Author Guest Post: “Using Fiction to Understand and Enrich Non-Fiction” by Kimberly Behre Kenna, Author of Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade

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“Using Fiction to Understand and Enrich Non-Fiction”

When I was a young student, I found history boring. Back then, it required lots of memorization and comprehension of readings that felt flat to me, dry as the age-old dust they were steeped in. Years later, a gifted teacher flipped the switch—she introduced the personal stories behind historical figures and events and BAM! I was hooked. Learning about Hatshepsut’s struggles as one of the few female Egyptian pharaohs, or Wangari Maathai’s crusade to teach African women to plant trees and claim their independence and power, excited me and provoked lots of questions. I imagined what it’d be like to be those women and face those challenges. This led me to research more and to care more, which then led to greater retention of concepts and the desire and ability to share them with others.

            As a fifth-grade teacher, I sought ways for my students to step into the shoes of others so they too could attempt to feel some of the pain, passion, and motivation of historic figures. In my classroom, we did this through writing projects, dramatic interpretations, and culminating performances. For instance, during our exploration of ecology, we read picture book biographies of environmentalists, including those who were not scientists. How did Pete Seeger’s singing and songwriting impact the Hudson River? Simon Rodia built the Watts Towers in Los Angeles from recyclables. How did he do this when he didn’t speak English? We cast a broad net so students could see that the preservation and rehabilitation of the natural world could be approached in many ways, and, most importantly, it could include them.

As we examined local problems affecting Long Island Sound, we wondered how environmentalists from the past might attempt to solve them. Each student chose one environmentalist and wrote a monologue which they presented to the rest of the class in costume, using props to introduce themselves. Students also took part in a popular activity called History Speaks, a mock talk show that got kids to think more deeply about what motivated these environmentalists. As host, I facilitated a conversation between the “guests,” students impersonating ecologists, and the audience of other students who asked them questions. Why did MaVynee Betsch give up her career in opera to save American Beach in Florida from development, even when she got so sick she couldn’t eat? How did Chico Mendes stay brave in the face of his attackers as he worked to protect the rainforests in Brazil? Kids learned how to craft deep interview questions. Those representing the ecologists had to think on their feet, often answering them by extrapolating from facts that they already knew. Sometimes their answers or their body language caused the audience (or host!) to debate whether they spoke the truth, another useful discussion when it comes to teaching how to research. This seemingly simple, playful activity encouraged critical thinking and active listening.

The resurrected ecologists also participated in a roundtable discussion to brainstorm a list of creative ways that they, as a team, could alleviate one of Long Island Sound’s problems. They experimented with combining strategies used in the past with newer present day ideas. Could George Washington Carver’s ideas about soil conservation possibly apply to saving Connecticut’s shoreline? How would he and Jacques Cousteau interact as team members? Finally, using notes gathered from all these activities, students wrote stories about resurrected dead ecologists who helped confused modern day activists solve problems around Long Island Sound and shared them with younger students. Other times, groups wrote a story as a script, built props, and then performed it for an audience. With their deep research into the history of environmentalism, students armed themselves with enough knowledge to become passionate environmental activists themselves.

Using the imagination to extrapolate on what we know as fact is a fun and enlightening practice that promotes rich discussion, enhances the development of empathy, and allows kids to practice ways of assessing “the truth.” The strategies that I used in my classroom and the memories of my explorations with students were the seeds for my middle-grade novel, Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade, whose protagonist conjures up ghosts of environmentalists to help her save her beloved salt marsh sanctuary. I hope readers gain respect for the legacies we’ve been gifted by those who are no longer with us and are inspired to consider how their own legacy can be a gift to future generations.

