The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

This was my library book club’s choice for September.

Published: 2012

Genre: historical fiction

Length: 362 pages

Setting: Australia, 1920s Continue reading

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Black Site by Michael Patrick Hicks

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in CLONES: The Anthology

Genre: science fiction, with a touch of Chthulu

Length: 34 pages

Setting: an asteroid mining base, near future Continue reading

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What I Will Be Reading #35: Diversity for the Kids

I’ve got a variety of middle grade and YA books to add to my kids’ reading lists. Quite a few are specifically diverse voices for something a little different.

I’ll start off with a big collection of graphic novels provided by CommonSense Media. We’ve read most of the books up through about the 9+ age group, and this list recommends all the way to 16+, so there’s plenty of books for us to grow into, like Foiled or Boxers & Saints.

For some diversity and more words than graphic novels, I’ve got a few options for the kids. Who am I kidding – I want to read most of these as well. They may end up being read alouds, so we can all read the book at the same time.

The first book came from a GeekDad post on cultural diversity is The Gauntlet by Karuna Riaza. It’s a newly published book (March, 2017) that was described as steampunk Jumanji. Sounds like a fun read to me.

My mother-in-law brought my attention to the next book – Refugee by Alan Gratz. Interestingly, The Hub ran a post on immigrants and refugees the next week that recommended this book. This is the story of three refugees, one from Nazi Germany, one from Castro’s Cuba, and one from modern-day Syria. It’s written for a slightly younger audience than most of the YA literature about refugees, so it should still be appropriate for Miss Adventure.

The Hub also brought my attention to Kwame Alexander’s new book – Solo. It is his typical book in verse, although the main character is a bit older than we saw in Booked or The Crossover. Apparently, it makes a great audiobook that Alexander reads himself. I’ve read the other books to the kids. Maybe, we all need to listen to the author read it.

One last book, and this one from Modern Mrs. Darcy. She had a post on diverse books/own voices as a category in her reading challenge for the year. I just glanced through the list, since I’m not looking for anything specific to read. However, I happened to see the description to Out of My Mind by Susan Draper. What caught my eye was the fact that her kids pushed her to read the book, and it was perfect for people who loved Wonder. That is a perfect recommendation for us!

And those are the books I’m adding to my kids’ reading lists. Anything strike your fancy? Anything else to recommend?

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

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Blood Price by Tanya Huff

One of my podcasts, the now-defunct Dragon Page Cover to Cover, interviewed the author, which got me interested in Huff’s books. The library only had Smoke and Shadows, which I enjoyed, so I picked this book up when I had a gift card to spend.

Published: 1991

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 272 pages

Setting: Toronto, present day Continue reading

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Queen of Sorcery by David Eddings

It’s the second book in the Belgariad series, but I read it so quickly after the first book mainly because it gets me a Q in my Title Reading the Alphabet Challenge. Now I don’t have to scour the library shelves for Q books!

Published: 1982

Genre: sword and sorcery fantasy

Length: 326 pages

Setting: Arednia, Tolnedra, and Nyissa, immediately following the events of Pawn of Prophecy Continue reading

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Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

This is the fourth book in the Outlander series I’m rereading this year.

Published: 1997

Genre: historical fiction with time travel

Length: 880 pages

Setting: around Charleston, South Carolina, 1767-1770, and England, 1969 Continue reading

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The Penelope Qingdom by Aidan Moher

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: December, 2016 in Mothership Zeta

Genre: fantasy

Setting: Prince George, Canada, 1980s

Summary: Penelope Qing and her family move in next door to Ivan and his moms. They’re the same age, 11, and meet when Ivan’s moms introduce themselves. Penelope takes Ivan down into her basement to show him the Penelope Kingdom – a fantastical medieval world made of various dolls, action figures, household items, and buildings. The amazing thing is it comes to life in Penelope’s presence. We even get excerpts from a history book from the kingdom sprinkled throughout the story. Ivan and Penelope play down there for years, although at the end of middle school he becomes more interested in kissing Penelope than playing. However, when Penelope’s family moves right before high school, he’s willing to set up a colony in his basement.

Final thoughts: This was a delightful story. Penelope and Ivan have an imaginary world they’ve put together in Penelope’s basement that is real, at least when Penelope is there. Luckily, they both enjoyed playing in the world, although Ivan started growing out of it before Penelope did. There was an impressive progress of time, since several years pass in the story. We get just enough detail to know time is passing, but not so much to make it boring. At the end, it looks like Ivan and Penelope will just be memories to each other. However, online gaming is just starting, so it’s possible they will connect in a MUD instead of just fading away.

Title comes from: Penelope was King of her fantasy world, so it was called Penelope’s Kingdom. Her name was Penelope Qing (pronounced King), so Ivan made it a play on her name – Penelope’s Qingdom.

 

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