It is kind of hard to believe this is already the last Monday of January, but I am pleased to be able to start the day off by linking my post with others at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortexts.com (thanks, as usual to Kellee, Ricki, and Jen for hosting). This week I spent most of my reading time with graphic novels and a book recommended by a former student, now in high school.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
A story of two girls who are going through and have already been through some tough times while growing up. Connections to murdered or missing Indigenous women and trauma relating to it is an ever prominent thought in the minds of characters in the story.
The endearing thing here is the support that the girls get from an Indigenous lady who works at the school, from each other, and also from their community.
Surviving the City is kind of snapshot of the lives of these two girls, and at times as a reader I was hoping for more of the story before these events and after. If this turns out to be a series that would be a good thing. The audience that I would find for this likes their stories a little longer, and if there were more books related to this one, it would be about the right serving size, but I did like what I read in this volume.
I really appreciated the look at a part of Canadian history that is not that well known from more of an Indigenous perspective but I am also really interested in Echo’s story and her feelings of isolation in her school.
I would welcome a lot more of either/both and am hoping to read the second volume soon. This ending left me a little unsatisfied, but not unlike other series, I am thinking this might be the type you need to read in one big chunk.
Another strong point here is the art. It is excellent in conveying the mood of the character and if you work with kids, you have seen a child that resembles Echo (and hopefully tried to help). I want to know more about her character and background and am hoping to see this in book two. The relationship with her mother is subtly handled with Echo often listening to a playlist featuring Mom’s old CDs (which are similar to my old CDs, which I liked). The one conversation with her Mom made me want for more as well.
A very good story, but have a request in for number two, or better yet, have it in hand!
Mr. Panda, a real manners first kind of bear, has presents for many of his animal friends, but they do not always have the manners to say thanks. The lemur helps a bit with this, but this one wasn’t my favourite Mr. Panda book.
I bought a series of graphic novels for my library by David A. Robertson detailing many Indigenous heroes in Canada called Tales from Big Spirit. This is the first one that I have read. I liked the way biography was written explaining bits of history such as World War 2 in a concise, effective manner for kids. There is also a good handling of the issue of racism in terms of how soldiers were treated. I want to read another of these (there are six, I believe) before I decide what I think of the framing of the biography around a boy and a girl playing in the park, and one befriended by a man who tells the story of a Indigenous Canadian hero.
This book was loaned to me by a former student who now attends high school. I traded her for my ARC of Redwood and Ponytail (the last book we had each read- I like this, but she won the trade). This is a dystopian that I hadn’t ever heard of before but actually enjoyed more than some that get more hype (The Maze Runner). It is fairly standard for this genre beginning with a controlling government, The United Northern Alliance, a merger of Canada, the US, and Mexico, kids on their own, a bit of a love triangle and a main character that grows into someone that is stronger than she thinks she can be. If you like these types of books and missed out on this series, like me, this one is worth a try. I enjoyed some of the twists and the near future world is more plausible than many, and interesting.
For a Canadian, I was not the biggest Anne of Green Gables fan. I watched more of it on TV than I read, to be honest. But I really enjoyed the graphic novel. It captured the humour that I remembered, did justice to the voice that Anne should have as lead character and the quiet pictures were really effective in conveying mood, particular of Matthew and Marilla. I think all of those responsible have lived up to whatever puffy sleeves they own.
I just started The Parker Inheritance, which I have been wanting to start for a long time, and inexplicably finding other books to distract me from doing so. I am re-reading Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, a great book that I helped choose for my district’s Battle of the Books. Students have been responding very favourably to that title. My family is reading The Lost Hero, and really enjoying the action and humour. Finally, my eight year old and I started reading Ivy and Bean because we “haven’t had a read aloud together in so long.” I think we are both missing reading Dory together. I have read this, and she had read half of it in the summer by herself when she typically is reading about a half dozen different books.
I am hoping to finish all of these books if possible, and continue with some of the Indigenous historical graphic novels I have purchased for my library. I may also start the sequel to The Rule of Three that I finished last week, and I have an ARC on NetGalley Sal and Gabi Break the Universe that I hope to start soon.
Thanks for checking on what I have been reading lately, I hope to see what you have read as well. Have a great reading week!
8 thoughts on “It’s Monday, what are you Reading! January, 28, 2019”
Thank you for the books from Canada. Surviving The City sounds especially nice, and that series sounds interesting. I know about the graphic Anne of Green Gables, still haven’t read it. Happy Reading, Aaron.
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I really loved The Parker Inheritance. I hope your other distractions will quiet down long enough for you to get to this one. That story has so much going on at once, but it’s so well done! And I haven’t yet gotten to the graphic novel of Anne of Green Gables, but this one sounds like it’s great. Thanks for the shares, Aaron!
*GASP* Don’t admit that you’ve never been an Anne of Green Gables fan, they’ll take your Canadian passport away! 😉 All teasing aside, I was a massive Anne fan growing up, and I haven’t read the graphic novel yet, but I’m glad they’ve made it, to introduce more readers to this plucky and beloved character. I also have such a soft spot for the laconic Mr. Panda, he just cracks me up.
I’ve never read an Ivy and Bean book. It looks like a sweet series. I have a student who has recently discovered Dory and she’s loving it.
I have Surviving the City on my Ipad from Netgalley and need to get reading it. I think I liked the second Echo book even more than the first, although I think both are important additions to school libraries. I haven’t seen the David A. Robertson series, although I have at least one on my to read list.
At the same time as I enjoyed Anne, there were things that put me off (her nose, that looked like it was pasted on, kept irritating me – and sometimes the round eyes without any other detail creeped me out)
Happy reading this week!
I had a conversation about the eyes today, and I see what you mean. I did think that Matthew’s character was able to convey emotions through his posture and his mouth, but I might have been reading more into it, knowing the story fairly well. That is what I missed in the eyes, I guess.
I can see how you would be going through a reading withdrawal after Dory! She is one of my favorite characters! I have not passed Ivy and Bean along to anyone lately, might be time to pull some of those out.
Lots of new to me books in this post this week.
I adored Anne when I was in middle school so maybe I will look for the graphic novel. I want to read Surviving the City. I enjoyed A Girl Called Echo and am looking forward to the second volume.
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