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Showing posts from July, 2021

MMGM and #IMWAYR: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (a re-re-review)

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I hope everyone is doing well this week! I took an hour on Friday morning to listen all the way through Billie Eilish's new album of music, Happier Than Ever , and it was SO GOOD!!! If you'd like song recommendations, I recommend "Getting Older," "Billie Bossa Nova," "my future," "GOLDWING," "Not My Responsibility"/"OverHeated" (which are kind of a pair), "Your Power," and "NDA"/"Therefore I Am" (which I also think work better as a pair). Also, I keep forgetting to plug my Thursday Thoughts posts, so I'll do that now—a while back, I discussed two fun non-kidlit books I had recently read , and this past Thursday, I posted another original poem called "An evening walk" ! Moving on, I've got an interesting and RIDICULOUSLY LENGTHY blog post for you today about my favorite book of all time: Goodbye Stranger  by Rebecca Stead. I could probably have shortened this post, but in

Thursday Thoughts: An evening walk

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During my beach vacation last week , I took the time to write some poems based on my own experience of the trip, and I figured I would share one with you all today! Just FYI, this poem has absolutely nothing to do with books, and some of the writing I post here in the future will be unrelated to books as well. With that, let's look at the poem, "An evening walk": ******************** It begins when my family is down on the beach. It’s getting dark, but we decide to stay for a few minutes. I walk away from my family down the shore. I’ve always wondered what the beach is like at night, and I want to go alone and see the beauty by myself. The waves are in a perpetual dance to my left, the water on the horizon sharply in focus, clear blue glass. My feet take refuge in the sand, sinking slowly. My shirt takes refuge in the wind, billowing gently. My mind takes refuge in the sky, and my tired eyes see a blue-gray patchwork quilt, soft to snuggle under, hazy as a dream. Those cl

#IMWAYR: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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(Update [7/26/2021]: One of the MMGM bloggers I really enjoy, Rosi Hollinbeck, is recommending and giving away an ARC of Kate DiCamillo's new book, The Beatryce Prophecy , and because she generously awards extra chances to giveaway entrants who share her post, I invite you all to check out her review and giveaway here! And now, I'll keep my fingers crossed that I win a copy! ;) ) I have returned from a 5-night vacation this past week that was just lovely! We spent 4 nights at the beach and a 5th night visiting my grandparents (of whom my grandfather is a loyal and valued reader of this blog!). Some random vacation thoughts: The beach is just the most beautiful thing ever. That is all. Very few people are still wearing masks, and I really hope that all those people are vaccinated! But something tells me a lot of them may not be. We stayed on our last night at Homewood Suites, and they are surprisingly nice! Pretty décor, no creepy wall art like I saw at a certain Embassy Suite

#IMWAYR: Picture Book Pandemonium, Part 2!

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Hello everyone! Before we get started, I wanted to follow up on some of the Disney/Pixar movie stuff I was talking about a few weeks ago . We tried to watch Pixar's latest movie Luca  and found it so uninteresting that we decided not to even finish it—the plot just wasn't compelling, and it looked like it was veering off in a clichéd and irritating direction. And the animation honestly wasn't impressive when compared to Soul  or Raya and the Last Dragon . On the brighter side of things, there's new teaser trailers for the next Disney animated movie, Encanto , and the next Pixar animated movie, Turning Red , and both of them look super-fun! I linked the trailers with the movie names, and they're definitely worth watching! Moving on, it's time for another round of Picture Book Pandemonium, in which I'll be rounding up a selection of picture books I've read and enjoyed recently! I was going to keep this post at just 4 books instead of 5, since my last post

Thursday Thoughts: Two non-kidlit summer reads!

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I'm busy this week and next, so today's Thursday Thoughts will be brief and I will not be posting next Thursday at all! (I'll be back Thursday the 29th, and my Monday reviews will be unaffected.) Today I'd like to briefly touch on two books I've had the chance to read over the past few months. Both have been fun, but neither really qualifies as a kidlit book like those I normally review, so I've been hesitant to post about them. But I figured I'd take a few minutes today to give them the attention they deserve! Displacement: A Travelogue Written and illustrated by Lucy Knisley          Lucy Knisley is well-known for her graphic memoirs and travelogues, like Relish: My Life in the Kitchen  (which I read and loved last year!), and this book is one of her earlier ones. When Knisley's 90-year-old grandparents (of whom her grandmother is suffering from dementia) decide to go on a cruise with a large group of senior citizens, Knisley decides to go along with t

MMGM and #IMWAYR: Kyle's Little Sister by BonHyung Jeong

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I hope everyone is enjoying the middle of summer! I'm starting to feel a little frantic about how soon all my reading/relaxing time will come to an end—but we still have a few more good weeks ahead of us! Also, this past Thursday, I wrote about some of my frustrations with MG books as a genre— check it out here! Moving on to today's review for MMGM and #IMWAYR, I have one last review of a graphic novel about middle school experiences (after Truly Tyler  and Just Pretend ) before we shake things up next week. Today, I am recommending the graphic novel  Kyle's Little Sister  by BonHyung Jeong.         I decided to try out this graphic novel after seeing a review of it by Alex Baugh at Randomly Reading , and I'm glad to have tried it out! This story centers around Grace, a 6th grader who is frustrated at constantly being in the shadow of her popular older brother Kyle, an 8th grader. Whether at home, where she fights with him over the TV or feels ignored by her mom, or in

Thursday Thoughts: The confusion of MG books

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The idea of middle-grade books, or MG books, shouldn't be a complicated one. It's an age range above picture books, early readers, and chapter books, but below young adult (YA) and adult books. The characters, shockingly enough, are usually in middle school. They can be dealing with a variety of issues, but school and friendships tend to play at least a small role. The plots and writing styles are accessible to younger readers but can also be quite profound, tackling complex themes in nuanced ways. There shouldn't be any confusion over what qualifies as an MG book. And yet, not only do I believe there is confusion, but I believe that confusion is emblematic of the ways in which the entire idea of an MG book might be flawed. For me, the confusion began when I reviewed certain books that I considered to be MG, but that others didn't seem to think fit into the MG category. Sometimes it's clear why this happens. Take This One Summer  by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki.