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What Are You Reading? (119) #IMWAYR – November 2, 2014

02 Nov
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!

This week, I posted:
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:


Reading Resolutions: October Update
Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating Friends of the Library!

Hang on to your hats, I read a lot of books this week!

Is There a Dog in This Book? by Viviane Schwarz [***]- Readers who enjoy books that breakdown the fourth wall will enjoy this lift-the-flap picture book about three cats and a dog that wandered in into their story!

Is There a Dog in This Book? by Viviane Schwarz [***]- Readers who enjoy books that breakdown the fourth wall will enjoy this lift-the-flap picture book about three cats and a dog that wandered in into their story!

Take Away the A by Michaël Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo [**]- Word lovers will delight in this clever picture book of what happens when a familiar word is changed when a a letter is taken away. Better suited for kids who already know their alphabet!

Take Away the A by Michaël Escoffier, Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo [**]- Word lovers will delight in this clever picture book of what happens when a familiar word is changed when a a letter is taken away. Better suited for kids who already know their alphabet!

Bliss (The Bliss Bakery, #1)Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Recommended by a Family Book Club goer.

A magical and delicious tale about dreams granted, wishes gone awry, and family. Each of the characters especially the Bliss siblings and the mysterious Aunt Lily were all memorable. At times, I felt the situations were a bit over-the-top but by the time I was fine with it. I appreciated the little bits of quirkiness thrown in for the adults. I really didn’t think I’d meet a former President of the United States in the book!

In the Family Book Club, we discussed how appearances can be deceiving and how we were glad that the antagonist had a good-enough motivation to do all the questionable things she did. Kids were eager to read more of the series!

View all my reviews

Cybils-Logo-2014-Rnd1

Kinda Like BrothersKinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I hope the paperback version of this book has a new cover that will appeal to more people because despised the cheesy poses, this is actually a good story. I enjoyed the issues that were tackled here- some directly, some indirectly- and all from the perspective of eleven-year-old Jarrett. The writing seemed very spot on in capturing the thoughts and actions of a boy his age and all the things thrown at him- summer school, a revolving door of foster kids, his first crush, and yoga. I can easily overlook the fact that the mom wasn’t realized fuller because in real life you don’t get explanations of why people are the way they are. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Read this.

View all my reviews

Half a ChanceHalf a Chance by Cynthia Lord
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was another book I had initially dismissed because of the cover, which to me screams, “lite fare kids book.” But this was a rather substantial middle reader novel that delivers a powerful emotional punch from its multiple but connected storylines- Lucy’s relationship with family and her interest in photography; Lucy’s summer relationship with the boy next door, Nate; the worsening condition of Nate’s grandmother; and, their observations of a family of loons.

Except for what I felt were some rather clunky parts here and there, this is a book worth checking out. “Even half a chance beats none.”

View all my reviews

CaminarCaminar by Skila Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I marveled at the beautiful words revealing hideous truths. War is an unnecessary reality. Based on decades-long battle in Guatemala, Caminar tells Carlos’ story through poetry. His village savaged, and everyone he knows gone, this is his journey leaving his childhood behind and becoming a man on a path filled uncertainty and danger.

View all my reviews

I Kill the MockingbirdI Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book lovers will get a kick out of this novel. If you’ve ever loved a book and wanted everyone to read it, then you can relate to the three friends who conspire to get copies of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird into the hands of the reading public- by making all the copies “disappear.” Before they know it, their plan spirals out of control- axe-wielding Santa anyone? A quick read full of literary references.

View all my reviews

A Million Ways HomeA Million Ways Home by Dianna Dorisi Winget
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Poppy has a lot on her plate- a sick grandma, no place to call home, and being an eye-witness to murder. I was surprised to like this book as much as I did- even if it involved a side plot about a misunderstood dog in an animal shelter. Her conflicting emotions and behavior actually ring true even if I find her impulsiveness bordering too much on being reckless.

View all my reviews

Ship of DollsShip of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting story based on real circumstances- particularly the exchange of Friendship Dolls between the US and Japan after World War One. The story built around it is one I could totally relate to.

Lexie is sent to leave with her grandparents in Portland while her Mom stays on in San Francisco with the mom’s boyfriend to make a living. With all the changes in her life, it doesn’t help that she also has to find a way to fit in at school with a boy who teases her and a girl who makes her life untolerable.

When an opportunity arises that may reunite her with her Mom, she takes it without thinking through all the consequences of her decision. While some parts were predictable, I really enjoyed seeing the growth of the characters.

View all my reviews

The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (Tom Gates, #1)The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

First of all, let me say I’m not the intended audience for this book. I can see how early middle readers may find this funny and interesting. There are plenty of doodles and jokes to keep them entertained. And, I laughed more than I thought I would. A basic quick read.

View all my reviews

I'm celebrating Picture Book Month by reading at least one picture book a day, and going down the alphabet!

I’m celebrating Picture Book Month by reading at least one picture book a day, and going down the alphabet!

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories by John Martz [***]- I loved these short stories. Silly and cute tales told in a sort of comic strip way. I'm glad I picked this up!

A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories by John Martz [***]- I loved these short stories. Silly and cute tales told in a sort of comic strip way. I’m glad I picked this up!

An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis [***]- An armadillo sets off to Paris on an adventure to discover the identity of the Iron Lady using clues from his grandfather's postcards! A fun travel mystery with great illustrations.

