Based on the author Kao Kalia Yang’s childhood. Yang, a Hmong refugee shows her family’s experience with lots of love not a lot of money. The story focuses on Kalia and her beloved grandmother, the book moves back and forth from the jungles of Laos to the family’s early years in the United States. Sharing the Kalia’s grandmother’s story along with their own.
When Kalia becomes tired of having to do without and decides she wants braces to improve her smile, her grandmother who has just one tooth in her mouth, helps her see that true beauty isn’t skin deep. And instead with family and those we love most.
This stunning intergenerational tale is brought to life by illustrations from Vietnamese illustrator Khoa Le
This book is beautifully illustrated to show the close relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter. I especially love the portions of the book that show the grandmother’s youth. There is one particular illustration of her facing a tiger that is especially memorable.
I love the style of art it’s almost like a collage. The whole book deserves a 5/5 both for story and illustration.
Hi guys I’m now an Amazon Associate so if you are thinking about perchasing this book pleases consider clicking on my link below.
After harrowing battles and horrible losses, the three Stowe sibling are FINALLY, reunited. McMann made us wait for this one though things aren’t as happy as one might expect.While they are back in Artimé they have all been changed by their experinces.
Fifer who so enjoyed being in charge and working with Simber while in the dragon lands now sees her role reduced now that she’s back in Artime, and she struggles to find her place and purpose.
Meanwhile Thisbe was changed by her experinces in the catacombs and it has given her a deeper link with Rohan and the other black eyed children in the land of the dragons now she’s relentless in determination to return and help.
Finally Aaron has little success at warding off incresing opposition at his being head mage, from a resentful Frieda Studbbs and her dissenters, leading to a shocking and dangerous turn. Frieda can’t see past Aaron’s past actions, and see the girls as dangerous, she saw Alex as the only good example from the family and has a grudge with the rest of the Stowes due to some childhood experinces.
Meanwhile the Revinir pursues Thisbe and all the way to the seven islands putting Artimé in danger. So Thisbe and Drock make a choice to try and save their homes, meanwhile leaving Aaron and Fifer to fight in a political rebellion in what used to be a peaceful magical world.
So Dead Juliet wins all the awards. I have to think Mr. Today would especially appricate it. For real though, poor Aaron Alex had to deal with some stuff, and kind of coup when the world disappered but I think this is one of the most annoying conflict Artimé has had to deal with, I know why McMann put it in, and understand who it helped to grow and what it showed, but I still feel sorry for Aaron and Simber especially
As for Thisbe and Drock’s plan, pure genius. Perfect way for McMann to move the plot along can’t wait to review the next book.
One other note, the dance scene in this book is one of the few where I notice Fifer’s lack of interest in romance, and since LGBTQIA romance seems to be accepted in Artimé might she be aromanic or asexual.
Check out the middle grade favorites coming out this week.
1) 365 Days to Alaska
Eleven year old Rigel Harman loves her in off the grid Alaska. Where hunting rabbits and playing dominos with her family in their two bedroom cabin is the norm. She doesn’t mind not having electricity or running water, instead she’s rewarded with tall trees fresh air and endless sky.
Then her parents divorce and Rigel and her sisters have to move with their mom to the Connecitcut suburbs to live with a grandmother they’ve never met. Rilgel h
Eleven-year-old Rigel Harman loves her life in off-the-grid Alaska. She hunts rabbits, takes correspondence classes through the mail, and plays dominoes with her family in their two-room cabin. She doesn’t mind not having electricity or running water—instead, she’s got tall trees, fresh streams, and endless sky.
But then her parents divorce, and Rigel and her sisters have to move with their mom to the Connecticut suburbs to live with a grandmother they’ve never met. Rigel hates it in Connecticut. It’s noisy, and crowded, and there’s no real nature. Her only hope is a secret pact that she made with her father: If she can stick it out in Connecticut for one year, he’ll bring her back home.
