I live in a subtropical climate and it’s finally starting to feel like fall. I can actually light my candle and sit under my cozy blankets and not burn up. And the candles aren’t to keep the mosquitos away finally.
First up: Light a Scented Candle – A Book That’s Lighthearted
Kristy and the Snobs, the newest in the Babysitters Club graphic novels was the one that came to mind for this. I’m also watching the second series of BSC which I’m told has inspired tears so maybe I’m wrong about the lighthearted bit.
Drink Pumpkin Spiced Lattes – A Book That Has a Lot of Hype
Room to Dream by Kelly Yang, she’s had a lot of hype lately for all the wrong reasons when people should just be focused on her wonderful stories. I’m loving Room to Dream especially since it addresses some of the problems we are dealing with these days.
Go Apple Picking – A Book That Has Fun Friendships
I just finished This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada trilogy and when the characters aren’t running for their life trying to escape governments rebels or a zombie virus their friendships are really the heart of the book and what gets them through all the other wild adventures they end up being placed in.
What Lives in the Woods by Ally Malineko, it’s a terrifying ghost story for most of the book which gives you some insight to how I read. But the ending is just so sweet it has to fall into this category.
Bake Cinnamon Rolls – A Character Who’s a Talented Chef
A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Lauren Shovan. The two characters were in a cooking class where they had to make so cross cultural and yummy dishes. I’m still wishing I could pick up a pint of the ice cream they make at the end.
Jump Into a Pile of Leaves – A Book That Made You Jump For Joy
Starfish by Lisa Fipps because it’s one of the few, if not the only book focused on fat positivity that I’ve read. I literally want to buy it for school libraries, it’s going to be in the top ten of the year. I just wish I’d had books like this as a young fat person. Because the writer writes about how the protagonist can be fat and happy.
Happy Indigenous People’s Day! This holiday has replaced the horror that was Columbus Day and is now instead used to celebrate native peoples that have been irreparably harmed by colonization.
Cynthia Leitich Smith
One of my favorite books this year has been Ancestor Approved. It it a wonderful anthology from many Native writers collected by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Smith is important in her own right, she is the 2021 NSK Neustadt Laureate and a New York Times bestselling author of books for young readers, including HEARTS UNBROKEN, which won the American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award. Her 2021 releases are the middle grade anthology ANCESTOR APPROVED: INTERTRIBAL STORIES FOR KIDS and novel SISTERS OF THE NEVERSEA.
She is also the author-curator of Heartdrum, a Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and serves as the Katherine Paterson Inaugural Endowed Chair on the faculty of the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Cynthia is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and lives in Austin, Texas.
Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).
They are the heroes of their own stories.
Featuring stories and poems by: Joseph Bruchac Art Coulson Christine Day Eric Gansworth Carole Lindstrom Dawn Quigley Rebecca Roanhorse David A. Robertson Andrea L. Rogers Kim Rogers Cynthia Leitich Smith Monique Gray Smith Traci Sorell, Tim Tingle Erika T. Wurth Brian Young
In partnership with We Need Diverse Books. This book and the stories within filled me with a range of emotions I was happy, sad, amused, and very hungry as we don’t have any of the food described in my town. This book as important as it draws from a variety of points of view and really brings you into the Powwow. It’s just a sense of joy coming from the book and makes me happy to read.
One of my other favorite native authors is Christine Day she’s written a few books but the one that really spoke to me this year after having an injury was The Sea in Winter. Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. Her debut novel, I Can Make This Promise, was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Her second novel, The Sea in Winter, was an Indie Kids’ Next List selection, a Junior Library Guild selection, and the recipient of three starred reviews. She also wrote the forthcoming She Persisted: Maria Tallchief, an early reader biography in a new series inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s bestselling picture book. Christine lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.
The Sea in Winter
It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.
Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.
But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?
This is a Heartdrum publication and while it’s not an out right happy book it has it’s sweet moments and deals with the important subjects of how tough it is to recover from injury and give up something you love and what you can find in the interim that might be worth more than you were expecting.
This was a read from last year when I did IndigAThon which I plan to do again.
Celina Kalluk was born and raised in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, to Zipporah Kalluk and Leonard Thibodeau. Celina has two brothers and five sisters, one sister-niece, and many more beautiful nieces and nephews. She also has four daughters of her own, Jazlin, Aulaja, Saima, and Ramata. She dedicates her book The Sweetest Kulu to all the mothers and fathers of this earth and to our wonderful children. Celina is also a visual artist and has illustrated several book covers and other literacy materials. Currently, she is the Inuktitut Language Specialist and Cultural Arts teacher for grades seven through twelve at Qarmartalik School in Resolute Bay. Sweetest Kulu is her first book for children.
“Dream a little, Kulu, this world now sings a most beautiful song of you.”
This beautiful bedtime poem, written by acclaimed Inuit throat singer Celina Kalluk, describes the gifts given to a newborn baby by all the animals of the Arctic.
