What Are You Reading? (133) #IMWAYR – February 8, 2015

08 Feb
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:

Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating what a great reading year I’ve already been having! Read my review of:

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Red: A Crayon's Story by Michael Hall

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

[***]- I was worried this was going to be similar to The Day the Crayons Quit but it wasn’t at all. A blue crayon is accidentally labeled as red which causes the other crayons (and other desk supplies) to worry and exclude him. But once they realize what he can do (Despite what his label reads) they learn to accept him and embrace his difference. A fun picture book with a positive message!

Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! by Brenna Maloney

Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! by Brenna Maloney

[**]- This was a cute picture book with the titular character needing to get ready for school but getting sidetracked by his overactive imagination. I wasn’t too crazy about how the sock puppet looked or how some of the miniatures were set up.

[***]- I love how playful and imaginative Lola is! Plus she loves books as much as I do! A new favorite series to recommend!
[We Need Diverse Books]

You Are Not Small by Anna Kang, Illustrated by Christopher Weyant

You Are Not Small by Anna Kang, Illustrated by Christopher Weyant

[**] The Geisel Award winner about perspective accompanied by cute illustrations.

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

[***]- An interesting and introspective look about how actions and inactions affect others. Will resonate with many readers.

Anna HibiscusAnna Hibiscus by Atinuke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sweet story about a girl who lives in Africa with her very large family.
Told in four parts with plenty of illustrations, I love that readers can get a glimpse a way of life in a different country and see the differences and the similarities. This is a kind of book where it doesn’t feel like anything happens but you still enjoy turning the pages. There’s a sense of peace and relaxation with it.

View all my reviews
[We Need Diverse Books]

Princess PistachioPrincess Pistachio by Marie-Louise Gay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always look forward to a new Marie-Louise Gay book being a fan of her Stella and Sam series. A girl receives a crown as a gift and thinks- and acts!- like she’s royalty to the dismay of her family and friends. A sweet first entry into a new early chapter book series.

View all my reviews

This One SummerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had originally passed on reading this when it first came out due to the rather lackluster reviews it received but I decided to give it another chance after it won a Caldecott honor! A YA graphic novel, no less. There were definitely parts where the illustrations stood out but the actual story left me wanting- not exactly more but something.

With the changing landscape of children’s literature, I feel the Caldecott can do a little revamping.

View all my reviews


The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam, #3)The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Once again, we enter the world of Jennifer Strange and her rather odd group of friends as they fight for their lives in a new land that is less vacation destination than it is a battleground. During their not-a-quest adventure, they uncover a sinister plot that lays the ground for the next and final book in this series.

There’s always lots of humor and clever wordplay to keep the reader amused.

View all my reviews

Puzzled Indemnity (Puzzle Lady, #16)Puzzled Indemnity by Parnell Hall
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had the hardest time figuring out if this was indeed the 16th entry in the series. In the book, they had forgotten to list The Sudoku Puzzle Murders, which may have just been a typo but could also be a sign that the series needs to end soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I always make sure to read the next Puzzle Lady book. I enjoy the characters, their interactions, the wordplay, and, of course, the puzzles. But, the mysteries are becoming unnecessarily convoluted. And, having to incorporate a sudoku as well as a crossword in each book is becoming too forced.

I’m worried if the series continues any longer I won’t like Cora Felton any longer because of the extremely questionable things she does.

View all my reviews

I'll Give You the SunI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can understand all the buzz about this book.

I’ll Give You the Sun tell the story of twins Jude and Noah in a “two sides of the same coin” kind of way. We alternate between Noah as the central figure in their first teenage years and Jude a few years later.

This is about their relationship, how it gets tested over the years over family secrets and first loves. In fact, with the incredible prose, I found this to be incredibly romantic- exhilarating, even.

The characters were exciting to get to know- Noah who mentally paints the world in his head, Jude who talks to her dead grandmother. Every time their world broke, through circumstance or self-imposed destruction, I felt their unsteadiness. This is a constant rebuilding and remaking of a world that’s never the same for anyone.

There were a couple of things that bothered me: sometimes the teenagers seemed to act way older than they were. And the ending… well, I don’t want to give anything away.

View all my reviews

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 hoping to read at least 2 more titles off my TBR list!

Have a great reading week!


9 responses to “What Are You Reading? (133) #IMWAYR – February 8, 2015

  1. msyingling

    February 9, 2015 at 3:40 am

    A Fine Dessert is one I would like to pick up, although the Zoltar series just wasn’t my favorite. As always, you’ve had a busy week of reading!

  2. Gigi McAllister

    February 9, 2015 at 5:17 am

    Wow! Lots of great books this week! I just requested Red-A Crayon’s Story-looks great! I enjoyed Far, Far Away, although it was creepy.

  3. Elisabeth Ellington

    February 9, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I want to reread This One Summer. It was my favorite book of 2014 but I have trouble articulating why. I thought Tamaki’s art was simply sublime. I find the current debates about the Caldecott quite interesting–glad this committee did something so out of the box to get people talking! So many PBs here that I need to read! I’ve just started I’ll Give You the Sun–very good so far.

  4. carriegelson

    February 9, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Great reads! I loved I’ll Give You the Sun and Far, Far Away. What a book that was. Happy reading this week!

  5. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    February 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I agree with you about This One Summer. I loved the illustrations, but the story left me feeling “meh.”

  6. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye)

    February 9, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I agree about the story as well. I am going to give it a reread to see if I missed something, but I don’t know…
    It is interesting to see how much you liked Far, Far Away. It is one that I really struggled with.
    I look forward to reading I’ll Give You the Sun.

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  7. vgpratt

    February 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Thanks for all the great ideas! I heard wonderful things about Far, Far Away last year and want to read that one. Your description of Red has me convinced I need that one, as it seems to be an allegory for people and the labels we place on them (???). I loved seeing the Jacqueline Woodson picture book– that’s one of hers I haven’t read. And finally, though I teach younger kids, I really enjoy a good YA book, so I think I’ll add I’ll Give You the Sun to my “to read” list. Have a great week!

  8. Cheriee Weichel

    February 9, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I agree with you about those Lola books. They are so delightful. I also enjoyed Each Kindness. I’m looking forward to Red, A Crayon’s Story. We shall have to disagree about This One Summer. I loved that book so much that as soon as I finished it, I went back and read it again.

  9. Myra GB

    February 11, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    I have read many great reviews about I’ll give you the Sun and I am definitely looking forward to reading it. I’m excited to read your thoughts about Mahalia Jackson. 🙂


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