Showing posts from September, 2021

MMGM and #IMWAYR: City of Illusion by Victoria Ying

Before we get to the review, I'd like to share some random tidbits with you all. First of all, exciting news—I'm going to be a Round 2 Judge for Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction for the Cybils Awards this year!!! You can click here to see my full announcement post. Next, I apologize for being so behind on replying to my own blog comments—I'm trying to prioritize reading other people's posts and commenting on those, but my schedule has forced me to leave some gaps in my usual blogging routine, so I will try to get caught up at some point. Speaking of my schedule, in my personal life, I recently had the rewarding-but-draining experience of helping to coordinate a big project that was a massive pain in the neck for days on end but ended up being a lot of fun for a lot of people—so definitely worth it, but also quite exhausting! Another random thought—is anyone else waiting semi-impatiently for the sequel to Awkward , Brave , and Crush  by Svetlana Chmakova? Her website

I'm a Cybils judge this year!

I've got big news, everyone: For 2021, I'll be a Round 2 Judge for Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction for the Cybils Awards! Now, many of you know what that means, but if you don't, let me explain. The Cybils Awards are a set of kidlit book awards run primarily by other book bloggers! Publishers and the general public nominate books in October, Round 1 Panelists read the nominated books and create a shortlist of finalists for each category, and Round 2 Judges (like me) read the finalists and choose winners for their categories by February. I've seen many other book bloggers serve as Cybils panelists and judges throughout the years, and even this year, there's many familiar faces I've seen announced (who I will now shout out): Kim Aippersbach , Vidya Tiru , Beth Mitcham (now a category chair!), Helen Murdoch , Cheriee Weichel , Linda Baie , Alex Baugh , Beth Schmelzer , Stacy Mozer , and Andrea Mack ! Helen Murdoch gave me a push in my comment section to apply

#IMWAYR: Picture Book Pandemonium, Part 5—Nonfiction Edition!

Hello everyone! I'm excited for round 5 of Picture Book Pandemonium, because today, we're taking a look specifically at some nonfiction picture books. Let's get started! Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor Written by Kate Messner Illustrated by Alexandra Bye Preview the illustrations on Amazon          If you're in the U.S. and have been paying attention during the pandemic, you've probably heard in the news from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who, according to Wikipedia, is the current chief medical advisor to the president and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (which I feel bears noting is not the same as the CDC). Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts , Kellee Moye at Unleashing Readers , Alex Baugh at Randomly Reading ,  Beth Shaum at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust , and Crystal Brunelle at Reading Through Life  have all been recommending this excellent

MMGM and #IMWAYR: Mulan: Before the Sword by Grace Lin

I'm excited to be here with an actual prose MG novel, which tend to be pretty rare in my reading schedule these days. Today we're looking at Mulan: Before the Sword  by Grace Lin. There are some SPOILERS  in the review below that I have marked with tags so you can avoid them if need be (although some of them are honestly worth looking at). Grace Lin is just as talented an illustrator as she is an author, and she did a beautiful job with the art for this cover!         So here's a bit of background. Back in 1998, Disney made an animated movie called Mulan  that is quite beloved—it was either the first or one of the first Disney animated movies with an Asian protagonist, and it's also just considered one of the super-fun early Disney animated films that people love. (And I didn't know this, but Mulan herself is an actual character from Chinese legends, and from what I know, the movie roughly followed the legends' plot.) Then, last year, Disney continued their cyni

#IMWAYR: Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo

Update (10/5/2021): So, I did write a pretty-solid review of this book below, in my opinion, but honestly, nothing might be more convincing about how good this book is than the fact that it is a 2021 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature ( proof here! )!!! I'm seriously so excited—it's been a month on the dot since I posted this review, and I'm still very much a giant fan of this spectacu-fabulous story (yes, I made up a word there). Update (11/25/2021): And now Last Night at the Telegraph Club  is officially the WINNER  of the National Book Award for Young People's Literature! I must say, it is so  vindicating when the book you love literally wins one of the biggest awards in existence—it feels like all of my tastes have been validated! Also, yes, I'm updating this post on Thanksgiving—I suppose you could say I'm thankful  that this book won an award! Happy Labor Day! I am so, SO excited to be here today to talk about a truly spellbindi