#IMWAYR- May 22, 2016

22 May

This week, I posted:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:


A friend and I watched a production of A Streetcar Named Desire last Sunday. Changing the characters’ races was an interesting choice.


I happened to pass by the newest comic shop in Portland, Books with Pictures. It’s a tiny space but full of diverse titles. I love when the staff (in this case, the owner) was super passionate and knowledgeable about her inventory and comics in general. She showed me some beautiful books I definitely need to read. I bought a graphic novel biography of Agatha Christie which I didn’t even know about.


Review Notes
I’ve decided not to post reviews for books I didn’t particular care for (unless I feel strongly against it.) If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Plus as an aspiring published writer myself, I know how much work one puts into a story so I naturally have great respect towards writers and illustrators and everyone else responsible for that creation.
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

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

The Fox and the StarThe Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It’s the art more than the story that will make you want to pick this book up and read it and maybe read it again and again to pore over the gorgeous illustrations!
View all my reviews

Oh No, Astro!Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Put this in your reading orbit! Out-of-this-world cuteness featuring an asteroid who just wants his personal (outer) space and is thrown off his course! I love the additional information at the back about space.
View all my reviews

Finding WildFinding Wild by Megan Wagner Lloyd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Beautiful picture book about finding the wild in unexpected places.

View all my reviews

We had a local author, Kyle. B Hart, read his picture books about facial hair doing good deeds during our Facial Hair Fiesta. My favorite of the two was The Mustache that Cured World Hunger. As the title implies, a mustache travels all the world eating different kinds of food but then realizes there are hungry people everywhere. The Beard that Boosted Self-Confidence was good too but definitely had an older audience. Both books are definitely wacky and told in rhyming text. He even read from his upcoming book in what he hopes to be a Facial Hair Quartet. What I liked about him is that he was donating a percentage of each sale to a local non-profit. In this case, 80% to the Oregon Food Bank. I admire anyone who just goes out and publishes their story because they want it to be heard/read.

Over the OceanOver the Ocean by Taro Gomi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Apparently this was a decades old reprint. A girl wonders what’s on the other side of the ocean in this quietly beautiful contemplative book.

View all my reviews

Duck, Duck, Porcupine!Duck, Duck, Porcupine! by Salina Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Delightful trio of new friends young readers will enjoy getting to know in these three stories. It’ll be hard to pick out a favorite character.
View all my reviews

What Do You Do with a Problem?What Do You Do with a Problem? by Kobi Yamada
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A great companion to What Would You Do with an Idea?

This picture book for all ages will help readers look at problems in a different way.

Beautiful illustrations.
View all my reviews

The Sword in the StoveThe Sword in the Stove by Frank W. Dormer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fans of dark humor will enjoy this book. I thought this would be more of a play on The Sword in the Stone but it isn’t. It would be a silly readaloud for kids who don’t mind it if any of the characters are eaten.
View all my reviews

I like Harry Potter plenty- more the effect it has to get people of all ages get excited about reading- so it’s kind of weird (at least to me) that I’ve read the entire series, the three books that make up the Hogwarts Library, the 800-word prequel, and plan on reading the screenplay Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, rereading the entire series once all the illustrated editions have been released, and perhaps reading any stories published on Pottermore.

Lily and DunkinLily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is understandably one of the most talked about books of 2016.

First we have Lily, a girl born in a boy’s body, trying to be who she is.

Second we have Dunkin, new to town dealing with bipolar and trying to fit in.

Heavy subject matter but written in a way that is accessible and not overtly preachy.

I liked that the dad represented the people who aren’t mean but just don’t understand exactly what being transgendered means. I think it’s important that we give them time and the resources to help them get to the point of acceptance.
View all my reviews

Eddie Red Undercover: Doom at Grant's Tomb (Eddie Red Undercover, #3)Eddie Red Undercover: Doom at Grant’s Tomb by Marcia Wells

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s the third book in the series and Eddie Red must face an old foe while tackling new problems. A mix of adventure and fun, readers will enjoy these mysteries involving art thefts and secret messages.

