Friday, December 31, 2021

What's New?

 "Stacking the Shelves" was a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It seems the blog is gone though, so I will just continue to post a "What's New? post whenever I receive new books.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday if you celebrated this week and have a happy New Year. 

For Review: nothing!


You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus. 336 p. Delacorte Press/ Random House Children's Books, November, 2021. 9780593175866.

Publisher synopsis: Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out from working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up . . . again.
So when the three unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to avoid their problems by ditching. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say. . .

. . . until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school—and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse. It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common…like a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.

Could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?

Image: Simon & Schuster

Stuntboy in the Meantime by Jason Reynolds.272 p. Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/ Atheneum Books for Young Readers/ Simon & Schuster, November, 2021. 9781534418165.

Publisher synopsis: Portico Reeves’s superpower is making sure all the other superheroes—like his parents and two best friends—stay super. And safe. Super safe. And he does this all in secret. No one in his civilian life knows he’s actually…Stuntboy!

But his regular Portico identity is pretty cool, too. He lives in the biggest house on the block, maybe in the whole city, which basically makes it a castle. His mom calls where they live an apartment building. But a building with fifty doors just in the hallways is definitely a castle. And behind those fifty doors live a bunch of different people who Stuntboy saves all the time. In fact, he’s the only reason the cat, New Name Every Day, has nine lives.

All this is swell except for Portico’s other secret, his not-so-super secret. His parents are fighting all the time. They’re trying to hide it by repeatedly telling Portico to go check on a neighbor “in the meantime.” But Portico knows “meantime” means his parents are heading into the Mean Time which means they’re about to get into it, and well, Portico’s superhero responsibility is to save them, too—as soon as he figures out how.

Only, all these secrets give Portico the worry wiggles, the frets, which his mom calls anxiety. Plus, like all superheroes, Portico has an arch-nemesis who is determined to prove that there is nothing super about Portico at all.

Gilded by Marisa Meyer. 512 p. Feiwel & Friends, November, 2021. 9781250618832.

Publisher synopsis: Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller's daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.

Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda's outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn't meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.

I featured this in a "Waiting on Wednesday" post and also book talked it to my sixth graders. They all went gaga over the cover and I have a wait list for the book!

What's in your mailbox this week?

2021 Reading

Without a doubt, this year sucked. My husband had a massive stroke on June 3 and died nine weeks later to the day. I have been unmoored since. We were married for 36 years and he was my best friend and sounding board. I miss him terribly. I find myself anxious and often have trouble sustaining concentration. Thus, my reading has suffered. Needless to say, I failed to make my Goodreads goal, but I am fine with that. Onward to a better 2022. 

January (19)
1. The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell by Jordan Sonnenblick (1/1)*
2. Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake (1/1)
3. The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman (1/2)
5. On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex (1/3)
6. Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer (1/8)
7. Shirley Chisholm is a Verb by  (1/9)
8. The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert (1/10)
9. Anti/ Hero by Kate Karyus Quinn & Demitria Lunetta (1/11)
10. Planet Ocean: Why We All Need a Healthy Ocean by Patricia Newman (1/12)*
11. Follow Those Zebras: solving a migration mystery by Sandra Markle (1/16)
12. Kingston and the Magician's Lost and Found by Rucker Moses and Theo Gangi (1/18)*
13. Rage by Bob Woodward (1/21)
14. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (1/25)*(Audio reread)
15. Treasure of the World by Tara Sullivan (1/25)*(SLJ)
16. Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: a Memoir by Julia Zarankin (1/29)
17. The Cousins by Karen McManus (1/30)
18. Olive, Mabel & Me: life and adventure with two very good dogs by Andrew Cotter (1/31)*
19. The Eagle Huntress: The True Story of the Girl Who Soared Beyond Expectations by Aisholpan Nurgaiv and Liz Welch (1/31)

