, the interesting changes Big Nuisance made in the village make the villagers life better.
In the final lines of the book we are left wondering who and what was Big Nuisance and did he really leave the village?

3 stars
Every Color by Erin Eitter Kono

The story was ok. The illustrations though, are gorgeous in this tale of a bear who sails around the world before being able to appreciate what he has at home.





4 stars

Shy by Deborah Freedman

The beautiful illustrations are the highlight of this book for me. With all the different animals looking at the sky, they made me very curious to figure out just who this Shy character was. I expected to like this book more, but that might be because I had such high expectations for it. 

GRAPHIC

4 stars
Seeking Refuge by Irene Watts & Kathryn Shoemaker (Illustrations) CL

Marianne Kohn is an eleven year old Jewish girl who travelled on the Kindertransport from Germany to England during the second world war. While fictional, it shows us the sorrow, fear, and homesickness real children experienced in their placements. Some of their situations were positively creepy. 
The black and white, somewhat fuzzy illustrations by Kathryn E. Shoemaker add dimensions of understanding about the young girl's uncertainty about her present and future. I liked this story a lot. 
I just picked up Goodbye, Marianne, the prequel to this.

4 stars
Fluffy Strikes Back by Ashley Spires CL

Ashley Spires, a local author and illustrator, is the creator of the Binky series and The Most Magnificent Thing as well as many other picture books. She's the person behind those wonderful images in Spare Dog Parts. In this title, our hero is Sergeant Fluffy Vandermere, head of P.U.R.S.T (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) His job is to protect the world from alien domination (bugs.) It's hilarious and clever. This is my second read of this title. I think I liked it even more this time than the last, and that is saying a lot, since I adored it last time round.

NOVELS

4 stars
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold & Charles Santoso (Illustrations)

What a delightful read! Bat and his family are lovely characters. Bat (Bixby Alexander Tam) is on the autism spectrum. When his mother, a veterinarian, brings home a newborn skunk to nurture, Bat takes responsibility for looking after it. His attachment to the the kit leads to change in other aspects of his life.



5 stars
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas & Bahni Turpin (Narrator)

This book.
This book epitomizes why we need diverse books by diverse authors.
Readers are there with Starr Carter when a white policeman kills her childhood best friend, Khalil. We are there with her and her family through everything that follows. It’s messy and complex. It isn’t easy. I’m carrying this quote around with me these days, “What's the point in having a voice if you're going to be silent in those moments when you shouldn't be.”
Prior to reading The Hate U Give, I thought I had a realistic idea of what it meant to be black in America. After all, my worldview shifted last year when I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Angie Thomas' novel has provided me with a new layer of emotional awareness all the while reminding me that I will probably never really get it.


3.5 stars
Piper Green and the Fairy Tree: Going Places by Ellen Potter, Qin Leng (Illustrator) & Tavia Gilbert (Narrator)

This isn't my favourite Piper Green title. I'm not sure why it didn't quite work for me, but think it might have to do with the fact that I listened to this, instead of reading it with my eyes. Tavia Gilbert does a fine job narrating the book. It's just that her voice doesn't resonate with the Piper Green character I have in my head. Besides, I missed Qin Leng's illustrations. Still, aside from my complaining above, any Piper Green story is something to celebrate. 

CURRENTLY

The audiobook I've just started is Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot. I'm still listening to Rising Strong by BrenĂ© Brown off and on. I'm in the middle of House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle.

UP NEXT

Testimony by Robbie Robertson is queued up to be my next audiobook, but I might start listening to The Autistic Brain by temple Grandin, one of my must read books for this year. I need to read White Jade Tiger by Julie Lawson, the last Chocolate Lily title. I'm not looking forward to this because it is a re release of a book first published in 1993. It's a story about a Chinese Canadian girl written by a white author.


PROGRESS ON MY READING GOALS

#MUSTREADIN2017 12/36 1 in progress

#MUSTREADNFIN2017 4/12

50 Books by Canadian Indigenous Authors 11/50

Chocolate Lily (CL) 50/51 1 in progress

Goodreads Reading Challenge 164/333

24 comments:

  1. The Hate U Give is a summer reading novel for one of our high schools. Definitely more timely than Orphan Train Girl, which is a choice at another school. It wasn't middle grade, though, so I won't purchase for my library.

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    1. If I was still in the library, I might have purchased it to give to teachers to read. There is a lot of swearing and some sexual encounters that would have made me question bringing it in for kids to read. It should absolutely be in high school collections.

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  2. I'm glad your candidate was successful. What a busy time for you! And best wishes on the quilt, too. The Hate U Give seems to be on many posts recently. I think I should get this book! Thanks for the cute picture books, too. I liked Shy, thought it might be a metaphor for troubled kids. Seeking Refuge sounds similar to others in the past year. That must have been so hard to send one's child off to ?, and for the child, too. Thanks, Cheriee.

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    1. You should certainly read The Hate U Give! I didn't see Shy that way, but I get it now that you have pointed it out to me.
      I can't even imagine sending my child away. It was traumatizing when my parents took my kids on holiday!

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  3. Oh this election . . I can't wait to read The Hate U Give. My hold should be coming in soon. I think the Piper Green stories need their illustrations - it's the whole package I love! I also read and really enjoyed A Boy Called Bat this week. Would be a great primary read aloud I think.

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    1. Yes, this election. But I am weirdly hopefull. You will adore The Hate U Give. If you are still doing read aloud with your kids....

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  4. Love so many of your books - Piper, Bat, THUG! Many of the picture books are new to me. I get what you said about SHY.... I finished it wanting just a bit more.

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    1. Thank you for your comment on Shy. It is lovely and all, but I don't understand all the hype.

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  5. UGH elections...UGH...

    My candidate of choice did get elected too, which is nice!

    I love Ashley Spires so very much, and the fact that she's local makes it even more awesome. :)

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    1. I know! Ashley Spires = swoon!
      Hurrah about your candidate!

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  6. I loved The Hate You Give as well! If you haven't read Piecing Me Together, you really should. A lot of incredible insights and with a more middle school than high school appropriate focus.

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    1. Piecing Me Together is on my list. I hope to get to it soon!

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  7. Can't wait to see the finished quilt. The Hate U Give was just amazing. I really enjoyed Shy and loved how you had to wait to see the main character.

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    1. That is what I liked most about Shy too. I am really looking forward to finishing this quilt!

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  8. A Boy Called Bat was awesome. I think it would be a popular addition to my classroom library. Animal books are well-liked and lots of my students would be able to relate to Bat. Hope you have a super week!

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    1. I agree. Students will be interested in the skunk kit, and from there become more interested in Bat. I also loved the illustrations in it.

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  9. I still can't get THE HATE U GIVE out of my head. Such an important book.

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    1. Yes! It should be required reading in every high school!

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  10. The Hate U Give is so powerful. Big Nuisance sounds like it's a lot of fun. I will watch for it.

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    1. Big Nuisance has been around for a while. It was happenstance that is was on a table when I was at the library last week. It is fun!

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  11. Yes, yes, yes to The Hate U Give. It is so powerful!

    I loved Shy, but my son was very shy when we read it, so it was a great way to help him think through his shyness.

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    1. Thanks. Sometimes a book has so much more value than I first see.

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  12. I just got Hate U Give from the library, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

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    1. I'm looking forward to reading what you think of it!

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