Lyrically and tenderly told by a mother speaking to her own little Kulu; an Inuktitut term of endearment often bestowed upon babies and young children, this visually stunning book is infused with the traditional Inuit values of love and respect for the land and its animal inhabitants
This is just a happy book, the author brought the animals of the artic alive for the reader. And after hearing her sing you can just imagine the book sung, it’s a beautiful piece of work and I hope to see more from her.
While these are wonderful authors and I’m happy to have read them. Don’t forget the tons of native, indigenous, or whatever they prefer to be call in your own community and around the world. Don’t let this time of the only time of the year you think or read about native people. As a quote on Instagram pointed out they are native other days of the year to and desperately need more attention from the middle grade and YA book world.
So a couple of days ago I just finished up my readathon for Orillium: The Novice Path. It was a very well designed readathon and I can’t wait for it’s continuation in the spring. I didn’t read all seven books for the path but I think I made a pretty good showing with 3 and one for characterization of my character. I really enjoyed the choices at each point which determined our house for next session.
Here is my character who went on the Novice Path.
So this is Ranela who is a dwarf from Darune. While I was only able to establish one thing about their character while on the novice path this time, I can’t wait for the next round to fully establish them. At the end of the Novice Path they were invited to join The Mind Walkers.
So here’s what I read:
Ashthorn Tree-A book that keeps tempting you.
I kept being tempted by a book about pandemics and this is a great one.
Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?
Ruin of the Skye-Read a book featuring ghosts or other supernatural elements.
The Ghost Girl is perfect for this prompt and I’ve also been meaning to read it forever.
Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.
It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost.
When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.
But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.
To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them—Zee, Elijah, and Nellie—will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.
I would have read this book even if it weren’t for the Novice Path as it was such a great piece.
All Ginny Anderson wants from her summer is to sleep in, attend a mystery writing workshop, and spend time with her best friend. But when Ginny’s father—a respected restoration expert in Chicago—surprises the family with a month-long trip to Michigan, everything changes. They aren’t staying in a hotel like most families would. No, they’re staying in a mansion. A twenty-six room, century-old building surrounded by dense forest. Woodmoor Manor.
But unfortunately, the mansion has more problems than a little peeling wallpaper. Locals claim the surrounding woods are inhabited by mutated creatures with glowing eyes. And some say campers routinely disappear in the woods, never to be seen again.
As terrifying as it sounds, Ginny can’t shake the feeling that there’s something darker . . . another story she hasn’t been told. When the creaky floors and shadowy corners of the mansion seem to take on a life of their own, Ginny uncovers the wildest mystery of all: There’s more than one legend roaming Saugatuck, Michigan, and they definitely aren’t after campers.
I read this book for the Novice Path because my character build required a sci-fi book.
When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.
Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists–including her family and friends–are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.
Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne–if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.
With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?
Before I had to take care of my family member I was going to be on Turn the Pages tour for the upcoming book For All Time. I wasn’t able to make my commitment for the tour due to my caretaker duties, however I however still wanted to spotlight the book.
For All Time
Tamar is a musician, a warrior, a survivor. Fayard? He’s a pioneer, a hustler, a hopeless romantic.
Together, Tamar and Fayard have lived a thousand lives, seen the world build itself up from nothing only to tear itself down again in civil war. They’ve even watched humanity take to the stars. But in each life one thing remains the same: their love and their fight to be together. One love story after another. Their only concern is they never get to see how their story ends. Until now.
When they finally discover what it will take to break the cycle, will they be able to make the sacrifice?
The premise of this book is so interesting and I can’t wait to have time to dig into this book and see how the author portrays all the different time periods. I want to see if Miles goes backwards or forwards in history or both and if the same kind of thing separates the characters every time of if that’s also diverse as well. Finally I want to see and how Miles puts the spotlight the character’s personalities despite the that the characters themselves are changing through time.
Anyway like me when you have a free moment take your time to Read for All Time by Shanna Miles.
So I’m trying to get back into writing my novel. So what I’m doing is some micro writing challenges here.
1LineWeds: Introduce Your Antagonist
Villian 1: It was time to finally see she didn’t silence everything around her. That had been a joke, a trick, a distraction. L could finally see now what she really was someone who could morph into anything and everything and she’d fooled her right up until it was too late.
Villian 2: She burned the brightest L had every seen she would have shielded her eyes or looked on in awe, that is if her burning hand currently didn’t have her by the throat.
Villian 1: She loved climbing the walls of palace being above everyone just gave her a better view the view she’d have when that country girl was finally won over when this backwater was lost and won, when she was finally Queen.