Published February 2, 2023 by Fitzroy Books

About the Book: When Artemis Sparke has had it with humans, she heads to the nearby salt marsh to hang out with the birds, plants and mollusks who don’t make a big deal of her stutter. The shoreline sanctuary is predictable, unlike her family and friends, and the data in her science journal proves it. But one day that data goes haywire, and her bird friend RT confirms it: the salt marsh is dying. Artemis discovers that the historic hotel where she lives with her mom may be part of the problem, but speaking up would mean confronting the cranky hotel owner who happens to be her mom’s boyfriend and boss. Artemis conjures up help from deceased ecologists, and as she works to untangle their clues, she finds family secrets that could be the key to saving the salt marsh. An empowering read about the importance of finding your voice, “Artemis Sparke” will strike a chord with kid activists everywhere. 

About the Author: After years as an adolescent and family counselor, and then as a fifth grade teacher of ecology and language arts, Kimberly Behre Kenna returned to school for her MA in creative writing from Wilkes University. Her middle-grade novel, “Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade” was a finalist and received Honorable Mention in the 2019 Tassy Walden New Voices in Children’s Literature Competition, and will be published by Fitzroy Books in 2023. Another book in her Brave Girl Collection, “Jett Jamison and the Secret Storm” is forthcoming from Black Rose Publishing. A third in the collection, as yet unpublished, won second place in The Institute of Children’s Literature 2022 MG Mystery First Pages Contest. Her poems and short stories have been published in American Writers Review, Mused, Plumtree Tavern, and Rubbertop Review. Her full-length play, “Ana’s Hummingbird,” was given a staged reading at The Dramatists Guild in NYC. She’s a member of SCBWI and PEN America, and now devotes herself to writing full time. Connect with her at www.kimberlybehrekenna.com

Thank you, Kimberly, for this great post showing that connection between fiction & non-fiction!

You So Black by Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D., Illustrated by London Ladd

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You So Black
Author: Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.
Illustrator: London Ladd
Published January 10, 2023 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Summary: Based on Theresa Wilson’s (a.k.a. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D.’s) beautiful, viral spoken word poem of the same name, You So Black is a picture book celebration of the richness, the nuance, and the joy of Blackness.

Black is everywhere, and in everything, and in everyone—in the night sky and the fertile soil below. It’s in familial connections and invention, in hands lifted in praise and voices lifted in protest, and in hearts wide open and filled with love. Black is good.

Accompanied by powerful yet tender illustrations by award-winning illustrator London Ladd, Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. has adapted her poem, full of gorgeous lyricism and imagery, to show readers the love, joy, resilience, and universality in the beauty of Blackness.

About the Creators: 

Theresa Wilson a.k.a. Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D. is a musical, lyrical and theatrical alchemist, sprinkling magic like hot sauce. She is best known for her appearance on the 2019 Trumpet Awards on Bounce TV, and the now viral recitation of “You So Black.” Theresa is from the south suburbs of Chicago but calls Atlanta home. She holds a degree in commercial music from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois.

London Ladd is a graduate of Syracuse University with an MFA in illustration. He uses a unique mixed media approach, combining cut paper textured with acrylic paint, tissue paper and colored pencil to bring his diverse subjects to life. London’s artwork is steeped in intensity and emotion, a reflection of the artist himself. His hope is that You So Black will be passed down through generations, reaffirming African Americans’ strength, beauty, power and love. His goal is to open a visual arts community center where lower-income families can create their own art. London lives in Syracuse, New York.

Review: This celebration of blackness is beautifully written and is made to be read out loud. The verse, combined with London Ladd’s dynamic yet warm collages, come together to create a book that shows the beauty, resilience, and brilliance of blackness. The author takes a “historically charged insult” and takes back the ownership and shows how “You So Black” is something to be proud of and in love with.

Essential reading: The interview with the creators at KidLit in Color!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This beautiful picture book definitely belongs on the shelves of everywhere that students who need it can find it.

However, I also picture it being used to introduce spoken word poetry. The picture book in conjunction with the original spoken word poem can be used together and start conversations about rhythm, rhyme, articulation, prosody, etc. as well as other poetic elements like figurative language, specifically similes, and imagery.

Also, in conjunction with the interview linked below, it would lend itself to a great conversation about author’s purpose with evidence from the interview.