February (26)
20. What Ollie Saw by Joukje Akveld (2/2)*
21. Pumpkin Heads by Wendell Minor (2/6)
22. The Eyeball Alphabet by Jerry Pallotta (2/6)
23. Mosquitoland by David Arnold (2/6)
24. Into the Wind by William Loizeaux (2/7)* 
26. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (2/11)
27. A Voice Named Aretha by Katherine Russell-Brown (2/11)
28. My Heart by Corinna Luyken (2/13)
29. Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code by Bridget Farr (2/16)*(SLJ)
30. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (2/16)*
31. Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan (2/17)
32. Popcorn Bob by Maranke Rincke (2/18)
33. We are Still Here by Traci Sorell (2/18)
34. Seaside Stroll by Charles Trevino (2/19)*
36. The Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Rori McCarthy (2/20)*
38. Logan Likes Mary Ann (GN adaptation) by Ann M. Martin (2/23)
39. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: a graphic novel by Rey Terciero (2/24)
40. Black Girl, Unlimited by Echo Brown (2/26)
41. Allergic by Megan Turner Lloyd (2/27)
42. Unspeakable: the Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford (2/27)*
45. Three Things I Know are True by Betty Culley (2/28)*

March (21)
46. Ground Zero by Alan Gratz (3/2)
48. Switched by Bruce Hale (3/6)
49. Before I Die by Jenny Downham (3/6)*
50. Mindi and the Goose No One Else Could See by Sam McBratney (3/6)*
51. Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly (3/7)*
52. Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Saalam (3/10)*
53. Time is a Ship That Never Casts Anchor: Sami Proverbs by Harald Gaski and Aage Solbakk. Translated by Roland Thorstensson (3/10)
54. Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram (3/12)*
56. Unfriended by Rachel Vail (3/13)
58. Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri (3/15)
59. Never After by Melissa de la Cruz (3/21)*
60. Super Fake Love Song by David Moon (3/21)*
61. Eyes That Kiss at the Corners by Joanna Ho (3/21)
62. Spring Stinks (A Little Bruce Book) by Ryan T. Higgins (3/28)
63. Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña (3/28)
64. Don't Hug Doug (He Doesn't Like It) by Carrie Finison (3/28)
65. The Magical Yet by Angela DeTerlizzi (3/28)
66. A Girl Named Rosita: the Story of Rita Moreno: Actor, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer! by Anika Aldamuy Denise (3/28)

April (31)
68. The Dark Secret: the Graphic Novel (Wings of Fire #4) by Tui Sutherland (4/2)
70. Fungarium (Welcome to the Museum) Ester Gaya (4/4)
71. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O'Connell (4/4)
72. The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson (4/6)*
73. 13 Ways to Eat a Fly by Sue Heavenrich (4/7)*
74. Jump at the Sun: the True Life Tale of Unstoppable Storycatcher Zora Neale Hurston by Alicia D. Williams (4/8)*
75. The Leak by Kate Reed Petty (4/9)
76.  A Curse of Ash & Embers by Jo Spurrier (4/10)*
78. In My Mosque by M.O. Yuksel (4/12)
79. Don't Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton (4/12)
80. Turtle Walk by Matt Phelan (4/12)
81. Gotham High by Melissa de la Cruz (4/12)
82. Accused by Adama Bah (4/14)
84. Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare (4/15)
85. This Poem is a Nest by Irene Latham (4/16)
86. Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (4/16)*
87. My Hair is Magic by M.L. Marroquin (4/16)*
88. Kodi by Jared Cullum (4/16)*
89. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson (4/18)*
90. Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mary (4/21)
91. Nat Enough by Maria Scrivan (4/24)
92. More of Me by Kathryn Evans (4/25)
93. Free by Sam Usher (4/25)*
94. The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen (4/26)*
95. Starfish by Lisa Fipps (4/28)*
96. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (4/30)

