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MandaMT

MandaMT

Joined July 2016

Part time reading teacher & full time Mom.
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MandaMT
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MandaMT
Real Friends | Shannon Hale
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From the author‘s note.

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MandaMT
Real Friends | Shannon Hale
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I remember feeling this way too.

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MandaMT
Real Friends | Shannon Hale
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My kid loves The Princess in Black series, so I figured I‘d check this out. This is a great graphic memoir from Shannon Hale with LeUyen Pham. I felt like I was reading about my own struggles with mean girls and social hierarchy. Very touching and honest.

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MandaMT
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This wasn‘t quite what I had expected. Everything I‘d heard focused on Julia trying to solve the mysteries around her sister‘s death. While that is part of the story, I was more intrigued by the blunt and honest depiction of a downward spiral into depression. A bit slow at first, but I was riveted in the 2nd half.

IvoryLunatic This is one of my favorite YA books because it just hits so close to him. I do agree that it focuses a lot more on depression than anything else and it's one of the reasons I recommend it a lot because I think it's a topic that needs to be talked about a lot more. 6d
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El Deafo | Cece Bell
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Passing time at the library today while my car is getting fixed. This was a fun “one sitting” book that I‘ve been meaning to read for a while. Heartfelt and humorous, Bell shares her story from the kindergarten where she learned to read lips, to befriending kids in her neighborhood, to discovering her “super powers” at her Gen Ed elementary school. She includes friend drama and first crushes- material familiar to any kid.

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This was a fun romp! I‘d heard the author speak a when she was promoting the sequel. In reading “mad scientist” stories of the 19th century, she noticed mentions of experiments on their daughters or creating female subjects (Jekyll/Hyde, Moreau, Rappaccini, &Frankenstein). Goss imagines a world in which these women come together to solve mysteries- with the aid of Holmes and Watson. Fans of Meyer‘s The Lunar Chronicles may want to check this out.

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MandaMT
Between the World and Me | Ta-Nehisi Coates
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Another one for the list of “books I can‘t believe I waited this long to read.” Poignant and eloquently written, Coates blends personal experiences with historical and current events. This book is written as a letter to his son- to both reflect and anticipate what his life might be like. Coates reads the audio version himself, adding another layer to this already very personal work.

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MandaMT
The Backstagers #1 | James Tynion IV
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This was such a fun read! Brought me back to my days as a Theater geek while also providing a heavy dose of surreal adventure. I‘m excited to check out the next book in the series!

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Zoey is a 7th grader in rural Vermont. She has much more on her plate than her more financially stable peers. This book tackles housing insecurity, emotional abuse, and much more. I appreciated the way the guns were discussed. When shots are fired in the school parking lot, a quiet boy who hunts is wrongly accused. Braden frames the debate so kids can understand but also highlights the points that get lost when we talk in all-or-nothing terms.

MandaMT Additional stuff from my Instagram post: Over the past few years, many of the books I‘ve read have come off the Project Lit Community book list- which is where I found this one. It‘s a great way to see a wide variety of kids represented from all over the world. The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden takes place in my own backyard. (edited) 3w
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MandaMT
The Backstagers #1 | James Tynion IV
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A free afternoon, a local bookstore and a park nearby, and my lump sum teacher paycheck burning a hole in my pocket... great combination.

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Choosing my next audio book off my wishlist can be tricky. Seeing Bahni Turpin listed as the reader always makes the choice easier. She did a wonderful job bringing Cora‘s story- and those that intersect with it- to life.

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That's Not What Happened | Kody Keplinger
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A bit of a slow start, but I ended up liking this one more than I thought I would. Lee survived a school shooting her freshman year of high school. Now a senior, she‘s trying to gather stories from the other survivors to set the record straight on what really happened. Lots of interesting commentary on the value of the truth, how stories are used to advance agendas, and what can happen when people try to control their own narratives.

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MandaMT
The Moon Within | Aida Salazar
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If you liked the blunt discussions about periods in Are You There God, It‘s Me Margret and are in the market for a multiracial protagonist and her gender fluid BFF, this one is for you.

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The Moon Within | Aida Salazar
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This book is written in verse. Celi is starting puberty. She‘s learning about those around her as she learns more about herself.

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“A comic anthology taking a stand against racism and bigotry.” I Kickstarted this one a while back. It‘s now available here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/701065414/the-good-fight-comic-book-anthology
Proceeds go to the SPLC.
The artwork and stories are beautiful. My silly photos don‘t do them justice.

