It’s Monday, so it’s time for some five-star mini reviews #IMWAYR

June 3, 2024

It has been a long time since I posted anything kind of reading update, so I’m going to get into some five-star mini reviews here. I’m still on sabbatical, so a lot ofimwayr 2015 logo my reading has been geared towards my sabbatical projects, which include the rewriting of my comp curriculum as well as work on some fiction writing projects. Also, because I have been reading so many books, I have become the person I hate, by which I meant someone who just marks a book as read or gives it a star review with no commentary. So, you know, now I have compassion for others who do so.

Okay, so I just double checked and I haven’t posted reviews of ANY of the books I’ve read so far this year, which is just bananas to me. Right, so, this will include all of the five-star picture book biographies I’ve read so far this year as well as one middle grade book. Subsequent posts will feature different categories of five-star reads.

On to the books!

Ida B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights LeaderIda B. Wells, Voice of Truth: Educator, Feminist, and Anti-Lynching Civil Rights Leader by Michelle Duster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, the woman that you were!

Excellent overview of her life and activism, interesting and engaging pictures, excellent back matter to show her continued impact.

View all my reviews


Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He RescuedNicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued by Peter Sís
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I spent most of this book thinking about how I didn’t love the illustrations (they are very good but a bit busy for my tastes), but then the end of the book made me cry, so never mind.

View all my reviews


Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown SoldierTwenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by Jeff Gottesfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful tribute, beautiful illustrations

View all my reviews


There Was a Party for LangstonThere Was a Party for Langston by Jason Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The illustrations and the text are so full of joy that the whole things feels like a party. Love.

View all my reviews


All the Way to the Top: How One Girl's Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything (Inspiring Activism and Diversity Book About Children with Special Needs)All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely bananas to realize the ADA was signed into law in 1990.

Excellent illustrations, excellent back matter. Love the call to action here as well.

View all my reviews


The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London's Poop Pollution ProblemThe Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem by Colleen Paeff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh no big, just industrialists and capitalists creating an environmental/climate crisis that they then have to solve. The more things change…

This is a pretty good overview of the problem, the solution, and the person who came up with the solution. Excellent backmatter.

View all my reviews


Dear Mr. Henshaw (Leigh Botts, #1)Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Authors have been annoyed about kids writing to interview them for school projects since time immemorial, basically.

Seriously, though, I do believe Cleary took inspiration from all of the children writing to her about their lives to create Leigh, a lonely kid who loves to read and write, so finds comfort in writing to his favorite author. This book is very much about the big feelings that kids have when dealing with changes in their lives–in Leigh’s case switching school and, after his parents’ divorce, a largely absentee father. Who else can he tell his problems to besides the person whose books have kept him the most company?

There are so many quiet, wonderful moments in this book with big impact. Cleary is able to show kids that their lives and their stories matter, both through Leigh’s letters to Mr. Henshaw and what he writes for the young writers’ competition in the book. The latter is more subtle than the former, but I think kids will get the message.

View all my reviews


Have a great week, everyone!

You May Also Like…

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *