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My Reading Week #IMWAYR- November 20, 2017

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

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

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

This week, I posted:
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday

2017 is starting to wind down and it’s the time of best of and favorite lists. I can’t wait to look back and share mine! It’s also the time to make dents on our Must Read lists! Mine has been evolving throughout the year and I wanted to share a (hopefully) final version of what books I want to get through by the end of 2017:

[Agatha Christie]
-Towards Zero
-Death Comes at the End
-Sparkling Cyanide

[Sequels & Follow-Ups]
-Life is Like a Musical by Tim Federle
-The House of Unexpected Sisters

[Buzzed About Books]
-The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
-Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2
-Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

[Currently Reading]
-The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
-The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

-Walden by Henry David Thoreau
-Maus by Art Spiegelman
-Oregon Read Aloud by SMART
-The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

And, I have a goal to get 150 likes on this blog’s Facebook page by the end of the year so I would really appreciate if you visit and like it, please and thank you!

Hey Black ChildHey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An inspiring celebration of the potential of children. Based on a poem, the possibilities for what they can do and can be are opened up for them to explore.

Accident!Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful and entertaining about making mistakes and not being too hard on oneself. I also love that it’s about rectifying mistakes. Lots of details in the illustrations to pore over. Worth a reread or two!

Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet EarthHere We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautiful sweet book Oliver Jeffers wrote for his son- an instruction manual or welcome guide of sorts for newborns.

View all my reviews

Grump Groan GrowlGrump Groan Growl by bell hooks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes you’re in a bad mood. You just have to let it happen and let it out in order to move on.

The Moving FingerThe Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn’t really feeling this since I can’t stand Miss Marple. Even when I started to like the narrator, the fact that she was part of the story, ruined it for me. I felt she was completely unnecessary. The solution was surprising even though it seemed like it was going to be someone else. I would have given it four stars but… Miss Marple.

Review Notes
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

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

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!

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

Have a great reading week!

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Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2017- November 15, 2017

nfpb2017

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

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

My First Book about the Qur'anMy First Book about the Qur’an by Sara Khan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A young reader’s introduction about the Qur’an in board book format. Presents the main teachings with simple text and colorful artwork. Includes facts and a brief FAQ.

Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her SongMama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erskine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful book that I’ve seen being reviewed in a lot of blogs. Miriam Makeba’s life of song and activism is explored beautifully and creatively in a call-and-response style. Also great for older readers to read and discuss with an author’s note, timeline, and glossary.

 

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- November 13, 2017

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

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

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

My goal is to reach 150 likes by the end of the year!

I’m in a bit of a reading slump! I hope I get out of it soon!

It was quite a literary week in Portland.

I forced myself to go out- at night and in the cold and while it was raining!- and went to a few events. The first was put on by Incite: Queer Writers Read. Their hope is “to create conversation, connection, and greater understanding both within the Queer community and with other communities.” The format included a reading by LGBTQ writers and then a discussion centering around a particular theme which that evening’s was Gratitude.

incite

The second was All Things Kid Lit. The event had a handful of local middle grade and young adult authors reading from their books- and trivia questions throughout the event. There were a couple of questions regarding The Poky Little Puppy which I naturally got.

 

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I won a young adult book by a local author!

 

The big event was Wordstock, Portland’s book festival put on by Literary Arts. Green Bean Books was the children’s and middle grade’s booksellers and I was tabling the latter. There were some panels and readings I wish I was able to go to but I loved being part of it!

 

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Photo taken before the festival started by Laura

 

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Entrance to main Green Bean Books Wordstock store

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Did I mention the festival was held at the Portland Art Museum? 

 

One of the highlights of Wordstock was (and always is) getting to meet up with other book loving people!

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Selfie with Laura of Forest Avenue Press!

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With The Children’s Book Bank. Photo taken by Ripple Grove Press!

A customer snapped this hilarious picture of her son pretending to be a Mini Earl bookseller! My number one advice if anyone wants to be like me is to move your hands around like crazy! We have AMAZING customers, though, and I can learn a lot from them! I love their passion for books and reading and their incredible support of the kidlit community!

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This week, I posted:
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday

Read the Book, Lemmings!Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delightful oddball story of the importance of literacy and friendship. Will make for a fun read-aloud.

It's Shoe Time! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!, #4)It’s Shoe Time! by Mo Willems

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The latest title in the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! series celebrates marching to one’s own beat when a girl decides to wear two different pairs of shoes. The left-behind shoes try to prevent this rather odd choice from going one step further.

Coco: Miguel and the Grand HarmonyCoco: Miguel and the Grand Harmony by Matt de la Pena

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been meaning to read this but it was somehow hard to find. Thank goodness for the library!

Music is everywhere. And in a small town, Music finds a boy who could use a little help following his dream.

A beautiful book to encourage anyone to never give up and listen to the music.

