Category Archives: children

Gauntlet

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I read The Gauntlet because I read Amina’s Voice and they’re both published by the Salaam Reads imprint from S&S. This is their vision.

“Salaam Reads is an imprint that aims to introduce readers of all faiths and backgrounds to a wide variety of Muslim children and families and offer Muslim kids an opportunity to see themselves reflected positively in published works. The imprint, which takes its name from the Arabic word for “peace,” plans to publish books for young readers of all ages, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult.”

I liked this book, it was essentially a chapter book version of Jumanji. I quick skimmed some of it, and it’s very game heavy. I’m not sure kids even know what mancala is anymore let alone how to play. I like that it wasn’t all about technology but kids these days might not like that or understand the games they’re referring to. It was worth the read and did have a lot of references to other cultures and food, which I liked. Now I’m going to read Saints & Misfits.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book by a person of color

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A Wrinkle in Time

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I read the book. It was only 100 something pages. Very quick. I liked it. I’m sad I didn’t read it as a kid because some people I talked to did and really enjoyed it. I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if I was a kid. Cynical adult view and all that nonsense. But I wanted to finish it before the movie. As a rule, that’s how I work. Annoyingly, as an adult, I noticed the book had some religious comments that I wasn’t prepared for – i.e. those who believe in God will prevail and no harm will come to you. That wouldn’t fly these days. Talking about God is not a normal thing in kids books and you’re immediately called out for it if you do. Even heavy handed morals aren’t really accepted these days. However, it was a good story and a quick read. In the vein of Lion Witch  & the Wardrobe (which also religious undertones because – C.S. Lewis..) I wonder if L’Engle is the same as Lewis in that you should go in prepared for religious comments. I don’t know anything about her. I should look.

Side note. It has a corresponding graphic novel. It won the Newbery Award in 1963.

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Wonderstruck Trailer

I didn’t even know Wonderstruck was going to be a movie!

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A Wrinkle in Time Trailer

I’m a bad librarian and have not read this book, but will before next year!

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Real Friends by Shannon Hale

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I’m not super “in” when it comes to graphic novels. I do try, but there’s so many that are 50 book series’ that I get bogged down and only like the ones that are standalone. I recently read the first Lumberjanes and it was hilarious. Not super surprising since the author also wrote Nimona and I liked that as well (although my review says otherwise..)

Anyway, Real Friends was quick and stands by itself. It’s a memoir of Shannon Hale’s experience in fourth and fifth grade and what it was like to try and make friends. Real friends. Not those catty girls who don’t really want to play with you but let you sit with them at lunch or are only nice to you because their mom is friends with your mom. I cringed reading some of the things that were said or done to poor Shannon but in hindsight those things were probably also done to me. Growing up is hard y’all.

I liked that at the end Shannon made a decision that a book that was trying to send a positive message might not have made. Shannon told a girl she couldn’t be in her group of friends because she was mean and made her feel bad about herself. In any other book Shannon would go home and have a heart to heart with her mom about how you have to be nice to everyone and she should let the mean girl in her group. But Shannon didn’t talk to her mom and she didn’t go back and change her mind. Everything was not fine with that girl and they did not become life long friends. And I liked that. Because not everyone will be your friend and you don’t have to be friends with everyone, especially if they’re mean to you. That is a positive message too.

Now that I said the thing I like I’m quick going to say the thing I didn’t like. Here it is. Shannon Hale throws Jesus in there at the WEIRDEST times. It makes no sense. Yes, she mentions going to church. But all of a sudden Jesus is sitting with her in a bush as her only friend. It was unnecessary and awkward.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with pictures

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Amina’s Voice

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Amina’s Voice has been reviewed on almost all of the blogs I read. Therefore, I had to read it. I’m glad I did. I liked this book a lot. It was very quick and realistic.

Amina is in middle school and feeling left out when her friend decides she wants to change her name. Her friend has a traditional Chinese name but now that she’s becoming an American citizen she wants to be more “American”. Amina starts to feel self conscious about her name and their friendship when a popular girl is brought in to their two-some. There is a portion at the end of the book surrounded by damage to Amina’s family mosque. I would’ve found this too current events centered had the author not built up the characters so well that it was weaved into the story without banging you over the head. I liked this book and will hand it out in the future.

Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 : a book with a title that’s a character’s name

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The Lotterys Plus One

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I loved Emma Donoghue’s book, Room. It also turned into a great movie, Brie Larson even won best actress. Donoghue did such a great job writing as a young child in Room that when I heard she was writing a juvenile novel it seemed like a great idea. I was on board.

Unfortunately, I just finished it and I think she tried to cram too many things into one book. I don’t like when novels put in a secondary LGBT character or a diverse character as if they’re trying to cross off some list of what their book needs in order to sell. It felt to me like this is what Donoghue was trying to do. She had : four gay parents, a child who was a girl but wanted to be called a boy (yet she used the girl pronoun throughout the whole book), a child who had shaken baby syndrome (?), a grandfather with dementia.. and the list goes on. I also thought some of the language was confusing. She made up her own words for this particular family. For example, one kid hears someone say excellent and thinks they said egg salad. So for the rest of the book egg salad is used in replacement for excellent. Or they have a spare room upstairs, but they call it spare oom. Why? There are a lot of characters as well. Toooo much. Too many. I didn’t care for it as a whole but was at least interested enough to finish.

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