May (25)
98. Orangutan Hats and Other Tools Animals Use by Richard Haynes (5/2)
99. Going Wild (The Infamous Frankie Lorde #2) by Brittany Gergotelis (5/2)(SLJ)
100. Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (5/3)*
101. A Promised Land by Barack Obama (5/6)*
102. Love in the Library by Maggie Tokuda-Hall (5/7)*
103. Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega (5/8)
104. Women in the Old West by Marti Dumas (5/11)
105. The Desolations of Devil's Acre by Ransom Riggs (5/12)
106. Secondhand Dogs by Carolyn Crimi (5/17)*
107. A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (5/18)
108. Red, White and Whole by Rajani Larocca (5/19)
109. Strange Nature: the Insect Portraits of Levon Biss by Gregory One & Levon Biss (5/19)*
110. Osnat and Her Dove: the True Story of the First Female Rabbi by Sigal Samuel (5/20)
111. Dogman: Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey (5/21)
112. Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai (5/22)
113. Franklin Endicott and the Third Key by Kate DiCamillo (5/23)*
114. The Aeneid: a Graphic Novel by Diego Agrimbau (5/24)
115. Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi by Susan Page (5/25)
116. How to an American: a Field Guide to Citizenship (5/28)
117. Donut the Destroyer by Sarah Graley & Stef Purenins (5/30)
118. A Thief among the Trees by Sabaa Tahir with Nicole Andelfinger & Sonia Lao (5/30)
119. Out of the Blue: How Animals Evolved from Prehistoric Seas by Elizabeth Shreeve (5/30)
120. Star Stories by Andy Wilx (5/30)
121. How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth E. Bunce (5/30)*
122. The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert (5/31)*

June (33)
123. Claudia and the New Girl (BSC #9) illustrated by Gabriela Epstein (6/2)
124. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi (6/7)
125. Forget Me Nat by Maria Scrivan (6/8)
126. Bunbun & Bonbon: Fancy Friends by Jess Keating (6/11)
127. Rescue at Lake Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson (6/13)
128. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado (6/13)
129. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson (6/13)
130. A Place for the People: Nelson Mandela's Hope for His Nation by Lindsey McDivitt (6/14)*
131. The People's Painter: how Ben Shahn fought for justice with art by Cynthia Levinson (6/14)
132. Through the Moon (Dragon Prince Graphic Novel #1) by Peter Wartman (6/18)
133. Trespassers by Breena Barden (6/20)
134. Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (6/20)
135. The Boy Whose Head was Filled with Stars: story about Edwin Hubble by Isabelle Marinov (6/22)
138. The Burning: Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan, adapted for young people by Hilary Beard (6/23)
139. We Shall Overcome by Bryan Collier (6/27)*
140. Bisa's Carnaval by Joana Pastro (6/27)
141. If You Miss Me by Jocelyn Li Langrand (6/27)
142. The Children's Moon by Carmen Agra Deedy (6/27)
143. Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds (6/27)
144. Manu by Kelly Fernandez (6/27)
145. Indivisible by Daniel Aleman (6/27)*
146. Chicken Little and the Big Bad Wolf by Sam Wedelich (6/27)*
147. The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier (6/28)
148. Free to Be Elephant Me by Giles Andreae (6/28)
149. Llama Glamarama by Simon James Green and Garry Parsons (6/28)
150. The Little Butterfly That Could by Ross Burach (6/28)
151. The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun's Tomb by Candace Fleming (6/29)*
152. Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles (6/29)
153. Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn (6/30)
154. Standing on Her Shoulders: a Celebration of Women by Monica Clarke-Robinson (6/30)
155. My Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcolm Mitchell (6/30)
156. Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky (6/30)

