My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 28, 2017

28 May

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

The Gold LeafThe Gold Leaf by Kirsten Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You’ll pick this up for the absolutely stunning artwork and will be quite taken by the message as well.
View all my reviews

On the Spot: Countless Funny StoriesOn the Spot: Countless Funny Stories by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A very cute idea, almost like Mad Libs but using stickers and random household objects- to create a new reading experience every time.
View all my reviews

Babies Around the WorldBabies Around the World by Puck
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A cute board book that travels around the world and has babies saying phrases in their native languages.
View all my reviews

PandoraPandora by Victoria Turnbull
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lavishly illustrated book about hope and friendship.

Pandora mends and takes care of things in a lonely barren world. When a surprise visitor enters her life, she is forever changed.
View all my reviews

Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3 by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is aa great book for an end of the school year read aloud. Bittersweet.
View all my reviews

Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet: An Adventure with Little Kunoichi the Ninja GirlChibi Samurai Wants a Pet: An Adventure with Little Kunoichi the Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A cute book- although I enjoyed the first title in the series a bit more. Readers will definitely flip back through the pages after reading it through the first time!
View all my reviews

The Sandwich SwapThe Sandwich Swap by Rania Al Abdullah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even friends have their differences, as these two girls learn when each thinks the other’s lunch is gross and yucky. But when it causes a mess with the whole school, can they find to patch things up? A delicious tale of friendship with a serving of “Don’t judge what you don’t understand” on the side!
View all my reviews

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New ArrivalsWelcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another winner from Mo Willems. Not only is it a perfect gift for families welcoming a new member into the mix but also a fun way to promote reading aloud to babies! The art is unique. And it has two mirrors so that’s doubly good!
View all my reviews

Celebrate Oops!: Tear It, Crumple It, Fold It, Smear It — An Unruly Journal for Young Artists by Barney Saltzberg
An activity book companion to the wonderful interactive Beautiful Oops.

Planet JupiterPlanet Jupiter by Jane Kurtz
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Experience Portland through the eyes of fifth-grader Jupiter, who has wanderlust in her veins and comes from a family of buskers. After a family situation has them settling down in Portland, she concocts a plan to have them back in the road that may put her and her cousin’s lives in danger. I enjoyed recognizing the landmarks being talked about in the book and I couldn’t help but think what a great classroom book this would be and have the students map their neighborhood.
View all my reviews

Fresh Off the Boat: A MemoirFresh Off the Boat: A Memoir by Eddie Huang
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
– I finally got around to watching the series and enjoyed it so I decided to read the book it was based on. It should come as no surprise that each is its own entity. The show is a family-friendly affair focusing on Eddie Huang and his childhood days growing up Asian in the 90’s trying to fit in a mostly white world. That’s about a few chapters in the memoir, the tip of the iceberg.

The book continues on through his teenage years and early adulthood, from being a troubled teen to an ambitious entrepreneur. There are insane family dynamics, drug use, and racism. But there’s also the determination to not quit after failure, to be more other people’s expectations, and the questioning of where one fits in in this world.

His passions for hip hop and cooking definitely helped shape his voice.

View all my reviews


Rereading Letters to a Young Poet this time around was like a much needed visit from a friend because, I can’t remember if I shared about it on the blog, I’ve been feeling so down recently. It was exactly what I needed to put things in perspective and maybe find a light at the end of this tunnel. I did try to read a different version (translated by someone else) but, if you’re ever going to read this book, get the copy translated by Stephen Mitchell.

Check my other reviews of Letters to a Young Poet here and here and here.


Sure of You (Tales of the City, #6)Sure of You by Armistead Maupin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This sixth volume of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City was originally the final one in the series after he revived it about two decades later. It didn’t feel like it ended at all. There’s no problem with ambiguous endings so we can imagine the characters continue living their lives after we close the books but this one felt it needed a few more chapters.

I liked that the problems in this one was more grounded and less scandalous. It gave us a chance to focus on how the characters have changed. Unfortunately, I felt Mary Ann has gone through a character assassination. I’ve made peace with the fact that people do grow into characters we don’t recognize from when we first meet them and I can see how she might have gotten too ambitious for her own good but she was utterly cold-hearted in this one. The fact she was barely in the previous book- after starting to become unlikable in the book before that- didn’t help. I guess it’s understandable the focus of the series will be on Michael Tolliver but to basically sideline and ruin another character seemed unnecessary.

I listened to the audiobook version of this and I’ve got to say Eric McCormick who narrated this did a great job.

View all my reviews

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!


9 responses to “My Reading Week #IMWAYR- May 28, 2017

  1. Stacy Mozer

    May 29, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Great list of books. Thanks for sharing!

  2. lindabaie

    May 29, 2017 at 6:22 am

    I hope that Rilke is bringing you to better feelings, Earl! You’ve shared so many good books here. It took me a while to add them to my list. I imagine you did love Planet Jupiter since it’s set in Portland. That does sound like fun to read about all the places you know. And thanks for the latest from Amy KR. I look forward to it! Enjoy today!

  3. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)

    May 29, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Oooh! I need to get myself a copy of My Book of Beautiful Oops!

  4. cweichel

    May 29, 2017 at 7:42 am

    I adore the cover of The Gold Leaf and am really looking forward to that one. There is something profound about reading a book that is set in our own hometown, or even in a place you know. I am especially excited about Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals, because I have two grandbabies due in the middle of June. I expect they will be born with a small library of books all their own, and this will be one of them!

  5. Jane the Raincity Librarian

    May 29, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I’m going to be doing baby storytimes at the library starting in July, so I’ve been searching for great books to share with new parents, and you’ve given me two great looking baby books!! Thank you, Earl!!!

  6. Crystal

    May 29, 2017 at 9:34 am

    The Gold Leaf looks like one I’d enjoy. I need to pick up Rilke again. I want to take a look at the Amy K Rosenthal book too. Thanks!

  7. Michele

    May 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I just got On the Spot and it looks like fun. I’m thinking about putting a baggie of items together for my students to take home and add to – could be fun to see what new item comes back!
    I did not preorder WELCOME because I wasn’t sure how it would read. I’ll be on the lookout for it!

  8. Ricki Ginsberg

    May 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    So many great books here! I haven’t read any of them! Thanks for sharing them all with us.

  9. Akilah

    May 29, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    My friend found Fresh Off the Boat to be pretty raw, which made it hard to read at times. I’m wondering what you thought about Eddie’s voice in that regard.

    Glad reading Rilke helped. I hope things get better soon.


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