Monday, December 2, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading? 12-2-19

It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

I'm back from NCTE and the ALAN Workshop and while I love going every year, I am finding my feelings of FOMO growing weaker and my desire to rest and recharge even stronger. Having said that though, here are a few highlights:

OOOOHHHH MMMYYYY. Getting to meet George Takei and thanking him for his activism and patriotism. 

Getting to help Jennifer Buehler moderate an amazing panel/roundtable session called YA Lit is Complex! with Samira Ahmed, Brandy Colbert, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Kekla Magoon, and Matt Mendez

Hanging out with Walden Award winner and finalists Elizabeth Acevedo, Emily X.R. Pan, and Adib Khorram at the ALAN Workshop

Visiting Edgar Allan Poe's home and grave

And apropos of nothing, finding this cute boutique called Cloud 9 that had this adorable sloth dress. It had pockets. I bought it. Duh. 

But back to the books...

I recently reviewed:

Saturday by Oge Mora

I recently read and enjoyed:

Kiki & Jax: The Life-Changing Magic of Friendship by Marie Kondo and Salina Yoon
#KonMarie for kids

Pluto Gets the Call by Adam Rex, illustrated by Laurie Keller
Pluto may no longer be a planet but we love him even more for it.

16 Words: William Carlos Williams and the Red Wheelbarrow by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink
If you’ve always wanted to know the inspiration for William Carlos Williams’ brief but thoughtful poems, look no further than this sweet picture book.

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
I am a huge fan of Lucy Knisley's graphic memoirs so I was elated to discover that she has a new middle grade fiction graphic novel. This book does not disappoint. It is a fictionalized version of her own childhood experience of moving from the city to a farm and learning how to deal with not only the culture shock of going from an urban to rural environment, but also the drama of a new blended family, gaining a step-father and step-sisters.

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei
When George Takei was 5 years old, his family was ripped from their home by American soldiers and sent to a Japanese Internment Camp, labeled "Alien Enemy" despite being American citizens. This is the story of that experience as well as his reflections on how that impacted his political views in later years. You would think it would embitter a person, but instead it compelled him to be an active and involved citizen, reminding us all that in no other country would it be possible for him to be a political prisoner as a child and then giving a speech as an adult in the home of the man (President Roosevelt) who imprisoned him. This book is an important exercise in putting things into perspective.

Kent State by Deborah Wiles
This book is structured like a novel in verse but it’s so much more than that. The varying perspectives are of collective voices and points of view, showing the reader just how difficult it was to get a consensus on what happened on that campus back in May of 1970. But even more important than that, Deborah Wiles circles it back around and points to how this moment in history still matters today and compels you, the reader, to be a vocal and participating citizen in our democracy. Put this book at the top of your TBR pile. I promise you won’t be able to put it down.

Currently reading: 

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Saturday by Oge Mora

Saturday is Ava's favorite day because she gets to spend it with her mother. So when everything during this particular Saturday seems to go terribly wrong, it is a test of Ava and her mother's resilience and sense of humor.

Oge Mora's sophomore effort is even more lovely and endearing than her Caldecott honor book Thank You, Omu. It reminds me a great deal of Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson. I wouldn't be surprised to also see some Caldecott hardware on this book come January. For what it's worth, this is one of my favorite picture books of 2019. 

Saturday by Oge Mora
Published: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pages: 40
Genre/Format: Picture Book
Audience: Primary
Disclosure: Purchased Copy

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound