Today is a holiday in my home province of British Columbia, a good time to catch up on reading and sharing last weeks books with other bloggers at teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com (thanks to Jen V, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting). It’s also a good time to start report cards and with our lack of snow to actually start some yard jobs that are not normally done at this time. Or I could just forget about those and get more reading time.
Books I Enjoyed This Week
This book, as the cover describes, is based on an award winning book by a history professor, but has been remixed by children’s author Jason Reynolds. He uses a somewhat conversational tone here that I think worked really well. The book pulls no punches in detailing the history of racism and political figures from the past and present are shown as being segregationist, assimilationist, anti-racist, or sometimes a combination of all three. This book will be released March 10 and will spark much needed conversations. Thanks to the publisher and to my ARC sharing group Book Portage for sharing this ARC with me.
A novel in verse featuring a family evacuated from their home due to forest fires in the area. This has been something that is dealt with by lots of families in BC (and the author is from BC as well), particularly over the last few summers, and this combined with recent news from Australia makes this a book that readers will be interested in. Eleven year old Cara also has to deal with the fact that her older sister does not really seem to be on “her team” anymore and also that her dog goes missing just before they are forced to evacuate. This was an enjoyable, quick read that I can share during I Read Canadian Day this Wednesday.
This is the second in a series of mysteries about a group of Indigenous youth who solve mysteries. I have to confess that I missed the first one, but saw the second and wanted to read a MG by a Canadian Indigenous author. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the advance copy.
The case that the group, named The Mighty Muskrats, was trying to solve centered around finding their Grandpa’s sister who was “scooped” by the government when they were young. Finding themselves in the city, they feel it is a great opportunity to help their Grandpa get re-united, but they also have goals of seeing a concert and attending the Exhibition. These goals distract them from their case for a while, and this is part of them discovering the difficulty of being in a city. The story covers several really important topics with a cast of mostly likable characters and does so in small package of about 160 pages. I would love to be able to add this to my library soon, it comes out on March 17.
I re-read this book as it is in my District’s Battle of the Books and my class will be using it as one of our literature circle (Book club) titles after Spring Break. Having read it about two years ago as an ARC, I really enjoyed re-reading it, and now I will certainly be reading the sequel. This is a fast-paced book that takes place in medieval Scotland. Drest is chasing after her brothers and father who have been arrested and taken to a castle. She decides to rescue them and the adventures she gets into along the way are the stuff of legends. Throughout, the topic of legends arises and both reader and main character will be wondering what they can believe and what they might doubt.
As part of our Family Day weekend here in BC, we made it to a city that has a bookstore, always great for us as we don’t have one. I don’t have a budget for my school library right now, but my wife does so I was more involved in the carrying of books, rather than the buying. I will get to read some of what she bought though, and this cute picture book was one of them. A cat and a ball of yarn that his “girl” buys are the best of friends, but when the yarn changes (as friends sometimes do, but in this case the friend turns into a sweater which really hasn’t happened to me) cat has a hard time adjusting. The illustrations are effective with the posture and facial expressions of the cat reminding me of playful kittens I have had. I think this book will get its share of giggles.
I am re-reading No Fixed Address, which is another of our Battle of the Books titles. House of Hades is another re-read that I am reading aloud with my family. I am kind of between books at the moment, I usually have one more that I am not reading for my Battle of the Books project or family read aloud. We are celebrating I Read Canadian Day this week at my school so I was thinking of reading another book by a Canadian. I have another by Susin Nielsen (Optimists Die First) and I also have a Net Galley e-ARC called Sara and the Search for Normal (the prequel to Wesley King’s OCDaniel) that I have been wanting to read. Not sure which will win out but probably the hard copy book as I have been reading a lot of e-books and it is not my preference, typically.
On deck books
A lot of raiding of my wife’s picture books and possibly The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter. I also have an ARC of the third book in the Legends of the Lost Causes series, called The Key of Skeleton Peak. I would like to read it before it’s release in March. Happy reading everyone! If you are fortunate enough to have a holiday today, as many provinces do, hope you are able to enjoy quality family time in addition to catching up on new books.