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The Week in Review: 05.15.2020

May 15, 2020


Between the Covers

Finished last week:

WINK by Rob Harrell is a work of fiction that is partly based on the author’s own experiences.  In the book, seventh grader Ross is diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer.  The treatments cause him to lose his hair and have goop leaking from his eye, among other things.  He’s very self conscious and doesn’t want to be known as “the cancer kid.”  He turns to art and music to survive his ordeal and finds friendship in an unexpected place.

I thought this book was fabulous!  While it deals with a serious subject, it’s filled with humor and there are drawings throughout to keep middle grade readers engaged.  It teaches empathy without being preachy and will help kids going through cancer treatment realize they’re not alone.  Pick this book up for the middle school reader in your life – they’re sure to love it as much as I did.  (Review copy provided by Dial Books for Young Readers.)


In the graphic novel, THE RUNAWAY PRINCESS by Johan Troïanowski, Princess Rose goes on three different adventures encountering kidnappers, a witch, and pirates along the way.  The fantastical stories are filled with whimsical, brightly colored illustrations that are very appealing.  What makes the book unique are several “interactive” pages spread throughout like this one

that help keep middle grade readers engaged.  I’m not a big fantasy reader so the book was just okay for me but I think young readers will enjoy it more than I did.  (Review copy provided by Random House Graphic.)


THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS by Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is a collection of true stories about people who lived through some horrific things and lived to forgive those who caused them pain.  Pratt tells the stories of people like Elizabeth Smart, Sue Klebold, and Immaculee Ilibagiza and then shares how they managed to forgive and how their stories inspired her.  She also shares a story of her own and goes on to say that forgiving is a gift to both the forgiven and the forgiver.  While each of the stories were inspiring, there wasn’t enough depth to them to make the majority of them stick with me.  I would have preferred less stories with more detail.  I listened to the audio and do wonder if the stories would have stuck with me more if I’d read them in print.  Pratt narrates the audio version and does a fine job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not a thing.

Off the blog

  • Last Friday, I ran 2.23 miles in memory/honor of Ahmaud Arbery.  The weather wasn’t great and it was really a small gesture but I felt compelled to do it. #irunwithmaud
  • I applied for an absentee ballot for our June primary.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 16,100 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

23 Comments leave one →
  1. bookchickdi permalink
    May 15, 2020 9:32 am

    Wink sounds like a wonderful book.

  2. May 15, 2020 9:50 am

    Well done on the walking and running. In the absence of the routine of gym and pilates, my fitness regime is very much fits and starts right now. I keep promising myself to do an on line class but have managed only two pilates classes so far…

  3. May 15, 2020 10:05 am

    The Gift of Forgiveness sounds good.

    Great that you are walking. Enjoy!

  4. Helen Murdoch permalink
    May 15, 2020 11:17 am

    Good for you for doing the 2.23 run. Though you say it’s a small gesture, lots of small gestures can add up to awareness and change, eventually. Wink sounds like a wonderful book for middle grade students!

  5. Diane permalink
    May 15, 2020 12:01 pm

    Kathy, I so admire you , my friend and a few others that participated in #irunwithmaud. Such a sad end for a young man minding his own business. Hope you have a nice weekend.

  6. May 15, 2020 12:41 pm

    What a nice gesture for Ahmaud Arbery. Such a horrible thing to happen; such a crazy world!

  7. May 15, 2020 2:00 pm

    It’s great that you that participated in #irunwithmaud!

  8. Susan permalink
    May 15, 2020 5:22 pm

    Kudos for your run for Ahmaud Arbery … his senseless murder is infuriating & demands justcie. Your Garmin watch looks like a great device. Enjoy your weekend.

  9. May 16, 2020 9:14 am

    Both Wink and Runaway Princess sound good and I’ll be looking them up. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Lisa See book – I remember loving Snow Flower so much. I need to return to her books.

  10. May 16, 2020 10:11 am

    Children’s books seem to work for me so well right now. I will look for Wink and Runaway Princess. The book on forgiveness also sounds great, and, happily, it will be coming soon to my public library, now open with limited curbside service.

    I’m glad you ran for Ahmaud Arbery. It’s inspiring for us all.

    I looked into applying to vote by mail in our next Texas election in July. It is only allowed for those who meet a few criteria, one of which is sickness. I wonder if the criteria will be expanded.

    I was able to find Dreams of Joy at my library. I may try it next.

  11. May 16, 2020 4:56 pm

    The Runaway Princess sounds like some fantasy that most kids could use right now. The other two books, although they sound like excellent reads, might be a little heavy. I’m always looking for books for the grandkids, so I enjoyed your reviews. I try to walk at least 3 miles each day too..

  12. May 17, 2020 7:37 am

    Congrats on your run, Kathy. A worthy cause, for sure. As our weather improves (warms up) I hope to get back to a regular routine.
    Wink looks like a good read!

  13. May 17, 2020 8:54 am

    That’s wonderful about your running for a cause!
    Wink sounds sweet. Enjoy the Lisa See book, I like her writing.

  14. May 17, 2020 11:49 am

    I admire your support for Ahmaud Arbery, his murder was so senseless.
    Personally I disagree with the idea that forgiveness is a necessary step in healing, so I won’t be picking up the new Mrs Pratt’s book, I would like to read Dreams of Joy though having read Shanghai Girls.

    Wishing you a great reading week

  15. Megan S permalink
    May 17, 2020 1:40 pm

    I don’t read much middle grade, but Wink sounds like one worth picking up!

  16. Anne Bennett permalink
    May 17, 2020 3:01 pm

    I have WINK on my TBR. Glad to know it is good. The forgiveness book sounds wonderful, too. Better add that one to my list. My Sunday Salon and Coronavirus diary

  17. May 17, 2020 5:21 pm

    Nice job with your run! I used to love to run, but knees can’t handle it anymore. I really kind of miss it.

    We are fortunate to be able to vote by mail, living in Oregon. I wish all states would go that route… Makes so much more sense to me.

  18. Literary Feline permalink
    May 17, 2020 7:28 pm

    I may have to look for The Runaway Princess for my daughter. She loves graphic novels. I hope you are enjoying Dreams of Joy. I haven’t read that one yet, but I did read the prequel Shanghai Girls and really liked it. I hope you have a great week. Stay safe and well.

  19. May 18, 2020 9:10 am

    Wink and Runaway Princess sound like good reads.

  20. Beth F permalink
    May 18, 2020 9:54 am

    I too applied for a mail-in ballot. The process was easy and ballot showed up a few days later. Good job on the running.

  21. May 18, 2020 11:45 am

    Good run.

    Happy reading this week

  22. May 18, 2020 1:15 pm

    You did really well with your activity. It is raining today and humid. No activity here although I really think I could use some.

    I always do mail in ballots so I should be good to go there.

  23. May 18, 2020 8:00 pm

    Two books to put on Gage’s list!
    It’s great that you ran. Such a horrific killing. It’s hard to hear the every day bad stuff that continues to go on during the middle of this pandemic.

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