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Showing posts from June, 2021

MMGM and #IMWAYR: Truly Tyler by Terri Libenson

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I hope everyone is doing well! I feel like the summer is racing by, but we still have a few solid months to get more reading done! Mixed in among this week's unpleasant current events was a nice bright spot: Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison , of which he must serve at least 15, for the death of George Floyd 1 year ago. I hope this is a small step forward in the fight against racism and police brutality.  On a completely different note, I've spent some time with my family this week trying to get caught up on some of Disney and Pixar's animated movies that are on Disney+. We watched Soul , which came out in December 2020, and although it was somewhat clumsily executed at times, the overall message was a really powerful one, and combined with the soundtrack, I ended up with tears literally rolling down my face. Somewhat surprisingly, though, I actually found myself liking Raya and the Last Dragon , which came out in March 2021, even more—I was expecting a so

Thursday Thoughts: When I was young

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(I was going to title this post "A trip down memory lane," but if you actually look at that phrase for more than 2 milliseconds, you realize it is a ridiculous clichΓ© that I must spare you all from at all costs.) (Also, be warned that this post is ramble-y and strange, but I'm writing it last-minute on Thursday and don't have any time to revise it—not that I normally revise my posts anyway—so here we go.) Here's a funny thing. I am a reviewer of kids' books, and over the years of running this blog, I have developed all sorts of reading habits and preferences. But I was an actual kid once—a little kid, one who had been reading since the age of 3—and my reading habits and preferences then were nothing like they are now. So I figured today, I would channel my younger self and give you a sense of what books (and other stuff) he enjoyed. The very first thing that comes to mind is Wendy Mass . If you've ever existed in the kidlit community, you've heard of W

#IMWAYR: On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

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Before we get to today's post, I'd like to mention that I shared another original poem this last Thursday, "On summer" —check it out if you're interested! Also, I have the winners of the Summer 2021 Book Giveaway to announce! The winner of Everywhere Blue  by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz is... Danielle! The winner of Fighting Words  by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is... Rosi (a fellow MMGM blogger)! The winner of the signed copy of Invisible Emmie  by Terri Libenson is... Shaye (a fellow #IMWAYR blogger at The Miller Memo) ! And the winner of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe  by Benjamin Alire SΓ‘enz and Are You Listening?  by Tillie Walden is... CarloShmarlo! Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks so much to everyone who entered! Moving to the review, I'm excited to have a review today of a ridiculously fantastic YA graphic novel, On a Sunbeam  by Tillie Walden! This book has somewhat mature content as well as complex themes that wou

Thursday Thoughts: On summer

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I have another original poem for you all this week! I was feeling like writing a poem in general, and I realized from last week that it's way more rewarding to share my writing for others to read than to just hide it away forever in a digital folder. So here we are! Here's the poem, "On summer": ******************** Summer, a time of overwhelming freedom cavernous as the sky a cleared-out mind now empty, filling with whatever it can find a postcard-perfect sun that singes the sidewalks and sucks your energy dry. On Monday my father and I decide to walk down to our neighborhood pool, and I attempt to set the world record, "Longest Time to Change into Bathing Suit, Grab Pool Supplies, and Tie Shoes." It is the second pool visit of our summer, likely my last summer before the terrors of adulthood take over all my free time. But for now, summer is just the opened and unopened books on the shelf, the oft-avoided to-do list, the wavering pool waters. My father an

#IMWAYR: Picture Book Pandemonium, Part 1!

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( Update:  I'm having to make all kinds of edits to this post because I forgot all the things I needed to mention, and besides correcting the giveaway deadline listed at the end of the post, I also wanted to mention that I shared an original poem for Thursday Thoughts last week, "Where I read" —check it out if you're interested! Now, back to the post!)  I never thought this day would come. When I joined #IMWAYR in March 2020, it was expressly for the purpose of having a place to share MG and YA book reviews. But as I have participated in #IMWAYR, I have seen review after review, recommendation after recommendation, of picture books. And some of them didn't seem like my thing, but some of them honestly sounded pretty good. And finally, with blogger after blogger after blogger showing me all of these wonderful stories, I caved. My blog is still going to be largely focused on MG and YA books. But every so often, I plan to take some time and write mini-reviews of some

Thursday Thoughts: Where I read

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I read in the passenger seat of my mom's car where sometimes I rev my mental engines and race through page after page hurtling through an imaginary world as quickly as I am hurtling through a real one and sometimes I just end up talking to my mom my book in my lap, unopened but keeping me company all the same. I read splayed out on the couch in comically uncomfortable postures legs crossed, or leaning on one elbow never quite sitting still my sibling exclaiming while playing video games on the television but the only thing that distracts me is my own mind and even then, the best of books hold my attention for hours. I read in the pitch-black darkness before bed booklight shining knees pulled up toward me the night peaceful and not chilling and even though I am going to stop reading, I read a page more and another page and another until bedtime arrives just "leaning late and reading there," as Stevens said . I read the front flaps of books at the bookstore wondering why in

MMGM and #IMWAYR: Everywhere Blue by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz (plus the Summer 2021 Book Giveaway!)

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I hope everyone is doing well today! For Thursday Thoughts last week, I wrote about books and the passage of time —take a look if you're interested! Today I am excited to be recommending a book I've been looking forward to for a very  long time: Everywhere Blue  by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz! And I'm also holding the Summer 2021 Book Giveaway , with details at the bottom of this post! Review of Everywhere Blue : Seriously, is this not the best book cover EVER?! (And it matches my blog!) The art is by Elena Megalos.         Looking back through my blog's archives, I've been looking forward to Everywhere Blue  since March 2020, just before the pandemic ( here's proof )! And the reason is very simple: Joanne Rossmassler Fritz runs the book blog  My Brain on Books , and although she is currently taking a break from blogging (as most people would once they release an actual book ), she has been an active member of MMGM for years and has participated in #IMWAYR a few ti

Thursday Thoughts: Books and the passage of time

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I think it's no secret that people's tastes in books generally change over time. Otherwise, why else would we have different age ranges for books? But I've been surprised by truly how much—and how little—my own tastes in reading, and even in individual books, have changed over the months and years. And I might go even further. I would argue that it's not always about what a book contains that influences my feelings on it. In some ways, it was more about when I decided to read the story. Here's an easy example. My favorite book is Goodbye Stranger  by Rebecca Stead. I love this book so much that I wrote a review of it , decided the first review didn't do it justice, and then wrote a second review of it (which I also think didn't do it justice, but still). I've read this book over, and over, and over—probably seven times by now. I did not like Goodbye Stranger when I first read it. Considering that my #1 reading philosophy in life is "Read books b