Reading the Rainbow BINGO Reading Challenge 2020

My friend and I are bringing back a fun Reading Challenge we did last year for Pride month.

We’re trying to read as many LGBTQ2SIA+ books from the different categories we came up with. And, we incorporated BINGO into it so we win if we get 6 in a row- or a RAINBOW. (I know ROYGBIV is technically 7 colors but who really uses indigo?) We included some fun non-reading options, too.

The categories this year for a 6 by 6 Bingo card: (No Free Space this year.)
-Kids Fiction
-YA Fiction
-Adult Fiction
-Kids Nonfiction
-YA Nonfiction
-Adult Nonfiction
-Kids/YA Graphic Novel
-Adult Graphic Novel
-Romance
-Mystery
-Sci-Fi/Fantasy
-History
-Play
-Poetry
-Bio/Memoir by Someone Living
-Bio/Memoir by Someone Dead
-Short Story Collection by One Author
-Anthology with Multiple Authors
-Essay Collection
-Set in Portland
-Set Outside N. America or Europe
-Book Published in 1939 or Before
-Book Published Between 1940-1959
-Book Published Between 1960-1979
-Book Published Between 1980-1999
-Book Published Between 2000-2019
-Book Published in 2020
-Stonewall Award Winner
-LAMBDA Award Winner
-GLAAD Award Winner
-Documentary or Film
-Podcast or Album
-Attend an Online Event
-A Book Recommended by a Friend
-Learn more about something you read
-Write a letter or email to an author

Our first assignment was to create our own game boards- designed any way we want and randomly generated with the numbers coinciding with the categories we chose.

This year, I decided to “keep it simple” since I wanted it to be in my bullet journal.

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Below are my friend’s card from last year, my card from last year and my card completed.

Screenshot_2020-05-21 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videosbingo2019bingo2019finished

It runs from May 16th through the end of June. You can start anytime and backdate. Join us if you’re interested and tag #ReadingTheRainbowBINGO!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 11, 2020

New-2020-IMWAYR-Button
Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

Recent Posts:
April 2020 Review
#NFPB2020- March 6, 2020

I held my first ever Zoom Kidlit Quarantine Book Club for Adults and we discussed Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Mañanaland. You can watch my review here:

Esperanza RisingEsperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been meaning to read this but wasn’t in the mood the first time I decided to listen to it on audio. But I decided to give it another try recently since we were reading Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Mañanaland for a book club and I wanted to be able to compare it with her other works.

It’s a reversal of fortune when Esperanza’s father is killed and she and her mom must leave their comfortable life in Mexico to work in the fields of California. She has a hard time adjusting to their new lives and learns things about others she never would have. When it seems it’s just one bad thing after another, can she keep hope alive that things will soon be better?

Riding FreedomRiding Freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Based on the true story of Charlotte Parkhurst (One-Eyed Charlie), this chronicles her life from losing her parents, growing up in an orphanage, and eventually making her way in the world even if it meant masquerading as a man. I was originally intrigued by this book since it features art by Brian Selznick but I was also in a Pam Muñoz Ryan reading binge.

EchoEcho by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish I liked Echo more. The concept was fascinating- a magical harmonica that lands in the hands of four different kids during different time periods. The writing was good as can be expected from Pam Munoz Ryan. But at a whopping 592 pages (!), I felt it was far too long.

Don’t get me wrong. Some parts I just sailed through it but the multiple shifts also hindered the story flow.
I decided to keep my original review since it’s interesting what I originally thought of the book. Since then, this has become one of my go-to books to recommend!

The DreamerThe Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this book, a retelling of Pablo Neruda’s childhood. What make it even more special is Peter Sis’s illustrations. And the use of green ink for the font was truly inspired.

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian AndersonWhen Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With such talented names attached to this project, it’s no wonder the finished product is a marvel to behold. Formatted like a programme, Marian Anderson’s life plays out beautifully despite the struggles she had to face during her time. I really appreciate the details Selznick puts into his works.

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a RideAmelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Based on a true event, this is a fictionalized account of two incredible women- and friends- who went on two exhilarating adventures- in the air and on the road- in one magical night.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

#NFPB2020- March 6, 2020

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My latest Book Review video features an upcoming picture book about Keith Haring.

This week, I’m sharing my reviews of Stacy McAnulty’s Our Universe series.

Earth! My First 4.54 Billion YearsEarth! My First 4.54 Billion Years by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earth finally gets to tell her story in this fun picture book about how she was born, what things she’s experienced in her long life so far, and how she gets along with humans.

Vibrant artwork and additional informational in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud.

Sun!: One in a BillionSun!: One in a Billion by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sun gets her time to shine in this picture book that tells her life story and why she’s a star!

Vibrant artwork and additional informational in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud. Perfect companion to Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years.

Moon! Earth's Best FriendMoon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Earth’s best friend- Moon!-tells her story in this fun picture book about what things she’s experienced in her long life so far and how she gets along with Earth.

Vibrant artwork and additional information in the back will make this an educational and entertaining read-aloud.

Ocean: Waves for AllOcean: Waves for All by Stacy McAnulty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stacy McAnulty’s Our Universe series expands with Ocean who seems like a bit too cool but actually has a good message to share with the readers.

Another fun addition to the series and this time reuniting the original team.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

April 2020 Review

It’s kind of hard to look back and try to remember details when everything just seems to be one long day.

But I managed to pick a couple of highlights for April. The first one was being drawn in a comic strip thanks to Aron Nels Steinke, a wonderful teacher and graphic novelist (Mr. Wolf’s Class, etc.) and independent bookstore supporter. You can read the comic strip here.

And it was my birthday and it was definitely weird trying to celebrate it during these times. I decided to hold a virtual fundraiser to benefit The Children’s Book Bank.

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They had their annual storytelling fundraiser as well and it was a good time to watch the event and fold some boxes for The Soul Box Project.

Screenshot_2020-05-02 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videos

I have to say I was also happy to add a couple of new things to my Mariah Carey collection namely one of the All I Want For Christmas Is You CD singles I ordered back in December!

And things are actually coming back to me (admittedly, I’m also going through my social media pages) and I was happy to continue virtually hanging out with family and friends.

In last month’s review, I mentioned I hadn’t read any YA novels. And, in April, I read two. I already mentioned the one by Christopher Pike in my latest IMWAYR post. The first YA novel I read this year was Randy Ribay’s Patron Saints of Nothing.

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I actually listened to the audio book which was narrated by Ramon de Ocampo. It’s a thought-provoking coming-of-age story that has half-Filipino, half-American teenager Jay traveling to the Philippines to better understand how his cousin died. He finds himself knowing more about the war on drugs going on there and deep in a tangled web of family secrets. Is truth worth searching for when it may not be what we think it is?

So far this year, I’ve read 115 books, which is super low compared to other years. The breakdown is:
3- Adult novels
5- Adult non-fiction
9- Graphic novels
18- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)
78- Picture Books and Board Books
2- Young Adult novels

of which
24- Nonfiction Pictures (Goal: 104)
12- Audio Books

I also started reading Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan since I’m holding a KidLit Quarantine Book Club for Adults via Zoom on Thursday, May 7th at 7pm PST. Feel free to join if you’re interested. Just send me your email and I’ll send you the Zoom invite.

Screenshot_2020-05-02 Earl Dizon ( earldizonwriter) • Instagram photos and videos(1)

Anyway, some days are good. Some days are bad. We will get through this. Take care!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- April 27, 2020

New-2020-IMWAYR-Button
Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!

Recent Video Review
A Home for Goddesses and Dogs by Leslie Connor

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In the latest trilogy spin-off, Aang and the gang find themselves in a conflict between benders and non-benders. It will place the Avatar himself to make a difficult decision that will have lasting consequences. What I love about this series (including the original animated show which comes to Netflix on May 15th!) is that even though it’s a complete fantasy, it represents so much of the struggles in the real world.