At first, surviving the year feels impossible. Middle school is nothing like the wilderness, and she doesn’t connect with anyone . . . until she befriends a crow living behind her school. And if this wild creature has made a life for itself in the suburbs, then, just maybe, Rigel can too.
365 Days to Alaska is a wise and funny debut novel about finding beauty, hope, and connection in the world no matter where you are—even Connecticut.
2) Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations Book 1)
Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.
So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.
Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.
elve-year-old Maxine Chen is just trying to nail that perfect landing: on the ice, in middle school, and at home, where her parents worry that competitive skating is too much pressure for a budding tween. Maxine isn’t concerned, however—she’s determined to glide to victory. But then a bully at school starts teasing Maxine for her Chinese heritage, leaving her stunned and speechless. And at the rink, she finds herself up against a stellar new skater named Hollie, whose grace and skill threaten to edge Maxine out of the competition. With everything she knows on uneven ice, will Maxine crash under the pressure? Or can she power her way to a comeback?
Set in Lake Placid, New York, this is a spunky yet stirring middle-grade story that examines racism, female rivalry and friendship, and the enduring and universal necessity of love and support.
Karma Moon is a firm believer in everything spooky. She relies on her trusty magical eight ball, so when she asked it if the call her dad got to create a ghost hunting doucuseries was their big break, of course it delivered. “No doubt, about it.” the ball said, because the universe never gets it wrong only people do.
Karma and her best friend Maga join her dad Totally Rad film crew at a famous haunted hotel in Colorado over her spring break. They have one mission: find a ghost and get it on camera. Everything will be golden for them if that happens, the show will be a hit, they can pay the rent on time, and just maybe her mom will come back. +
Karma and her best friend, Mags, join her dad’s Totally Rad film crew at a famous haunted hotel in Colorado over her spring break. Their mission: find a ghost and get it on camera. If they succeed, the show will be a hit, they can pay rent on time, and just maybe, her mom will come back.
But staying at a haunted hotel isn’t easy for someone with a big case of the what if’s. But her dad made Karma head of research for the docuseries. So, she, Mags and a mysterious local boy named Nyx must delve into all the creepy happening at the historic Stanley Hotel.
Melissa Savage does a great job interweaving a sweet ghost story with relatable struggle against anxiety and grief over her fractured family, Karma Moon–Ghosthunter is bound to charm and delight.
So it looks like I’ll be spending even more time with the blog, another one of my goals for this year. Thursday morning I fell down the staris and broke and dislocated my foot so I’ll be focusing on writing blog posts and doing readathons for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
I also have to go see an orthopedic surgon and have surgery soon. So if you can think about me and my recovery.
I’ve been reading this week mostly these two book.
I won’t say anything specific, but books don’t make me cry / aggravate me much and wow did this book do a number in that department. But the description is has SPOILERS AHEAD.
Just when the team thinks they have it all figured out the Revinir strike’s at Artime’s heart, Alex’s leaving the the magical land without a leader while they are stuck in a strange place which is in the middle of it’s own civil war. Fifer and Simber struggle to lead their team in what now seems like a hopeless search for Fifer’s twin.
Back home Aaron must take the mantel that he’s had so much conflict around, head mage of Artime, he once dreamed of it, now he dreads it. And rightly so finding unexpected trouble relating to a past that just won’t leave him behind.
Meanwhile Thisbe thanks to a unique broth, is able to see images of Grimere’s dark history, but she must deal with her growing feelings of abandonment, while she considers leaving Rohan in a gamble that could take her home or to her death.
Finally things in Artimé are escalating at the worst time as Aaron find the Revinir’s control reaches into the very heart of Artimé.
There were several points when I almost threw my tablet, Alex’s death for one. It was great, well played not at all expected. He just died, we expected him to live and he didn’t great show for everyone about how powerful the Revinir’ is and the fragility of life.
Also as stated before I feel sorry for Aaron an man does he get walloped in this book too, he’s always had a weird relationship with being head mage, but to get it this way ouch.
