I missed posting on the last Monday of 2019, so I really wanted to post on the first one of 2020. Thanks to Jen V at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting this link up again.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
In the sequel to How I Became a Ghost, Isaac’s journey continues. Readers will see and learn a great deal of Choctaw culture as the characters move along the Trail of Tears. Throughout, we see how the Choctaw characters have their trust in government officials violated as those connected with the government commit terrible and devious crimes against Choctaw people including a future president of the United States.
The next release from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint comes with main characters that are Navajo, and the book delivers on the promise that this imprint made to provide details on mythology and the culture of groups that Rick Riordan has stated he is interested in, but not wanting to write about on his own. Rebecca Roanhorse is a great writer, so I was excited to read this story. Thanks to NetGalley for the e-ARC.
Nizhoni Begay is starting to sense that there is something different about her and if you read any books from Riordan or from the imprint, you will know what is going to happen right away (spoiler in the next sentence). Her powers, and the powers of her brother Marcus as well, are awakening and they will be able to feel the presence of monsters, but also be detected by them as well (one of which is Mr. Charles). The arrival of Mr. Charles, who is important to his Dad’s business kicks off a flurry of activity and Nizhoni’s Dad tells the kids they need to run from danger.
Eventually, they learn more about their new powers and the connections to their family and what they need to do to bring their family back together. The rest of the book takes us through many trials with connections to Navajo culture as the siblings team up with best friend Davery to stop monsters. I do wish the villains (particularly monsters) were more detailed or nuanced but the other characters are worth following and the world they travel through is a welcome addition to this imprint. Maybe this will happen in a sequel? This book is out on January 14.
I really enjoyed this historical fiction novel that took place after the Spanish Civil War. It is a piece of history I knew little about and while there was a lot to learn about the situation in Spain at the time, the story of the characters was the part that made the story for me. There are so many great secondary characters that live in Spain in this book. The material at the end that went through some of the research was excellent as well. I have only read two of Ruta Sepetys books (Salt to the Sea) but I feel like her work is going to be consistently excellent.
I really loved the images in this book about a girl who moves to a new city and has difficulty with some of her new classmates. Lila is very excited to head to a new school and make new friends, but sadly she deals with being teased and there is a lot of racism here. Eventually, she finds a way to highlight her differences and (very suddenly) she finds acceptance.
This book has some great messages but it kind of jumped around a little bit too much for me. The pictures and words show us that there is great stuff all over the world, and we need to continue to explore and show our creativity. Definitely, a feel good read.
My family has resumed reading Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series as a family read aloud. House of Hades is the fourth book. My kids cannot get enough of Rick Riordan’s books. I have just started the third Sunny book, and I am also just starting an ARC of Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes. I am excited to read and hopefully finish the latter two this week, and then start another book from my Must Read in 2020 list.
Thanks for clicking your way here to read about my reading week, and I hope I a chance to see what you have been reading as well.
9 thoughts on “It’s the first Monday of 2020, what have you been reading?”
Race to the Sun is on my list to read. I’m waiting for it to come in to the library. I agree with you about Ruta Sepetys. She is a great writer and storyteller.
I loved The Fountains of Silence, too, & the history was also new to me, and fascinating, yet brutal. Thanks for all, Aaron.
I have Race to the Sun to read. I’m interested in reading it, but I haven’t seen the most positive reviews from other Native writers. Will be interesting to put everything together.
Loved The Fountains of Silence!
I need to find those and read them. Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t find any the first time I looked, but that was a while ago when I requested the book. I need to do the work and check again.
Tim Tingle is such an incredible story teller! Have you read House of Purple Cedar by him? I adored The Fountains of Silence. I was happy sad when it was over. I’ve been mindful of Debbie Reese’s concerns about what Rebecca Roanhorse reveals in this series, so I’ve avoided it.
I read Debbie Reese’s recommendation of Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning, but after reading your comment I went back and have read that now she feels she was wrong to recommend it, so I have some new learning to do. Ms. Reese’s concerns are great to read, but in this case incomplete as there wasn’t a full review when I checked, but her concerns are good reading around appropriation. The other key question is if Dine traditions have been changed in this book to fit the formula of the stories in this imprint.
Lots of good books here! I enjoyed When a Ghost Talks, although I somehow missed the first book. And I always like Sepetys so that’s on my list. I might try the Roanhorse as well — I liked her adult book but would be interested to see what she does with a different audience.
I have not yet read Race to the Sun, but I have been super impressed with he books coming out from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. So exciting to see Spec. Fiction getting more diverse.
Looking forward to the late Rick Riordan Presents imprint, so thanks for giving a taste of it! Amd I’ve heard SO much about The Fountains of Silence. I’m finishing up my #MustReadin2020 list this week and I am thinking this title needs to be on it! Have a great weekend, Aaron!