Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Mini Review: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson. Brilliance Audio, 2015.
Rating: Striking

I'll Give You the Sun is a story of family, sibling rivalry, grudges, loss, disappointment, art, love, forgiveness, and magic. It is the story of a competition gone wrong. At times, the language can be too flowery, but for the most part it is beautiful. I was a little lost in the beginning as to what was actually happening since I was listening to an audiobook; however, if it had not been for the audiobook, I would've given up after the first few pages and missed out on a gem of a story. I plan to reread the book in a physical format so I may enjoy with my eyes that which I previously enjoyed with my ears. 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Read-A-Thon Is Here!

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon is here. Bring on the books! First up: 

Note to self: Update on the day of the event not days...60 days to be exact...after the event. Must do better!

Update: 6/28/18--Well, my doable reading goals went unattained. My morning started off as usual with a tutoring session at 10:00 a.m. Once finished, I immediately headed home and began reading. I made it to p. 50 of Salvage the Bones before I stopped reading...couldn't get into it. The flashbacks randomly plopped in the middle of passages threw me off. I will eventually revisit the book. Although I didn't finish the meditation audiobook as I'd planned, I did begin listening to The Supreme's at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, which I finished on May 7th. Unfortunately, I forgot to track how much of the book I had listened to by the close of read-a-thon.

As of now, I'm planning to participate in the next read-a-thon in October. Hope you'll join me!


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon Spring 2018

April was fast approaching and I knew a notice would be hitting my inbox any day. While I awaited the official notice, back and forth, back and forth, the pendulum swung as I decided whether or not to participate in read-a-thon this spring. My hand clutched the swaying pendulum stopping it on "no" in part stemming from the drastic change my life has undergone in the last four months. Adaping not just to motherhood, but motherhood of a sixteen, now seventeen-year old, having someone with me all of the time, being responsible for someone other than myself, changing job responsibilities, appointments, errands, and all of the running around has been a challenge. Keyword: balance. The balance I have yet to master.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Review: Peas and Carrots

Tanita S. Davis. Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2016.  279 pp.
Rating: Decent

I debated whether to write a review for this book mainly because the writing is unremarkable and it was just an okay read to me; however, in subject matter this is a narrative that needed to be written. Oftentimes when we think of foster children, our minds are automatically wired to visualize children of color despite the stark reality that children of all races and ethnicities flow in and out of foster care trapped within an imperfect system. This story had to be written if only to demonstrate that black families foster more than just black children. It's important that I reiterate this because a few months back, a friend asked a question that I took exception to. For a brief moment, she shedded her friend cloak for that of a stranger. "How are you going to respond when someone asks you why you chose a white child, when there are so many black children in the system?" is the question she posed to me.

To understand this question, you must know that I'm a single Black woman with no kids who is the foster parent of a white teenage girl. There is so much I could say in response to her question, but the bottom line is that ALL children need love, a loving home, and a safe living environment. Period. End of discussion.

Months later my friend confessed that finally she understood that it wasn't about race, but about a child who yearned for a stable, loving home and a woman who has always wanted to be a mother and has an abundance of love to give.

With that said...on to the book review.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How a Kid Who Didn’t Read a Book Until He Was 17 Grew Up to Become a Literary Star by Nora Krug

All it takes is the right book to get students hooked on reading or in Reynolds' case, a rap album with incredible lyrics.

Reposted from The Washington Post


Jason Reynolds can empathize with kids who don’t like to read: He was 17 before he read a book cover to cover. It’s a fact he’s shared with thousands of kids in classrooms and auditoriums across the country, as a cautionary tale.
“It’s not something I’m proud of. It’s not cool,” he told a group of seventh-graders in Stafford, Va. “The truth is, my life was made infinitely more difficult because I didn’t read any books. But I didn’t read any books. That’s my story. That’s my truth.”

Monday, October 2, 2017

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis - Book Trailer

I'm so excited for this book! "Phantom Heart" the short story beginnings of Mindy McGinnis' upcoming novel, This Darkness Mine," appears in the anthology, Among the Shadows:13 Stories of Darkness and LightI was thrilled to learn that the story had been expanded into a full-length novel. I read Among the Shadows last fall. Although I liked "Phantom Heart," the story ended just as soon as it seemed to really begin. I need a good psychological thriller in my life right now. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reading by Example: What Kids Learn About Books from Watching You by Edward Viljoen

During a family gathering last month, my five-year old cousin, in all seriousness asked, "Step, why you don't have no books no more?" Suppressing laughter, I replied, "I do have books, plenty of books, I just didn't bring any with me today." To Ayden, my presence means books and to be present without books for his sister and himself was an affront to his five-year old sensibilities. Particularly, since this was the second time I had been in his presence without any books for him.

I share this story with you because my attitude toward books has been keenly noted. At five-years old, Ayden knows I love to read and that I'm always giving away books. Just as my younger sisters' children know that I will never deny a book purchase request. 

While reading Viljoen's article, think about the reading behaviors the kids in your life are learning or have learned from you? As Viljoen writes, "Someone is watching." 

Reposted from Brightly

Reading by Example: What Kids Learn About Books 
from Watching You by Edward Viljoen

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On April 27th, I had the privilege of being the guest reader of Thursday Night Storytime hosted by Hey! Helping Empower Youth. Since I had never before gone live on Facebook, my nerves got the best of me. Hopefully, it's not noticeable...well, at least not a lot. 😊

Posted by HEY! Helping Empower Youth on Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hey! Helping Empower Youth is a STEM-focused nonprofit organization in Atlanta, Georgia. Hey! has recently launched a new initiative, Hey! Let's Read!, which includes curated monthly subscription boxes spotlighting books for children of color, written primarily by people of color, book fairs/festivals, and Storytime every Thursday at 8:15 p.m. (EST) on Facebook Live. 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

It's Read-A-Thon Time!

It's April and April means Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon! 

Dewey's 24-Hour Read-A-Thon is a bi-annual event and is held in April and October. I participated in my first RaT last April and I'm so excited to be doing it again this year. I will be updating this post throughout the day with my reading progress. 

Today's Reading Pile: