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Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #86

nfpb2015

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New OrleansDrowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A devastating read. The resilience of those who lived through Katrina- victims & heroes- is incredible & inspiring. Don Brown definitely presents facts in an engaging way and I will definitely check out his other graphic novel- The Great American Dust Bowl.

View all my reviews

Edward Hopper Paints His WorldEdward Hopper Paints His World by Robert Burleigh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A great biography of Edward Hopper who as a boy knew he would be an artist. Despite it not being the “in” thing, he was determined to paint what he saw, often capturing everyday scenes in his own way. I loved the play on some of his famous paintings. And the back matter is full of fascinating things to consider.

View all my reviews

 

Reading Resolutions: August Update

With so many Reading Challenges out there, I figured keeping a monthly update on the ones I’m participating in will be a great way to keep track of my progress!

Off the Shelf 2015 Goal: 12 books– 3 more books read this month for a total of 9; Click on my To Be Read 2015 post for review.

Nonfiction Picture Book 2015 Goal: 104 books– 8 more books read this month for a total of 74. Read reviews here, here, here, and here.

To Be Read 2015/ Must Read in 2015– 4 more books read this month for a total of 44; Click on link to see which ones I’ve read!
My Most Favorite Favorites– I added one more title to my list.
-The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Reading Snapshots

409 Books Read in 2015
10 Adult Fiction
10 Adult Non-Fiction
20 Graphic Novels
67 Middle Readers
282 Picture Books
20 Young Adult

Readings & Literary Events
Rox in Sox
Family Book Club with William Ritter

How are your Reading Resolutions going?

 

What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR – August 30, 2015

This week, I posted:

New Releases– Read my reviews for:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my review for:

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating little moments the past few days.

Pig and Pug by Laura Marchesani and Zenaides A. Medina, Illustrated by Jarvis

Pig and Pug by Laura Marchesani and Zenaides A. Medina, Illustrated by Jarvis


[***] An adorable story of a pig and pug told in a simple style and repeated texts make it perfect for emergent readers. A sweet message that anyone can be friends despite their outward differences.

Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt

Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt


[**] A fly is sucked into a vacuum and experiences the 5 stages of grief. The illustrations give more to the story and is full of details readers will appreciate.

Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate by Jacky Davis, Illustrated by David Soman

Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate by Jacky Davis, Illustrated by David Soman


[**] I didn’t like this as much as other installments in the series. Lulu wasn’t that likable in this one. And why couldn’t Bumblebee Boy be the friend? Hopefully I’m not outgrowing the series.

The White Book by Silvia Borando, Elisabetta Pica, and Lorenzo Clerici

The White Book by Silvia Borando, Elisabetta Pica, and Lorenzo Clerici


[***] An interesting picture book reminiscent of Harold and the Purple Crayon. A boy begins painting the bare walls different colors and discovers one surprise after the other.

Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando

Black Cat, White Cat by Silvia Borando


[***] A cute story of two cats who end up sharing their very different worlds with one another.

Dinoblock by Christopher Franceschelli, Illustrated by Peskimo

Dinoblock by Christopher Franceschelli, Illustrated by Peskimo


[***] I didn’t think I would like this as much I did. A fun introductions to dinosaurs in a fun lift the flap format. Playful illustrations.

Red by Jan De Kinder

Red by Jan De Kinder


[**] An interesting study of a seemingly harmless teasing that leads to bullying. When what a girl starts gets out of control, will she be able to stand up for what’s right?

Sunny Side UpSunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Holm’s offer a semi-autobiographical tale of family secrets and the consequences. Alternating between flashbacks and Sunny’s current situation of spending summer with her grandpa, readers will be surprised at the revelation. It’s a topic I don’t think I’ve seen handled so delicately and effectively.

View all my reviews

Squish #7: Deadly Disease of DoomSquish #7: Deadly Disease of Doom by Jennifer L Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another fun quick read in the series and contained more science stuff than previous titles which is actually welcome. Super Amoeba’s story seemed to end abruptly which made me wonder if that was always the case or if I just constantly blacked out when reading those pages.

View all my reviews

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The Secret GardenThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been raving about this book a lot. I’m glad I included it as part of my To Be Read titles of 2015! I love how the characters are just themselves. Mary is disagreeable. Her uncle is a recluse and will not be bothered with spending time with her. The gardener is cranky. Other characters include one who is well liked by both humans and animals and one who is alternatingly afraid he hasn’t long to live and difficult to live with. A secret garden transform them all in surprising ways. The end does seem preachy but what a great bond these people have created. And usually I roll my eyes at how parents are disposed of in middle reader novels but this one seemed to have outdone them all.

View all my reviews

The Big Four by Agatha Christie [****]

The Big Four by Agatha Christie [****]

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

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

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

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- August 28, 2015

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating little moments the past few days.

Lemonade Stand Book Collection


A girl scout was holding a book drive in which she and her troop gave out lemonade to every one who donated books to The Children’s Book Bank. I couldn’t resist this cute idea so I bought a couple of books at the Friends of the Library store to donate.

Summer Work Party
jenga
We had a work BBQ this past weekend. There were some delicious food and drinks. We even played giant Jenga and, despite one precarious moment, I managed to not make it fall!

Volunteer Party
hop
I was invited to attend a volunteer leaders appreciation happy hour. It was fun to talk to other people who want to make a difference in their community. I couldn’t stop recommending State of Giving, an important book about volunteerism in the state of Oregon. I really wish each state could have one and made a required reading in high schools and colleges.

Mariah Carey
aiw
I was excited to read that there will be a picture book version of Mariah Carey’s yuletide classic “All I Want for Christmas is You.” She did co-write the song (and she did co-produce the song) so I think she should get more credit than she’s getting.

