Monday April 1st, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

IMG_1587I missed last week’s Monday reads blogging and the #IMWAYR community as I was away on a holiday with no internet access.

But lots of time for reading! And read I did . . .

This was our daily beach walk that did interrupt many quiet hours of reading 🙂 So peaceful!

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share your own reading!

This is my reading for the last 2 weeks! (Bolded that so nobody thinks I didn’t eat or sleep and crammed all of this reading into one week!)

More time to read allowed me to cross off three more titles from my 20 must read novels in 2013 list. 11 done. 9 to go.

Many novels consumed:

Copper Sun by Sharon Draper Although hard to read at times – the subject matter is heavy – the slave trade and the horrific treatment of slaves . . . I couldn’t put this title down. Read it in a day and was lost in the story. Tragic but full of hope and resilience. Reminded me of the adult novel The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. In Copper Sun,  we follow Amari, a fifteen year old girl, stolen from her village in Africa and taken aboard a ship sending slaves to the Carolinas. When she is sold and brought to a rice plantation, she meets Polly, an indentured servant also living there. The two girls have an opportunity finally to escape but their path to posible freedom seems almost impossible. What a story.


Shine written by Lauren Myracle This book catches you quick and holds on tight. Part of what pulled me through the pages was the mystery element to the story. Just who was responsible for such a violent and upsetting assault against Patrick, Cat’s best friend who seems to have been attacked because he is gay. But there is much more to this story than a simple “who done it?” theme. It explores addiction, small town hate and poverty, family secrets and loyalty that endures. 


How it Ends by Laura Wiess There is something about this book. I finished it almost a week ago but it continues to weave its way into my thinking. Many stories are intertwined within this novel. First, that of seventeen year old Hanna. We also follow the story of her elderly neighbours and their history in Hanna’s life. But another story is offered – told on audiobook that Hanna and Helen (the neighbour) listen to together. This story and Helen’s history are what keep tugging at me. There are tender memories, issues of aging and illness, regrets and moments of extreme and simple joy all mixed up with such sadness, true horror and much grief. The teenage tribulations of Hanna were okay but these other layers of the story really captured me. Very emotional read.


Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson I was so happy to settle back into the world of Hattie! Such an honourable, honest and likeable character. I want to purchase both Hattie novels and put them aside for my daughter to read in a few years. They are must reads I think, as Hattie has such character.

hattie after after

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake This book was a very pleasant surprise. I had seen this title on 2013 lists but hadn’t heard many details. I was completely engrossed in the story of Georgie, a young girl who when faced with news of her sister’s death refuses to believe it. Even when there is a body. And a funeral. Georgie is some girl – thirteen years old and full of spunk. She is a sharpshooter (whoa this girl and her gun . . . ) and possesses a keen mind. Her sister’s disappearance is a mystery to be solved and she sets out determined to find answers. Not going to spoil anything by giving away plot points but will highly recommend this book for those who love mysteries, adventure and historical fiction (Placid, Wisconsin 1871 is the setting).

one came home

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens We happily finished this dramatic story over the holiday. I have been reading this aloud to my children. What adventure! Also much mystery, fantasy and even humour. I think I appreciated how well written this book is precisely because I read it aloud. The dialogue was so much fun to read. We can’t wait to read the second book in this trilogy.


Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr So much of this novel is bittersweet. A sad story of a girl defined by a reputation that plagues her. I really like Sara Zarr as an author. Her book How to Save a Life is one of my favourites novels I’ve read in 2013.

story of a girl

Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone I love stories that highlight intergenerational relationships so loved the connections between Louise and her grandparents. Some wonderfully quirky characters in this middle grade novel but some definite sadness as Louise begins to face memories of her mother’s death.

The Boy on Cinnamon Street

Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. We listened to this as an audio book (read by James Avery) on the driving parts of our holiday. It hooked the entire family – we loved the story, the history and the hilarious expressions.


