Monday, January 2, 2023

It's Monday - Books at Year's End

  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! 

Hi Everyone! 
            The last time I posted was the week after Thanksgiving. Since then: I traveled to Lexington, Kentucky to be at my grandson's graduation from the University of Kentucky, had Christmas with my daughter and family, had lots of work at the bookstore, and am prepping for ALL of the family to be together for a day to celebrate Christmas together. My son and family are coming in to stay at our townhouse in the Keystone area, to ski! We'll be together next Saturday. It's been a different December for sure with those changes in events and because of the weather, like the "big" one mid-month. I hope all of you remained safe during that terrible storm. 
            And, Best wishes for a fabulous 2023 full of reading and all the other things that bring you joy!
          Here's a collage of all the books I reviewed on Goodreads since that post. Some are old favorites; some are new! Click on the book titles to read my review on Goodreads.!

Amari and the Great Game

          It took a long time to read this new Amari adventure, not because it wasn't good but because Alston included so many layers in this new world that I was dumbstruck, had to re-read some parts to understand, plus then it was mostly in December which held all the holiday prep plus a trip for special graduation, too little time to settle in just to read! Amari, once again, is seen as a young teen, though very special, wanting to do good, continued to question her actions with her magic, and wanted so much to do things right. With best friends Elsie, then Jayden later, and a surprise friend, Lara, the nemesis in the first book, Amari had a group to lean on and love! The complexity of Alston's world-building is amazing and fun and just plain satisfying. Though it took a while, I am glad to recommend it!

I forgot to include this book in my collage!
Thanks to Candlewick Press for this new story about Tola!

        I've enjoyed the first two books about "Too Small Tola" and this one follows a similar style, a telling of the life of a family of three children, the youngest is Tola, being raised by their Grandmommy in Lagos, Nigeria. They live in a rundown part of the city and clearly are poor. However, Atinuke shows in her fine story-telling that they have something more, love among them so they will do what is needed to help each other (even if they are sad a little about it or irritated, too). Onyinye Iwu's drawings follow along with the story in a way that enhances the important parts. The stories show Tola's thoughts, though sometimes no one else knows them but us, the readers. Each one leads us through Tola's feelings and reasons for her actions as if we are in on a secret that others don't find out until the end, or never! I liked this one, so full of heart, very much.

What's Next - I have so many books in my TBR list, I don't know what I'll choose next. I'll check out the Cybil's finalists' list and the Nerdies award. Perhaps that will help me choose. 


  1. I liked the first Tola book. I'll have to catch up on the others. Happy new year!

  2. This is a nice variety of books. I love fairies, so I added Christmas Fairies for Ouma to my TBR. I love Jan Brett's books. When I was a second grade teacher, hers was my favorite unit to teach in Reading. :-)

  3. I ended up reading Herschel for the first time this holiday season also. I should pick up Maya's Song soon. Happy new year, Linda!

    1. I didn't realize I posted as anonymous, lol. This is Earl by the way.

  4. Thanks, everyone. It's cold & snowy here in Denver today, perfect for reading!

  5. I have just started the Amari novel. My cousin is visiting so I'm not getting much reading, or anything else accomplished. We are having a good time though.
    All these Christmas books are new to me, although I do love Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins.
    I adored Maya's Song!

  6. Happy New Year! I LOVED the Amari books! They are quite complex, but I loved the cast of characters and the second book was just as good as the first. Have a great week of reading!

  7. Thank you, Cheriee & Jennifer. Glad to hear you've started Amari & are have already loved it. Enjoy what sounds good to you!


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