Thanks to Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts for this meme!


By the time this is scheduled to post, I should be in Vegas spending time with family and friends. But I’m currently writing this while still in Portland looking ahead and at the same time.

Some highlights of June have been getting to visit two new bookstores which you can read about on my other blog.

And a Filipino community center just opened up in Portland as well.

Our bookstore just opened up for in-store browsing again and so far there hasn’t been a problem with that.

I’ve enjoyed my Reading the Rainbow BINGO challenge and celebrating Pride by eating all sorts of rainbow food.

And, here’s a before and after of my BINGO card!

Also, Salt & Straw had ice cream flavors based on books so I had to try a couple- Goosebumps and Amulet.

And we had a record-breaking heat wave that was miserable!

But I’m looking forward to what I’m coining a No-Bummer Summer!

So far this year, I’ve read 268 books. The breakdown is:

13- Adult novels

17- Adult non-fiction

16- Graphic novels

40- Middle Grade novels (Goal: 52)

175- Picture Books and Board Books

7- Young Adult novels

of which

60- Nonfiction Picture Books (Goal: 104)

30- Audio Books

Now, for the book reviews…

My First DayMy First Day by Phùng Nguyên Quang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this beautifully illustrated picture book, a Vietnamese boy sets off on his first day to an unknown yet surprisingly familiar destination.

black is brown is tanblack is brown is tan by Arnold Adoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A classic republished with new illustrations showing the everyday moments of a multiracial family.

Milo's MuseumMilo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love how representation is tackled in this picture book. After a school field trip to a museum and not seeing anything that represents her or her community, Milo is inspired to create her own to remedy the problem.

The Little Things: A Story About Acts of KindnessThe Little Things: A Story About Acts of Kindness by Christian Trimmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet story of how one act of kindness can inspire more.

Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best FriendJo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend by Dawn Quigley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jo Jo Makoons is a new early chapter book series about a girl from the Ojibwe tribe figuring out how to make new friends. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Togochi, Yasmin, Pedro, and Katie Woo!

We BelongWe Belong by Cookie Hiponia Everman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quick engaging read. This sweet novel in verse is a story within a story as a mother recalls to her daughters her childhood moving to a new country infused with Filipino mythology of half-god half-human siblings dealing with new family dynamics. It is also a celebration of motherhood and sisterhood. Includes a glossary of Tagalog words and phrases as well as translations of two famous Filipino nursery rhymes. I also enjoyed the choice to use a different colored ink to denote the mythology story. The book also has illustrations by Abigail Dela Cruz.

Blues for Mister CharlieBlues for Mister Charlie by James Baldwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Knowing this play was written by James Baldwin and knowing this was based on killing of Emmett Till, it was bound to be powerful. A murder of a black man divides an already divided town. When the white killer is put on trial, there is hope that justice will be served but the history of racism and racist ideals shows the near impossibility of that happening- and as we can see in present time the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Brokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As someone who was first introduced to Brokeback Mountain with the film version and it being surrounded by so much hype- some positive with it being cited as a turning point in queer cinema and some jokingly with it being reduced to the gay cowboy movie- and me seeing it sort of forbidden and taboo in my then not-out self, I was glad to finally read the original short story (available as its own book) because it somehow made the characters more real and what they had gone through more heartbreaking but beautiful they had each other.

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

Thanks for visiting my blog. Happy Reading!

4 thoughts on “My Reading Week #IMWAYR- July 5, 2021 / June Review

  1. I love stories by Annie Proulx, happy to see that you liked Brokeback Mountain, Earl. And, ice cream by the book, fabulous! And it’s fun that you visited new bookstores. I love doing that when I travel! I’m glad you beat the heat, thought about you and everyone up there in Portland and other parts of the NW. Thanks for books new to me like Milo’s Museum and We Belong. Have a lovely week, Earl.

  2. It looks like you’ve had some fun adventures with bookstores and desserts lately! And I hope you’re enjoying your trip to Las Vegas. These books sound excellent—Milo’s Museum sounds like a wonderful story, and We Belong’s story-within-a-story aspect is quite intriguing. And it’s neat that you got to read Brokeback Mountain from a different perspective than having seen the movie! Thanks so much for the great post!

  3. How great to have in-person browsing again, I hope that continues to go well. I am quite a bit north of you, but that heat wave was so miserable for us as well.
    Lots of great books too, I am going to look up We Belong as my students have been loving novels-in-verse lately and The Little Things looks great too.
    I was hoping that it might be safe to cross the border and try that ice cream, but I think I missed out for this summer. I have been seeing lots about it on Twitter from Kazu Kibuishi’s account.
    Hope you enjoy (are enjoying) your holiday!

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