American Red Cross

View while donating blood

View while donating blood


I donated blood and I don’t know why I feel compelled to brag that it only took me 4 minutes and 33 seconds to do so. That’s probably one of my top two fastest- if not the top one- bleeds!

Skywriting

Also, over the weekend, someone was skywriting over Portland and leaving randomly words. It was only afterwards that it was revealed it was for an ice cream shop celebrating its anniversary with a very attention grabbing stunt. The whole thing ended with a happy face!
sky

My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is this behind the scenes look at the book trailer Brian Selznick made for his upcoming book, The Marvels.

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday #85

nfpb2015

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights MovementVoice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Told in verse a la Brown Girl Dreaming, this nonfiction picture book tells the story of a woman who fought against insurmountable odds to give African Americans the voice that wasn’t given to them. A timeline is included of key moments during her lifetime.

View all my reviews

 

What Are You Reading? (160) #IMWAYR – August 23, 2015

This week, I posted:

New Releases– Read my review for:

The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my review for:

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Julie Morstad

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder, Illustrated by Julie Morstad

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating Jackaby and Educator Night. Read my reviews for:

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley


[***] A surprisingly tender story about loss and how a mother and son cope with it. Apparently the ending can be interpreted in many ways but I was a tad confused by it.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Alison Jay

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Alison Jay


[***] Similar to the Cozy Classics board book series, this is a one-word per spread that if you’re familiar with the story already has the story arc. Alison Jay’s illustrations are great.

Seven Orange Pumpkins by Stephen Savage

Seven Orange Pumpkins by Stephen Savage


[**] This board book is a condensed version of Ten Orange Pumpkins. Stephen Savage’s distinct illustrative style plus his fun cast of spooky characters plus an educational element mixed in with the story equal a great read aloud for young readers.

Appleblossom the PossumAppleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t normally like animal stories but who can resist a family of theatrical possums? Learning the tricks of the trade for fun and for survival, a trio of them must use everything they know when they’re suddenly faced with all kinds of adventures and challenges.

As much as I enjoyed the story more than I thought I would, there is no way to convince me these critters can be cute!

View all my reviews

must-read-2015-logo

Bound to You by Christopher Pike

Bound to You by Christopher Pike


[***] [Off the Shelf Reading Challenge]
Bound to You is an omnibus of the following two books:
SpellboundSpellbound by Christopher Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cindy is your typical teenager with not your typical teenage problem: either her boyfriend killed his last girlfriend or there’s some sort of monster killing people off.

Spellbound is probably the type of novel Christopher Pike is known for: supernatural horror. But it also includes a sprinkling of spirituality that sets him apart.

Fun, quick read.

View all my reviews

See You LaterSee You Later by Christopher Pike
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The plot of See You Later screams genre YA from the get go. It’s a love story with a sci-fi twist involving time travel. It is perhaps one of Christopher Pike’s most autobiographical works. Some of his Facebook posts sounds exactly what Mark believes. It is also very referential- the video game The Starlight Crystal will make a couple more appearances as a short story in Remember Me 3 and as its own novel.

And, as another reviewer noted, there are clear echoes here of what Witch World will be in terms of the main characters’ beliefs.

View all my reviews

Expect posts for
-New Releases on Tuesday- there are some fun ones coming out!
-Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge on Wednesday
-A post about my 53rd favorite book of all time either Monday or Tuesday
-Celebrate This Week on Friday

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

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

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

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- August 21, 2015

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating a couple of events at Green Bean Books we recently had.

The first was our Family Book Club. Our pick this month was Jackaby and we were fortunate enough to have its author William Ritter join us for the discussion. I’m glad there were new faces to hear about my current YA series. The conversations ranged from strong female protagonists in children’s literature, original character ideas and their developments, The Imitation Game, and working on bad drafts. It was just so interesting to hear William talk about his work and his influences whether directly or indirectly. And as usual we wound up with great book recommendations from one another!

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)Jackaby by William Ritter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There will be a new YA book coming out in September that I think will be a big hit-
Jackaby
by William Ritter. Fans of Sherlock Holmes (especially the Benedict Cumberbatch portrayal) will enjoy this first in a series debut that mixes mystery with more than a splash of the supernatural. A runaway suddenly finds herself far away from home and working for an eccentric detective. Ghosts, banshees, and blood-thirsty monsters are just some of the things that they must deal with. Likable (and familiar feeling) characters, clever dialogue, and plenty of action make this a must-read for fall!

View all my reviews

The Map (Jackaby, #1.5)The Map by William Ritter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even though it’s Abigail Rook’s birthday, readers are the ones who get a gift with this novella featuring our intrepid adventure, her boss- the supernaturally gifted Jackaby, a treasure map, goblins, and vegetables. A smart move for fans of this smart, spooky series until the next installment comes out!

View all my reviews

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)Beastly Bones by William Ritter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quick Twitter Review: Finished Beastly Bones by @Willothewords! Jackaby is my current fave #yalit series. Smart supernatural fun. Read it!

And so the problem is BB doesn’t come out til Sept so I have to wait even longer for the next book! Such is a reader’s life!

New characters and dinosaur bones are thrown into this mix in the sequel to Jackaby. Not to mention: shape-shifting cats running loose in the city and a mysterious monster killing inhabitants in a small village.

But something even more sinister is brewing closer to our main characters than they could imagine…

Relationships are deepened. The dialogue remains sharp. The stakes are higher.

View all my reviews

The second event we held was Educator Night where we recommended some new titles for K-8 school teachers and librarians. We’re always thrilled to help them discover books which they can use in their lessons or that will get kids to enjoy reading.

My Audio/Video Pick of the Week is the first episode of Colby Sharp’s and Travis Jonker’s new podcast The Yarn.

What are you celebrating this week?

 
 
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