Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s topic? Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity

I was thrilled to see this topic this week and decided to celebrate a range of books – right from picture books to young adult novels. As readers we need to see both ourselves and others in the books we read. Reading beyond ourselves? It opens up our world, deepens our understanding, makes us think differently. Reading about ourselves? It confirms. It soothes. It makes us feel connected. As a reader I want both of these experiences. As a teacher and a parent, I want these experiences for the children in my life.

Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That We Need Diverse Books logo

The definition of diverse books on the We Need Diverse Books site is one that I always refer to:

We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

From the Mission Statement on the We Need Diverse Books site.

Diverse Literature Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Ten of my favourites:

Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

A book to savour. To read slowly. It inspires questions about the life of Frida Kahlo – her art, her culture, her passions. I had the pleasure of hearing author Yuyi Morales read this title aloud. Just beautiful.

 Viva Frida Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Shin-Chi’s Canoe written by Nicola Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave

An emotional story of two Aboriginal children (siblings) who are sent to residential school. Accessible for younger readers. The emotional pain endured by the families and children impacted by residential schools is powerful in this book. Beautifully illustrated.

Shin-Chi's Canoe Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

No 1 Car Spotter by Atinuke

Much to love in this title: the unique characters, the entertaining dynamics and the beautiful setting of Africa. So very, very good.

 No 1 Car Spotter Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

El Deafo by Cece Bell

All kinds of honest and vulnerable and powerful and hilarious. I am in awe of how this story is told, how friendship issues are explored and highlighted, how the power and powerlessness of a “disability” was portrayed through a child’s perspective.

El Deafo Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai

A powerful story about the pull of home, the strength of family, the importance of culture and the complexities of personal and family histories.

Listen, Slowly Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Verse novels hold so much power to literally wrap us up in evocative images and in this case, personal history. In some senses, it feels like spying to be so close. A beautifully written memoir of a time and a place – oh so personal but yet, with connections and links to many more than young Jacqueline Woodson. A gift to readers.

brown girl dreaming Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan 

A story that is fictional but not at all. Because Habo’s story could be, might be and in fact, is, playing itself out STILL in Tanzania for other albino citizens. This book speaks to everything both beautiful and horrific about humanity.  A human rights crisis. One that needs attention. One that needs to stop. “Be that one person,” – the words Sullivan leaves us with in her author’s note. Read this book and remind yourself to be more human than less. A story that will never leave the reader. And never should.

goldenboyTop Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

I find myself strangely without words on this title about two young women – special education students now living on their own for the first time. The pages are seeped in vulnerability for so many reasons. There are some hard and heartbreaking pages. It’s a quick read that follows you around for days. I can see why the Schneider committee selected this book. A YA read.

Girls like us Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds 

What characters. What quietly bold and beautifully human characters. Jason Reynolds, these characters you write . . .

 When I was the Greatest Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

How it Went Down by Kekla Magoon

A shooting of a young teenage boy. Is it racially motivated? Who is at fault? What is the truth? All important questions. More important though -the grieving and the moving on of a community and family impacted by the loss of one of their own. Powerful.

how it went down Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity There's a Book for That

What titles would you add to this list?

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s topic? The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession

A hard one to answer – I just visited the book store and did a huge hold pick up at the library. A LOT of books just came into my possession! So, I thought I would think back over the last few months and make a list that shows some variety – both in the kinds of books and the kinds of reasons I now own them.

Shared in no particular order:

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith 

I managed to purchase this book days before it was released. Andrew Smith was here in Vancouver to speak at a literacy conference so the book was brought in a little early. And I got it signed. And I got to chat books and teaching with Andrew Smith. What could be better?

 The Alex Crow Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Jinx’s Fire by Sage Blackwood

My copy of this is an ARC that I got at nErD Camp Bellingham this spring. I own and have read the first two titles in this trilogy so can’t wait to read this one! It might be a read aloud to my children. I read them the second title and we finished it quite delightfully in the forest.

Jinx's Fire Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

I am so excited to meet Cynthia Lord next spring at the Western Washington University’s Children’s Literature Conference! I purchased this book at the end of the year from Scholastic so I could be caught up!

A Handful of stars Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

I read and loved this title when it was first released. Then I heard that Jacqueline was coming to Vancouver. I purchased the first two tickets sold to see her! My husband and I had an evening out – hearing Jacqueline Woodson and all of her brilliance and then we went for dinner. I bought a copy to have signed and I smile every time I see it on my shelf.

brown girl dreaming Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Mark of a Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen 

I am a huge fan of Jennifer Nielsen. My children and I went to see her when Vancouver Kidsbooks hosted an author evening last year. As a family we listened to The False Prince and then I read the next two titles in the series aloud to my children. I was eagerly anticipating this novel and lucky me, received it as a gift from one of my classroom volunteers. So excited to read it!