Flagged Passages: 

Original Spoken Word Poem: 


Read This If You Love: Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o & Vashti Harrison, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut and I am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James, The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson & Rafael López, All Because You Matter and We Are Here by Tami Charles & Bryan Collier, I am Enough and I Believe I Can by Grace Byers & Keturah A. Bobo

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Simon & Schuster for providing a copy for review!!**

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 1/9/23

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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: Kellee’s 2022 Reading Recap, Favorite Reads, #MustReadin2022 Update, & #MustReadin2023!

Thursday: K is for Kindness by Rina Horiuchi, Illustrated by Risa Horiuchi

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Lydia Lukidis, Author of Deep, Deep Down

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

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Kellee

I haven’t updated since early December 5th, so I have quite a few books to share with you!

That's Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes Rain Is Not My Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith Rebound by Kwame Alexander Zara's Rules for Record-Breaking Fun by Hena Khan Illuminae by Amie Kaufman Talk Santa to Me by Linda Urban The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park #Notyourprincess by Lisa Charleyboy Randoms by David Liss

  • That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger: I’ve been meaning to read this book for years, and I am so happy to have finally gotten to it. It was a tough read, as an educator, but I think it is also important to think about how victims keep living and having to determine how to live as their new self. Keplinger wrote a book that sucked me in and kept me reading.
  • Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes: This book was so suspenseful! I held my breath so many times during the story as I didn’t know how the characters were going to survive.
  • Rain is not my Indian Name by Cynthia Leitich Smith: I’m so glad that Heartdrum Press republished this book of Smith’s as I did not have it on my radar, and I truly loved it. It was such an emotional book, looking at grief and trauma, but also a heart-filling story, showing how to survive after a loss and how your passions can help with your healing.
  • Rebound by Kwame Alexander: I do not know what took me so long to read this story of Chuck Bell, the Crossover twins’ dad. This book shows us how the amazing father Chuck was came to be.
  • Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun by Hena Khan: What a fun early middle grade novel from Hena Khan!!! Zara has a set group of neighborhood fans, so when a new family moves in, Zara has to figure out how to keep everything as wonderful as it always has been.
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff: Illuminae is an epic sci-fi novel if there ever was one! The text structure of this novel is so unique, and I really liked it. It is filled with transcripts, maps, medial reports, emails, and more to tell the story. Very clever!
  • Talk Santa to Me by Linda Urban: Francie loves Christmas, and especially the nostalgic Christmas magic that her grandpa spread through his Hollydale Holiday Shop and Santa School. But her grandpa died and now her aunt is in charge and wants to change it all; Francie is fighting to make sure that doesn’t happen. All while also trying to connect with the cute boy that works at the tree lot.
  • The Christmas Clash by Suzanne Park: This Christmas book is filled with holiday cheer but also community activism, friendship, and family!
  • #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Woman edited by Lisa Charleyboy: This powerful book is filled with Native American women’s voices screaming out with their stories, poetry, and reflections.
  • Randoms by David Liss: Another great sci-fi book that I am so glad that I finally read. Zeke is a sci-fi fan who finds himself on a space adventure with aliens in hopes of forming an alliance. The book is filled with humor and action that keeps the reader wanting to read, read, read!

A Man and His Cat, Vol. 2 by Umi Sakurai A Man and His Cat, Vol. 6 by Umi Sakurai A Man and His Cat, Vol. 3 by Umi Sakurai A Man and His Cat, Vol. 4 by Umi Sakurai A Man and His Cat, Vol. 7 by Umi Sakurai A Man and His Cat, Vol. 5 by Umi Sakurai

  • A Man and his Cat Vol 2 through 7 by Umi Sakurai: This is one of Trent’s favorite mangas, so when he finished, he handed me the pile and said, “Read.” It is a fun story that is deeper than just the title suggest, but also just as sweet as it does.