Also I’d be shocked if I didn’t almost cry during the Simber paragraphs.
Also the issue of timing people are almost in contact with one another then they aren’t it’s great but it makes you want to throw your book, and it’s what makes McMann a masterful writer.
Okay after this week I needed a cute book. This book is dang adorable. The art style between the art style and content the only word I can use to describe it is cozy.
Séance Tea Party
Lora thinks that growing up sounds terrible. No one has time to do anything fun, play outside, or use their imagination. Once you are considered grown everything is so serious. People are just interested in looks and what others thinks about them, rather than having fun adventures.
When her circle of friends suddenly shrinks as growing up happens Lora is determined to have fun on her own and not bow to the social pressures and be like everyone else. So one day Lora has a tea party with a supernatural twist that leads to her rediscovering Alexa, the ghost that haunts her house and her old imaginary friend!
They are thrilled to see each other again, and find that they are kindred spirits (pun totally intended). Alexa helps Lora be more independent and find some new friends who share her spooky interests.
Meanwhile Alexa starts to remember things about the past and an encounter with an old friend leads her to wonder if now that she knows her full story is it time for her to let go.
Over the course of the course of the story both Lora and Alexa learn not everything can last forever.
I’m not sure if it was meant to read as gay or just sweet female friendship but either way. There were freaking tears. That last dance, tears! I’m not sure exactly what freed Alexa in the end though, knowing her whole story, her old friend, Lora, or a mixture of the three. I think she stuck around in the first place because she was cut off so quickly in her youth. But I think her friends help her finally realize the value of letting go.
Same thing with Lora, who was a total goth in training, she slowly found people, outside the mainstream who fit her and by the end she was more like herself.
Also it’s so beautiful, a feast for the eyes! Reimena Yee is a fantastic illustrator!
Reimena Yee is a strange and fancy Eisner-nom’d graphic novelist/illustrator who can be found on Twitter at @reimenayee or their blog at https://blog.reimenayee.com/
The Artiméans thought their years of taking losses were over. But after being trapped in the dragon lands and making a grim discovery about the true nature of the Revinir. Fifer and Thisbe are forced to spilt up for the first time in their lives.
The Artiméans also must make an impossible choice of leaving Thisbe behind to save Fifer’s life.
Not only is Thisbe captured and Fifer injured, but Sky is lost at at sea. Leaving Alex paralyzed over the idea of doing anything that might lose him anyone else. But as Fifer slowly recovers her rage and pain at losing a sibling slowly convince him to finally trust her to help in the battle now that their true enemy has been revealed.
Thisbe has no idea about Fifers wounds, Alex’s guilt or her complicated rescue attempt, she’s on her own underground in the Revinir’s catacombs, where the ancient dragon rulers are buried. Along with fellow prisoners it’s her job to transport the bones from her crypt to the extracting room where others extract the magical properties dormant in the bones.
As time goes on and it doesn’t look like anyone is coming back to rescue her, Thisbe must train in secret trying to learn how to control her fiery magic to use it to escape.
But with what looks like no help coming, she may have to risk allying herself with the ultimate evil.
But will it be worth the risk?
The timing on these books was perfect I kept wanting to put people places because McMann was so genius to make them just miss each other. I believe I remember grumbling at the book because I was like you guys have to be at the right place at the right time now, but alas. McMann keeps us on our toes until just when we need to be.
Also thing I love about this book, Fifer ready to go all deadly sister on Alex.
Any scenes with Rohan
Alex getting past his pride and training again for his family.
Also seeing a crew of Artiméans going out on an adventure again was just great!
I’m going to start by saying I know this is a very privileged question, with so many people in the hospital and or way behind on their rent, or out of a job, being able to worry about something like blogging is a luxury. But I wanted to talk about how the pandemic has affected my processes as a blogger and wondering if it has affected you all similarly.
