Showing posts with label January 2022. Show all posts
Showing posts with label January 2022. Show all posts

Sunday, January 30, 2022

A Boy's Best Friend by Janice Ford

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is a collection of five short stories. The first story is “Steven Meets Stuart”. Steven loves animals. He has done a lot of research. He wants a pet. He chooses what he believes is the perfect pet a puppy. He tries to persuade them to get him one for Christmas. He finds nothing under the tree that would be a puppy. Imagine his surprise when his dad brings in a surprise box.

The second story is “Adventure Time with Steven and Stuart”.

Steven loves his new dog.  What is even better is that he has learned his dog can talk to him. One day while exploring the woods behind his house he hears a noise in a bush. He finds a bunny who is stuck. Stuart tells Steven the problem and he is able to help the bunny.

The third story is “The Great Big Monster!”

Like a lot of children, Steven is scared of storms, especially when the wind sounds like a monster outside his window.  Stuart jumps in bed with Steven but is just as scared. But mothers always make things better. Steven and Stuart are allowed to sleep in their parent’s bed.

The fourth story is “Steven Makes a New Friend”.

Steven and Stuart are exploring their neighborhood when they come across a small girl with a stuffed elephant. She looks sad. Steven learns she wants to go into the forest to pick some flowers for her mom. However, the last time she went in she got lost.  Steven and Stuart are there to help this little girl.

The final story in this collection is “School is Fun”.

Steven loves his dog Stuart so much. He is excited to let his dog know that their teacher is allowing the students to bring their pet to school for a special project.  Steven can’t wait to show his dog to all of his classmates. It is one of his best days ever.

This collection was a joy to read. It was bubbly and showed how much love and friendship can come from having a pet. It also shows how we can be there for others.  Another great job from this author.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

What Waits In The Water by Kieran Scott

Genre: Middle Grade, Horror
Source: I own a copy

Hannah and her new step-sister are total opposites. Hannah is a swimmer and loves the water. Katie can't swim and plays softball.  When Hannah is invited to her best friend Jacob's lake house she is excited. She and Jacob have been best friends since they were very young. She had heard so much about their lake house. Hannah had not planned on her new step-sister tagging along. On the way down to where they will meet Jacob, Hannah realizes there is something between Jacob and Katie. It isn't bad enough she has to spend the weekend with her step-sister there. She learn there are no parents and Jacob has invited two other friends.

Strange things happen. Hannah is racing Jacob when she is suddenly pulled under water. Later she sees something she identifies as a monster. The new friend Colin seems attracted to her. He is the one who tells the story of the drownings in the lake. When Hannah, Katie and Jacob visit the burned island across the lake Hannah finds a box with a diary. It is the diary of a girl who has gone missing.  Was she a victim of the lake? Hannah and Katie watch as their new friend Alessandra is pulled under the water. She surfaces and screams for help before she disappears.  All Hannah and Katie want is off the island.

This was definitely a very creepy, edge of your seat book. I read it in a little over two hours. I have spent a lot of time talking about it to my students. That is how good this book is. Now I must read the other book "What Waits in the Woods". I am sure it will be just as good.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic

Source:  From my classroom shelves


Usually this book is passed from student to student and checked out. However, the last student put it into my book bin to be checked back in and I snagged it.  I will tell you from the beginning I am not a big graphics fan. Every student who has read this has told me I need to read it. I agree with them, it was great.

This could have been taken right out of my classroom. I am always hearing students talking about what course is best.  We have those students who will argue until they are blue, that art is the best subject. Then we have those students who love the sciences, or math, or English.