The Gorillaz Art Book by Gorillaz Gorillaz by Gorillaz

  • The Gorillaz Art Book & Gorillaz: Rise of the OgreGorillaz are reigning in my house right now. Trent and I went to see them in October and since then, he listens to them very often, so my big gift I gave to him was the Gorillaz Art Book, which is a book with 40+ artist’s interpretations of the band. I also decided to read Rise of the Ogre which is a fictionalized story of the band and its beginnings.

I also read a TON of picture books! I had a pile from publishers to read, and I loved all of the following (click on the image to read about the book)!

Over and Under the Waves by Kate Messner You Are My Pride by Carole Boston Weatherford All Are Neighbors by Alexandra Penfold The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson This Story is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève Tree Hole Homes by Melissa Stewart This Is a School by John Schu The Rise (and Falls) of Jackie Chan by Kristen Mai Giang Because Claudette by Tracey Baptiste Jovita Wore Pants by Aida Salazar Born Hungry by Alex Prud'Homme Mama's Home by Shay Youngblood A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis Hurry, Little Tortoise, Time for School! by Carrie Finison Jo Bright and the Seven Bots by Deborah Underwood Brave Every Day by Trudy Ludwig I Forgive Alex by Kerascoët Everything in Its Place by Pauline David-Sax When a Friend Needs a Friend by Roozeboos Solitary Animals by Joshua David Stein Betty White by Deborah Hopkinson Only the Best by Kate Messner Stillwater and Koo Save the World by Jon J Muth Curve & Flow by Andrea J. Loney The Lights That Dance in the Night by Yuval Zommer Cloaked in Courage by Beth  Anderson No Bunnies Here! by Tammi Sauer The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson Blips on a Screen by Kate Hannigan Holding Her Own by Traci N. Todd The Blur by Minh Lê Mae Makes a Way by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich The Girl Who Built an Ocean by Jess Keating Pink, Blue, and You! by Elise Gravel King Kong's Cousin by Mark Teague Don't Eat Bees by Dev Petty If the World Were 100 Animals by Miranda Smith One Turtle's Last Straw by Elisa Boxer Turtle's Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev In the Blue by Erin Hourigan Mama's Days by Andi Diehn Listen by Shannon Stocker

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

Ricki

I’ll post my update next week!

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Kellee

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Tuesday: You So Black by Theresa tha S.O.N.G.B.I.R.D., Illustrated by London Ladd

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Kimberly Behre Kenna, Author of Artemis Sparke and the Sound Seekers Brigade

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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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Author Guest Post: “STEM + Poetry = Fun!” by Lydia Lukidis, Author of Deep, Deep Down: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench

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“STEM + Poetry = Fun!”

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to talk about my new STEM book, DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench written by me, Lydia Lukidis, illustrated by Juan Calle, and published by Capstone Editions, a Capstone imprint.

First off, here’s a short summary of the book:

Deep, deep down, at the very bottom of the ocean, lies a secret world. Through lyrical narration, this spare-text STEM picture book takes readers on a journey to a place very few humans have ever been–the Mariana Trench. The imagined voyage debunks scary myths about this mysterious place with surprising and beautiful truths about life at Earth’s deepest point. DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench shows a vibrant world far below, and teaches readers how interconnected our lives are to every place on the planet.

Why Poetry?

When writing nonfiction, finding the right structure and voice is critical. When I was researching DEEP, DEEP DOWN, I fell into a rabbit hole and watched hours and hours of trench footage. Many creatures were mesmerizing and moved slowly and gracefully, like underwater ballet. That’s when I realized that the Mariana Trench itself is a poem; a mysterious, remote trench at the deepest spot on our planet, full of wonder. To really do it justice, the text would have to reflect the beautiful poetry I witnessed. So, I chose to write the narrative with a lyrical voice and felt it could not have been written any other way.

Science and poetry are two of my biggest passions, so why not merge them? After all, there’s so much beauty and poetry in science, and there’s also a certain science and rhythm to writing poetry. Below are a few activities for children (in class or at home) to help them become inspired by the written word and craft their own poetry.

