Piece by Piece: How I Built My Life (No Instructions Required) by David Aguilar & Ferran Aguilar, Translated by by Lawrence Schimel

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Piece by Piece: How I Built My Life (No Instructions Required)
Author: David Aguilar & Farran Aguilar
Translator: Lawrence Schimel
Published October 25, 2022 by Amazon Crossing Kids

Summary: The heartfelt and funny memoir of a boy who built himself a prosthetic arm out of the world-famous toy bricks.

David Aguilar was born missing part of one arm, a small detail that seemed to define his life and limit people’s ideas of who he was and who he could be. But in this funny and heartfelt memoir, David proves that he can throw out the rulebook and people’s expectations and maybe even make a difference in the world—and all with a sense of humor. At only nine years old, David built his first prosthesis from LEGO bricks, and since then he hasn’t stopped creating and thinking about how his inventions, born from a passion for building things, could fuel change and help others.

With a voice full of humor and heart, David tells his powerful story, of family and friendship, of heartbreak and loss, and ultimately of triumph and success, as he continues to dream big and build a life and a better world—piece by piece.

Praise: 

“Humorous and uplifting…While readers needn’t be LEGO fans to admire David’s ingenuity, fellow builders may be inspired to dream up their own inventions.” Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will cheer for Aguilar and relate to him as he shares conversational stories about growing up, playing sports, and struggling with school. Family is at the heart of his story, and the endless support and advocacy of his parents, in particular, make this a sweet and uplifting story. Young readers will identify with this creative young person and will question society’s definition of “normal.” School Library Journal

About the Authors:

David Aguilar and his father, Ferran Aguilar, are from Andorra, in Europe. David was born missing part of one arm. At the age of nine, he designed his first prosthesis with LEGO bricks, and in high school he built the next generation, which he named the MK-1. David’s father encouraged him to make a video about his prosthesis and the huge role that LEGOs played in his life, and posted it on social media, where it went viral and changed both of their lives. In addition to telling his story in this book, David is also the protagonist of the Spanish documentary Mr. Hand Solo, which won the award for best documentary at the Boston Science Fiction Film festival. David is currently developing his own brand, Hand Solo, which will aim to benefit various organizations for the disabled and fight against the stigma of “diff-ability,” as he calls it. Follow David and Ferran on Twitter @Handsolooficial and @AguilarFerran.

Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual author who writes in both Spanish and English, with more than one hundred books to his credit. He is also a prolific literary translator, into English and into Spanish. His translated books include Wanda Gág’s Millions of Cats; George Takei’s graphic novel They Called Us Enemy; and Some Days, written and illustrated by María Wernicke; among many others. He lives in Madrid, Spain. Follow him on Twitter @lawrenceschimel.

Review: This memoir about David’s early life growing up with one arm and overcoming everything that others, and sometimes himself, thought he couldn’t do is not only a great read, but it is hilarious too. It is an extra plus that this book was a memoir, written by David, as it gave true insight and his voice was a pleasure!

As you read, you will enter into David’s family and get to know all who love him and help him navigate our able bodied-centered world. He tells his story with grace and humor. The anecdotes of his life add a deeper connection from reader to David and by the end you truly feel like you know him.

On top of that, David is a fantastic engineer, inventor, and imagineer! Anyone reading will be so fascinated with what he builds and accomplishes,

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book will be a great addition to any memoir text set or lit circle set. It also will find its place in public, school, and classroom libraries.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Who in David’s younger life do you think best helped him see that he was not at a disadvantage in life?
  • If David didn’t want a prosthetic arm, why did he build one out of LEGO?
  • What does David’s story teach you about assumptions of people?
  • How do you think David’s humor and positive outlook on life helped him navigate life and succeed as he has?
  • Why do you think David decided to co-write this book with his dad?
  • Of David’s accomplishments, which do you find the most impressive?
  • Why do you think David decided to tell his story?