An Armadillo in Paris by Julie Kraulis [***]- An armadillo sets off to Paris on an adventure to discover the identity of the Iron Lady using clues from his grandfather’s postcards! A fun travel mystery with great illustrations.

A Night Time Story by Roberto Aliaga, Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer [**]- I've seen the spanish edition of this book which sells a lot in our store and I wanted to see what it was about. Very unique story with equally one-of-a-kind drawings!

A Night Time Story by Roberto Aliaga, Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer [**]- I’ve seen the spanish edition of this book which sells a lot in our store and I wanted to see what it was about. Very unique story with equally one-of-a-kind drawings!

And the Train Goes... by William Bee [***]- As someone who enjoyed And the Cat Goes..., I was surprised there was this book that came before it. A fun read-aloud full of rhythm. I enjoy looking for the hidden details in the illustrations.

And the Train Goes… by William Bee [***]- As someone who enjoyed And the Cat Goes…, I was surprised there was this book that came before it. A fun read-aloud full of rhythm. I enjoy looking for the hidden details in the illustrations.

Bonjour Camille by Felipe Cano, Illustrated by Laia Aguilar [*]- Reminds me of Madeleine which I also didn't like. I guess it can be considered cute.

Bonjour Camille by Felipe Cano, Illustrated by Laia Aguilar [*]- Reminds me of Madeleine which I also didn’t like. I guess it can be considered cute.

Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman [**]- A vibrant story about discovering all the colors in the world. There was an iffy part in the rhyming that threw me off.

Bear Sees Colors by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman [**]- A vibrant story about discovering all the colors in the world. There was an iffy part in the rhyming that threw me off.

Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by Jennifer Plecas [***]- Nobody puts Baby in the corner in this fun lift-the-flap story. When the parents aren't looking, the supposedly sleeping child starts dancing. Enjoyed the ending!

Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont, Illustrated by Jennifer Plecas [***]- Nobody puts Baby in the corner in this fun lift-the-flap story. When the parents aren’t looking, the supposedly sleeping child starts dancing. Enjoyed the ending!

Expect reviews for these books during Wednesday’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge post:

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

I’m going to continue reading books for the Cybils and my Picture Book Month reading challenge.

Have a great reading week!

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11 responses to “What Are You Reading? (119) #IMWAYR – November 2, 2014

  1. msyingling

    November 3, 2014 at 2:49 am

    The Bliss series has been a huge favorite of my students. The Booth title has actually done really well– my suburban students like to read inner city tales, and they like this cover. Maybe it’s because so many of them affect that sullen stare!

     
  2. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    November 3, 2014 at 4:12 am

    Based on how often it see it popping up on people’s It’s Monday lists, I have a feeling I really need to read Caminar before award season rolls around.

     
  3. Maria Selke (@mselke01)

    November 3, 2014 at 4:15 am

    I LOVE books that break the fourth wall. Added “Is there a dog in here” to my library hold list! I adored I Kill the Mockingbird because of all the literary references. I do wonder about the audience for that one. Which kinds of kids will love it? Will they need to be exposed to To Kill a Mockingbird first? Is this one that appeals more to teachers of lit than kids?

    Have fun on Cybils! I’m a round 2 judge for graphic novels.

     
  4. Linda Baie

    November 3, 2014 at 6:08 am

    “Is There A Dog In Here” sounds like a good one for my youngest granddaughter, Earl. You’ve shared so many other good ones, too. I loved Caminar, and still need to read Half A Chance. Thanks for sharing all those mid-grade books, guess I need to stop sleeping! Have a great week!

     
  5. Alex Baugh (@RandomlyReading)

    November 3, 2014 at 7:43 am

    You have some really good books here and some new ones i’ll be on the lookout for. I did not like the Tom Gates book at all. I thought he was just too mean. Coe Booth was at Bank Street College’s Book Fest in October and made me want tto read Kinda like Brothers, she spoke with Tim Federle on diversity. Thanks for sharing these and have a great reading week.

     
  6. Tara Smith

    November 3, 2014 at 8:26 am

    Thank you for sharing those middle grade books! Caminar and Kinda Like Brothers look especially interesting to me – I think my sixth graders will really respond to these.

     
  7. thelogonauts

    November 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    You WERE busy this week, wow! I also hated the cover for Half a Chance (especially for a book about photography). My students are loving Take Away the A, and I bet they would love the cat/dog book too. Lots to check out.

     
  8. Ricki Ginsberg

    November 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Holy cow. You don’t stop, do you? Lift-the-flap books are my favorite. Thanks for sharing that one. I will look for it!

     
  9. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye)

    November 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    So many three star books this week! That is a big deal! I am currently on Goodreads looking up a bunch of them 🙂

    Happy reading this week!

     
  10. The Styling Librarian

    November 4, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Sweet googly moogly, you’re a reading machine! Great to learn about some of those books you’re reading for the Cybils… I loved Half a Chance, good to know your opinion. Happy reading week to you!

     
  11. Myra GB

    November 8, 2014 at 6:49 am

    Oh my goodness Earl, you have read LOADS over the past week – how do you do it? I’ve been meaning to read Caminar for the longest time – I know what the summary is, but for some reason the book cover does not particularly appeal to me. I’m sure I’d get around to it soon enough. Love the picturebooks you shared here as well – haven’t heard of any of them yet. My 12 year old girl likes Tom Gates. hehehe.

     

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