The characters face the very things students new to our school or new to middle school face. They worry about bullying, making friends, family problems, will their teachers like them or will they like their teachers. This is what made this book ring true. The author took a lot of time to flesh out her characters. These are some of the most diverse characters I have seen in a book.   I loved this book and understand why all the students kept recommending it to me.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley

Genre: Middle Grades, Young Adult, Adult, Fantasy
Source: I purchased a copy

This is probably one of the harder reviews I've had to write. I absolutely loved this book. There are so many layers to it that make it hard to write about it. We have a young girl working alongside "Gentleman Jack" a known criminal. She believes he rescued her after her mother abandoned her. While trying to rob a stagecoach Gentleman Jack is caught. This young girl is taken home to the Judge's house. This is a house that has known sorrow. The judge and his wife lost their son and daughter to smallpox. As you read along you realize that things definitely are not what they seem.  The judge and his wife try to "tame" this wild girl. She communicates with her dagger who keeps reminding her how much Gentleman Jack has done for her. You know something is afoot whenever she begins to communicate with the dolls in a dollhouse the judge had made for his daughter. The dagger also doesn't like when she thinks she remembers things. It doesn't want her to remember.  There are definitely reasons Gentleman Jack has not named her. There are reasons she has been lied to for five years.   She is the only one who holds the key to what Gentleman Jack wants. Better than that she holds the key to who and what she is.  I tried to explain this to my students and had just as much trouble explaining it to them.  I recommend this one to everyone who loves beautiful language, fantasy and, unreliable characters.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ten More Wonderful Picture Books

Here are the rest of the books my theatre class and I read. Maybe you will find one that you really like.

Rabbit Makes a Monkey out of Lion byVerna Aardema

Rabbit and Bush-rat have found some honey and begin eating it until lion comes along. He tells them it is his honey. They get away by fooling the lion. This is called “making a monkey” out of him. The next day rabbit goes back with turtle. Once again they get away by fooling the lion. The lion realizes that the rabbit is behind all of this and decides to hide in rabbit’s house and gobble him up when he returns home. The rabbit is smart and fools the lion once again.

Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez

This is a modern Spanish version of the Red Riding Hood story. It is full of Spanish words and rhymes. Federico must do some shopping for his mom and take it to his grandfather’s shop. He is met by the wolf. The wolf rushes off to the grandfather’s shop. Of course Federico get the best of the wolf and rescues his grandfather.

Cindy Ellen A Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell

This is a western re-telling of the Cinderella story. This version takes place in the old west. Instead of a ball they have a rodeo and a square dance. Instead of a glass slipper, Cindy Ellen has diamond studded spurs. Instead of turning a pumpkin into a carriage she rides in a stage coach. This was a fun and refreshing twist on a common fairytale.

The Girl Who Wore Too Much by Margaret Read MacDonald

This a folktale from Thailand. This story tells about a young girl who has been spoiled by her parents. They have given her the best of everything. When the young girls of the village are invited to a party Aree can’t decide which of her finest dresses, or beautiful jewelry to wear. She puts one dress on over another. The she puts all of her jewelry on. She thinks she will be the most beautiful girl there. She meets her friends outside. The hold their laughter in. As they walk along Aree can’t keep up and is left behind. Her friends come back for her twice. Both times when they try to help her she stops them because she doesn’t want her dresses messed up. She never makes it to the dance. The next morning her friends find her where she had sat down. She has no strength to move. They get her parents who realize and help her realize how wrong they were for giving her everything.

Oh, Kojo! How Could You! By Verna Aardema

In this African tale an old man named Ananse is a trickster. One day Tutuola goes to the river and asks the spirit of the river for a son. He warns her that the son will not want to work but will one day repay her. She goes home and is given a son. One day the son tells his mom he needs some gold because he wants to go to the market. On the way he meets Ananse and buys a dog from him. The second time Ananse tricks him into buying a cat. The final time he tricks him into buying a dove. On the way back home the dove tells him she is the queen mother of the chief of her village. If he will return her then her son will reward him. He takes the dove home and the son gives him a magic ring. He wishes for a village and people. Then he wishes for food to feed the people. Ananse is mad and believes the ring should be his. He steals it back. Kojo send the cat and dog to get the ring back. He is warned that Ananse will try to poison the animals. The cat doesn’t follow directions, but the cat does and returns the ring to Kojo. That is why cats are honored to this day.