Figurative Language

Children can read the definitions below as well as my examples from the lyrical text of DEEP, DEEP DOWN.

-Onomatopoeia: When you use a word that makes a sound close to the action it refers to.

SWISH!
Something shimmers.
Not a monster,
but a fish.
A rattail
drifts through the darkness,
in search of food.

Now ask the child to make up a new way to use this poetic device.

-Alliteration: When you repeat the first letter or sound of several words close to one another.

Diving deeper,
a long, thin body
slinks and sways,
ever so slowly.

Now ask the child to make up a new way to use this poetic device.

-Simile: When you compare two unlikely things, usually using the words “like,” “as,” or “than.”

Glide forward,
past rows and rows of xenophyophores,
clustered like cabbages.

Now ask the child to make up a new way to use this poetic device.

Fun with Haikus

Another great exercise is learning how to write haikus. Children can read the information below to inspire them to write their own haiku about one of the creatures that lives in the trench.

-Haikus have 3 lines, each with a specific number of syllables. They don’t need to rhyme.

-This is the structure:

Line 1: 5 syllables

Line 2: 7 syllables

Line 3: 5 syllables

-Here’s an example:

“The Old Pond” by Matsuo Bashō

An old silent pond

A frog jumps into the pond—

Splash! Silence again.

Ask students to pick one of the trench creatures and write a haiku about it:

More Fun Stuff

I created a 40-page teacher guide that provides dozens of curriculum standards in Common Core ELA and Math, and Next Generation Science Standards that align with the narrative. It also proposes various curriculum-based activities for students K-6.

Click here to download the guide: http://www.lydialukidis.com/img_educators/DEEP,%20DEEP%20DOWN-%20Teacher%20Guide.pdf

Capstone and I also created a beautiful poster and trading cards for children. You can find them on my website:
http://www.lydialukidis.com/books.html

I hope you enjoy my book and the material!

About the Author: 

Lydia Lukidis is the author of 50+ trade and educational books for children. Her titles include DANCING THROUGH SPACE: Dr. Mae Jemison Soars to New Heights (Albert Whitman, 2024), DEEP, DEEP, DOWN: The Secret Underwater Poetry of the Mariana Trench (Capstone, 2023), THE BROKEN BEES’ NEST (Kane Press, 2019) which was nominated for a Cybils Award, and NO BEARS ALLOWED (Clear Fork Media, 2019). A science enthusiast from a young age, she now incorporates her studies in science and her everlasting curiosity into her books.

Lydia is an active member of SCBWI, CANSCAIP, 12 x 12, and The Authors Guild. She’s very involved in the kidlit community and also volunteers as a judge on Rate your Story. Another passion of hers is fostering love for children’s literacy through the writing workshops she regularly offers in elementary schools. Lydia is represented by literary agent Miranda Paul from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Social Media Links

Website & order links: http://www.lydialukidis.com/
Twitter: @LydiaLukidis
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LydiaLukidis
Blog: https://lydialukidis.wordpress.com/
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3fATvqtKDk

Thank you, Lydia, for sharing this focus on poetry and its tie in with your books!!

K is for Kindness by Rina Horiuchi, Illustrated by Risa Horiuchi

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K is for Kindness
Author: Rina Horiuchi
Illustrator: Risa Horiuchi
Published: April 26, 2022 by Viking Books

Goodreads Summary: Debut author/illustrator and sister duo have crafted a sweet ABC book that expresses how kindness can be found anywhere.

Ape picks an apple for Aardvark below.
Bat puts a bandage on Brown Bear’s big toe.

From aardvark to zebra, this delightful cast of animal characters illustrates the many ways to show kindness to others, while teaching the youngest readers their ABCs.

Debut author/illustrator and sister duo Rina Horiuchi and Risa Horiuchi have crafted a warm and tender gift that affirms kindness can be found anywhere.

Ricki’s Review: This book is just so charming. It is a great way to learn the alphabet along with all of the ways that we can be kind. The book doesn’t feel didactic, and it was enjoyable for me, as an adult reader. There aren’t just simple animal names on each page, but instead, they read like this: ““Narwhal takes Newt, his new neighbor, to lunch.” The repetition is really helpful for young readers. I’ve been having my 6-year-old read it to my 3-year-old, and it makes my heart swell. I love the ending, in which readers are asked how they are kind—this allowed for some great discussions in our house.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book inspires me to want to choose an emotion or an abstract concept to make my own alphabet book! Kids would have a lot of fun making a shared book together!

Discussion Questions: 

  • Which page was your favorite, and why?
  • How do you demonstrate kindness?
  • How do the pictures and words work together to create a vivid representation of kindness?

Flagged Spread: 

Recommended For: 

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RickiSig

**Thank you to Rina and Risa for this phenomenal book! It is a great addition to children’s literature!**

Kellee’s 2022 Reading Round Up: Statistics, Favorite Reads, #mustreadin2022 End-of-Year Check In, #mustreadin2023 List, and Random 2023 Reading Challenges

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Here is my 2022 Reading Round Up!


And just for fun: here is Trent’s 2022 Year in Books!
(It was my first year we tracked his independent reading on Goodreads; it was so much fun to get this data at the end of the year!)


Here are my favorite books read in 2022! Although not all of them are 2022 published books, 43 of them are (and 1 is even 2023). If you want to learn about these books visit my FAVORITE READS IN 2022 Goodreads shelf


I introduced my #mustreadin2022 list last January (<– visit that link to see the list in its entirety), and I will say that I was quite successful! I read 36 out of 42 books on my list!


I love the Must Read challenge! I took part in 2015-2019 & 2021-2022, so I am happy to join again! It helps me remember to read certain books!

Thank you to Carrie at There’s A Book for That for starting this challenge and to Leigh Ann of A Day in the Life and Cheriee of Library Matters for reviving it in 2022.

For those of you new to the challenge, it has you take a look at the books you wanted to read, but for whatever reason, you have not gotten to them. You then make your own personal list of books you want to commit to (trying to) read.

There is no set number of books and books can be published from any year, in any genre or format, and in any category. These books will not be the only ones you read this year but will be the ones included in your personal challenge.

This year, I may have gone a bit wild with my lists. I just couldn’t choose! (If you follow here, you know that is a trend of mine…) This means, I ended up with 64 titles on my #mustreadin2023 list which I’ve separated into middle grade and young adult. (And to be honest, I am tempted to make an adult and graphic novel/manga list because I love having these lists as reminders!)

Middle Grade

  1. 12 to 22 by Jen Calonita
  2. The Accidental Apprentice (Wildlore #1) by Amanda Foody
  3. Across the Desert by Dusti Bowling
  4. Answers in the Pages by David Levithan
  5. Area 51 Interns: Alien Summer by James S. Murray & Carsen Smith
  6. Astrid the Unstoppable by Majia Parr
  7. Atlantis Rising by T.A. Barron
  8. The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf
  9. The Mystery of Clockwork Sparrow (Sinclair’s Mysteries #1) by Katherine Woodfine
    *Oops! I thought it was just named The Clockwork Sparrow but it isn’t, so it is out of order alphabetically…
  10. Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin & Gae Polisner
  11. Cuba in my Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas
  12. Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat (Emmy #1) by Lynne Jonell
  13. Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Brooks by Caela Carter
  14. The First Rule of Climate Club by Carrie Firestone
  15. H.I.V.E.: Higher Institute of Villainous Education (HIVE #1) by Mark Walden
  16. Troublemaker by John Cho
    *Oops! I thought it was named John Cho Troublemaker but it isn’t, so it is out of order alphabetically
  17. Love Like Sky #1 by Leslie C. Youngblood
  18. Maizy Chen’s Last Chance by Lisa Yee
  19. The Midnight Children by Dan Gemeinhart
  20. My Own Lightning by Lauren Wolk
  21. New From Here by Kelly Yang
  22. On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Peterson
  23. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy (Penderwicks #1) by Jeanne Birdsall
  24. A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
  25. The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey #1) by Richard Paul Evans
  26. Race to the End of the World (Mapmaker Chronicles #1) by A.L. Tait
  27. Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
  28. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
  29. Thirst by Varsha Bajaj
  30. The Tornado by Jake Burt
  31. Tuesdays at the Castle (Castle Glower #1) by Jessica Day George
  32. Tumble by Celia Pérez
  33. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (The Vanderbeekers #1) by Karina Yan Glaser
  34. Worser by Jennifer Ziegler

