#IMWAYR (It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?) – Oct. 12/20

Last Week…

  • The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hick, Narrated by P. J. Ochlan: I am enjoying the discovery of perhaps lesser-known titles. This art mystery also is a bit of an action-adventure as a boy is found in an art museum and has no recollection of how he got there or who he is. Placed in a foster home with a girl Camille who is closed to his age, the two begin to unravel who he is and how he connects to the art museum. I enjoyed the action and the friendship that developed between Camille and the boy appropriately named Art. The Rembrandt Conspiracy is another stand-alone with these two characters released next year and now is on my list to read.
  • The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley, Narrated by Bahni Tarpin: Another art mystery, where three strangers become a trio looking for missing masterpieces. Jin is a girl who lives with her grandparents, Alex, the loner, busy assisting those in need and Elvin, living on the streets after his grandfather ends up in the hospital after being beaten. Again I liked how the three worked together to figure out clues and to their next steps and provided a window into the Harlem community and culture. 
  • Siha Tooskins Know Series by Charlene Bearhead, Wilson Bearhead and illustrator Chloe Bluebird Mustooch – this was a fantastic find, and I will have a post about this series this week, so stay tuned.
  • Breathing Underwater by Sarah Allen: Olivia is taking a road trip back to where they used to live with her aunt, uncle and older sister Ruth. Olivia is hoping to recreate the joy of the treasure hunts they did on their way to their new home. Ruth would provide the theme words, and Olivia would take the photos while Ruth would find the song lists. This time though, things are different as Ruth has been struggling and often falls into what Olivia calls The Pit. I loved the relationships created with the two girls and the aunt and uncle and how Olivia wanted so badly to help her sister. Another strong sibling relationship book, I look forward to Sarah Allen’s third book.
  • Atomic Habits by James Clear read by the author: This was a fascinating and surprisingly uplifting read about establishing “good” habits and eliminating “bad” ones. I learned a lot from this audiobook and highly recommend it.

Up Next…

  • Skrypuch’s Sky of Bombs Sky by Marsha Forchuk – I got derailed this past week trying to complete year work, and so I still have a few chapters to read, and then I am looking forward to watching the video chat I missed.
  • This is Your Brain on Stereotypes: How Science Is Tackling Unconscious Bias by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Drew Shannon. I heard about this book during the middle-grade online book club hosted by Kathie and author Colleen Nelson and thought it was an important and relevant book to read.
  • Burn by Patrick Ness: I have started listening to the audiobook and am halfway through – set back in time, the reader sees how parallel worlds, dragons and the launch of Sputnik all intertwine.
  • Shining Willow Book Nominees and Picture Books: My weekly escape with picture books.

Down the Road…

I am so excited for the release of the final instalment of the Dragon Assassin by local author Arthur Slade released Oct. 20th. I have already spent time revisiting Carmen and Brax by listening to the first two audiobooks and excited for the conclusion! Also equally excited to enjoy Gillian McDunn’s These Unlucky Stars after enjoying her previous two books. 

I want to acknowledge the two that started this all. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? has changed from becoming a meme for adults to the sharing of children’s’ lit. This idea to include #kidlit came from Unleashing Reader blogger Kellee Moye and Jen Vincent, from the Teach Mentor Texts, blog. They thought there should be a children’s lit focus too and hence a version for #kidlit began! So every Monday, join in on the fun by sharing what you just finished reading, currently are reading, or are anticipating reading. Use the hashtag #IMWAYR on your social media sites to share, follow what others are reading and to show support for #kidlit bloggers by reading and commenting.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians celebrating and hope you all had some time to rest and read. We are almost at the midway point of #MGBooktober and I have been getting some great book titles to add to my Options/TBR pile. Hope you are enjoying it as well.