Mark of the Thief Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Pool by JiHyeon Lee 

I am completely helpless to the power of wordless titles. When I discover one that is beautiful, I can’t resist purchasing it. This one had me at the cover.

Pool Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Wish by Matthew Cordell 

I have a huge variety of emotional and beautiful reasons why I had to own this book. It was meant for me as I know it is meant for many who finally have their most important of all wishes granted.

WIsh-Matthew Cordell Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea 

Oh Bob Shea. You have full out giggle power over my students. I read this. Bought it. Read it aloud. Had it snatched from me. Daily, it would be momentarily returned. “Read it to all of us again.” I would. Then, snatched again. There are currently no students in my classroom. HA! I can go and read it anytime I want. Come September, I know I will never see it again. As it should be.

 Ballet Cat Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

Egg: Nature’s Perfect Package by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

Anything Steve Jenkins does, I have to own. I am always reading some parts of a Jenkins title to my students. We learn so much, so beautifully, from this man!

Egg Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for That

I’m Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton

I have a brand new group of students this fall. I want to hook them quickly on nonfiction – what better way to do it than through humour and spiders. Learning as you laugh! Perfect.

Trying to Love Spiders Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Came into my Possession There's a Book for ThatWhat have you purchased/acquired lately and why?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

I think this week’s topic is particularly interesting: Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

When I was thinking about which books to add to this list, these questions needed to be answered:

1. Hyped by who? I checked out favourites and 5 star books from various fellow book lovers’ blogs and Goodreads accounts. Some of these books keep cropping up again and again.  So I paid attention.

2. What kind of hype? I am not looking just for latest and greatest but for titles that speak to me. Personal recommendations are always my favourite kind of hype.

2. Never read and so . . . ? And so, do I plan to one day read these titles? Yes! I chose books that I want to one day read. There are some popular books out there that I would never want to read for various personal preference reasons. These ten titles here are books that will hopefully one day migrate from the land of To Read to the land of Read.

Listed alphabetically by author:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

I had coffee with a friend a few weeks ago and she convinced me that this was a must read and then I saw Andrew Smith’s comment on the cover. And then I started hearing about this book everywhere.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

22 of my Goodreads friends rated this book 5/5. I love this author. Why haven’t I read this book? This question weighs so heavily that I just requested it from the public library.

Speak Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I will admit to being a little bit of a chicken when it comes to paranormal stories. I am not sure if I have yet recovered from Libba Bray‘s The Diviners but I had a chance to hear Holly Black here in Vancouver and found her charming. I have read Doll Bones three times. Feeling brave enough to try this one. Having a beautifully signed copy makes this title all the more enticing.

the Darkest Part of the Forest Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

See that 25 year anniversary sticker? Makes it even more ridiculous that I haven’t yet read this book. This is the book I keep hearing favourite authors talk about as influential.

the house on mango street Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen 

Dessen is another YA author I have not read. My almost 13 year old daughter is moving fast and furious into the land of YA – I think I need to run out a little ahead of her and learn about some authors I have yet to pick up that she will likely be drawn to. Have seen lots of love for this title.

Saint Anything Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

This book has been read in my house in the long ago time when both my husband and I read novels to our children (now it is just me) and I missed it. It’s a book that I absolutely want to read. Because I am convinced that DiCamillo can do no wrong. So often I hear from DiCamillo fans that this is a favourite.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

So many reader choice awards. So many of my reading PLN rave about this book. And (ahem) I have not read any Gayle Forman titles. Admitting it is the first step to changing it, yes?

If I Stay Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Yes, Patrick Ness. And no, I haven’t read it. That must change.

The Knife of Never Letting Go Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

I have read and loved two titles by Quick – this one has the movie hype so I figure it is time to read it! I even own a copy.

The Silver Linings Playbook Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Hyped Books I've Never Read There's a Book for That

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

When so many readers review this book and include words like crude, brilliant, horrifying, authentic, ridiculous, quirky, bizarre – often in the same review, you know this book is going to be a wild ride. There are many cautions “this book is not for everyone” – I have a strong feeling it will not be for me even though I have read three titles by Smith that I adore. But, I know I need to experience this book for myself.
Grasshopper Jungle
What “hyped” books do you keep thinking, “I haven’t read and really I should . . . ?”

Top Ten Titles read so far in 2015

Once again, I am thrilled to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s theme? Top Ten Titles I’ve read so far in 2015

I read widely so this will be a mix of picture books (fiction and non) and middle grade and young adult reads. I am curious to see which of these titles will remain on my final top 2015 books list in December.

For this list, not all titles are published in 2015 but are titles I have read since January.

Which books made this list? Titles I keep thinking about . . .