Young Adult

  1. Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
  2. All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
  3. Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
    *This is a reread. I want to read the sequels, so I am starting at the beginning.
  4. The Extraordinaries (Extraordinaries #1) by T.J. Klune
    *This is a reread. I want to read the sequels, so I am starting at the beginning.
  5. Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming, M.T. Anderson, Jennifer Donnelly, Stephanie Hemphill, Deborah Hopkinson, Linda Sue Park, and Lisa Ann Sandell
  6. The First to Die at the End (Death Cast #0) by Adam Silvera
  7. Five Survive by Holly Jackson
  8. Flight 171 by Amy Christine Parker
  9. Furia by Yamila Saied Méndez
  10. Gamechanger by Neal Shusterman
  11. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  12. Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed
  13. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez
  14. The Ivies by Alexa Donne
  15. Legendborn (Legendborn #1) by Tracy Deonn
  16. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
  17. Me: Moth by Amber McBride
  18. Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime by Candance Fleming
  19. The Murder Game by Carrie Doyle
  20. The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  21. Nothing More to Tell by Karen McManus
  22. Queer Ducks (And Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality by Eliot Schrefer
  23. The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
  24. The Selection (Selection #1) by Keira Cass
  25. Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi
  26. Simone Breaks All the Rules (Simone Breaks All the Rules #1) by Debbie Rigaud
  27. So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix (Remixed Classics #2) by Bethany C. Morrow
  28. Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  29. Survive the Dome by Kosoko Jackson
  30. Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson
  31. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
  32. We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds
  33. We Were Kings by Court Stevens
  34. What the Fact?: Debunking Disinformation to Detangle the Truth by Seema Yasmin

I jumped on the 12 Challenge that was going around social media. My friends recommended so many that I did two lists though I’ll be honest: this is an overwhelming list for me! I had not read over 10 adult books since my literature degree until this year, and all but 2 of these are adult books, so we’ll see how it goes. Luckily there is no pressure!

  1. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
  2. Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
  3. Bewilderment by Richard Powers
  4. Hell of a Book by Jason Mott
  5. Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimand
  6. Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. Jean Mandel
  7. Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison
  8. Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close
  9. Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
  10. House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland
  11. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  12. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  13. Rise of Kyoshi by F.G. Yee
  14. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
  15. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
  16. Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
  17. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  18. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  19. The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
  20. The Wall by John Lanchester
  21. The Book of Delights: Essays by Ross Gay
  22. Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the World’s Most Notorious Diaries by Rick Emerson
  23. Push by Sapphire
  24. Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Barnes and Noble also put out two 2023 Challenges! I will lackadaisical take part in these too–so fun! (You can click on any of the B&N images to see them larger.)

Happy reading in 2023, friends!!!
To see all the books I’m reading, visit my READ Goodreads shelf and feel free to follow 📖💙

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 1/2/23

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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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*Before Break’s Posts*

Tuesday: Ricki’s Best of YA 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Sunday: Author Guest Post: “Encouraging Young Readers” by Bethan Woollvin, Author of Three Little Vikings

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

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We took Winter Break off, but we return tomorrow!

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Tuesday: Kellee’s 2022 Reading Recap, Favorite Reads, #MustReadin2022 Update, & #MustReadin2023!

Thursday: K is for Kindness by Rina Horiuchi, Illustrated by Risa Horiuchi

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Lydia Lukidis, Author of Deep, Deep Down

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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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