It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.
Last Week's Posts
- Featured Illustrator: Melissa Sweet. Sharing some of my favorite biography and poetry books written and/or illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
- Diverse Books for Children: favorite LGBTQ books. Come share a #diversekidlit post or comment with your recommendations.
The Journey (2016) by Francesco Sanna. This picture book tells an intentionally-generic version of a forced immigration story as the narrator, her brother, and her mother flee their home country after the war and the death of her father. The book was inspired by the author's encounter with refugee girls in Italy. This one doesn't work for me as well as other immigration / migration / refugee books. The generic nature of the story makes it harder to connect with the characters, and I felt like the cartoonish border guards also downplay the seriousness of the issue. I'd love to hear other opinions!
Teacup (2015) by Rebecca Young and illustrated by Matt Ottley. In a similar vein, Teacup is a metaphorical story of a journey by a young boy with very little. With this one, I'm left baffled as to what the story is actually a metaphor for and why I should care. This one is not my cup of tea, if you'll pardon the pun.
Those Shoes (2007) by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. A good book for discussing the impact of peer pressure and the allure of pricy status items. (Maybe one that folks should have read before rushing out for their Black Friday shopping!)
When the Sea Turned to Silver (2016) by Grace Lin [National Book Award longlist]. Last week I re-read the first two books in this trilogy (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky) which, while not a requirement, did make for some easier connections between the stories.
Like the previous two books, this one is a story with many stories within it that draw on ancient Chinese folktales (some explicitly and some implicitly). I was far more familiar with many of the tales incorporated into this book, as several have been turned into picture books by illustrator Demi or are included in Favorite Folktales from Around the World, edited by Jane Yolen. This one provides a satisfying resolution to the trilogy (which I think is all is will be?), but I think that Starry River of the Sky might actually be my favorite of the three ...
... and speaking of threes, I also read March Book Three (2016) by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell [National Book Award Winner]. This is an important and powerful read, especially now. It is frankly disconcerting to see this look back at the work leading up to the passage of the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts and then compare it to how they are currently being eroded. A must-read.