Palace of Stone (Princess Academy #2) by Shannon Hale Princess Academy is one of my favourite middle grade stories so I was thrilled to get my hands on the sequel. I am a big fan of Hale and her style of fairytale inspired fantasy.

palace of stone

Three other titles I have loved in this past few weeks:

Penny and her Marble by Kevin Henkes Oh Henkes is so on to a good thing with Penny. Think this might be my favourite title yet. Seriously hope Henkes keeps creating new characters and new titles. He is an absolute master of the illustrated story.


Infinity and Me written by Kate Hosford and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska Loved this book and the questions and wondering it inspires.


Beach by Elisha Cooper I find Cooper’s books so beautifully simple and soothing. Snippets, small moments and observations of a beach day. Would be a great text to model how a story can be told in doodles and descriptions.


I am currently reading The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen as a read aloud to my children. We are very excited because I purchased tickets to go see Jennifer in mid April here in Vancouver. Our whole family are fans and so we are all going! Yippee!

I just started One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. This book has been on my TBR shelf for some time so looking forward to reading it!

What are you reading?

24 thoughts on “Monday April 1st, 2013

  1. Oooh – I love the books you reviewed this week! I’ve been hearing lots about One Came Home. I love Hattie! The cover of How It Ends intrigues me. I need to add that to my TBR shelf!

    • One Came Home is really wonderful! Just recommended it to my mother in law last night and she doesn’t always read YA but it has a broad appeal I think. I love Hattie too! Always rooting for her 🙂

  2. You managed to read a lot! I’ll have to check out Copper Sun for our unit on slavery – perhaps it’s not too intense for sixth graders?

  3. I am jealous of your internet-free holiday! I found Shine to be a difficult read-troubling and powerful. I have seen a lot of buzz over One Came Home and I really need to read How to Save a Life!

    • Infinity and Me is amazing. In fact I’ve thought of many many many reasons (not quite at infinity yet) why I need to purchase this book and have it for my own! I think it is a title I will share often (infinite times :-)) with classes over the years! The Emerald Atlas is really fantastic! I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. And my ten year olds were fully hooked.

  4. What a lovely couple of reading weeks, indeed! So many of your books are on my list. We all need some internet free vacation time, don’t we? I’ve yet to read any Sara Zarr books, but you’re tempting me to push them up in the TBR! And I’m already hooked by the first few pages of One Came Home–just where will this one take me, I wonder?!

  5. This is a long list of fabulous titles. One Came Home really intrigues me and I was a able to add a few more titles to my TBR list (now I am curious about Sara Zarr books). It sounds like you and your family have some great shared reading experiences. Enjoy The Runaway King!

  6. Oh my goodness, Carrie, that’s a LOT of reading! I am amazed as always by your passion and your ability to read so many books! Wish I could be as productive as you are with my reading. I borrow a whole lot of books from the library, but most of them are returned unread as I have just way too many things on my plate (currently editing a book to be released this May – this one is exciting! I have Leonard Marcus and Suzy Lee as chapter contributors!).

    I am definitely pinning the book covers here to remind me that I should go look for them. Fats, one of the GatheringBooks ladies, also read and reviewed The Boy on Cinnamon Street and Bud not Buddy, she enjoyed both books and enthused about them. Infinity and Me was just charming, I thought. Hopefully, Fats would also get to review that for our current theme.

    I was caught by the photo of the beach you included here. I am a water person. I don’t swim, but I live for the sound of the waves and the smell of the sea. I just booked this lovely resort in Boracay in the Philippines for our trip there this July, can’t wait. Seven whole days in paradise. 🙂 I’m sure you must have had a wondrous time as well. 🙂

    • Your holiday sounds wonderful! Something special to look forward to. Well editing a book is a pretty great excuse for not getting in lots of reading! How exciting. Reading is my escape. It, along with my morning walk is what keeps me sane!

  7. I agree, reading Hattie Ever After was like reconnecting with a friend. Such a wonderful character. I’m happy that Larson allowed her to embrace all sides of womanhood.

    And I think I’m in love with anything that Kevin Henkes pens. Classic.

    Have a great week!

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