Imogene’s Last Stand by Candace Fleming
Imogene loves history. She is saddened that the old historical society building is falling apart. She and her dad fix it up and she is ready for people to tour this wonderful place. However, no one comes. No one seems interested, especially after they learn that a shoelace factory is going to be put there and will put them on the map. Imogene tries everything. She even writes to a famous historian. The day the bulldozers arrive she locks herself in stocks. When they ask her father what he is going to do about it he joins her. People come and hang out. The mayor shoes up and so does the historian along with the President. They declare the house a historical monument and save the building and all of its history. The book is full of historical quotes and tidbits of history. This book shows that one person can make a difference.

We Forgot Brock by Carter Goodrich

Phillip’s best friend is Brock. No one else can see him. They call him Phillip’s imaginary friend. One day they go to the fair and Brock rides on the rides with Phillip. When Phillip goes to get some cotton candy Brock rides other rides. Brock gets sleepy and falls asleep in his father’s arms. They leave the fair, leaving Brock behind. Brock realizes Phillip is gone and begins to cry. He gets on the Ferris Wheel to get a better look and can’t find him. A young girl and her imaginary friend Princess Sparkle-Dust invite him home with them. Eventually they run into Phillip. Now when Phillip and Brock play with Anne and Princess Sparkle-Dust everyone thinks they are talking to each other.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum, a tiny mouse loves her name until she starts school. Some of the kids make fun of her name. It isn’t until their music teacher, whom they all love,  tells them she too is named after a flower, that they change their mind.

The One and Only Dylan St. Clair by Kamen Edwards

Dylan spent his summer at theater camp. He is excited for the school play. There are no auditions, instead the teacher hands out the parts. Dylan is given the part of a squirrel in space. He is not happy at all. A kid playing the part of Saturn doesn’t like his role. It is through telling Dylan how lucky he is that Dylan decides he really does have the best part.

The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote by Tony Johnston
This is a wonderful Mexican folktale. In this version the rabbit tricks the coyote many times. He then climbs a ladder to the moon. That is why coyotes howl at the moon. Instead of referring to the man in the moon, they refer to the rabbit in the moon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Six Wonderful Books.

  In my sixth grade theater class we have been reading picture books. Students will be turning them into scripts and then performing these small skits for the elementary students.  Here are the first of them

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

This is one of the picture books my sixth graders chose to turn into a script for theater.  I laughed so hard listening to them discuss this book.  Penelope is a dinosaur and on her first day at school with humans she eats them. Then yuck, the teacher makes her spit them out. She just can't seem to help herself. For me, one of the funniest parts was when she got home and her parents asked how her first day went. She cried and told them she had no friends and her dad asked her, "Did you eat your classmates?"  It will take something happening to her for her to learn the fear her classmates felt at being eaten.  The title is hilarious, the story is funny and the pictures are charming.  Loved this book.


Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

This is a cute book about a young boy at the pool with his brother and father. He has finished his swim lessons and wants to go off of the high dive. Fear over takes him. He tells his dad that maybe he'll jump next time. He begins to make excuses. The way he comes to his final decision reminded me of the self-talk kids and adults do when they are afraid. My sixth grade students loved this book.



The Barnabus Project by The Fan Brothers

Beneath the Perfect Pets store was a secret lab where they created Perfect Pets. Barnabus was half mouse and half elephant. He lived below the store in an area of the lab called failed projects. The guys in rubber suits fed the failed projects. Pip the cockroach told Barnabus all about the outside world. That is where Barnabus wanted to go. One day the men in rubber suits came in and stamped "failed" on all of their glass jars. Pip explained that since they were failed projects they had to be recycled. Barnabus decided to escape instead. Along the way they find another failed project who helps him reach his goal.



Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Jasper Rabbit loves chowing down on the carrots in Crackenhopper Field. They are free so he is
constantly eating them. Then one day he goes to get a carrot and thinks he hears something. He sees and hears carrots in the shed, his bedroom, and the bathroom. He gets so freaked out he decides to build a fence to keep the creepy carrots in, and keep anyone from eating them. This is exactly how the carrots planned to build a fence keep them in and keep anyone from eating them. This is exactly how the carrots planned it to end. I loved this book.

