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MMGM and #IMWAYR: Other Boys by Damian Alexander

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How are you all holding up? I've had some good and bad experiences involving technology lately. The bad: I was helping run an event at my university on Microsoft Teams, and we were using a Teams live event instead of a Teams meeting (it's like a Zoom webinar instead of a Zoom meeting, except you have to actually choose who/what is visible on screen at any given time by clicking on a bunch of stuff). What happened is, every time one of us went live on the audiences' screens, our entire Teams window disappeared (except for the buttons and the chat), so we couldn't see the slides we were reading off of! I had to pull mine up in my web browser while making awkward technology-rage small talk to the audience. Not a blast. And then the good of technology (which is  very  tangentially related to part of my review): back at the start of the pandemic, I started playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons  like about 30 million other people did (although I'd actually been playing ga

#IMWAYR: The Girl From the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag

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I hope you all are holding up well! I'm writing this review on Saturday afternoon , not Saturday night—that's how you know I'm relatively organized right now. (I used to have these done way earlier in the week, but this year, college has thrown a real wrench in that.) Also, as a judge for the Cybils Awards, I wanted to remind everyone that you have through Friday, October 15  to nominate your favorite kidlit books for the awards! You can  see the details here —I highly encourage you all to take a look and suggest some books for consideration! Now I just need to figure out what to nominate...   (Update on Sunday night: I submitted my first nomination, and you can expect to hear about it on the blog in the coming weeks!) Anyway, today I am recommending an absolutely fabulous YA graphic novel: The Girl From the Sea  by Molly Knox Ostertag. And I'll warn you, I just wrote a paragraph where I said I would "briefly" discuss something and then had to go back and del

MMGM and #IMWAYR: Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston (plus an apology to Jessica Townsend)

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So I have been a complete and utter blogging fiasco lately—I didn't comment on most people's blogs last week, I'm even further behind on my own comments, I haven't had time to read much at all, and I threw this review together on Saturday night/Sunday morning, which is not ideal! Chaos, seriously. At least I finally have my free time back (it was previously occupied by reading for several different book clubs), so I'm working on a graphic novel to review next week. Also, why is Blogger such a complete pain in the neck?! Now adding photos is all weird—they are supposed  to insert wherever you have the typing cursor positioned, but instead, they are showing up on the wrong rows, or—this one's new—inserting randomly in the middle  of a sentence. And I also keep having a different problem where clicking on one row of text puts the cursor in the row above it every single time and you have to close out of the post editor and go back in. Sigh—I hate this platform somet

MMGM and #IMWAYR: City of Illusion by Victoria Ying

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Before we get to the review, I'd like to share some random tidbits with you all. First of all, exciting news—I'm going to be a Round 2 Judge for Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction for the Cybils Awards this year!!! You can click here to see my full announcement post. Next, I apologize for being so behind on replying to my own blog comments—I'm trying to prioritize reading other people's posts and commenting on those, but my schedule has forced me to leave some gaps in my usual blogging routine, so I will try to get caught up at some point. Speaking of my schedule, in my personal life, I recently had the rewarding-but-draining experience of helping to coordinate a big project that was a massive pain in the neck for days on end but ended up being a lot of fun for a lot of people—so definitely worth it, but also quite exhausting! Another random thought—is anyone else waiting semi-impatiently for the sequel to Awkward , Brave , and Crush  by Svetlana Chmakova? Her website

I'm a Cybils judge this year!

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I've got big news, everyone: For 2021, I'll be a Round 2 Judge for Elementary/Middle Grade Nonfiction for the Cybils Awards! Now, many of you know what that means, but if you don't, let me explain. The Cybils Awards are a set of kidlit book awards run primarily by other book bloggers! Publishers and the general public nominate books in October, Round 1 Panelists read the nominated books and create a shortlist of finalists for each category, and Round 2 Judges (like me) read the finalists and choose winners for their categories by February. I've seen many other book bloggers serve as Cybils panelists and judges throughout the years, and even this year, there's many familiar faces I've seen announced (who I will now shout out): Kim Aippersbach , Vidya Tiru , Beth Mitcham (now a category chair!), Helen Murdoch , Cheriee Weichel , Linda Baie , Alex Baugh , Beth Schmelzer , Stacy Mozer , and Andrea Mack ! Helen Murdoch gave me a push in my comment section to apply

#IMWAYR: Picture Book Pandemonium, Part 5—Nonfiction Edition!

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Hello everyone! I'm excited for round 5 of Picture Book Pandemonium, because today, we're taking a look specifically at some nonfiction picture books. Let's get started! Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America's Doctor Written by Kate Messner Illustrated by Alexandra Bye Preview the illustrations on Amazon          If you're in the U.S. and have been paying attention during the pandemic, you've probably heard in the news from Dr. Anthony Fauci, who, according to Wikipedia, is the current chief medical advisor to the president and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (which I feel bears noting is not the same as the CDC). Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts , Kellee Moye at Unleashing Readers , Alex Baugh at Randomly Reading ,  Beth Shaum at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust , and Crystal Brunelle at Reading Through Life  have all been recommending this excellent