#IMWAYR- July 3, 2016

03 Jul

This week, I posted:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my review for:


Celebrate This Week– This week, I’m celebrating my #PrideChallenge.

It Came in the MailIt Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A cute story about a boy who never gets anything in the mail but desperately wants to. He figures the best way to do so is to someone else a mail first. He writes his mailbox and soon gets surprising deliveries!

View all my reviews

The StorytellerThe Storyteller by Evan Turk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This gorgeous picture book features stories within stories. In a dry desert town, a boy in search of a drink meets an old man who begins a tale that satisfies another thirst he didn’t know he had. What neither of them knows is that a terrible djinn in the guise of a storm is coming and it’ll take a cunning solution to keep the town safe.

View all my reviews

The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . .The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . . by Davide Cali
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t even know this was coming out (July 5th!) but was eager to read it since I loved the other two books in the series. Super silly answer to “What did you this summer?” Fans of Remy Charlip’s Fortunately will enjoy the sense of humor. I love Benjamin Chaud’s illustrations!

View all my reviews

As Time Went byAs Time Went by by José Sanabria
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The illustrations have always caught my eye whenever I saw this book on display but I finally just picked it up. It’s a quiet book but it’s so charming and special as well with wonderful illustrations. I would pair this with Virginia Lee Burton’s The Little House.

View all my reviews

The Bell in the BridgeThe Bell in the Bridge by Ted Kooser
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another one of those quiet books that doesn’t mean boring. A boy spending summer with his busy grandparents entertains himself by playing at a nearby bridge. He soon encounters a mystery he’s eager to solve. The text has a sense of childlike wonder.

View all my reviews

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth (Lowriders in Space, #2)Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Lowriders in Space gang are back. A search for a lost kitten takes them to unexpected places facing a very angry god. I loved the wordplay in this one which gave off a Phantom Tollbooth vibe. I appreciated the fact that it worked in this bilingual formal even though I don’t speak Spanish. A glossary of Spanish terms and phrases are included as well as an extensive author’s note on the gods and goddesses referenced in this graphic novel.

View all my reviews


I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I listened to the audiobook version of this which was a treat since it was narrated by Maya Angelou herself. It’s a very candid look into her childhood full of escapades and adventures in a small town. However enthralling the situations were and the beauty of her text, she also suffered greatly in the forms of a racist society and the abuse she endured as a child.

This being the first part in a seven part memoir series, it ended at a good place. I don’t know if I’ll read the other books but her and her family have been so fascinating to know.

I was surprised that the kids (Maya and her brother Bailey) were reading such advanced books for their age. I think it just goes to show that kids can handle what is usually thrown at them. If you expect great things from them, you will likely get great things.

View all my reviews

Gracefully GraysonGracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve been wanting to read this because it’s been grouped with George and Lily & Dunkin as trailblazing books depicting trans characters in children’s literature. I appreciate that there are books that serve as mirrors and windows.

I didn’t particularly like Grayson’s character. Naturally, he was going through stuff but he didn’t give off any likable personality traits for me to want to get to know him.

View all my reviews

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.

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!


10 responses to “#IMWAYR- July 3, 2016

  1. Jane Whittingham

    July 3, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    I’m glad that Gracefully Grayson exists, as there are so few MG books featuring trans characters, but I didn’t feel it was necessarily as strong a story as George.

  2. aaroncleaveley

    July 3, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    I have missed out on the Davide Cali series, but I am going to check that out. It sounds like something my six year old would love. Thanks for the post!

  3. Linda Baie

    July 4, 2016 at 6:16 am

    So many good books, Earl. I have As Time Went By, still need to read it, loved Gracefully Grayson, a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing about The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer. I’ll try to find that series! Thank you!

  4. Michele

    July 4, 2016 at 7:04 am

    The Storyteller is one that has been coming up on several blogs. Not available at the library yet… I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one!

  5. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    July 4, 2016 at 7:21 am

    I can’t wait to read Ben Clanton’s new book. He has recently become one of my favorite picture book author/illustrators. Rex Wrecks It has everything you could want in a picture book: adorable characters and a funny yet poignant story. Looking forward to reading It Came in the Mail.

  6. randomlyreading

    July 4, 2016 at 7:42 am

    You have a wonderful selection of books here, Earl. Some I know, some are new but I’m also looking forward to reading them. Have a Happy 4th of July!

  7. Tara Smith

    July 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Caged Bird is one of my all time favorite books. As Time Went By looks lovely, as do the other picture books you’ve read.

  8. Stacy Mozer

    July 4, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Great list of books. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Ricki Ginsberg

    July 4, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    It’s funny. I see the title THE STORYTELLER and immediately want to buy the book. There are certain titles that are like a drug to readers. 🙂

  10. Kellee from Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye)

    July 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    4/5 from Earl? On my TBR! 🙂

    Happy Fourth, and happy reading this week!


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