Villian 2: She wasn’t like her sister she didn’t fear the water because she knew without a doubt it couldn’t hurt her she stood on the beach and shot her fire into the water steam opening a path for her. She stopped the shot her fire at the sand hitting it with more and more intensity until it turned to glass. She didn’t care what her mother said, they didn’t need peace with waring tribe, they had all the powers they needed, and she would show the little lightning witch she’d never threaten her people again.
1. I’m a middle grade to YA fantasy writer not sure where I fit at the moment. I like writing about neurodiverse, witchy and LGBTQIA characters, oh and dragons and magic, and sometimes ghosts and mental health.
2. Put 10,000 words on my main project and 5,000 on my side project
I’m a middle grade and young adult fantasy novel writer who likes to write about fantasy and the spooky witchy stuff.
On my main series two book novel that could each be read as stand alones but work better together. On my side series a standalone.
L watched the ocean for a long moment every fiber of her soul wanting to dive back under those waves and choke the people who were responsible for what happened to her family. But as she watched the reds in the sunrise, she realized the world was on fire and it wasn’t just about her anymore. She dug her toes into the sand one last time, a promise she would return and face her demons before she turned away from sunrise when she stepped back into the jet and A asked where they were going she replied simply. “Back to the capital, we need to fix this.”
So I’m going to update what I’m reading every day since I get a new roll on Bookaplaton every day so today on Bookaplaton I got the prompt of a book with humans so I’m reading Ghost Girl which I bought yesterday because it was just too good not to read ASAP. I’m also reading Fellowship of the Ring for Magical Readathon’s first prompt. In addition to this I’m reading Goddess in the Machine because I just started it and am enjoying it.
The other readathon I’m taking a part in is BookoplAthon it by #BeccasBookopoly. It essentially consists of playing a game of Monopoly but with book prompts titles and ideas. BookoplAthon is the much longer month-long version. However, the creator of the readathon also does this for herself every month. And there aremuch shorter 48-hour versions. Here is the introduction for the readathon.
Some people are making TBR’s but we all know how that goes around here don’t we? I’m a mood reader and I’ve just finally admitted it. As much as I love looking at the beautifully crafted TBRs where everyone knows exactly what they are going to read for which prompt. I’m just not that much of planner. Luckily this book has a way to play for mood readers too. You just roll two six sided dice then follow around the board deciding on books as you go.
The game also has cards like Chance and Community Chest, where you put your TBR titles and various prompts like read a fantasy? So if you land on either of those spaces on the board you have to pull a card and do what the card says.
Becca who is running the BookoplAthon suggests that you mix up prompts you love with prompts you might not be so interested in to keep the readathon interesting. I think I’m going to focus my prompts on clearing out my Scribd TBR as it has gotten preciptiously long. I’m going to try and avoid audio books as they tend to slow me down. Genre wise I want to focus more on fantasy as I’ve read a lot of contemporary this year, maybe along with some horror. Reading level will be mostly middle grade but I may throw in a YA book or two to shake things up.
I’m making my prompt cards tomorrow so that should be fun. I’m really excited for both my readathons in September. If you have any ideas for prompts please put them in the comments.
So I’m really excited about an upcoming readathon in September called the Magical Readathon, it’s the first part of a readathon where readers go on a journey to a magical school which they will start in a readathon next year.
You can hear more about the world made up for the readathon here in the introduction video.
For this readathon, you are just journeying to the academy but you can also start on some character creation if you are feeling up to it which I’m going to try to do.
The Prompts for the Journey are as follows-
The Novice Path-Read a book with a map
Ashthorn Tree-A book that keeps tempting you.
Mist of Solitude-Read a Standalone
Ruin of the Skye-Read a book featuring ghosts or other supernatural elements.
Obsidian Falls-Read a Thiller or a mystery book.
Tower of Rumination: A five-star prediction.
Orillium Academy Arc-Read a book with a school setting.
I’m also planning on trying to set up my character a little bit in September. I’m planning on playing a Urban dwarf from Daerune. Urban makes sense because Daerune has the most cities and is the most technologically advanced of the continents and dwavares are genies with technology, I’m going to be playing a female dwarf since they always the creator of the readathon made them really cool, and because they often get overlooked in fantasy.
So I’ll also be reading a book set in a city, a book set in a desert , and a book from an ongoing series.
I’ll put up a TBR closer to September but I’m really excited about this readathon! If I’m up to it I might do a second character maybe an elf. I’m just starting a new D&D campaign so this is really hitting at my roleplaying heart.
Plus this readathon is super well thought out and detailed between the different races and the backstory of the world I really can’t wait to see where it goes.
So I thought the Path or Pantheon readathon was in June because I wasn’t paying attention. I did get some books to read that met the prompts but I wanted to try this again. I’m doing the Path of Home again and adding the Norse Pantheon to give myself a challenge. I’m going to do a new TBR for the Path of Home ASAP. And luckily for the Norse Pantheon, I don’t have to set one but I’m going to do a kind of setup for what books I might do just to sort of have an idea of what I’m doing.