#IMWAYR – Sept 5, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.

HAPPY LABOUR DAY LONG WEEKEND AND WELCOME TO SEPTEMBER!

I love September. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but there’s something so refreshing and invigorating about the coming of fall. The crisp air, the changing colours (the endless, endless rain….) that makes me think of fresh starts and new beginnings.

This week I shared a few books, as well as some other (hopefully) interesting bits and pieces.

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I wrote about one of my favourite local bookstores, the fantastic Russell Books in Victoria, B.C. This institution is the largest new and used bookstore in Canada, and its beautiful, well-organized shelves are what book blogger dreams are made of.

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I shared the exciting news that the #diversekidslit book sharing meme is now on Pinterest! Be sure to check out our Pinterest board for exciting and inspiring books and information.

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I participated in another edition of Nonfiction Wednesday with a beautifully-photographed title that introduces children to food production, and helps develop a generation of informed, healthy consumers.

Over on The Book Wars I wrapped up Australia month with the charming rhyming picture book Edward the Emu. It’s a “the grass is always greener” story with a twist, and how often do you get to read about an emu, anyway?

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Finally, I continued my Reading Staycation series with a Audrey (cow), the charming story of a plucky cow’s bid for freedom.

All in all, a pretty good reading week! 🙂

I hope everyone is having a safe and happy long weekend!

#DiverseKidsLit – Now on Pinterest!

The Diverse Kids Lit book sharing meme was founded by Katie, the teacher and book-lover behind the children’s literature blog The Logonauts, and…

…is designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

Now, the Diverse Kids Lit community is even better – we’re on PINTEREST!!

The hosts of the Diverse Kids Lit meme are busy pinning fantastic content from blogs from around the world to our new board, and we can’t wait to share with you what we’ve found.

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Be sure to follow our board on Pinterest to keep up to date with some of the best diverse children’s literature available. We look forward to connecting with everyone and growing this exciting and inclusive community!

#IMWAYR – July 4, 2016

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. The Sunday Post is hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. These weekly roundups are a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.


Happy Independence to all my Yankee friends! Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy holiday.

On the blog front, I’ve got a few exciting bits and pieces of news to share!

First off – I’m now a regular host for the incredible kids lit meme Diverse Kids Lit, which is an opportunity for kid lit bloggers to share diverse children’s lit! As a children’s librarian and co-chair of my local library association’s LGBTQ interest group, diversity is a subject that is very dear to my heart. I shared a powerful Canadian picture book as part of the linkup on Saturday,you can check it out here, and don’t forget to check out all the other great posts on the list.

Next up, I’m now an official Book Warrior! I’ve been a guest contributor to this amazing children’s literature blog for a few months now, and the fantastic ladies behind the site have invited me to become a fully-fledged member. I couldn’t be more excited – it’s like being invited to sit with the cool kids in the school cafeteria, except these cool kids are also incredibly smart and nice to boot. I’ll hopefully be posting fairly regularly over there, focusing mainly on picture books (of course), so check it out!!

Now, on to some of this week’s reads.

The Hangman’s Daughter

I read this historical mystery for my book club, and while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it either. To be honest, I found the whole thing pretty meh, and had to force myself to actually finish it (I’m a serial DNF-er).  I love historical fiction, and I’ve always been fascinated by Medieval Europe, so the story of a hangman and a young progressive physician who work together to solve a mystery and prevent the eruption of witch hunting mania sounded really promising. But the text is just kind of clunky. There’s a lot of “but what do X, Y and Z have to do with A?” dialogue, as if the author knows that the plot is getting overly complicated and is worried that the audience won’t be able to follow along. There characters aren’t particularly fleshed out, the inevitable romantic pairing isn’t all that romantic, and it’s just a lot of meh.

I did wonder if some of the clunkiness of the text might have to do with the fact that this is a novel in translation. Even the best translations risk losing some of the spark of the original language, and some expressions and cultural assumptions simply don’t translate easily.

Either way, it’s not a terrible book, but if you enjoy historical fiction set in Medieval Europe, I would recommend Ken Follet, Bernard Cornwell, Philippa Gregory,  and many of the novels on this list instead.

Maybe Something Beautiful

Super Happy Magic Forest

Reviews coming this week!

Why You Should Aim for 100 Rejections a Year

What an inspiring article! Whether you’re a writer, artist, creator, athlete or job hunter, this article is a must-read. Putting yourself out there again and again can be terrifying (my job interview batting average is an unspeakable horror at the moment), but as the author explains, it’s only by actively courting rejection that you can ever hope to secure success.

Have a great week everybody!!

brown girl dreaming

I recently bought my ticket to see the inspirational Jaqueline Woodson speak in Vancouver on May 8, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I recently picked up Woodson’s free-verse memoir brown girl dreaming, and words cannot express how deeply moving this beautiful, beautiful book is.

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I have been sharing one of my favourite passages with everyone I’ve come across, particularly my fellow library staff:

 

stevie and me

Every Monday, my mother takes us

to the library around the corner. We are allowed

to take out seven books each. On those days,

no one complains

that all I want are picture book.

 

Those days, no one tells me to read faster

to read harder books

to read like Dell.

 

No one is there to say, Not that book,

when I stop in front of the small paperback

with a brown boy on the cover.

Stevie.

 

I read:

One day my momma told me,

“You know you’re gonna have

a little friend come stay with you.”

And I said, “Who is it?”

 

If someone had been fussing with me

to read like my sister, I might have missed

the picture book filled with brown people, more

brown people than I’d ever seen

in a book before.

 

The little boy’s name was Steven but

his mother kept calling him Stevie.

My name is Robert but my momma don’t

call me Robertie.

 

If someone had taken

that book out of my hand

said, You’re too old for this

maybe

I’d never have believed

that someone who looked like me

could be in the pages of the book

that someone who looked like me

had a story.

We need libraries. We need diverse books.

 

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2014. Print. Pages 227-228.