Flagged Passages: 

LACES

One day, many years later, as I was leaving school, one of my classmates saw me fiddling with the car keys.

“You drive?” he asked me, surprised.

“Um . . .” I was caught unaware, because what was so strange about my driving? “Yeah, of course, tío. I repeated a year. I’m eighteen already. I got my license over the break.”

More than clarifying things, I seemed to confuse him even more. He wrinkled his brow so much I thought his forehead might cave in. Only then did I begin to realize
what was going through his head.

It wasn’t long before he verbalized it: “But . . . how do you drive?” His gaze indicated my missing arm.

I smiled. By then I already had an answer for everything. “With my hand, of course!” I said, raising my left arm.

“But how do you shift gears?”

I smiled even more. “With my mouth!”

He was flabbergasted, and I got into the car. I turned on the ignition and pulled out, leaving him there with his mouth open. Did he really not know that automatic cars
exist, without any need to shift gears? But no, I knew, as I had known my whole life, that what was really difficult to know—and especially to understand—is how someone
who is not like you can do the same things you can.

I know this very well, believe me, because this was exactly my parents’ challenge. And also mine. It was for a long time. I don’t blame people or myself. Speaking clearly, what happens is that there is no one to blame: there is just ignorance, and prejudices, and loneliness. Dark nights, entire afternoons filled with worry. How would David get
ahead? What would become of him?

Read This If You Love: Memoirs

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 12/5/22

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Tuesday: Dark on Light by Dianne White, Illustrated by Felicita Sala

Friday: The Little Bad Book 2 by Magnus Myst

Sunday: Follow That Line!: Magic at Your Fingertips by JaNay Brown-Wood, Illustrated by Rob Justus

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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Kellee

I haven’t updated since 11/7, so there is a lot to share!

A Man and His Cat, Vol. 1 by Umi Sakurai Meesh the Bad Demon #1 by Michelle  Lam The Moth Keeper by Kay O'Neill Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith Squire & Knight by Scott Chantler Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa History Comics by Tracey Baptiste Travis Daventhorpe for the Win! by Wes Molebash Grace Needs Space! by Alison Wilgus Unretouchable by Sofia Szamosi Once Upon a Messy Whisker by Jennifer L. Holm

  • A Man and his Cat Vol 1 by Umi Sakurai: Like the Gamer + Cat series, this is a story about a new cat owner learning the joys and humor of owning a cat. I love this duo–I will definitely read more!
  • Meesh the Bad Demon by Michelle Lam: I love this debut about judging differences and finding friends with those who you don’t expect. I was a huge fan of the art style, too–it was so much fun to read.
  • The Moth Keeper by Kay O’Neill: This graphic novel is beautiful and is all about found family and friendship. I loved following Anya’s journey.
  • Bea Wolf by Zach Weinersmith: This is such a clever retelling of Beowulf where the adults are the monsters and the kids must protect their tree house. Kids and adults alike will love this book.
  • Squire and Knight by Scott Chantler: So many of us have met people that take credit for things that they didn’t do–this is a story just as that where the knight, who claims to be a hero, needs his squire who he often looks down on. Filled with monsters and magic, this graphic novel is a fun read.
  • Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa: A realistic fiction romance book about the quiet and smart Belle who starts tutoring the girlfriend of her crush leading to awkward but also wonderful situations as all 3 of the girls get to know each other.
  • Rosa Parks & Claudette Colvin by Tracey Baptiste, Illustrated by Shauna J. Grant: I am so glad that this History Comic focuses on Claudette first to show her activism and share what happens to her. Great biographies of these two women and a historical account of the times, which I wasn’t worried about with Baptiste writing it!
  • Travis Daventhrope for the Win! by Wes Molebash: Fans of HiLo are going to love this book! This is a hilarious, sci-fi graphic novel with a main character and sidekick that all readers will root for.
  • Grace Needs Space! by Alison Wilgus, Illustrated by Rii Abrego: I loved both the story and artwork of this book! Grace is so excited to hang out with her “fun” mom instead of being with her overbearing mom, but it doesn’t end up being what she expected at all. This leads to Grace searching for her own adventure which leads to the rest of the story.
  • Unretouchable by Sofia Szamosi: Whoa–this look into fashion and photography, including body image, eating disorders, and photoshopping, dives into this world of harm, specifically around social media, in a way like I haven’t read before. An important message in an emotional graphic novel.
  • The Big Adventures of Babymouse: Once Upon a Messy Whisker by Jennifer L. Holm, Illustrated by Matthew Holm: It was so great to get back into the world of Babymouse! Like her other books, this is full of imagination and fun. This time, Babymouse is questioning her messy whiskers, but there’s more to them than she realizes.