July (29)
158. Karen's Worst Day: a graphic novel by Katy Farina (7/2)
159. Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith (7/3)
160. Pawcasso by Remy Lai (7/4)
161. The Way Back by Gavriel Savit (7/7)
162. Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt (7/7)*
163. Miles Morales Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds (7/10)
164. Take What You Can Carry by Kevin C. Pyle (7/11)
165. Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanah Ganucheau (7/12)
166. Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee (7/13)
167. Turtle in Paradise: a graphic novel by Jennifer Holm (7/13)
168. Chunky by Yehudi Mercado (7/14)
170. Unsettled by Reem Faruki (7/15)
171. President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston (7/16)
172. Kaleidoscope by Brian Selznick (7/17)
173. Across the Desert by Dusti Bowling (7/18)*(SLJ)
174. In the Spirit of a Dream: 13 Stories of American Immigrants of Color developed by Alina Chau and Written by Aida Salazar (7/19)*
175. Root Magic by Eden Royce (7/21)*
176. Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (7/23)
177. Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo (7/24)
178. River Stories by Thomas Knapman (7/25)
179. Bear Bottom by Stuart Gibbs (7/26)
181. Cat & Dog: a Tale of Opposites by Tullio Corda (7/27)*
182. Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter by Shani Mahiri King (7/28)
183. Mars Is by Suzanne Slade (7/28)
184. World of Glass: the Art of Dale Chihuly by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan (7/29)
185. Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn became America's Doctor by Kate Messner (7/29)

August (19)
186. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (8/1)
187. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (8/2)*
188. A Good Kind of Trouble by (8/12)
189. Sunkissed by Kasie West (8/15)
190. Zion Unmatched by Zion Clark and James S. Hirsch (8/17)*
191. What the Animals See by Louise Greig (8/20)
192.Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon (8/20)*
193. Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray (8/22)*
194. Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems (8/27)
195. Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (8/29)*
196. The Shark Book by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (8/30)
197. Pigskins to Paintbrushes by Don Tate (8/30) 
198. The Canyon's Edge by Dusti Bowling (8/30)
199. Shaped by Her Hands by Anna Harber Freeman (8/30)
200. Breaking Waves: Winslow Homer Paints the Sea by Robert Burleigh (8/30)
201. Before We Sleep by Giorgio Volpe (8/30)
202. People of Pride: 25 Great LGBTQ Americans by Chase Clemesha, MD (8/31)
203. A Place Inside of Me: a Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott (8/31)
204. The Negro Leagues by Matt Doeden (8/31)

September (13)
205. Unplugged by Gordon Korman (9/5)
206. Come On In: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home edited by Adi Alsaid (9/11)
207. Playing the Cards You're Dealt by Varian Johnson (9/12)*
208. Weird Kid by Greg Van Eekhout (9/13)
209. Chris Haughton (9/16)
210. Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv (9/16)
212. When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke (9/16)
213.The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer by Mara Rockliff (9/16)
214. Ducky by Eve Bunting (9/16)
215. Things We Couldn't Say by Jay Coles (9/18)
216. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (9/19)
217. Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani (9/26)*

218. Peril by Bob Woodward and Jim Costa (10/3)
219. Susie B. Won't Back Down by Margaret Finnegan (10/4)
220. The Other Talk: Reckoning with White Privilege by Brendan Kiely (10/7)
222. Fat Angie: Homecoming by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo (10/10)*
223. From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry by Paula Yoo (10/10)
224. The International Day of the Girl by Jessica Dee Humphreys (1/10)
225. AfterMath by Emily Barth Isler (10/14)*
226. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (10/17)
227. Kneel by Candace Buford (10/22)*
228. Sunny Makes a Splash by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm (10/24)
229. Darling by K. Ancrum (10/25)
230. Big Shot (Wimpy Kid #16) by Jeff Kinney (10/29)*
231. Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (10/30)
232. Daughter of Lies and Ruin by Jo Spurrier (10/31)* 

November (19)
233. The Lost Language by Claudia Mills (11/4)*
234. Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron (11/4)
235. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat (11/5)*
236. The Awakening Storm: City of Dragons #1 by Jim Yogis & Vivian Truong (11/5)
237. Fast Pitch by Nic Stone (11/6)
238. Interrupting Chicken: Cookies for Breakfast by David Ezra Stein (11/7)*
239. Bright Brown Baby: a Treasury by Andrea Davis Pinkney (11/7)
240. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodbye? by Jane Yolen (11/7)
241. The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag (11/8)
243. What the Eagle Sees by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger (11/10)*
244. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (11/13)*
245. Dead Wednesday by Jerry Spinelli (11/16)
246. Prank Power Guidebook by Dav Pilkey (11/17)
247. Apple: Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth (11/18)
248. Clues to the Universe by Christina Li (11/22)
249. Aristotle and Dante Dive Into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Saenz (11/23)
250. Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson (11/26)
251. Into the Bloodred Woods by Martha Brockenbrough (11/29)*

