IMWAYR: Blink YA Book — Coming Soon!

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In between coughs and sneezes, I’m reading. This week I’ll finish…

We Had to Be Brave by Deborah Hopkinson.

I finished an upcoming fabulous mystery/modern tragedy called Twin Daggers by MarcyKate Connolly. I love Blink YA Books titles, and this one does not disappoint. It comes out in August, but add it to your reading list now so you don’t forget about it.

Next up…I haven’t decided yet.

 

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Authors and Bookseller Friends Sent Books!

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This is a great week to read. President’s Day Weekend gave me some time to spend with Mom, and gave me time to read books. I finished…

Soldier for Equality by Duncan Tonatiuh.

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado.

We Had to Be Brave by Deborah Hopkinson.

Thanks to the authors, publishers, and Kathy Burnette at The Brain Lain Bookstore (@brainlairbooks) for supplying books for me to devour this week.

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

 

 

#NF10for10: February 10th and 10 Nonfiction Books – Outside/Nature

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It’s February 10th, and that means the annual #nf10for10 (Nonfiction 10 for 10) book lists are posted today. Thanks to our hosts: Cathy Mere (Reflect and Refine) and Mandy Robeck (Enjoy and Embrace Learning).  I enjoy challenging myself to come up with meaningful lists to share with other readers.

It’s been a crazy winter here; we haven’t seen our standard winter snowfall amounts. I look to nature and outdoor activities more instead of being cooped up inside as usual. Here are ten picture books that focus on outside/nature:
Move! by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. (2006) Swim, leap, slither, slide…discover how animals move in different ways. We use this book to find more descriptive details about animals and how they get around.
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. Art by Christopher Silas Neal. (2011) Speaking of snow, what’s under that blanket of white? “A secret kingdom.”
Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman. (2019) Carl is a fictional earthworm, but the story surrounds what happens when this little animal doesn’t do its job. All life is interconnected. Just ask Carl!
Homes in the Wild by Lita Judge. (2019) A home can be high in the trees, in an underground burrow, or even out in the open country. A beautiful look at some different animals you may not have heard of before.
Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating. Illustrations by David DeGrand. (2016) My students love “The World of Weird Animals” series by Jess Keating. In this first installment, we learn about the “world’s perfectly pink animals.” This infographic-style picture book is a pleasing plunge into the weird animal world.
Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre. Illustrated by Steve Jenkins. (2013) Written by my local favorite nonfiction author, April Pulley Sayre shows readers how bears find food in all seasons to prepare for winter hibernation.
Frogs by Seymour Simon. (2015) Okay, I could have done a whole “nonfiction 10 for 10” with Seymour Simon books. I love them! Amazing photography highlights the information about different species of frogs.
An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston. Illustrated by Sylvia Long. (2006) I love these light, airy, beautifully soft descriptions of all kinds of fascinating eggs.
Looking Closely Through the Forest by Frank Serafini. (2008) I love Frank Serafini’s photographs. From the “Looking Closely” series, my favorite is the “forest book.” It reminds me of my hikes at state parks and nature preserves.
Camp Panda by Catherine Thimmesh. (2018) This Robert F. Siebert Honor Book explains how pandas are cared for in captivity for the purpose of being released back to the wild. Rebuilding habitats is a much needed, timely activity.
Have fun reading this week. Take a look at some nature books to get you through the rest of the winter.

Audiobook Review — Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

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Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Read by Jason Reynolds, with an introduction by Ibram X. Kendi

(provided by libro.fm)

Wow, wow, wow. I’m not an audiobook reader, but I’m listening to books more in an effort to be intelligent while also cleaning house on the weekends. I can tell you, Jason Reynolds can read to me any time.

Stamped… is NOT a history book, as Jason explains. It is a text for the here and now. Reviewing the story of how systematic racism (in the form of needed slavery) started, the book takes the reader (listener) through time periods in history where power and control were keys to success. Any time that power or control was threatened, people changed roles, laws, and society to “right the white.” It’s scary — all that learning (I DID know about Thomas Jefferson’s “other side”) — only to come to the present time, still living the exact same truths.

