Sunday, February 18, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 02/19/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I had so much fun watching the ALA award announcements! It was exciting to see familiar books win awards. I read the graphic novel I Am Alfonso Jones and am about halfway through The Education of Margo Sanchez. The kids and I are still reading Takedown and I ordered The Terrible Two Go Wild for when we finish. 

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'm hoping to finish up The Education of Margot Sanchez and I have The Impossible Knife of Memory checked out from the library.

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 02/12/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
We had our first snow day on Friday! It's been a while since we had a snow day and it made for a long weekend at home. We read more of Laura Shovan's Takedown and Peanut is really loving it. I finished David Elliott's Bull - definitely YA but also definitely fun. I would have loved reading this in high school along with the more traditional mythology we read. It's like Hamilton meets the Minotaur and I'll share more thoughts this week. Little Bean and I also read Comic Squad: Recess and talked about how to move through the text and the importance of looking at the words and the pictures. I mentioned that I know some teachers who try reading graphic novels and they don't know how to read it and he giggled.

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I got soooooo much writing done last week...the end of this rewrite is totally in sight and I have a paper due for class on Wednesday so I'll be writing a ton but I hope to read I Am Alfonso Jones and I'd really like to start The Education of Margot S├ínchez too. I'm also so excited to see what books win awards this year. Can't wait!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

POC Fall In Love Too

     I consider myself lucky that my office is in the library at the middle school where I work. When students come in to look for books, I often find myself talking to them about books, suggesting books, or helping them find books. If you know me at all, you know how much fun this is for me!
     This week a student came in looking for a book. I asked her if I could help her find anything specific and she said no, she was just looking at books to see if she found something she liked. 
     "What was the last book you read that you liked?" I asked her. 
     "Everything Everything," she explained. "And then I saw the movie this weekend." She liked the movie and thought they did a good job even though some parts were different from the book. 
     I asked, "What did you like about Everything Everything?"
     She paused. And then she admitted, "The romance."
     I squeed. That's the only and best word to describe my reaction. 
     It's not often that a student comes in looking for romance and it happens to be my favorite genre. I've read all the books in The Princess Diaries series, all the books in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, tons of Sarah Dessen, Stephanie Perkins, Elizabeth Eulberg, John Green, Jordan Sonnenblick, and David Levithan. 
     Aisle to aisle, I scanned the shelves, thinking of some of my favorites, spotting others that stood out to me, handing them to the student until she had a stack to look through. 
     Not one of them featured a person of color as a protagonist.
     There is a Latinx character in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants...but it hit me right in the gut that I didn't have a book to give her that was about a person of color falling in love. Maybe if I had taken a little more time to search, I would have come up with one but none stood out to me as I went through the stacks.


    In the last year or so I've read Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass, Gabi, A Girl In Pieces, Piecing Me Together, The Hate U Give, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean, the third book in Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before series and Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the only one that truly stands out to me as a contemporary young adult romance....though there are elements of romance in others. 


     Obviously, I'm aware of the We Need Diverse Books campaign and the need for people of color to be represented more in children's and young adult literature. I get it. But when I had a student standing in front of me wanting to read one of my favorite genres and I couldn't come up with more than one or two books with a protagonist who was a person of color, I wanted to cry.

     People of color fall in love just like white people fall in love.

     We fall in love too.

     We need more romance books with people of color as the protagonists.

     Now I'm on a mission to find contemporary young adult romance books with protagonists who are people of color for this student and for myself. I'm going to buy books if I have to but I'm determined to give her books that feature protagonists who are people of color.

Rich In Color has a list of YA Reads with POC-Centric Romances and I compiled a list here from my research of recently published or soon to be published. I haven't read any of these yet so if you have any thoughts to share on these or others I should add, please share in the comments. 


Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet with stories by Jennifer L. Armentrout, 
Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton, Katie Cotugno, Jocelyn Davies, 
Nina LaCour, Emery Lord, Katharine McGee , Kass Morgan, Meredith Russo, 
Sara Shepard, Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi, Julie Murphy
Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
King Geordi the Great by Gene Gant
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
American Panda by Gloria Chao
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi
That Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim


Again, I haven't read any of these books so please let me know if there is one here I should bump to the top of my stack to read or others I should add!

*Update*

Suggested titles from Twitter:

You Bring The Distance Near by Mitali Perkins
I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Solo by Kwame Alexander
The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
Fire In The Streets by Kekla Magoon



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Amina's Voice

Title: Amina's Voice 
Author: Hena Khan 
Publisher: Salaam Reads 
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Novel 
GoodReads Summary: Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.
What I Think: I loved reading about Amina and her story but especially how her community comes together when her mosque is vandalized. I would definitely pair Amina's Voice with Wishtree and challenge students to think about how to learn about cultures that are different from their own and to make space for people of different cultures in their school or community. I've never visited a mosque before and reading Amina's Voice made me think how interesting it would be to be able to visit a mosque. I've never thought about asking a friend if I can go with them to their place of worship to learn more about it. I'm sure there are many other things I can think about that I've never experienced but that I could ask some of my friends to tell me about. The theme of acceptance stood out to me in Amina's Voice and it was really inspiring. 

     As a mentor text, the snatch of text I pulled is a perfect opportunity to look at how a writer can use dialogue to give the reader information about different characters even when writing from first person. The girls are part of this one conversation but they all are thinking different things and the dialogue helps the writer express this. We have to explicitly show students the power of dialogue. Amina's Voice gives an opportunity to zone in on dialogue and invite students to brainstorm two or more people in a scene and how their dialogue might reveal information about their character or their point of view.
Snatch of Text: "But Soojin just says, 'I'm thinking of new names for myself.'
     'New names? That's weird. Why?' Emily starts a stream of questions. And as much as I want Emily to leave, I want to hear the answers.
     'It's not weird at all, actually. My family and I are becoming citizens soon, and I'm going to change my name.'
     'Wait. So that means you're not even American?' Emily sounds offended.
     'What?' I ask. There is no way I heard Soojin right. 'Change your name? What for?'
     Soojin smooths her hair, sips some fizzy juise, and takes a deep breath. 'We moved from Korea when I was four, and we aren't American citizens yet. but we are about to be, and I'm going to change my name. I just haven't picked one yet.'" (p. 7)
Writing Prompt: Write about how each or one of the characters might be feeling in this conversation using evidence from the excerpt to support your reasoning. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 02/05/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I read for class, the kids and I started Takedown by Laura Shovan and I added a ton of words to the rewrite I'm doing of novel. I hit 18,000 words this weekend and that feels pretty awesome. I'm proud to say that we're also all caught up on laundry in our house...so that feels pretty great.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week, I have more reading to do for my class, the kids and I will continue reading Takedown, and I'm going to do my very best to get to either I Am Alfonso Jones or Bull. 

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!