December (14)
252. Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan (12/3)
253. Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston (12/5)*
254. Just Maria by Jay Hardwig (12/9)*(SLJ)
255. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (12/9)*
256. Polo Cowboy by G. Neri (12/11)*
257. Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood edited by Kwame Mbalia (12/13)*
258. African Critters by Robert B. Haas (12/13)
259. A-Okay by Jared Greene (12/14)
260. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (12/22)*
261. The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson (12/23)*
262. Three Keys by Kelly Yang (12/27)
263. The Visitor (Animorphs: the Graphic Novel)(12/28)
264. Think for Yourself: the Ultimate Guide to Critical Thinking in an Age of Information Overload by Andrea Debbink (12/29)
265. The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo (12/30)

Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021 Audiobooks

January (6)
1.The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman (1/2)
2. Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer (1/8)
3. The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert (1/10)
4. Rage by Bob Woodward (1/21)*
5. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (1/25)*(Audio reread)
6. The Cousins by Karen McManus (1/30)

February (5)
7. Mosquitoland by David Arnold (2/6)
8. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (2/11)
9. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (2/16)*
10. The Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Rori McCarthy (2/20)*
11. Black Girl, Unlimited by Echo Brown (2/26)

March (5)
12. Ground Zero by Alan Gratz (3/2)
13. Poisoned by Jennifer Donnelly (3/7)*
14. Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Saalam (3/10)*
15. Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram (3/12)*
16. Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri (3/15)

April (6)
17. The Awakening Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz (4/6)
18. Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare (4/15)
19. All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson (4/18)*
20. Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mary (4/21)
21. Starfish by Lisa Fipps (4/28)*
22. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston (4/30)

May (7)
23. Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce (5/3)*
24. A Promised Land by Barack Obama (5/6)*
25. The Desolations of Devil's Acre by Ransom Riggs (5/12)
26. The Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (5/18)
27. Red, White and Whole by Rajani Larocca (5/19)
28. Inside Out and Back Again by Thannha Lai (5/23)
29. Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi by Susan Page (5/25)

June (5)
30. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi (6/7)
31. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado (6/13)
32. Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (6/20)
33. Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles (6/29)
34. Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky (6/30)

July (9)
35. Stay Gold by Tobly McSmith (7/3)
36. The Way Back by Gavriel Savit (7/7)
37. Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee (7/13)
38. Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians but were Afraid to Ask by Anton Treuer (7/15)
39. Unsettled by Reem Faruki (7/15)
40. President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston (7/16)
41. Root Magic by Eden Royce (7/21)*
42. Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (7/23)
44. Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo (7/24) 

August (6)
45. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (8/1)
46. A Good Kind of Trouble by (8/12)
47. Sunkissed by Kasie West (8/15)
48. Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon (8/20)*
49. Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas(8/29)*
50. The Canyon's Edge by Dusti Bowling (8/30)

September (4)
51. Unplugged by Gordon Korman (9/6)
52. Come On In: 15 Stories about Immigration and Finding Home edited by Adi Alsaid (9/11)
53. Weird Kid by Greg Van Eekhout (9/13)
54. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (9/19)

October (6)
55. Peril by Bob Woodward and Jim Costa (10/3)
56. The Other Talk: Reckoning with White Privilege by Brendan Kiely (10/7)
57. From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry by Paula You (10/10)
58. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (10/17)
59. Kneel by Candace Buford (10/22)*
60. Darling by K. Ancrum (10/25)

November (6)
61. Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron (11/4)
62. A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat (11/5)*
63.  Fast Pitch bt Nic Stone (11/6)
64. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green (11/13)*
65. Dead Wednesday by Jerry Spinelli (11/15)
66. Clues to the Universe by Christina Li (11/22)
67. Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (11/23)

