Monday March 10th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

I was quite ill this week so my picture book reading was limited to what was in the house that I had yet to read (no library adventures for me). On the other hand, I spent hours reading novels and finished seven titles. Basically all I have done in the last three days is read, sleep and in one big burst of energy, I cleaned the fridge.

Picture books I enjoyed:

Locomotive by Brian Floca 

Wow. The details and the history that Floca gifts to us in this train ride to the West Coast are just stunning. I read this to my son and he was captivated. Simply gorgeous.

Locomotive #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

DareDevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton by Meghan McCarthy

Another title for the picture book biography section. Betty Skelton and speed – whoa! I was truly shocked at how many things this woman was ready to try and how nothing phased her whatsoever. It was like, goal accomplished – what’s next?

Daredevil #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Fox in the Library written by Lorenz Pauli and illustrated by Kathrin Scharer

Loved the illustrations in this story and that it certainly promoted the love of books and literacy. But was the story memorable, not so sure. Did the story itself impress me? I felt it was only okay.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Novels I finished:

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy (MG)

A #MustReadin2014 title that I borrowed from my daughter’s bookshelf. What an ideal middle grade novel. It has everything to appeal to this preteen/early teen audience: family and friendship dynamics, humour, a taste of bizarre, a dose of romance and just a really great story.

small medium at large #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Charm & Strange by Stehanie Kuehn (YA definitely)

Intense, haunting and beautifully told. Almost impossible to discuss this book without giving things away. It is dark. It is about facing the past and demons that have shaped you. It is about vulnerability. An emotional read but one I really recommend.

Charm and Strange #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (MG/YA)

There is much to this book about two siblings basically raising themselves – helped occasionally by their spirited Grandmother who is otherwise sad and despondent. Everything changes when an escaped convict breaks into their home and holds them hostage. The drama is not rushed and full of fear and aggression. Rather, it is a simmering psychological story where questions rise up. What is family? What is loyalty? Where do our wishes lead us?

zebra forest #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Every Day After by Laura Golden (MG)

Another #MustReadin2014 title I took off my daughter’s shelf (thank goodness I give her such amazing titles!). Lizzie is another young heroine of historical fiction that will weave her way into your heart and you can’t help but root for her. I really hope Laura Golden continues to write in this genre.

Every Day After #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles (MG)

Who would think one could use descriptors such as delightful and uplifting about a book all about funerals and death? Yet, this book is exactly that. It celebrates spirit and connection. It honours life. There is pure simplicity and complex interpersonal dynamics. And in the end I cried. But I would read this book again in a heartbeat just to experience interesting funeral food, the joys of a a flower garden and slobbery dog love.

Each Little Bird That Sings #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Bird by Crystal Chan (MG/YA)

This book will follow me through the year I predict and may just end up on my favourites of 2014. Jewel is raised in grief and superstition. Guilt and anger. The day she was born was the day her brother Bird died. Everything about her life begins from there. Beautifully written. Sad and spectacular imagery. Themes of friendship, grief, family, culture, faith. Highly recommended.

Bird #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA)

I had heard numerous times that this novel was powerful. That is explored PTSD in honest and raw ways. These things were not surprises. How much I adored the characters, the rich relationships, the true to life portrayal of a young girl caught between a place of hanging on and trying to embrace life and possibility – all of this surprised me. Just. So. Good.

Th Impossible Knife of Memory #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Up next? I am currently reading Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – I really enjoyed Cinder and had looked forward to reading this entire trilogy. I just picked up Allegiant by Veronica Roth from the library so that will likely be my next read. My children are thrilled that I am feeling better so that I can continue nightly reading of The Shadow Throne.

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 19/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 124/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 9/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 40/65 complete


32 thoughts on “Monday March 10th, 2014

  1. Oooooo! So many wonderful books here – many on my MustReadin2014 list! Of course I absolutely LOVED Bird – just seeing the cover again on your post brought back all the feelings of sadness and hope. Each Little Bird That Sings appeals to me, as well as The Fox in the Library. Zebra Forest and Small Medium at Large are also on my Must Read list! Can’t wait to do lots of reading over spring break! Are you going away with your family anywhere? Happy last week before spring break!