Harold the Iceberg Melts Down by Lisa Wyzlic We Are Here by Tami Charles

  • Harold the Iceberg Melts Down by Lisa Wyzlic, Illustrated by Rebecca Syracuse: I am so proud of Lisa for this book! It is such a cute story and the illustrations are perfect for the story! I love that the book is a mix of silly and serious and has a message that many kids will connect with.
  • We Are Here by Tami Charles, Illustrated by Bryan Collier: I was so lucky to have Bryan Collier and Tami Charles share this beautiful book and message at NCTE. It is a must get!

Best Wishes by Sarah Mlynowski Speak Up, Speak Out! by Tonya Bolden Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs The Gingerbread Witch by Alexandra Overy New Kids and Underdogs by Margaret Finnegan Piece by Piece by David Aguilar Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King

  • Best Wishes by Sarah Mlynowski: I am a HUGE fan of Mlynowski’s other fantasy series (Upside Down Magic & Whatever After), so I was so excited to read the first book in a new series for her. Like her others, it was so engaging and easy to connect with.
  • Speak Up, Speak Out!: The Extraordinary Life of Fighting Shirley Chisholm by Tonya Bolden: I reviewed this before break.
  • Love Radio by Ebony LaBelle: Alternating narration between Prince and Dani as they get to know each other lends itself to this story that is more than other high school love stories–it is a coming of age story full of support, music, books, passion, family, and friends.
  • Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs: Book two of the series took Ben to camp where SPYDER follows causing quite a catastrophe.
  • The Gingerbread Witch by Alexandra Overy: This fairy tale-esque was different than I expected, in a good way! It was more. More than just a retelling or reimagining, it is a story about finding your power when no one else believes in you. It also shows you that friendship sometimes come from those you least expect.
  • New Kids & Under Dogs by Margaret Finnegan: I’ll be reviewing this soon 🙂
  • Piece by Piece by David Aguilar & Ferran Aguilar, Translated by Lawrence Schimel: I’ll be reviewing this soon 🙂
  • Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King: This book is an automatic favorite and was exactly what I needed right now with everything going on here in Florida. Amy King brilliantly took something that happened to her son and turned it into a call to action about the censorship and other mandates. You need to read this. Now.

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy: I loved this book. Well, as much as you can love a book that made you cry and infuriated you and made you want to be able to find the stranger you are reading about and give her a hug. And the audio, read by Jennette, made it even more impactful.

To learn more about any of these books, check out my 2022 Goodreads Challenge page or my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

Ricki

This is my week off; I’ll see you on here next week!

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Kellee

  • Listening to: Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Reading: That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger

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Tuesday: Piece by Piece: How I Built My Life (No Instructions Required) by David Aguilar & Ferran Aguilar, Translated by by Lawrence Schimel

Thursday: Magnolia Flower by Zora Neale Hurston, Adapted by Ibram X. Kendi, Illustrated by Loveis Wise

Saturday: The Atlas Obscura’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid by Dylan Thuras & Rosemary Mosco, Illustrated by Joy Ang

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Josh Funk, Author of The Great Caper Caper

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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Dark on Light by Dianne White, Illustrated by Felicita Sala

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Dark on Light
Author: Dianne White
Illustrator: Felicita Sala
Publishing December 6, 2022 by Beach Lane Books

Summary: As the sun sets, three siblings discover nature’s nighttime beauty in this soothingly rhythmic and gorgeously illustrated bedtime picture book from the acclaimed author-illustrator team behind Green on Green.

Gentle the evening. Sweeping the skies.
Dark the shadows as twilight arrives.
Rose the horizon, gleaming and bright.
Twilight and evening and dark on light.

When the family dog trots away from the house at sunset, three siblings tumble out the door to go find him. Soon they find themselves immersed in the luminous colors, shades, and shadows of nature at night—both dark and light. They wander through moonlit lavender meadows, past a timid fawn, beneath a snowy white owl, and much, much more as the night deepens until, at last, they find their sneaky pup.

With beautiful illustrations by Felicita Sala and lyrical text by Dianne White that’s perfect for reading aloud, this book invites young readers to step into the wondrous, colorful nighttime natural world.

Praise: 

“A bedtime chant capable of transforming anyone into a night owl. Sumptuous watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations show a day shifting from sunshine to twilight to a deepening night sky. Meanwhile, three children are pulling on their boots, grabbing their flashlights, and heading out into a nighttime world as alive as it is welcoming. As the children search and explore, the text repeats the words dark on light through mesmeric rhymes. “Orange the moon, burnished and bright. / Meadow and owl and dark on light.” At last the children peek into a burrow and find their dog, the object of their search. The nighttime is welcoming here, and the children return home to the cozy arms of their parents. Truly the entire enterprise feels similar in tone to Janice May Udry’s Moon Jumpers (1959), illustrated by Maurice Sendak, as when the children ramble through fields of fragrant lavender beneath a brilliant sky. This is a book capable of banishing nighttime fears, showing the night to be a time of wonder, exploration, and even comfort. Sala’s art matches the cadences of the text beat for beat, offering consistently beautiful images of this undiscovered nighttime world…. Lilting, haunting, rhyming, and as unforgettable as a dream the daylight just can’t quite erase.” – Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*, 9/15/2022

“The creators of Green on Green follow that seasonal work with one focused on shadow and light, centering lulling, mesmerizing sensate verse accompanied by artwork in warm, saturated hues…. Closing bedtime scenes in a shared bedroom embody warmth and security… in this quiet celebration of chiaroscuro in the natural world.” – Publishers Weekly, *STARRED REVIEW*, 10/24/2022

About the Creators: 

Dianne White lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family. She is the author of Who Eats Orange?Blue on BlueGreen on Green, and Dark on Light.

Felicita Sala is a self-taught illustrator and painter. She has a degree in philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She now lives and works in Rome. She draws inspiration from nature, children, mid-century illustration, folk art, and architecture.

Review: Dianne White’s verse with Felicita Sala’s illustrations makes this book an instant read aloud need! The verse is so rhythmic and rolls off the tongue in a way that will make the book fun to read and listen to. The illustrations add another dimension to the words taking a beautiful poem and turning it into a narrative also. This book will make any reader want to go on a nighttime hike to investigate the beauty of the night.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Here’s an author-provided activity kit!

Discussion Questions: 

  • How did the illustrator use colors to add to the mood of the book?
  • Pick a spread. What words in the stanza stands out to you? Why?
  • The reviews mention that Dark on Light is a book that is meant to read aloud. What about the verse written by White makes it so much fun to read aloud?
  • What fun things do you see in the illustrations as the kids venture outdoors?
  • Why do you think the creators chose to have the book end in daylight instead of nighttime?
  • With an adult, go on a nighttime walk and write a journal about what you saw.

Flagged Passages: 

“Gentle the evening. Sweeping the skies. Dark the shadows as twilight arrives.”

Rose the horizon, gleaming and bright. Twilight and evening and dark on light.

Smooth the stones. Crisp the air. Dark the garden, trimmed with care.

Green the sage, nubby and bright. Garden and stones and dark on light.”

