#IMWAYR July 25


I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. My family is enjoying getting caught up with things that we don’t make time for around the house during the school year (this is a lie, but these things are totally necessary). We are also enjoying the warm, but not too hot weather (although it is supposed to be way too warm this week), mixing some social times with some travel and a this week some fun reading.

I am pleased to link my post up with those at Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts. Once again, thanks to our hosts, Kellee, Ricki and Jen for running this fun link-up that is a great place to see what new (and sometimes older) books people have been reading.

Books I Enjoyed This Week

This is the third book of Dusti Bowling’s early chapter series that is a spin-off of her MG duology starring Aven Green, a spunky heroine who hilariously deals with life including some of the challenges she faces as a result of having no arms. In the original MG books, the thing that really makes the books work is her sense of humour. While I also like the chapter books, younger Aven does not have quite the same snarkiness, although she does have an interesting personality. Most of these books feature Aven making mistakes and learning how to fix them. In this one, the school talent show is coming up and Aven thinks it will be really easy to learn any musical instrument and perform a song, maybe Mozart? Well, she learns that musical instruments take time to learn and even more to master. I was lucky to get this from Edelweiss and I think it is scheduled to come out on August 9.

Just so you know, since reading Jeff Zentner’s The Serpent King, I read everything that I can get my hands on by him. This was the last one on my list until he publishes something else (it’s only four so far). His books are filled with great characters, changing relationships and lots of feelings. This was probably the most funny of his four novels, and that might be because the two young ladies in this book have kind of a kooky job while being best friends at high school. They host a public access TV show called Midnite Matinee which screens cheesy old horror movies alongside their campy skits and commentary. As they finish their senior year, they know that if the show does not hit it big soon they may have to change their plans in order to follow their respective dreams. Delia has to deal with looking after her Mom and her own mental health challenges, and deciding if she wants to follow-up on the private investigator’s report that she commissions to find out where her long estranged father is. Josie doesn’t want to let Delia down because she knows the show is the best thing in her life, but also feels pressure from her family to take advantage of another opportunity in TV.

This is a simple and cute book about a boy obsessed with dinosaurs, and his imagine running a little wild as he pretends to be one. The rhyming text takes us through the boy as he is supposed to be getting ready for bed but can’t find any clothes that fit him (as a dinosaur). The images that show his shadow and his image in the mirror juxtaposed with what he is really thinking are fun as well.

This is the third book in the author’s “Indigenous Narnia” series called the Misewa Saga. It started with The Barren Grounds, and then came The Great Bear, which was oddly challenged by a school district in Ontario last school year. I still can’t understand that one. Hard to tell you too much about a third book without spoilers on the first two, but I will say that in this story two young Indigenous kids in Manitoba are placed in foster care with a white family in Winnipeg. They are well meaning people but they sometimes try too hard and just annoy Morgan, a teenaged girl who has been through a lot of foster homes and has no connection to her family or her culture. Also in the house, is the younger Eli. This is his first foster home, and he has a much stronger connection to his people and the land, but something happened to have him taken into foster care as well. The children find a portal that leads them to another world through the attic of the home and embark on a series of adventures with animal characters that embody some of the traditional ways of living for Indigenous peoples in Manitoba, partly based on the author’s experiences with his father. I was able to get this one from NetGalley and it is scheduled to be released on August 2.

I think this was my favourite of the three. It picked up right where the cliffhanger in the second book left us, there were some interesting and nasty creatures. At one point, I wondered how the book would carry through the last half as one of the issues was basically solved but a setting change made for an interesting connection to one of the author’s other books, and sets up possibilities for more books in the future.

I read about this one at Literacy on the Mind, by Lisa Maucione last week. Branches books can be a big hit at my school and she sold me on this one. It was a quick download from Edelweiss and a very fast early chapter read. I agree with her assessment that it is a lot of fun, and I think kids will enjoy the many different animal characters involved in the conflict for the neighbourhood between our full of himself main character, Ember and the squirrel that the other animals says runs the show on this street. Ember makes friends and enemies and his views on life are funny. There is an overt set-up of the next book in this series that I think I will need to purchase next year.

Currently Reading

Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions, #1)The Fellowship for Alien Detection

I just started Zero Repeat Forever, a YA sci-fi that I am inspired to read by a review that I read so long ago I don’t remember whose it was. It is an author from my home province and that is also part of it. The book had an X-Files vibe to it and I enjoyed that TV show. I have had it for so long that I was able to recommend it to my now 15 year old daughter who read it about a year ago. I also saw the sequel on Cheriee Weichel’s blog Library Matters quite a while ago, and then recently she tackled this book as well. This was the final kick in the pants to start reading it. My wife and my 12 year old are working through Kevin Emerson’s The Fellowship for Alien Detection. There have been a lot of mysteries in this one and we are starting to get some of them solved. Both of my books have a lot to do with aliens on our planet. That was not planned.

I was going to read Kara LaReau’s Revenge of Zombert, but my ARC expired and I am not able to download it again. That is too bad for me, I should pay better attention. I look at the publishing date and try to read an ARC a couple of weeks before they release. The expiry dates are sometimes a little hidden but I should pay more attention to them. I enjoyed the first book in that series. 

Thanks for stopping by to see what I have been reading this week, I hope to get to read about what others have read this week in the coming days.


6 thoughts on “#IMWAYR July 25

  1. I am glad you are reading Zero Repeat Forever. I discovered Gabrielle Prendergast’s word through Pandas on the Eastside. Have you read it? Also, she was a parent at the school I was TL in. https://dickenslibrary.blogspot.com/2017/05/pandas-on-eastside-by-gabrielle.html
    I think it was you who introduced me to David Robertson. I started with his YA series. I really enjoy the Misewa Saga, and am waiting for this one to arrive from the library eventually.
    BTW, there is something wrong with your link – I think it is an editing link.


    1. I haven’t read Pandas on the Eastside. How cool that a parent at your school is also a writer. I just re-posted my link, thanks for letting me know. When I finished writing the post, the link-up wasn’t working and I did it very quickly on my way out the door this morning.


  2. I love the intro to your post—I think we all wish we were enjoying all the extra chores of summer, but really, they’re just kind of a necessary evil! All of these books look fantastic—the plot of Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee is so inventive, and I’ve heard great things about Jeff Zentner’s books, so I made note of that one. I’ve also heard great things about both series of Aven Green books! Thanks so much for the wonderful post, Aaron!


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