The Empty Pot by Demi

Honesty is the best policy. In this wonderful story we find Ping, a young boy able to grow just about anything. The emperor, like the other people in his empire, grows his own flowers. It is something he loves. He knows he is getting older and won't be able to continue so he must find someone to rule his kingdom when he is gone. He calls all of the children together and gives them each a seed. He says they are to tend it for a year then come back and he will choose. No matter what Ping tries his seed won't grow. He, unlike all the other children come with an empty pot and admits he tried his best, but couldn't get the seed to grow. He is chosen to be the next emperor because of his honesty

The Picky Eater by Betsy Parkinson

Piper the pig is a picky eater. I found this funny because pigs will eat just about anything. Whenever they make her try anything new they only make her try five bites. Finally her parents have had enough and tell her she has to eat more than just the five bites.  Like most children, when Piper gets hungry enough she tries other foods and realizes she likes them.  This is typical of most children. Another great book I highly recommend.

The Tree and the Girl by Andrea Hahnfeld

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review, the opinions expressed here are my own.

This is a beautiful story of love and sacrifice.  In a forest lives a fir tree with its brothers.  He is magnificent, unlike his brothers. His vanity gets the best of him. Standing tall and proud, looking down on his not so perfect brothers he is noticed by someone out looking for a perfect Christmas tree.  His brothers had tried to protect him and are sad he is being chopped down.  He is taken home and decorated. He wishes he is back in his forest.  One night a young homeless girl comes and looks in the window at the warm fire and notices the tree.  This happens night after night. One night so cold and hungry she collapses. When death comes for her the tree is willing to give up his life for hers.  This is a beautiful story you will want to read every year to your young ones, and for yourself.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Twisted Road to You by Barbara Longley


Genre:  Adult, Romance, Suspense
Source: I was given a copy to be reviewed, the opinions expressed here are my own.

I am trying to clean out my personal library and my e-reader.  I am not sure how long I've had this book. Something about it appealed to me way back when I purchased it or agreed to read it for the author.  I don't read a lot of romance. I don't like, nor have I ever like mushy, gushy romance. However, give me a book where both parties fall in love while overcoming major obstacles and I am there.  

The two characters are both suffering from a type of PTSD. Wes is a former marine. He watched one of his men die and blames himself because he was thinking about how his wife had dumped him while he was away from home. Carlie is a single mom of a young boy. Her ex-husband is in prison. They moved changed their names and did everything right to protect themselves from the man who almost killed her.
Wes eats breakfast every day at the diner where she works. It is obvious to everyone around them that Wes has feelings for her. 

One day we goes for his breakfast and doesn't see Carlie. The owners who have taken her under their wing tell him about her past. He sets off to make sure she is okay. He sees her and her son being held by her ex.  He manages to rescue them, but her ex gets away.  His mission from this point forward was not to fall in love, even though you know that is what is going to happen, but to protect her and her son.  Like I said, this is not a mushy-gushy romance. The twists and turns are what will keep you moving through this book. The sad thing to learn after reading this is that there were other books before this one in the series.  Definitely going to read them.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Zane and the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick

Genre: Middle Grades, Historical Fiction

Source: I own the book

 After years and years of reading I am finally able to say that I lean toward books that area about disasters, survival and are emotional. I’ve realized recently that no matter what the genre those are some of the things the books all have in common.  This book is no different. Zane and his dog go to visit his great-grandmother in New Orleans. As Hurricane Katrina heads toward them, they evacuate. Then Zane and his dog are separated from his great-grandmother. He makes his way back to her house where he waits out the storm in her house.  Trapped in the attic he is rescued by Mr. Tru and Malvina. From here the story is about survival. The author has done a lot of research to show what it was like during the aftermath of the hurricane. He doesn’t shy away from the racial or political atrocities the people of New Orleans faced.  This is what makes this such a valuable read. Kids need to read, understand and discuss matters such as this book brings about.  I would highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Maybe A Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGwee

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fantasy
Source: I own a copy