Read This If You Love: Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine; Night Animals by Gianna Marino; Noisy Night by Mac Barnett; The Night Gardener by Terry Fan; Goodnight, Butterfly by Ross Burach; Nighttime Symphony by Timbaland, Max at Night by Ed Vere

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 11/21/22

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Tuesday: Speak Up, Speak Out! The Extraordinary Life of “Fighting Shirley Chisholm” by Tonya Bolden, Forward by Stacey Abrams

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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We hope you enjoy your time off with family during this Fall break!

We are currently at the ALAN workshop, one of our favorite places, then will enjoy the time off with our families.

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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Speak Up, Speak Out! The Extraordinary Life of “Fighting Shirley Chisholm” by Tonya Bolden, Forward by Stacey Abrams

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Speak Up, Speak Out! The Extraordinary Life of “Fighting Shirley Chisholm”
Author: Tonya Bolden
Forward by: Stacey Abrams
Published January 4th, 2022 by National Geographic Kids

Summary: From award-winning author Tonya Bolden comes a biography of the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Black woman to run for president with a major political party: Shirley Chisholm.

Before there was Barack Obama, before there was Kamala Harris, there was Fighting Shirley Chisholm. A daughter of Barbadian immigrants, Chisholm developed her political chops in Brooklyn in the 1950s and went on to become the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. This “pepper pot,” as she was known, was not afraid to speak up for what she thought was right. While fighting for a better life for her constituents in New York’s 12th Congressional District, Chisholm routinely fought against sexism and racism in her own life and defied the norms of the time. As the first Black woman in the House and the first Black woman to seek the presidential nomination from a major political party, Shirley Chisholm laid the groundwork for those who would come after her.

Extensively researched and reviewed by experts, this inspiring biography traces Chisholm’s journey from her childhood in a small flat in Brooklyn where she read books with her sisters to Brooklyn College where she got her first taste of politics. Readers will cheer Chisholm on to victory from the campaign trail to the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol, where she fought for fair wages, equal rights, and an end to the Vietnam War. And while the presidential campaign trail in 1972 did not end in victory, Shirley Chisholm shows us how you can change a country when you speak up and speak out.

Praise: “The strength of Bolden’s skill as a researcher is evident; chapter by chapter, she provides succinct but critical context around the motivations and movements of Chisholm’s political career. A foreword by Stacey Abrams helps establish that Chisholm’s legacy is one of political innovation as someone who forged a path for others to follow. This informative book has an engaging narrative structure. The use of repetition and inclusion of memorable pearls of wisdom attributed to Chisholm add a poetic tone. An insightful and focused profile of a political trailblazer.” —Kirkus Reviews

“This lively, detailed look at Chisholm’s personal and political life shines in its portrayal of a strong woman who never backed down; Bolden’s accessible text is great for report writers covering the groundbreaking Chisholm and the momentous time she lived in.” —Booklist

About the Author: Tonya Bolden has authored, edited and co-authored more than 40 books. Her work has garnered numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King Honor, the James Madison Book Award, the NCSS Carter G. Woodson Honor, the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C.’s Nonfiction Award, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, the Virginia Library Association Jefferson Cup Award and the Cleveland Public Library Sugarman Award.  Lauded for her skilled storytelling, impeccable research and lively text, Tonya lives New York City. 

Review: Tonya Bolden’s biography of Shirley Chisholm is a perfect mix of historical remembrance as well as narrative structure to pull the reader in. You follow Shirley’s life as she goes against all odds and fights her way through politics, all while never losing her morals or remembrance of where she came from. As someone who knew of Chisholm but not specifics and boy, is she phenomenal! I highly recommend reading this book to learn more about this pioneer of civil and feminist rights.

Also, I read this book at the right time for me. As a Floridian going through an election, a reminder of hope is always needed. And Shirley Chisholm, her fight and success, and resilience shows that there have always been times to fight and there are always others that need to fight more.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This biography will be perfect for updating nonfiction sections of libraries. Additionally, it would be a wonderful book club choice or lit circle choice when focusing on HERstory or true history.