View all my reviews

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson ElementaryThe Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A novel in verse told from 18 different characters. Luckily there was a class picture of sorts in the front flap of the book to help keep track of who’s who. We follow these students as they learn their school is about to be torn down. Throughout the school year, we learn about their reactions to this news (not everyone’s sad about it), their personal struggles in school as they navigate changing friendships and figuring out who they are and who they want to be, and the differences in their home lives. Also included is a glossary, descriptions of all the different kinds of poems used, and even prompts!
View all my reviews

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. CookAll Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a harmless enough entertaining read about a boy who grew up in a prison with his mom and who is suddenly forced to live in the house of the district attorney who’s responsible for shaking up his life.

Perry, as a character did not ring true to me. He seemed to good. I wish he were written either a little younger to explain his behavior or a little older to make things have a bit more of an edge.

Readers will enjoy the unique setting and circumstance.
View all my reviews

Hilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide WorldHilo Book 2: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hilo’s back- and not just his toe. Mysterious creatures are coming to Earth and it will take more than their ragtag team to stop them. The stakes are higher in the second book and it’s ending will make you wish the next one was out already. Better than the first!
View all my reviews

A Streetcar Named DesireA Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A gripping read. I was familiar with the plot because it’s such a big part of pop culture but I hadn’t read it until now when a local theater company staged it. Memorable characters and stand-out dialogue and such a sensational story. I can only imagine how this was received when it was first released!
View all my reviews


Parker Pyne InvestigatesParker Pyne Investigates by Agatha Christie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Maybe I just don’t like Agatha Christie’s short stories. It doesn’t help if it doesn’t feature Hercule Poirot. But I was surprised to see familiar names like Miss Lemon (who would later work for the Belgian detective) and Adriadne Oliver (the novelist who I’ve never been quite fond of.) These are more along the lines of Alexander McCall Smith “mysteries.”
View all my reviews

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!


9 responses to “#IMWAYR- May 22, 2016

  1. Rachel Ann

    May 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Where did you see, “A Street car Named Desire?” I so enjoy your book reviews. Hope you’re well! 🙂

  2. Karen Yingling

    May 23, 2016 at 3:24 am

    Ooh. I’ve not read that Christie book. Will have to look for it. I prefer Dorothy Sayers, but Christie is always fun for me. Will have to look for the biography, too. I enjoyed Perry Cook for some reason, and Lily and Dunkin was interesting, but I wasn’t a fan of The Last Fifth Grade. Maybe because I work in a school and I know the realities of keeping a building going. I’m with you on not saying bad things about a book, but I used to post a “Not What I Wanted Wednesday” and was surprised at the number of people who wanted to read books that didn’t work for me. Being KIND is always the most important thing!

  3. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    May 23, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I’m seeing Finding Wild pop up a lot lately. I am anxiously waiting for my hold to come in at the library for that one. As am I anxiously awaiting the new Kobi Yamada title to come out.

  4. Linda Baie

    May 23, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Terrific books, Earl. I have Finding Wild from the library, will read soon! I want to read Lily & Dunkin for sure, & will find The Fox and The Star-looks beautiful. And, Agatha Christie in a graphic novel, sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for all!

  5. Jane Whittingham

    May 23, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Ha, yeah, I’m kind of the same way when it comes to Agatha Christie, it’s either Poirot or meh. 😉 Oh how I love Portland, I’m heading back down in July, it’s such a unique and fantastic city!

  6. Tammy and Clare

    May 23, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for telling us about Kobi Yamada’ new book – We love What Would you do with an Idea and will now buy What Do you do with a Problem?

  7. Ricki Ginsberg

    May 23, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    I saw Finding Wild and was intrigued. I need to read it. You made me want to read A Streetcar Named Desire!


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