December (7)
68. Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan (12/3)
69. Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston (12/5)*
70. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (12/9)*
71. Black Boy Joy: 17 Stories Celebrating Black Boyhood edited by Kwame Mbalia (12/13)*
72. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim (12/22)*
73. Three Keys by Kelly Yang (12/27)
74. The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo (12/30)

#tbt: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

Happy Thursday! The weather during my break has been dreary and rainy. It's another gray day for me today. #tbt features The Velveteen Rabbit written by Margery Williams and originally illustrated by William Nicholson in 1922. The Velveteen Rabbit was Ms. Williams' children's debut and has remained in print for 100 years! The book has been reissued many times with different illustrators interpretting the story, so if you have the book in your home library collection, your cover may be different. In fact, several publishers are releasing 100th anniversary editions, one featuring the original artwork.

The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a well-loved toy rabbit who wants to know what "real" is after he is left behind in the garden and told by real rabbits that he is not real. I cannot read this one aloud without tearing up. It's such a beautiful story.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Waiting on Wednesday: The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Illustrated by Erin Stead. 48 p. Doubleday Books for Young Readers/ Random House Children's Books, April 5, 2022. 9780593382103.

Happy Wednesday! My Christmas break is waning and the weather has been ick - cloudy, drizzly and not conducive to long walks with the hound. I have however, been fairly productive indoors, cleaning out closets, tossing out my husband's Nat Geo mags that he saved from the fifties. Those things are hefty! I had to split them up over many garbage cans for the recycling truck. The crew got angry at me last fall when I made the cans too heavy with paper.

In #nevertoooldforpicturebook news, Waiting on Wednesday features The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. Wait, you might be asking, wasn't that published a long time ago? You are correct and also have a hint to what's being featured in tomorrow's #tbt post. The book is celebrating its centenary in April and Caldecott-winning artist, Erin Stead illustrated this edition. She won her Caldecott Award for her very first book, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, which was written by her husband Philip. Earlier this year, the couple published a sequel, Amos McGee Misses the Bus.

Here's the publisher synopsis: A cherished, 100-year-old classic gets a fresh and breath-taking new look with brilliant art by Caldecott Medal winner Erin Stead, who has cited this story as an influence on her acclaimed career.

With the full, original story from the 1922 classic, this deluxe, collectable new edition of The Velveteen Rabbit will be the go-to gift for baby showers, birthdays, weddings, and holidays throughout the year.

At first a brand-new toy, now a threadbare and discarded nursery relic, the velveteen rabbit is saved from peril by a magic fairy who whisks him away to the idyllic world of Rabbitland. There, he becomes “Real,” a cherished childhood companion who will be loved for eternity. Treasured for generations, and given new life from one of today’s most exciting children’s book creators, here is a timeless tale of boundless love.

The Velveteen Rabbit will release on April 5. Happy reading! Remember, you're never too old for picture books!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Teen Tuesday and Audiobook Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. Unabridged e-audiobook, 550 minutes. Read by Billie Fulford-Brown. Katherine Tegan Books/ HarperAudio/ HarperCollins Publishers, July, 2018. 978

Teen Tuesday features Sea Witch by Sarah Henning. While I love a good fairy tale retelling, I especially love a good villain origin story. The very first one I remember is The Magic Circle by Donna Jo Napoli, which explores the origin of the witch in Hansel and Gretel. More recently, I was captivated by Heartless by Marissa Meyer, which tells the story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I cannot wait to read Gilded by Ms. Meyer as well.

Evie lives in Havnestad, a kingdom by the sea in Denmark with her fisherman father and elderly aunt. Magic and witchcraft are forbidden. Evie's aunt is a healer, rumored to be a witch, but left alone because she once saved the king's life. Evie is best friends with the king's son, Prince Nik and Anna. Evie has been an outcast ever since Anna's death by drowning three or four years earlier. Nik managed to save Evie but not Anna and Evie feels tremendous guilt over that. The townspeople whisper about the unseemly friendship between Nik and Evie, especially as Nik is about to come of age. Nik doesn't care and invites Evie to attend his birthday party on his father's new ship. Evie sees a face looking in a port hole that looks like Anna, but it's gone before Evie can take a closer look. A sudden storm blows in and Nik is swept overboard. Evie and Nik's cousin, Iker search frantically for Nik and Evie finds him washed ashore and alive, but not alone. It seems a girl has saved Evie's best friend, but then she disappears into the ocean.