My Pen by Christopher Myers 

I always say there is power in the pencil (or pen, or marker, etc) – this book celebrates the creativity on the page. But on the page is so much more. I want to share it with each group of children I teach for forever . . .

My Pen Top Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Wordless perfection. I love everything about this book. How it is about little things, being in the moment, noticing, kindness . . .

sidewalk flowers Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Wish by Matthew Cordell

This is a book I have fallen hard for. I had a long journey to motherhood. This book honours this. But it is also a book to share anytime with any group of children you adore. I read it to my class on our last day of school. I told them I had been waiting for them and now that they had been my students, all is just better. So very true.

WIshTen Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

Explore just how enormous a blue whale really is. Gorgeous.

The Blue Whale Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

A fantastic nonfiction picture book biography. True inspiration.

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

So much grief and challenge but the humanity shines bright. Highly recommended.

boy in the black suit Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Going Over by Beth Kephart 

This is a story and a piece of art. I can see reading this book over and over because it is so very, very rich in imagery and emotion. It is painful. It is beautiful. It is haunting

Going OverTen Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña

These characters, sigh. I feel like I could go for a walk and I might find them standing on a corner, watching people go by. I would want to run up and talk about courage and honesty and deep morals and true loyalty. I would want to buy them a sandwich. I would want to know that their worlds are all going to be okay

We Were Here Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai

A powerful story about the pull of home, the strength of family, the importance of culture and the complexities of personal and family histories.

Listen, Slowly Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin

Beautifully written. Loftin manages to leave her readers always a little on edge yet completely attached to the emotional story line she shares. It’s almost as if the magic suggested in the story floats off the page and whispers quietly, “Come in. Immerse yourself. Feel.”

Wish Girl  Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

What titles have you loved this year?

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015

I am excited to once again be list making – about books of course –  with the always fun (and dangerously addictive) meme Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s theme? Top Ten Books on Your Summer TBR list for 2015

Listed alphabetically by author

I have of course many more than ten titles I want to read but these are not to be missed! Some of these titles are on my #MustReadin2015 list. Some are by authors I saw speak over the last calendar year. Some are by authors I love or titles that come highly recommended.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

This has come hugely recommended and I just picked it up at the library.

A Long Way Gone- Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

Nostalgia and joy all wrapped up in the family Penderwicks. Love these books!

The Penderwicks in Spring Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña

One of my recent favourite titles was We Were Here by de la Peña. Heard him speak in Bellingham in the early spring and want to read more of his work.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Saving this for the beginning of summer when I can read it all in one day.

Fish In A Tree Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

Kephart is one of my very favourite writers. Period.

One Thing Stolen Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In my house we loved The False Prince trilogy so checking this out next.

Mark of the Thief Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Everyone who has read this book has such strong reactions. My turn!

Grasshopper Jungle Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

The Whisper by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman was extremely troubling and odd and oh so curious. I am completely intrigued by this next title,

 The Whisper Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

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Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Have loved two novels by Wein so far so I have hight hopes for this.

black dove white raven Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

I hear Woodson read excerpts of this book this spring when my husband and I went to see her. We bought a copy and I can’t wait to read it.

Beneath a Meth Moon Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

What will you be reading this summer?

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

Considering how much I love books (the reading, the talking about and the book loving community) and how often I make lists of books, I thought it was time to begin participating in Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s theme? Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

Listed by date of release.

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White (June 2015) 

This is an unknown author for me but I am seeing some positive reviews from my Goodreads friends and I have a thing about resilient kids . . .

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn (June 2015)

I have read two other titles from Kuehn. They were dark, serious and very well written – looking forward to more.

Delicate Monsters Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (July 2015)

I read the first Calpurnia Tate title to my children on a family holiday in Hawaii. We were smitten with the character, the time and the science. Sign me up for more.

The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (August 2015)

A Monster Calls was a wow title for me. This one looks like a wild ride.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (August 2015)

Rebecca Stead. Rebecca Stead. Rebecca Stead!

 Goodbye Stranger Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

I Crawl Through It  by A.S. King (September 2015)

Okay so who is with me in being thrilled that A.S. King is so brilliant and so prolific?

I Crawl Through It  Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

Stand Off (Winger #2) by Andrew Smith (September 2015)

Loved, loved Winger. Love Andrew Smith.

Stand Off (Winger #2) Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (September 2015)

So if one were to judge a book by its cover . . . this is pretty gorgeous. But I have also read two titles by Rundell this year and am ready for more.

The Wolf Wilder Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (September 2015)

Yes, that Katherine. Oh so very excited.

 Crenshaw Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt (October 2015)

Okay for Now by Schmidt is one of my all time favourite MG titles. The man is brilliant.

Jupiter Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015 There's a Book for That

What 2015 titles are you looking forward to reading?