Monday, June 28, 2021

Monday Morning - Love These Books

  Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 
       Kellee! I am happy that things are going well with you!   Welcome back!       

             I took a long time reading this debut YA thriller by Angeline Boulley. Part of it was time. It is a long, dense book. But the other part is that sometimes I paused to consider what was happening, and what the protagonist who tells her story seemed to be telling me, the reader. As an almost nineteen-year-old, Daunis Fontaine appears to have lived a lot of her life already. She is a biracial, unenrolled tribal member who feels apart from her community and the Ojibwe reservation. She is both and neither. Also, I just recently read and shared a book in English and Anishinaabemovin, This Is How I Know by Brittany Luby, thus familiar with some of the background. My Goodreads review is here.
            A thriller was not expected when I started the book. Another reason I slowed down was the preponderance of sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat moments. On the other hand, sometimes it was definitely a story of growing up, making a mixed-up life fit. Then suddenly it turned into a life shattered with sadness and grief. Family support felt crucial for Daunis but typical for a teen, she wasn't always truthful about what was happening to her. She is strong and continues to be, shoving secrets and sadness inside, even from her mother and her Auntie who might be the ones who will step in to help. There is romance, so I thought it might be a thriller that had a deliriously happy ending. You'll need to read to decide if it did. 
         Words in Anishinaabemovin along with tribal traditions and beliefs make the story one that envelops the tragedy of so many Native American women going missing. That is in our news today! Angeline Boulley isn't telling only Daunis' story but the story of many, a thread that sews it all together. Speaking from the 'outside', I realize there is much more to know and understand, but I am grateful for this marvelous book that adds to my knowledge.

From Goodreads: 
Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she'll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

There are all kinds of animals, including people, with various numbers of legs. This story tells about Three, wandering through the day happy as can be. He was glad when it rained because he felt clean. His "waggly tail kept him well fed". Sometimes, he wandered and looked for a home, "wherever his nose led". Stephen Michael King writes and illustrates a special story of a positive dog with three legs, happy not to have legs too long (like horses) or too many to count (like caterpillars), yes, all positive. In all his walking, he was happy. One day he walked out of the city and met a young girl named Fern, and they seemed meant to be together. Three found his home! First published in Australia, this is published in the U.S. just this year. It's a lovely (and happy) story, just like Three.

               This is an adorable story about a father and daughter, hair twins (sometimes) when they wear their hair a certain way. The background shared at the back by the author, Raakhee Mirchandani, tells that those who are part of the Sikh religion do not cut their hair. She has based this story on her own husband and daughter. Men cover it with a turban, but the young girl Katya wears hers in varied ways which the father helps style. The sweet illustrations by Holly Hatam show the love and happy times during "hair" time. Katya describes the happenings through sweet comparisons. For example, when the father parts her hair down the middle, it's "like a river separating two enchanted forests". It's great to learn about other traditions and would be fun to share, then ask children, at home or school, what traditions or memories they have.

        Think "Where's Waldo", only this time, look for a list given on every double-page spread. Rachel Piercey offers a poem to begin, then a list of things to look for on each page. All through the seasons, the forest animals romp, play, prepare for winter, hold field days and art class. It's such a "full" book of details, it took me a long time to read and discover the details created by Freya Hartas. Added at the very end are two pages titled "Nature Trail" with even more things to spot. There is one final page of resources. If you would like a more detailed review, find it here at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup!

new poetry!

          David Harrison's recent book of poetry, just right for summer exploration, fills readers up with learning about that stuff that most kids love to dig in, dirt! It begins with a prose intro, fascinating, all about dirt's beginnings, its definition, and when it was first formed! The recipe is next, David's first poem. One fun, fun thing in addition to all the adventurous creatures found living and working "down below" is that the book itself is created vertically. The intro says "If we could take a magic elevator straight down into the world beneath our feet, what do you think we'd see?" All that's needed is to turn the page, and there is the recipe, followed by pages and poems about roots, doodlebugs, trapdoor spiders, all the way to those clever burrows dug by yellow-jacket wasps, and toads! More pages, more poems, fill up readers with dirt dwellers know-how. Also filling up the pages are beautiful illustrations both above and below ground by Kate Cosgrove, as David writes in the end poem, "Creatures large and small retreat/where boulders rest and tree roots drink./There's more to dirt than we might think./So many lives beneath our feet." I imagine lots of adventures out in nature with children exploring "dirt".

What's next: Chris Baron's The Magical Imperfect.


  1. It's not doubt that I absolutely loved Three! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on The Magical Imperfect. Definitely one of my favorite reads of 2021.

  2. I absolutely loved Firekeeper's Daughter! Your review is so thorough and spot on. I will be looking for This is How I Know as well. I also am interested in reading Hair Twins. Thank you for sharing. Have a great reading week!

  3. What a great set of books! You make Firekeeper's Daughter sound incredibly compelling—I love that you stopped so often to consider the book and the main character. Three and Hair Twins sound like great picture books, and The Dirt Book sounds like a fun set of poetry! Thanks so much for the great post!

  4. Fire Keeper's Daughter is a book that I keep seeing so many people reading and I just haven't gotten to yet, but I know I need to based on the number of people who have read it and been spellbound by it.

  5. I am in the camp of people who haven't yet read The Fire Keeper's Daughter but I think I have the audio book.

  6. Fire Keeper's Daughter is one of Ricki's favorite books, and I (bad blog partner) have not read it yet, but I will!!! :)

    Happy reading this week!

  7. So many gorgeous books today Linda. Fire Keeper's Daughter is on my list.
    I'm interested in reading The Dirt Book. There are few things I love more than getting my hands in dirt and mud. Maybe I was one of these animals in a previou?

  8. Thanks to everyone. I hope you discovered a new book this week! Enjoy whatever you've chosen! And Happy Reading!

  9. I liked that Three wasn't at all about the dog's missing leg but about him finding his place in the world.
    I have been recommending Firekeeper's Daughter left and right. So good! I can't wait to read more from this author!

    1. I agree about Three, life for him was good even before he found his home. And wow, Firekeeper's Daughter, fabulous read! Thanks, Michele!


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