It seems like the books I am choosing to read are all survival, emotional, coming of age stories. In this story, Jules and her sister Sylive live with their father. Their mother is dead.  One day as she was bringing the groceries up to the house she crumpled and died. Sylvie ran as fast as she could to the neighbor's house. In her mind it wasn't fast enough. Jules collects rocks. She knows just about everything there is to know about them.  She and her sister occasionally sneak off to  throw rocks they have written their wishes on into the Slip. Their father has forbidden them to go there because it is dangerous. One morning after it snows the girls go out to build a snow family before the bus comes. Sylvie decides to throw a wish rock into the river. She doesn't return. Once again Jules is dealing with the grief that accompanies death. The other voice in the story is that of a fox who is born at the same time Sylvie dies. She is a special spirit animal connected to another being. The thoughts of Jules, the fox, Jules friend Sam and his brother Elk ring so true. It shows the range of emotions and the way that different people handle grief. The title comes from a game Sylvie and Jules played after their mother's death. They wanted to know what happened to you after you died.  I won't say more than this because it would be way too easy to give too much away and this is a must read. Just make sure you have a box of tissues with you.


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom by Ariel Berger

Genre: Adult, Biography
Source: I purchased a copy

The conversation started like this, “I was reading the most wonderful book last night and I finished it in class today. I will let you borrow it if you like.”  Any time someone starts a conversation like this I know it will be a book I must read.  This statement was made by my co-worker. Together we teach a holocaust unit on different grade levels. We have both taught “Night”. Had it not been for her I never would have known about this book. 

 The author, Ariel Burger was a student and friend of Elie Wiesel. The book is written from notes, conversations and lessons he had learned over the years from this man. This book is a look at life, faith, doubt and so much more as seen through Elie’s eyes and through the lens of the lessons learn through the holocaust. In this book we see how the past affects and shapes the future.  It makes us question our beliefs no matter what our religious beliefs. It is through questioning that I believe we learn more about ourselves and about our beliefs. This book made me do exactly what I tell my students I want them to do. It made me think about the past and make connections to the present and to the future. It made me question my religious beliefs. So many times I had students tell me they don’t know what they believe. I never understood that until I read this book. I don’t think they were saying they didn’t know, so much as they didn’t really understand their beliefs.  One of the questions asked in the book was whether faith and doubt could co-exist. I thought about Thomas in the Bible. He was called doubting Thomas because of his doubt, yet his faith was strong.  No matter what your religious beliefs I believe this is an excellent book to read and I definitely recommend it, especially for  those who have read Elie Wiesel’s books.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Alone by D.J. Brazier

I'm not sure what it is with me and survival stories. I absolutely love them in any form. This book reminded me of Gary Paulsen's "Hatchett" and also of the book I recently finished, "The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong.

When the plane Sam and his Dad are on crashes, Same is forced to find a way to survive. It helps that he is befriended by a baby otter. He has to face the elements, animals, and bugs and the basic needs of survival, food, water, and shelter.  This is an on the edge of your seat read, the kind you just can't put down.  Highly recommended. Can't wait to talk this one up to my students.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry


Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Mystery
Source: My own shelves

I absolutely love April Henry's books.  In this book the first chapter grabs you and reels you in. A young girl comes to unsure where she is, who she is or what has happened. The only thing she knows for sure is she just overheard two men talking about how she knows nothing and they need to kill her.  From here on out the story unfolds in layers. From her escape at the beginning of the story to finally remembering who she is, what happened to her, and finally to its awesome ending, this book will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat.  I read it in about three hours. I knew there was no way I could not finish the book. This has been on my shelves at school and many of my students have read it. The only reason I finally got my hands on it was it was turned back in and I immediately put it in my own bag to read.  I highly recommend this book.  The events are so realistic I found myself worried for the main character.  The reader finds themselves identifying with the character and wondering what they would do in a situation like that.  Go ahead start with this one and see if you don't have to read her other books.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Rodney the Rabbit Learns About Healthy Food by Janice Ford



Genre: Children's Picture Book
Source: I received a copy for review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

What a wonderful way to teach children about healthy eating. Children will love the cute characters and colorful pictures. The book is a series of short stories, almost like chapters that follow Rodney, a little white rabbit. Rodney, unlike his brother, sister and parents would rather eat candy. He had found candy in a human house. His mom tries to convince him that eating candy all the time is not healthy and will damage his teeth. After hurting his teeth Rodney sets out to find healthy foods that he will enjoy.  I love how the author spoke of fruit as nature's candy. That in itself will often entice children to eat more fruit.  This is a book that I think should be in most kindergarten classrooms. The younger the child, the earlier we want to teach them about healthy eating.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

The Great wide Sea by M.H. Herlong

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Adventure
Source: I purchased a copy

I had purchased this book and then another reading teacher recommended it. She was reading it to her students and my students who are in her reading class kept telling me how wonderful it was. So, yesterday, the first day of the new year I sat and read it cover to cover. This is the story of not only a physical loss, but the loss of trust and belief in someone. When Ben, Dylan and Gerry lose their mother to a terrible car accident their father sells everything they own, buys a sailboat and tells them they will be sailing for a year. There is no discussion, no answering of questions, just the order to pack and go. Fifteen-year-old Ben is angry. He of course sees things from his skewed view as a teenager. It isn't until they have been sailing for about six months and he has decided it doesn't help to argue with his dad that things go from bad to worse. He has been a faithful crewman on his dad's boat the Chrysallis. Each of the boys have certain "jobs" they are required to handle and they must all learn to do everything. Then Ben comes up top to discover their dad missing.  Add to that a storm that maroons them on an island and you have a heart-stopping book.  I felt bad for the boys the way their father talked to them. However, as a parent and adult I understood the underlying cause that the boys might not understand. The three boys were well developed. You had headstrong Ben, the oldest who felt responsible for everything and had the most trouble with his father. Dylan was the studious son who had the book knowledge that would help in a lot of situations. Then there was six year old Gerry who was terrified of the water because he couldn't swim. All of these issues and what happens to all of them made for a story you had to read from cover to cover. Can't wait to talk this up this week at school. It is a must read.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Start of a New Year of Reading and Reading Challenges

Reading Challenge

With the pandemic, my reading has gone downhill. I really thought I would read more. That was not the case. This last year I took on a new subject to teach. I picked up a reading class and then was asked to teach Theatre. I had never taught theatre before. Once again with all the new things, my reading was not where I wanted it to be. So for this next year, I am going to complete two reading challenges. Both of them are A-Z challenges. I am not formally joining anyone's challenges. I am doing this on my own. I have made a list of books I own either in my classroom or on my Kindle that I haven't gotten to yet. I have a list of twenty-six books by title and an alphabetical list of books by the author. Below you will find my lists. I will not read them in order. Some of them have a review date. I am doing this for two reasons. First, I need to meet my goal for this school year set by a student, and this will help. The second reason is that I need to read these books and be knowledgeable enough to recommend them to my students. It is hard to talk up a book you have not read. I will post reviews and I will post links to those reviews.  Below my challenge, you will see links to some of the other challenges I considered. I even made lists for them. I am not going to stress myself as I have done in years past trying to hit all of the reading challenges. I will however introduce them to my students as I think it would be interesting to see if any of them might like a challenge.  I have attached links to where you can find the official challenges. I reserve the right to change books I have listed. The idea is to have fun and that means changing up books as I see fit.

A-Z Titles
Alone - D.J. Brazier
Bats and Bones - Jeffrey Hickey
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
Easy Target by Tim Shoemaker

Free Lunch by Rex Ogle
The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager
I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster, 1937 by Lauren Tarshis
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Katia by Bruce Judisch
Lions of Little Rock by Kristen Levind
Missing Okalee by Laura Ojeda Melchor
Ninelands by K.E. Boyer
Of Wise Oaks and Weeping Willows by Diane Robertson
Plum Springs by Dan Lawton
Quest Chasers: The Deadly Cavern by Thomas Lockhaven
The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley
Sacred Mountains of China by Ryan Pyle
Trapped in 1867 by Christopher Francis+-
Unteachables by Gordon Korman
Voices of the Sea by Bethany Mason Harar
What Waits in the Woods - Kieran Scott
Poet X - Elizabeth Acevedo
Yellow Star -Jennifer Roy
Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick

A-Z Authors
Burger, Ariel - Witness: Lessons From Elie Wiesel's Classroom
Ellis, Brandon - The PureLights of Ohm Totem
Garber, Dennis - Travelers and the Four Doors of Artew
Inglis, Karen - The Secret Lake
James, Steven - Blur
Key, Watt - Beast
Marshall, kate Alice - I Am Still Alive
Northrop, Michael - On Thin Ice
Ogle, Rex - Punching Bag
Preller, James - Before You go
Quaver, P.D. - Unplugged
Reynolds, Jason - All American Boys
Trump, Jacobina - Turn of the Tide
Underhill, Shawn - The Earthkeepers
Vigilante, Danette - The Trouble With Half a Moon
Xavier, Tom - Neffatira's First Challenge
Young, Suzanne - The Program

Color Coded Reading Challenge
Blue - Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
Red - Uncle Bob's Red Flannel Bible Camp - Steve Vernon
Yellow – The Yellow Star Shines Like a Candle in the DArk - Aaron Seth
Green – The Girl With the Green Tinted Hair - Gavin Whyte
Brown – The narrative of the Life of Henry Box Brown - Henry Box Brown
Black –The Black Towers - Ken Brosky
White – The Girl in the White Van by April Henry
Orange – Oranges for Christmas: A Berlin Wall Escape Novel by Margarita Morris
Rainbow –Rainbow in the cloud - Maya Angelou

Keyword Challenge 

January KeywordsLast, Girl, Dark, When, Winter, Light, Window
Girl in the Lake - India Hill Brown

February Keywords: Midnight, Never, Into, Sun, Love, Good, Spell, Search
The Cat I Never Named - Amra Sabic-El-Rayess

March Keywords: End, Fall, Loud, Queen, Woods, Nine, Beautiful, Crown

The Boy on the Wooden Box - Leon Leyson

April Keywords: Race, Now, Chose, While, Stop Burn, Red, One

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance - Nikki Grimes

May Keywords: Thorn, Catch, Black, Under, City, Cloud, Sing, Legacy

Dragged from Under: The Bull Shark - Joseph Monninger

June Keywords: Sea, You, Hate, Perfect, Shade, Until, Beach, Little

Four Perfect Pebbles - Lila Perl & Marion Blumenthal Lazan

July Keywords: Star, Next, Infinity, Iron Word, People, Rise, Clear

Words With Wings - Nikki Grimes

August Keywords: Breath, Case, Hundred, Day, Happy, Language, Stay, Lie

Rhyming Poetry to Change Your Day - Philip Lister

September Keywords:  Bright, Here, Out, Life, Strange, Rule, Story Salt

From the Inside Out - Erik O. Ronningen

October Keywords:  House, Bone, Haunt, Body, Blood, Witch, Murder, Mystery

Keesha's House - Helen Frost

November Keywords:  Many, Boy, River, Fever, Down, Gold, Jade, Hill

Long Way Down - Jason Reynolds

December Keywords:  Still, Cabin, Night, Lake, By, Holiday, Fire

Terror At Wolf Lake - Max Elliot Anderson

If you are into, or want to try a reading challenge then you might want to try "Beat the Backlist".  All of my books above fit into this challenge and I can definitely read another to fit in that one place where a book on my list won't be out until February, making 52 books on my backlist of books that were published before 2022. That won't be a problem as the book Katia has two sequels. I learned this when checking out what else this author had written. So essentially I am officially/unofficially taking part in two reading challenges this year. Check out the "Beat the Backlist" challenge. 

Another Reading Challenge you might be interested in is the "Color Coded Reading Challenge" .  I actually have a list of books that would fit this challenge. I am not signing up officially. If I could get to it that would be great. I refuse to add any stress to my reading. 

Maybe your thing is reading books about being creative. If so then you might want to check out the "Creativity Reading Challenge".

"Mount TBR Challenge" would be another great one if you are like me and have hundreds of books on your TBR list. Again, I am sticking to the 52 book I have above, although they could count here as well.

Maybe you are a word nerd and need or want key words to help you choose a book. The "Key Word Challenge" would be for you then.

If you are into reading challenges then you might also want to check out the 2022 Master List of Reading Challenges. They have something for everyone.