Cheerleaders: Getting Even (Cheerleaders, #2)Cheerleaders: Getting Even by Christopher Pike
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I can officially say I’ve read all of Christopher Pike’s book including this odd and rare installment of a high school/cheerleading series that spawned almost 50 books.

It was very dated and I kept expecting someone to die or get possessed.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- April 20, 2020 / A Mister Rogers Celebration

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!
Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

First of all, it’s my birthday. I’m 37! And I’m holding a virtual fundraiser through April 24th. I hope you’ll be able to partake in my little festivity. You can find more details here.

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You Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His NeighborhoodYou Are My Friend: The Story of Mister Rogers and His Neighborhood by Aimee Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world will be a better place if more people knew about Mister Fred Rogers. This picture book biography is a wonderful introduction to a man whose words and talents have made so many feel like they belong somewhere for being just who they are.

Fred's Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister RogersFred’s Big Feelings: The Life and Legacy of Mister Rogers by Laura Renauld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s a Mister Rogers revival with plenty of books- and a hit documentary- about his life. This picture book biography focuses on his feelings as readers learn about his childhood and follows him through adulthood as he became the world’s most famous neighbor.

Hello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister RogersHello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers by Matthew Cordell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Matthew Cordell takes his turn telling the life of Mister Rogers in this authorized picture book biography. What differentiates this one from the other ones is that this almost feels like a photo album full of memories- like visiting Eric Carle or seeing how crayons are made. You can tell a lot of love was put into this.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister RogersA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great book for Mister Rogers fans sure to bring fond memories of watching the show and listening to the songs. Or, if you weren’t alive during those times, checking them out on YouTube!

The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to RememberThe World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember by Fred Rogers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you need a pick me up, make sure to have a copy of this book- a collection of insights from everyone’s favorite and friendliest neighbor. The audiobook has sound clips of some of his words and otherwise read by a few celebrities.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Movie Tie-In): Neighborly Words of Wisdom from Mister RogersA Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Movie Tie-In): Neighborly Words of Wisdom from Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio version of this book.

This is a repackaging of Mister Rogers’s You Are Special with Tom Junod’s Esquire interview thrown in the beginning. It didn’t quite work, in my opinion. It’s great for parents and caregivers. I would recommend finding the article online, reading The World According to Mister Rogers instead, and watching the movie.

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A feel good must see documentary. I loved watching this with a friend and having the same emotions as everyone else in the theater. I don’t think there was a dry eye by the end of it.

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At first, I was worried when I heard they were going to make a movie about Mister Rogers based on a magazine article he did. But having Tom Hanks play the good neighbor seemed perfect casting. I ended up enjoying the film and was pleasantly surprised at how they expanded it.

Review Notes
***= Liked It
****= Recommended
*****= Favorite

You can view all the books I’ve read at my Goodreads page.

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

Birthday Virtual Fundraiser

On April 20th, I’ll be turning 37!

I would normally be having a book drive or holding a volunteer session but a whole lot of things are different this year.

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But, to stay somewhat festive, I’ve decided to do a virtual fundraiser.

The Children’s Book Bank
has been my go-to literary nonprofit to support.

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And I had wanted to do something extra special because 2020 would have been ten years since I first started volunteering with them. They’re currently trying to figure out new and safe ways to get engaging and culturally diverse books to kids in the Portland area.

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On April 23rd, they’ll be holding their annual Tell Me A Story evening of storytelling celebrating books. The livestream will feature The Moth-style stories centering around the theme of “The Book We Shared”.

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I’m hoping you’ll join their online event and donate $37 (or whatever amount you can spare during these difficult and unusual times). You can also donate directly on their website. My birthday virtual fundraiser will run from now until April 24th.

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Plus, if you take a screenshot of your donation and send it to me with your address, I’ll send you a personalized thank you card featuring an original poem I wrote called “The Boy who Loved Books”. (The cards will be mailed out once I letter and illustrate them after the quarantine is over.)

Thank you for celebrating with me!

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Happy Reading!