The pace is quite leisurely in the beginning, which might deter readers who like action earlier. Evie is a conflicted narrator prone to dismissing herself as just a poor fisherman's daughter so much so that it became annoying. Still, the dynamics between Evie and the two princely cousins was cute and the mystery of Annamette was intriguing. Once all the pieces begin to click into place, the pace quickens to dizzying and the reader is left breathless at its conclusion.

The new-to-me narrator had a wide array of voices and was well-suited to the material. I'm interested in reading the companion, Rise of the Sea Witch soon. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

Middle Grade Monday and Audiobook Review: A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. Unabridged audiobook on one MP3 CD. ~10 hours, 40 minutes. Read by Greta Jung. Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, March, 2020. 9781799731316. (Review of purchased audiobook on MP3 CD.)

Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend. My Christmas Eve plans were dashed by a Covid exposure, which was sad. My youngest son came from the Boston area with his fiancé and my third son came out two weekends ago when his place of work went back to fully remote. I had some company to help me through another "first."

Middle Grade Monday features A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat. Pong lives in a prison in Chattana, a city in Thailand where the governor rules with an iron fist. He brought the city into the light after a great fire destroyed it, but there is light for just a privileged few. Pong's mother had been imprisoned for stealing food. She died, but Pong will remain in prison until his thirteenth birthday. He and his best friend and fellow orphan, Somkit, try to protect each other from bullies and dream about life once they are released. When the opportunity to escape presents itself, Pong escapes alone. The prison warden loses his job due to Pong's escape and his "perfect" daughter, Nok vows to hunt him down. 

This paltry summary does not do justice to this layered, epic adventure filled with fascinating and complex characters. There's humor and tragedy (I cried) and a myriad of emotions in between. Chattana and its surroundings spring vividly to life as Pong attempts to make his way to freedom, but soon realizes that, thanks to his prison tattoo, his fate may be sealed. There are so many twists and turns and surprises along the way.

The audiobook performance by Greta Jung was well-paced and her voices were distinct and nicely varied. I especially appreciated learning the correct pronunciation of names and other Thai language words that I would've glossed over were I reading with my eyes. 

A Wish in the Dark won a Newbery Honor as well as a Jane Addams Book Award. If you love adventure and fantasy, you will love A Wish in the Dark. Highly recommended!

Friday, December 24, 2021

What's New?

 "Stacking the Shelves" was a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It seems the blog is gone though, so I will just continue to post a "What's New? post whenever I receive new books. 

For Review: I received a box from Levine Quarto this week! Their arcs are so beautiful! All of their authors' pics are featured on the back cover. The front cover features a mock-up photo of the "book." Best of all, the team lists reasons why they love the book. It really feels like LQ invests wholly in each title in the line. 

High Spirits by Camille Gamera-Tavarez.  224 p. Levine Querido, April 5, 2022. 9781646141296.  

Publisher synopsis: High Spirits is a collection of eleven interconnected short stories from the Dominican diaspora, from debut author Camille Gomera-Tavarez. 

It is a book centered on one extended family – the Beléns – across multiple generations.

It is set in the fictional small town of Hidalpa – and Santo Domingo and Paterson and San Juan and Washington Heights too.

It is told in a style both utterly real and distinctly magical – and its stories explore machismo, mental health, family, and identity.

But most of all, High Spirits represents the first book from Camille Gomera-Tavarez, who takes her place as one of the most extraordinary new voices to emerge in years.

Aviva and the Dybbuk by Mari Lowe. 176 p. Levine Querido, February 8, 2022. 9781646141258.

Publisher synopsis: A long ago “accident.” An isolated girl named Aviva. A community that wants to help, but doesn’t know how. And a ghostly dybbuk, that no one but Aviva can see, causing mayhem and mischief that everyone blames on her. 