    • Adrienne you will LOVE Each Little Bird that Sings. Love, love, love it. It is fantastic just for the character names! But it is a lot more than that. And I can see why Bird brings up such memories. What a read. Spring Break plans for me include gardening, reading and family time. No trips this year until April.

  2. Carrie, just wanted to let you know after I read your posts I’m on my library website requesting so many books. So glad you share your honest thoughts of them. Your recommendations have always matched my own impressions after I read the books too! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. YES: What is family? What is loyalty? Where do our wishes lead us? – EXACTLY with Zebra Forest… such rich conversations to enjoy…
    Glad you are feeling better… lovely to see the novel selections… Really want to read The Impossible Knife of Memory, good to read your thoughts. Happy reading week to you!

  4. I have all the books except Charm & Strange, Carrie. Does this mean I have to be sick so I can read more? Seriously, sorry you’ve been ill, but you got an amazing amount of reading done, and beautiful ones, too. I can’t wait to get to Bird and The Shadow Throne! Have a terrific week!

    • Yes. I think all of this reading is only possible if you are ill! Kind of . . . Otherwise life calls and we get up to answer. Being this ill was terrible BUT I am hoping to forget it soon and only dwell on the wonderful books I read! I would love to hear your thoughts on Bird. It is very special.

  5. I always love reading your Monday posts – because either I get new ideas or I love seeing what your thoughts are on the books I’ve read! I have Every Day After checked out from the library, I’m hoping to get to that one soon! I started reading Ava and Pip by Carol Weston. Take a look at it sometime, it might be one you like! Have a great week!

    • Thanks for the recommendation Michelle. This book looks wonderful – I have seen it mentioned on twitter a few times. Every Day After is very special historical fiction – one of those memorable characters to adore.

  6. You have put me to book shame with the amount you have read this week. I was finishing out a book fair and read aloud many of the books in the fair. I am ready to get back to my TBR books. Too bad The Fox in the Library was just OK, I spotted it quickly. You know I love my books about libraries. I have some very nice bookmarks that Joanne Levy sent to me. What a sweetie, she was one of the first people to connect with me when I first joined Twitter. It is so wonderful when authors connect with their readers.

  7. Glad you enjoyed Every Day After. That was one of my favorites last year.

    I really loved Daredevil. Megan McCarthy also wrote/illustrated another picture book biography (well, if you can call a book about a dog a biography) that I love called The Incredible Life of Balto.

  8. You’ve read so many novels during the past week, I am envious! I can only manage one novel per week (two at the most). I love all the MG/YA titles you have here. BIRD in particular caught my eye – it looks like my kind of book, as well as Each Little Bird that Sings. Charm & Strange has been mentioned in my book club for adult readers, perhaps I can recommend this as our next book for April! 🙂 I should get Small Medium at Large for my 12 year old girl. Pinning some of your titles here so I won’t forget. 🙂

    • All of this reading is the product of illness not finding any extra hidden time. Life is too too busy! I think you would love Bird. What a story. You know, I can see Charm and Strange being a title for adults absolutely. It is very dark. My 11 year old loved Small Medium at Large!

  9. So sorry you were ill, but it seems as if you’re feeling better. What a list! I’m adding the Betty Skelton biography to my TBR list right now, and I love anything by Laurie Halse Anderson. She’s an amazing writer. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Some great books this week!
    I loved Locomotive (will be reviewing it soon), Daredevil, and Zebra Forest. Loved your little mini-review of Zebra Forest btw.
    I’m jealous of anyone who has been able to read the LHA book–I want to read it badly!!

    Happy reading this week! 🙂

  11. LOVED Each Little Bird!! I totally agree with you about the beautiful use of language in Deborah Wiles’ wonderful book. It’s one I love to recommend to my fourth graders. I just got Locomotive and Small Medium at Large, so I’m excited to read them. Sounds like I need to put Every Day After on my list, too! 🙂

  12. Still catching up on blogs from last week! Your comment about Charm & Strange clears up some wonderings I had about the weirdness of reviews of this book: apparently it’s not possible to write much without giving it all away! I’m eager to read Small Medium at Large and Every Day After–I so love middle grade! Sorry you were ill, but at least you got some good reading in!

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