It was a disturbing, yet entertaining listen; Jason Reynolds’ laughter while relaying a snippy comment or the humor attached to an unjust situation (I’m thinking of the Thomas Jefferson story again: “Oh, no! Oh, no!”) makes the audiobook flow and keeps the listener engaged. It’s a conversation piece, too, and that makes Stamped… perfect for book clubs in secondary history classrooms, university discussions, or even your own living room.

Chapter 7…whoa! Chapter 9 was my favorite, where Jason spoke about “Uplift-suasion” — Abolitionists urged the newly-freed people to go to church, speak proper English, etc. “Black people couldn’t be accepted as themselves…Make yourself small. Make yourself unthreatening. Make yourself the same. Make yourself safe. Make yourself quiet to make white people comfortable with your existence.”

If you haven’t read Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You yet, add it to your reading list. Better yet, listen to the audiobook, read by Jason Reynolds. It will make you think. Then you should act accordingly, as if you have learned something. I know I learned.

 

 

 

IMWAYR: I LOVE Reading Time!

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Is it February already? Wow, the year is going fast. I love reading, and the extra day this month gives me extra time to read. Last weekend I went to The Brain Lair Bookstore (my favorite spot) and grabbed some award-winners from last Monday’s Youth Media Awards. I’m also looking forward to many book releases…soon!

I finally read Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal. I love how food brings a family together; Kevin included his fry bread recipe. “Fry Bread is…” described as the story moves along. The book just won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award last week (well-deserved!) and was an American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor, too. I loved it!

This week I’ll read Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack (a Versify title and 2020 Sydney Taylor Award Honor Book) and Soldier for Equality by Duncan Tonatiuh (a 2020 Pura Belpré Author Honor Book).

I was happy to receive two Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of the upcoming books all my friends seem to be talking about; now I can join the conversation. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat (who I met at NCTE 2019 — she’s so sweet!) is due out in March and the graphic novel, When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, comes out in April.

I have a full plate now — back to reading! Have a great week, everyone.

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Kathryn decided to give “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

 

 

Youth Media Awards – I Was WRONG!

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Full disclosure: I’m usually wrong about these book awards. I pore over the criteria, talk to students and friends, read all the predictions, and still…I don’t chose the medal winners.

Today, I was WRONG, and that’s fine with me. I am so happy for Jerry Craft, Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson, and all the other winners of medals and honors today during the Youth Media Awards announcements. Congratulations! It was fun to watch and cheer on all our favorite books.

The Newbery Medal for 2020 went to Jerry Craft for NEW KID.

The Caldecott Medal went to Kadir Nelson for THE UNDEFEATED, written by Kwame Alexander.

Congratulations to ALL the winners of book awards this year. We will keep reading and sharing!

Youth Media Awards Announcements Are TOMORROW!

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I am excited to see what the committees chose for the Youth Media Awards medals this year. From the http://www.ala.org website:

The 2020 Youth Media Award announcements will take place on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at 8 a.m. ET from the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia. Fans can follow the action live at http://ala.unikron.com , @AmericanLibraryAssociation or by following #ALAyma20 .

As I read others’ picks, I think this is the first year I’ve seen so many different titles crop up as front-runners in the conversation. Who will win? We will find out…tomorrow!

I reviewed the criteria for Newbery and Caldecott awards (the two “big ones” followed by school librarians), and I have chosen my favorites:

For the Newbery Medal (tough call), I chose…

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman. I loved this story of the kids who live on the bridge (and their dog, of course), their entrepreneurial spirit, their problem-solving skills, and their love for each other.

For the Caldecott Medal (really tough call), I chose…

My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña.

I think the artist’s perspective of the city’s changes over time reflect the Caldecott criteria perfectly.

These statements reflect my opinions. You may or may not agree, but please join me in watching the awards announcements tomorrow. Best wishes to all the authors and illustrators who worked so hard to publish the best books for children.

 

 

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