Where's Halmoni?Where’s Halmoni? by Julie Kim

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This hybrid graphic novel/picture book reinvents a Korean folk tale into an utterly unique adventure story of two kids who enter a mysterious world inhabited by familiar and fantastic creatures in search of their grandmother. Includes a glossary of the Korean words used in the story.

I'm Scared (My First Comics)I’m Scared by Jennifer L. Holm

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Board books to introduce the youngest readers to comics and the storytelling. Simple storylines and cute illustrations will hopefully appeal to customers!

I'm Silly! (My First Comics)I’m Silly! by Jennifer L. Holm

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Board books to introduce the youngest readers to comics and the storytelling. Simple storylines and cute illustrations will hopefully appeal to customers!

Review Notes
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

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

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!

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

Have a great reading week!

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2017- November 8, 2017

nfpb2017

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

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


My goal is to reach 150 likes by the end of the year!

Raid of No Return: A World War II Tale of the Doolittle Raid (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales, #7)Raid of No Return: A World War II Tale of the Doolittle Raid by Nathan Hale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Nathan Hale delivers another hit with this World War II tale that seemed entirely impossible but managed to carry out its mission with varying degrees of success. Readers will be riveted as they learn about this top secret mission and follow the various planes and pilots as they plan an attack. It’s crazy this was just one piece in a huge jigsaw puzzle that was World War II.

Science Comics: Dogs: From Predator to ProtectorScience Comics: Dogs: From Predator to Protector by Andy Hirsch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t looking forward to this volume in the Science Comics series because I’m not an animal person. I thought, what is there even to learn about them? Apparently, a lot! But the thing I liked most was that dogs was just the gateway to learning about other things like genetics and evolution.

Fun fact: When I worked at a calendar store that was owned by Borders, the dog calendars were the number one bestsellers. They also took up the most space because there were so many breeds with their own calendar.

My Little Book of Big Freedoms: The Human Rights Act in PicturesMy Little Book of Big Freedoms: The Human Rights Act in Pictures by Chris Riddell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A picture book that illustrates some of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights perfect to share with young readers.

Fascinating: The Life of Leonard NimoyFascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy by Richard Michelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book got lots of raves when it came out last year. But since I wasn’t into Star Trek, I didn’t read it. I’m glad I did though. An enjoyable read about this actor’s life. I did find the author’s note more fascinating than the actual story text though.

 

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- November 6, 2017

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

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

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


My goal is to reach 150 likes by the end of the year!

This week, I posted:
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday

For Halloween, it was my sixth year helping the Book Lady give out books during Halloween! She had new books that trick or treaters could choose from. And it’s still as fun and an amazing experience as ever!

I met my volunteering goal of 150 hours for the year! I upped my volunteer goal from 100 hours of the previous couple years to 150 since I wanted to rededicate myself to doing as much good as I possibly can. I’m currently at 153.5 hours! I also passed 1000 volunteer hours sometime this summer based on my tracking since 2012!

A Small Blue WhaleA Small Blue Whale by Beth Ferry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I usually find friendship stories too sappy but this was a great mix of sweet without overdoing it. Plus, the illustrations are so adorable. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this!

FrindleFrindle by Andrew Clements
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been meaning to read this for awhile now. The main character seemed like someone I could totally relate to! And, I’m a sucker for a story about teachers who impact their students’ lives. A quick read.

Origin (Robert Langdon, #5)Origin by Dan Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I grew up watching and loving Unsolved Mysteries and then Alias. So, I’ve been gobbling up Dan Brown’s work since The Da Vinci Code. In the fifth entry in this series, it’s pretty much the same old things. A conspiracy. Codes and hidden meanings. An outrageous reveal. As long as you don’t take things too seriously, this is a pretty good read.

I also read a couple of Day of the Dead books.

Day of the DeadDay of the Dead by Tony Johnston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This tiny book is a vibrant introduction to the Day of the Dead. It’s a great book to include in libraries that has a section on holidays and festivities from other cultures around the world.

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet BookCalavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book by Jeanette Winter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Inspired by Pedro Linares’s paper-mache Calaveras, Jeanette Winter shares the family’s preparations for Day of the Dead (as it passes down from one generation to the next) and includes an alphabet book with a glossary of what the Spanish text means.

Review Notes
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

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

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!

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

Have a great reading week!

 

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2017- November 1, 2017

nfpb2017

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

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

Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! by Andrea J. Loney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fantastic picture book biography that kids will enjoy. A boy who loves to draw finds himself drawn to a new contraption- the camera. Soon, he saves enough money to buy one of his own. And a lifelong passion for photography is born.

Even with this profession, the color of his skin was an issue for some people. But, ultimately, his talent won over the intolerance. He was able to capture the spirits of his subjects and of that time, making a name for himself with his Harlem Renaissance photos.

What fascinated me while reading this was his ability to touch up pictures- way back before Photoshop and editing (computerized) tools.