Laurie

#IMWAYR (It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?) – Sept. 28

Last Week…

  • CANADIAN picture books! I went through a lot of Canadian picture books to begin the selection for the Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Awards which I will blog about at a later time to highlight some of my favourites.
  • Audiobook: The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes #1) by Nancy Springer narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Enola Holmes is the younger sister of famous detective Sherlock Holmes. Enola (Alone backwards) was unconventionally raised by her mother. On her fourteenth birthday she awakens to discover that her mother has disappeared, but has left her some clues to find her in the form of a special birthday present. I missed this series, but when Netflix made it into a movie special – I knew I had to read it. The first book followed the Netflix movie fairly closely and look forward to reading the other five in the series.
  • Audiobook: The Inheritance Game (Inheritance Games #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes narrated by Christie Moreau. Avery is a teen with some smarts, spunk and empathy. Living with her sister and her less than desirable boyfriend, her plan is to get through high school, get a scholarship and get out. Suddenly she is summoned to a will reading of billionaire Tobias Hawthorne where she discovers he has left her his entire fortune with one condition – she must live in the Hawthone estate with the family he has just denied his fortune. Obviously the family is upset and want to get Avery out of the house and Avery wonders why a man she never met has left his entire fortune to her. I enjoyed the strong character of Avery and her love of chess and things related to puzzles. There are puzzles that fans of Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, Book Scavenger and the older Chasing Vermeer will enjoy. It is great to see a more books like this for these readers as they grow into YA.
  • Audiobook: Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson, narrated by Guy Lockard. Told in verse from his son ZJ, we learn about his father, a professional football player – the legend and the hero. To ZJ, he is just dad, as proud as he is of his father, football is not his jam – it’s music. His father appreciates this and encourages ZJ to do his thing. We read/hear about the time “before the ever after,” the time they spent together singing songs, spending time together as a family and how his dad was so calm and “there”. Now is the ever after – his father is having trouble remembering, has mood swings and debilitating headaches and having trouble with day to day tasks. No one is quite sure what is happening until the doctor diagnoses him with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). There is much to be learned, shared and perhaps revaluated about the games we play and watch.

Up Next…

  • I didn’t quite finish Amy Timberlake’s Skunk and Badger last week with illustrations by Jon Klassen but oh my this is going to be a wonderful series.
  • Another pile of Canadian picture books that I have not read and missed or been recommend by friends.
  • I have two days to read Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch’s Sky of Bombs Sky of Stars so I am ready for the MG Lit Online Book Club this Wednesday.

Down the Road…

  • Still trying to find time to read Sarah Allen’s Breathing Underwater and know Tuesday I will be getting more picture books for the Shining Willows

I want to acknowledge the two that started this all. It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? has changed from becoming a meme for adults to the sharing of children’s’ lit. This idea to include #kidlit came from Unleashing Reader blogger Kellee Moye and Jen Vincent, from the Teach Mentor Texts, blog. They thought there should be a children’s lit focus too and hence a version for #kidlit began! So every Monday, join in on the fun by sharing what you just finished reading, currently are reading, or are anticipating reading. Use the hashtag #IMWAYR on your social media sites to share, follow what others are reading and to show support for #kidlit bloggers by reading and commenting.    

Perhaps I will see some of you this evening at #MGBookChat to discuss Historical Fiction or Wednesday to chat about Sky of Bombs Sky of Stars, if not Happy Reading.

Laurie

The Stitchers

Author: Lorien Lawrence

Publisher: Amulet Books

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Reviewer: Kathie

Thank you to the author for sending me an ARC of this book.

I’m so glad that this is going to be a series, because it hooked me with it’s creepy characters and dark (but not overly scary) storyline. See if you can look at your neighbors in the same way after reading this book!

Quinn and her dad knew there was something off about their neighbors, whom they dubbed “the Oldies”. No one knows how long they’ve lived on Goodie Lane but their strange behaviors (such frequently bandaged body parts) and the fact that they never seem to get any older seem very strange. But when Quinn’s dad dies, her interest in The Oldies fades away…until one of The Oldies starts running extremely fast and has a very familiar marking on his leg. As the duo begin to investigate, they find a link to an old pond and a tragedy from many years ago. But The Oldies are on to them, and they have no desire to give up their secrets.

I really loved the storyline of this book. It’s a eerie mystery that I didn’t find scary, but was definitely on the dark side. The investigation to determine who (or what) The Oldies are, and what they’re doing on Goodie Lane led to lots of intrigue, and it was hard to put this book down. I loved the tie-in with with the town’s history. The chemistry between Quinn and Mike that complicates their partnership, and also has an impact on Quinn’s relationship with her best friend, Zoe, adds a very middle school feel to the story. The ending was surprising and definitely leads the reader with questions and wanting to know more. The book is also an extremely reasonable length at 263 pages which helps it appeal to more readers.

I’ll be purchasing a copy of this debut MG book for my library’s collection, and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Recommend: Gr. 4-7