First off, the pandemic has limited my acesss to books, not completly, I do have acesss to two libraries and a book subsciption service. However I feel like my content was more varied and diverse, and of course and got to grab new releases faster when I had a brick and mortar library on hand.
As a blogger with limited fiances this has hit me fiancially as I’ve had to buy some of the books that I otherwise would have just checked out. I know that’s not a problem for everyone but it’s been an issue for me.
I also feel like I’ve had to give up most of my work with Bookstagram, due to the lack of having a library with non-digital copies of books. I’ve tried shooting with my iPad, and maybe it’s just me that hasn’t caught the trick but I can get my iPad and props to look right together. The glare is its own issue, maybe I just need to spend more time working on photography?
On a high note though I feel like things have slowed down to the point where I’m able to post on the blog every day, and I’m able to read more, which is good because I want to hit my 100 book this year goal and keep posting every day.
So maybe I’ve lost some things from my blogging routine but I’ve also gained some things too.
Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves watching NASA launches with her dad, the only thing better? Building rockets with him! But when her father dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left is the latest model rocket they had been working on and some unresolved feelings.
Benjamin Burns doesn’t like science but he loves comics and he can’t get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. He find a sketch that suggests his dad created the comics and he’s thrilled,
Too bad his dad walked out years ago and he has no way to contact him.
Even though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partner, the pair become unlikely friends Benji helps Ro finish her rocket. Meanwhile Ro figures out a way to reunite Benji with his dad.
But Benji isn’t so sure, which leaves Ro fuming doesn’t he know what she’d give to have that kind of chance?
As the two deal with bullying, grief and their own differences, Benji and Ro must try to piece together clues to some of the the biggest questions in the universe.
Georgia Rosenbloom’s father was a famous artist best known for his series of asterisms-patterns of stars-that he created. One represented a bird, one himself one Georgia’s mother, there was supposed to be a fourth, but he died before he could paint it.
Georgia’s mother and best friend assure her that the last asterism would have been of her. But Georgia isn’t sure, she isn’t sure about a lot of things anymore including whether or not Theo is her best friend.
But then Georgia finds a sketch her father made of her with pencil points marked on the back just like those in the asterism painting. Is this the proof she’s always been been hoping for.
Her quest to prove her theory takes her around her Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art which was almost a second home to Georgia having been there so many times with her father to see her favorite artists and paintings.
But eventually the sketch leads right back to where she she’s always belonged-with the people who love her no matter what.
What starts as a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends ends up in a nightmare for twelve-year-old Maddie. She wakes up alone, left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.
She has no no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access. But as time passes she slowly learns to survive on her. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read.
After somewhat of a rough start Maddie learns to trust her own instincts and invents clever ways to survive in a forgotten corner of the the world. As the months pass she escapes natural disasters, looters and wild animals. But will her strong will be enough to survive the crushing loneliness she faces every day and carry her the most frightening experience of her life?
I’m looking especially forward to this one as we’ve often seen survival stories for masculine figures. Hatchet for example I’m looking forward to seeing it more from a feminine perspective.
Sorry guy for missing yesterday, I ended up doing content planning for the next couple of weeks and forgot to do a post for yesterday. It was a pretty good week, I’ve tried to avoid doom-scrolling and instead focus on my positive things.
For example some of my Christmas gifts came in. I managed to fall for a second time in some old shoes so my parents gifted me with some new ones.
Also my stimulus check arrived and after paying what I needed to pay I got something I’d been wanting to get for awhile.
They’ll be here tomorrow and my safety gear is matching, but it’s super exciting, I’ve been wanting to learn to skate for years. So I can’t wait to get out and use them. And finally I got one more gift which I’ve already used to make bread.
I really love the decals I got for the mixer they look so SPARKLY in shifting light.
I’m also ahead on my reading for my goal this year. I’ve already read 5 books and it’s two weeks into January, so as long as I keep at this pace I should be fine to hit 100 for the year.