That is the setting for this suspenseful novel of a girl who seems to have lost everything, including her best friend Kayla, and a mother who was once vibrant and popular, but who now can’t always get out of bed in the morning.

As tensions escalate in the Jewish community of Beacon with incidents of vandalism and a swastika carved into new concrete poured near the synagogue…so does the tension grow between Aviva and Kayla and the girls at their school, and so do the actions of the dybbuk grow worse.

Could real harm be coming Aviva’s way? And is it somehow related to the “accident” that took her father years ago?

Aviva vs. the Dybbuk is a compelling, tender story about friendship and community, grief and healing, and one indomitable girl who somehow manages to connect them all.

The Lost Ryū by Emily Watanabe Cohen. 224 p. Levine Querido, June 7, 2022. 9781646141326.

Publisher synopsis: Kohei Fujiwara has never seen a big ryū in real life. Those dragons all disappeared from Japan after World War II, and twenty years later, they’ve become the stuff of legend. Their smaller cousins, who can fit in your palm, are all that remain. And Kohei loves his ryū, Yuharu, but… 

…Kohei has a memory of the big ryū. He knows that’s impossible, but still, it’s there, in his mind. In it, he can see his grandpa — Ojiisan — gazing up at the big ryū with what looks to Kohei like total and absolute wonder. When Kohei was little, he dreamed he’d go on a grand quest to bring the big ryū back, to get Ojiisan to smile again.

But now, Ojiisan is really, really sick. And Kohei is running out of time.

Kohei needs to find the big ryū now, before it’s too late. With the help of Isolde, his new half-Jewish, half-Japanese neighbor; and Isolde’s Yiddish-speaking dragon, Cheshire; he thinks he can do it. Maybe. He doesn’t have a choice.

In The Lost Ryū, debut author Emi Watanabe Cohen gives us a story of multigenerational pain, magic, and the lengths to which we’ll go to protect the people we love.

The Days of Bluegrass Love by Edward van de Vendel. Translated by Emma Rault. 208 p. Levine Querido, May 17, 2022. 9781646140466.

Publisher synopsis: Tycho Zeling is drifting through his life. Everything in it – school, friends, girls, plans for the future – just kind of … happens. Like a movie he presses play on, but doesn’t direct.

So Tycho decides to break away from everything. He flies to America to spend his summer as a counselor at a summer camp, for international kids. It is there that Oliver walks in, another counselor, from Norway.

And it is there that Tycho feels his life stop, and begin again, finally, as his.

The Days of Bluegrass Love was originally published in the Netherlands in 1999. It was a groundbreaking book and has since become a beloved classic throughout Europe, but has never been translated into English. Here, for the first time, it is masterfully presented to American readers – a tender, intense, unforgettable story of first love.

Tronhead or Once a Young Lady by Jean-Claude van Rijekeghem. Translated by Kristen Gehrman. 432 p. Levine Querido, February 15, 2022. 9781646140480.

Publisher synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Constance is not interested in marriage or in being a “young lady.” But for a young woman coming of age in the early 1800s, that’s just about all that’s available to her. When her parents arrange her a marriage with a man more than twice her age, she’s powerless to resist. Stance couldn’t possibly find her newfound husband less appealing, but what can she do? 

Here’s what:

Four months into the marriage, she can slip out of their bed in the middle of the night, and she can put on his clothes. She can look in the mirror and like what she sees. She can sneak out of the house before dawn and visit the baker’s scrawny son, who has just been drafted into the army, and offer to take his place. Vive l’Empereur!

Hot on Stance’s tail all the while is her younger brother Pieter, determined to bring Stance back home to Ghent where she belongs. (The battlefield is no place for a young lady, after all.)

Ironhead, or, Once A Young Lady is the riotous and powerful story of a fierce renegade, and the silly men who try to bring her down.

Purchased: I received some AZ gift cards from students and ordered some books for the library. They ought to arrive sometime this week.

What's in your mailbox this week?