SW-T Thanks for the update and the link 😊 1mo
MandaMT @SW-T Happy to help! I‘m glad it‘s still available. It was a worthwhile purchase. 1mo
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Finished this one a few days ago. I loved the relationship between Merci and her grandfather, Lolo. It‘s at the heart of this story, but not the whole story. Merci must learn to juggle family and school obligations while navigating the social hierarchy of 6th grade.

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MandaMT
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America | Kekla Magoon, Jason Reynolds, Dhonielle Clayton, Tracey Baptiste, Brandy Colbert, Justina Ireland, Rita Williams-Garcia, Renée Watson, Lamar Giles, Coe Booth, Varian Johnson, Ibi Zoboi, Nic Stone, Tochi Onyebuchi, Liara Tamani, Jay Coles, Leah Henderson
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As a grown white lady, I‘m probably not the target audience for this one. I still thought it was wonderful. The stories are about kids grappling with various aspects of their identity- usually along the lines of “What does it mean to be black and...?” There have always been a few black and multiracial students in the predominantly white schools where I teach. This offered some insight on their experiences.

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That's Not What Happened | Kody Keplinger
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First full day of summer break. Lounged around and did a little “Chapter 1 day fun day”- reading the first chapter of books from my TBR shelf. A few of the non-fiction ones I‘ve read a bit of before and was dipping back in.
Yes, both coffees were for me. Two different flavors at once. Such a wild kick off to summer.

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From the opening piece in this collection,”The Monster at the End of this Story” by Paul Tobin and Steve Lieber. Tackles white supremacy and privilege.

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I Kickstarted this one. I was so excited when it arrived today! It‘s “a comic anthology taking a stand against racism and bigotry.”

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Hearts Unbroken | Cynthia Leitich Smith
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Lou is part of the Muskogee Nation. She attends a majority white school where she works on the student newspaper. The biggest story of the semester is the diverse casting choices made for school‘s production of The Wizard of Oz and the pushback from the local community. This book includes some hard truths about L. Frank Baum‘s views on Native Americans, which I was vaguely familiar with, but hadn‘t read excerpts from his editorials.

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Stone Sky | N K Jemisin
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When my partner asked what this trilogy was about I started describing the story. When he started to look confused I said, “Racism and climate change.”
There were so many powerful passages in this last book. I‘ll definitively be revisiting this one a few times.

TheBookKeepers Starting this tonight 😍. I don‘t know if I‘m ready for this series to be finished tho - love it so much! Also beautiful book photo!! 1mo
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Hurricane Child | Kheryn Callender
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Unflinching yet beautiful. Caroline Murphy is a character who deserves to be seen.

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Stone Sky | N K Jemisin
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Areader2 Love this series! 2mo
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Nothing Happened | Molly Booth
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This is a fun, lighthearted read. It‘s a retelling of Much Ado About Nothing. Bit of a slow start. Hana (Hero) and Claudia (Claudio) don‘t get together until about 100 pages in. BUT it‘s a spot-on depiction of summer camp life. Most of the more ridiculous plot points come from the original play. I really appreciate how Booth handled some of the more slut-shamey aspects of play.

Solid beach read.

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Nothing Happened | Molly Booth
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I used to work with the leaders-in-training at my summer camp. This nails their experience. We used to tell them it was going to be “awesomely awkward.”

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This was wonderful! Such a sweet story with some pleasant surprises. Frances is a seamstress who receives a mysterious job offer. She quickly discovers she‘ll be designing dresses for Prince Sebastian. Together they transform him into Lady Crystallia, fashion icon.

Clwojick I just got this from the library for next week of #MayMadness! I can‘t wait to spend the week reading graphics ♥️♥️ 2mo
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A Good Kind of Trouble | Lisa Moore Ramée
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Stayed up late last night to finish this. So worth it! 7th grader Shayla is dealing with all sorts of middle school problems- shifting friendships, unrequited crushes, exploring new interests, all while trying to answer some heavy questions around racial identity. She is one of only a handful of black students at her school. Ramée does a beautiful job of weaving the different parts of Shayla‘s life together as she tries to navigate adolescences.