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. WhiteA Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E. B. White by Barbara Herkert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love E.B. White and I couldn’t wait to read this.

Stunning artwork. The text is what I can best describe as gently flowing. Includes a bit more biography as part of the author’s note.

Pair with Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet.

The Cart That Carried MartinThe Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting and unique take about a man who has been written about countless of times. Masterfully written and powerfully moving.

Living in . . . South KoreaLiving in . . . South Korea by Chloe Perkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Living in… is a series that introduces beginning readers to kids from around the world. We learn some of the different geographies of the land and some of the major cities. Then, we spend a day in the life of each child from getting to ready for school to the end of the day. In between, we learn a little bit of history and some other facts pertaining to arts, culture, or sports. A glossary and a page of country facts are included.

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Baby’s Big World: Women Who Changed the World by Alex Fabrizio- 3 of 5 stars- I appreciate the fact that there are these introductory primers of girl power geared towards toddlers and babies.

Who Was Cesar Chavez? (Who Was?)Who Was Cesar Chavez? by Dana M Rau

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A pretty comprehensive look into the life of Cesar Chavez. The more I’ve learned about him, the more I want to read up on the other people who played roles in his life of activism- Fred Ross, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong. I also want to read even more about the nonviolent movement and the people who’ve changed the world through this process.

For more reviews on books about Cesar Chavez, click here.

 

My Reading Week #IMWAYR- October 29, 2017

I changed the name for my “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” posts to “My Reading Week.”

This week, I posted:
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Celebrating Cesar Chavez!

Don’t Be Sorry, DadDon’t Be Sorry, Dad by Nari Hong

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

[It may also go by the title Days with Dad.]

Super sweet story (but not sickly so) about a girl who reassures her dad that him being in a wheelchair doesn’t take away from how much fun she has.

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of ColorsGolden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been wanting to read this for awhile and I’m glad I finally did! A color primer as well as a glimpse into the Muslim/Islam life. Beautifully illustrated. Includes a glossary.

Yo Soy Muslim: A Father's Letter to His DaughterYo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter by Mark Gonzales

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A touching tribute from a father to his daughter celebrating herself and their Muslim culture. Sweet words with gorgeous illustrations.

Chirri & Chirra, The Snowy DayChirri & Chirra, The Snowy Day by Kaya Doi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third installment in this charming series from Japan is full of winter wonderland surprises from hot springs to steamed buns and the from the first snow fall to stargazing with new friends.

ImagineImagine by John Lennon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

John Lennon’s classic song is now a picture book illustrated by Jean Jullien. Includes a foreword by Yoko Ono and an afterword by Amnesty International.

Long Way DownLong Way Down by Jason Reynolds

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! Definitely a must read book (of any genre)! This young adult novel told in verse has a unique premise. After his older brother is gunned down, fifteen-year-old sets out to get revenge. The elevator ride from the top from of his building will be the longest one minute of his ride when unexpected people from his life start to board.

Powerful. Moving.

What I’m excited about with this book is that I think even reluctant readers will want to pick this up.

Night ShiftNight Shift by Debi Gliori

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’d been seeing this a lot on social media. An adult picture book about depression- beautiful illustrations capturing the bleakness and oppressiveness of it. Hopefully, people who have felt and are feeling this will come across this book and see they aren’t alone. Includes an author’s note.

And, for anyone reading this who might want to seek help with their depression, I want to provide the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number 1-800-273-8255.

View all my reviews

Five Little Pigs (Hercule Poirot, #24)Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was originally just going to give this 3 stars because I thought I had things figured out- or, to be honest, I thought I remembered the twist. But that’s the thing about Agatha Christie’s genius. She will manage to surprise you all the time.

To get into the Halloween spirt, decided to read some of Alvin Schwartz’s scary stories!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories, #1)Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I remember reading the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series when I was in elementary school and I thought it would be fun to reread them. They were rereleased a few years ago with new artwork by Brett Helquist to celebrate 30 years of being published but I refused to read these versions. Stephen Gammell’s original illustrations were iconic!

Alvin Schwartz knows everyone loves a good scare. And, in these stories he’s collected from various sources- folklores, urban legends, etc.- readers are treated to the supernatural, the mysterious, the strange, the creepy, and the funny. Sometimes, he shares pointers on how to effectively tell the stories or gives alternate versions. The notes and sources in the back are definitely worth reading.

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary StoriesIn a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Scary stories geared for an even younger audience. Includes a foreword on how to best tell a good ghost story. I love that he immediately sets the mood that these are meant to be enjoyed and that being scared can be fun! He also cites where the stories come from.

Ghosts! Ghostly Tales from FolkloreGhosts! Ghostly Tales from Folklore by Alvin Schwartz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Scary stories geared for an even younger audience. I love that he immediately sets the mood that these are meant to be enjoyed and that being scared can be fun! He also cites where the stories come from.

Review Notes
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

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

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!