Extra resources:

School Library Journal, January 25, 2022: Speaking Up and Speaking Out with Tonya Bolden on Shirley Chisholm (Q&A) by Betsy Bird

YA Books Central, February 15, 2022: YABC Interview with Tonya Bolden about Speak Up, Speak Out! (Feb. 2022) (Author Interview) by Beth Edwards

Discussion Questions: 

  • How did Shirley Chisholm deal with the racism and sexism she faced during her career?
  • What does Chisholm’s visit to Wallace tell us about her? Why did it make other Black politicians furious?
  • In what ways did she never let down Bed-Stuy? Why did some people feel she did?
  • How did Chisholm’s bid for the presidential nomination break barriers?
  • Why was Chisholm unhappy by the committee she was put on in Congress?
  • What major causes did Chisholm support? How did she do so throughout her career?
  • Great lesson plan on Shirley Chisholm found:

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Narrative biographies

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Media Masters Publicity for providing a copy for review!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 11/14/22

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Tuesday: Pippa Park: Crush at First Sight by Erin Yun

Saturday: Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: Charlie Thorne and the Lost City by Stuart Gibbs

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

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Kellee

I will do a long update after the fall break (and ALAN!). Until then, you can check out my 2022 Goodreads Challenge page or my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

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Tuesday: Speak Up, Speak Out! The Extraordinary Life of “Fighting Shirley Chisholm” by Tonya Bolden, Forward by Stacey Abrams

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Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: Charlie Thorne and the Lost City by Stuart Gibbs

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Sofia is a 10-year-old brilliant reader who aspires to be a book reviewer, who started with us when she was 8 years old. On select Saturdays, Sofia shares her favorite books with kids! She is one of the most well-read elementary schoolers that we know, so she is highly qualified for this role!


Dear readers,

I am back with another amazing book that will knock you off of your feet! Introducing…Charlie Thorne and The Lost City by Stuart Gibbs! This is the second book in a series called Charlie Thorne. I have already reviewed the first one, but do not worry if you haven’t read it because this book is still understandable without the knowledge of the first book. This is another book that I have read in the book club with my friends and our book loving secretary and they all rated it a 10/10. I think this would be a great gift for any tween or teen who loves action, adventure, mysteries and comedy! This book also taught me and my friends a lot of things and I thought that was really good. This book is recommended for ages 10+.

Charlie Thorne is on another adventure again! After her first adventure she is hiding in the Galapagos Islands. She has made friends with the people living there and is even helping out at the Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center. One day a woman named Esmeralda shows up at her tiny house with a code that was engraved into the shell of a dead turtle by the famous Charles Darwin. She says she came to her because her co-workers said that if anyone could solve the encrypted code then it was Charlie. While she and Esmeralda are talking, Charlie sees a strange man talking to her surfing friends and then her surfing friends pointing to her house. Charlie Thorne has always been living on the edge of caution so she decides to make a dramatic escape. They take off in a seaplane that belongs to the company that Esmeralda works for.

At first they head off in the direction of the Darwin Research Station where the dead turtle is. Then, Charlie remembers that the seaplane for the Darwin Research Station is easily trackable and suspects that the mysterious person who was following her would know what plane it was and head over to the Darwin Research Station to see what its course is! To avoid being tracked down they change course to an airport nearby.

They follow clues to Quito. The clue says something about finding the devil’s stone so they go to the place that the devil’s stone is supposed to be. What will happen? You have to read the book to find out!

I love this book so much! I expected adventure from this book and I got it! This is an amazing book for explorers because it talks so much about wilderness and exploring all of these hidden places in the Amazon! I found this book very interesting because it talked about Charles Darwin’s work! I also loved how I learned so many things. I thought that a book could not be exciting and educational together but this book proved me wrong! Have fun!

**Thanks so much, Sofia! We love that this series combines excitement and education!**