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A Good Kind of Trouble | Lisa Moore Ramée
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A Good Kind of Trouble | Lisa Moore Ramée
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Minor spoilers about what happened at the dance. A “command” is a dare. I LOVE that this middle grade text is addressing consent in such straight forward, easy to understand language. Teach ‘em young!

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I‘m excited to get started with book 3! I‘ve heard some great things. This one was good, but definitely a “middle of the trilogy “ bridge between the two other stories. It seems to lay a lot of ground work for some big stuff on the horizon.

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A Good Kind of Trouble | Lisa Moore Ramée
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I‘m liking this book so far. This is a journal entry from Shayla, the protagonist, after her teacher takes a brief break from their study of Emerson to share a Nelson Mandela quote.

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For Everyone | Jason Reynolds
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Picked up this slim volume by Jason Reynolds. I love his stuff. This is a quick, encouraging read.

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For Everyone | Jason Reynolds
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Monday's Not Coming | Tiffany D. Jackson
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I recommend this to someone as a "great transitional book between middle grade and YA" mainly due to the character's age and a handful of her childlike traits. I was in the process of reading it. I just finished. This book gets pretty dark. It deals with abuse and some sexual situations. Still a worth while read, but it does get very heavy.

riversong153 I really 💜 this book 3mo
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Amal Unbound | Aisha Saeed
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I‘ve heard great things about this from other teachers. I can see why. There‘s a lot here to take a closer look at with students- from complex friendships & family structures to broader global issues.

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MandaMT
Rebellion of Thieves | Kekla Magoon
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Robyn Hoodlum is such a fun series! So much action and adventure! I particularly loved Merryan‘s role & character development in this one.

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On the Come Up | Angie Thomas
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I LOVE this interview Thomas did on The Daily Show. She doesn‘t downplay her hard work and success, she owns it. Her confidence is inspiring https://youtu.be/spLw8tRVnpE

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On the Come Up | Angie Thomas
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The Hate U Give was so good, I figured Thomas‘ 2nd book might not live up to it. Boy was I wrong. I love how much depth she gives her characters, even those not in the spotlight. I‘m so glad I listened to the audio version. The narrator did an amazing job with the rap parts. I listened in my car mostly, alternately gasping at surprises and tearing up when things got heavy- all while driving on the highway.

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MandaMT
Fifth Season | N K Jemisin
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Wrapped up a few days ago. Really powerful stuff. I loved the way the narratives converged. It made me want to go back and revisit some sections. I‘m excited to read the rest of this story!

hermyknee 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 4mo
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MandaMT
The Fifth Season | N. K. Jemisin
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Ah fantasy... such escapism! Nothing ominously close to reality here...

Johanna414 I loved this book! 5mo
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March: Book Three | Andrew Aydin, John Lewis
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Wrapped up this trilogy today. It‘s such an important read- especially for those of us who grew up learning only about MLK and Rosa Parks when discussing the Civil Rights movement. These books shine a spotlight on so many other remarkable people.

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Loved this! Jemisin uses a variety of settings- from distant planets, to mystical kingdoms, to present day New York and New Orleans. I listened to the audio version, which has some wonderful performances, though the print version might be better for stories that include e-correspondence.
I used to teach LeGuin‘s The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas. Jemisin‘s response, The Ones Who Stay and Fight, was by itself well worth getting the book.

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Believe it or not, I JUST started using Audible. This is proving to be a great first selection.

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I‘d been savoring this one for a few weeks. Now a new favorite! In each essay, a black author shares her reading experiences and sources of inspiration. It‘s a fantastic source of suggested reading material. Yes, Angelou, Morrison, and Walker are there, but so are many other authors who didn‘t make the cut for the predominantly white book lists given to English majors like myself. N.K. Jemisin‘s essay on cultural mythology is my favorite.

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March: Book Two | Andrew Aydin, John Lewis
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Read Book One a while back. This reading was long overdue. Figured Black History Month was the perfect time.

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Like Vanessa | Tami Charles
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This story opens with Vanessa Williams winning the 1983 Miss America pageant. 13 year old Vanessa Martin is watching at home. Her family and teacher encourage her to join the middle school pageant. She‘s not sure she‘s pageant material though. This book tackles colorism, family secrets, and complex female friendships. Charles peppers the first person narrative with poems and diary entries, all of which are beautifully written. (See comments)

MandaMT I finished the final 3rd of this in one sitting. There were some tears! This book does a beautiful job of layering together the many parts of Vanessa‘s story. 5mo
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