Far away and so close

These were the books I read right before school started. I think books really speak to different parts about me. For example, I want to go camping and fishing. I’m interested in modern Asian history. I support Asian American authors! I found Front Desk really inspiring as I was starting a new job.

Mia wrote a letter to persuade motel owners why she should win the motel. She told them

  1. I know what I’m doing.
  2. I love what I’m doing.
  3. I won’t let you down.

That is all an employer or even a partner ever needs to know. Mia is an inspiration to me because I want to go about whatever I do the same way. Thank you Kelly Yang fir writing this book! I am so glad you wrote it and we all have the chance to stand by Mia.

Diversity in kid lit


On a recent trip to the library I happened to see many of the books on my to-read list on the shelves. The theme this time is diversity! All of these books are about a culture/time different from mine. It was nice to read them together. There are picture books, poetry, and chapter books too.

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena – I think this was a fine book but there are many more deserving books for the Coretta Scott King and Newbery Medal. It wasn’t even the strongest one among these five books. I guess that goes to show more diverse books need to be read and recognized.

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate – I read this within 3 hours and I loved it. It is a little like The Wild Robot and Pax because it reads like a fable. Very allegorical! It was uniquely told from a tree’s point of view. I loved the tree’s flashbacks and how everything connects.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser – I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and am so glad I finally found it. I think I am into family novels lately. It’s cozy to read books about big families and I love how the hustle and bustle of New York City came through in this story.

Yagua Days by Cruz Martel – I read this book because my mentor mentioned it. She said it had “weird words” that students could figure out using context clues 😛 . Indeed it does! It had a lot of Spanish words but also words that are unusual even in Spanish. I love the illustrations in this book. Here’s to yagua days in our future.

Caminar by Skila Brown – I think this might be my favorite. It is a historical novel-in-verse, set in a context I have never read about. It’s about the Guatemalan Civil War from 1960-1996. It didn’t feel foreign at all because it is told from the point of view of one boy, who became a man, and his decision. Caminar means “to walk” in Spanish, the the reader walks with Carlos over the course of the book. I think the epilogue is the most personal part of the book. I love how years later, when Carlos has a daughter, he saw Flora and remembers. I wonder what it must feel to have an experience like war or other trauma in your past, and to be decades removed from it yet still hold it close in the your heart. I am so so glad I got a chance to read this. Thank you Skila Brown!

Cozy fantasies

I loved every book in here, a lot!!!!!!! I think this might be the coziest group of books I’ve read.

Ling & Ting: Together in All Weather – It’s Grace Lin, so obviously I am a fan! I loved that she dedicated this book to her husband. Ling and Ting are always up to something and their episodes are always a treat. Here’s to the people with us in all weather ❤ .

5 Centimeters per Second – I cried reading this and I should’ve guessed I would. It is just like life to move too quickly and to pull people apart. I feel like both Tohno and Akari because I live in the present, but there is someone as important to be as Akari was to Tohno. I love Kanae too. I just want all the characters to find love and happiness. What a beautiful manga!

Neruda’s Book of Questions – I loved Pablo Neruda’s work ever since I read The Dreamer, which is about his childhood. He sure is a dreamer!!! He thinks of things we would never ever think of. His questions in 10 words can say so much than 50 words could. What a powerful and unique book.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus– This was a great book for kids and adults alike! Dusti Bowling is a future awards winner. Aven is my inspiration.

Everything on a Waffle – I adored this book! It is short and sweet, and I made the tuna noodle casserole from the recipes inside. It’s like Pushing Daisies, sort of.

I Am Pusheen the Cat – I read this while I was eating breakfast at a Taiwanese cafe. It’s Four Seas! after I came back from Knott’s. This was probably the most fun day I had this year before the hectic work schedule started 😦 .

I loved all the books here!


Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein is probably a genius. His poems are just so wacky and don’t make sense!

Christmas in Camelot – It’s the holidays and I wanted to read The Magic Tree House, so why not Christmas in Camelot! I love fantasy and time travel so this was a fun trip.

A Pizza the Size of the Sun – Another wacky book from a poet for children. This was very fun and if I had a 1st grade class I would love to read it to them.

Stage Fright on a Summer Night – I loved this too because it reminds me of my HS English class. I want a Magic Tree House version of the Shakespeare plays! Jack and Annie in Othello, please.

Blizzard of the Blue Moon – I love that this was based in NYC! It’s wonderful and it reminds me of Wonderstruck too since it’s the same time period. It makes me want to go to NYC for New Year’s but I would freeze :O .

The Little Book of Hygge – Okay this made me want to live cozily forever, but at this particular time in my life it’s very hard to be cozy 😦 . I want a cozy home and comfy everything! Wool and soft stuff every where.