2018 Hub Challenge Completed!

Now that the 2019 YALSA Hub Challenge has begun, I decided that I really needed to put forth the effort to get my “challenge complete” post from 2018 up and out. I was expecting this year’s challenge to start in March, as it did last year, but discovered today that the challenge started on Tuesday, February 12th. I need to get cracking.

Going back to 2018, I read 38 books (37 during the allotted time). I didn’t read as many of the books as I had wanted to, mainly because my final semester of graduate school and putting together my portfolio got in the way. I love the wide range of genres and formats of this challenge, even if not all of them appeal to me personally. I was surprised to find how much I loved She Rides Shotgun. It is nowhere near any genre I would read on my own, and I never would have picked it up on my own. I’m looking forward to discovering the gems of 2019.

Favorites

All Systems Red by Martha Wells
I can see why YALSA thought it would be a good YA crossover. The story moved quickly, and Murderbot, for all that he was a ‘droid, was incredibly relateable. He was fairly apathetic about his existence, his job, and humans in general. His main desire was to have uninterrupted tv-watching time. While Murderbot didn’t completely lack emotions, he trued to quash them. Towards the end of the novella, he did start developing some level of attachment to the crew. I am looking forward to reading the remaining three novellas in this series as they are published.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I read Scythe last year for the Hub Challenge, and I listened to it this year for the challenge again. The story is suited to both formats. After reviewing what I wrote last year, I still agree with my thoughts on the enjoyment of watching Citra and Rowan learn about the rot that pervades scythedom, and how they decide to tackle it. Citra grew me this time, and I enjoy how both her and Rowan compliment each other in their approaches. She is definitely closer to the white hat side of the spectrum, but she is good at manipulating the system. I am looking forward to seeing how things progress in Thunderhead.

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a book about an 11-year girl who goes on the lam with her released convict father while he tries to find a way to protect her from a kill order. It was surprisingly gripping – I had a hard time putting the book down. The narrative flowed and was well-paced. I loved how Harper used words and cadence, and how he allowed Polly and Nate to grow. Definitely a book I will read again.

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
The magical world operates invisibly along side daily life in NYC, and it’s time for a magical competition to determine which House will be in power until the next competition. The magical world is dark and corrupt, and given that magic has been waning, they will do what needs to be done in order to retain their magic/power. Told from multiple POVs, the story focuses mostly on Sydney, the mystery of her origin, and how she uses her underdog status to upend the status quo. The pacing was a bit slow at times, but the story was very, very well-conceived.

The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
I almost put this book down after the boring introduction. While it was a set up, and explained aspects of the following story, removing it wouldn’t have taken anything away from the narrative. Once past that, however, and The One Hundred Nights of Hero was a dark, beautiful, and painful feminist fairy tale. The framing is similar to Arabian Nights and Scheherazade, though in this case a young woman must protect her friend/mistress from unwanted sexual advances by telling stories to her would-be assaulter. The running theme throughout was how educated and/or powerful women can be scary to men.

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
Before I get into the actual fairy tales, I loved the illustrations and how they grew and flowed with each story. Seeing how they changed page by page was almost as fun as reading the stories themselves. As for the stories, they were clever, dark, and lush with sharp edges (they way a fairy tale should be). It’s hard to pick favorites, but “Amaya and the Thorn Wood” and “The Witch of Duva” were the two that stood out the most.

Books Read

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
My Brother’s Husband, Volume 1 by Gengoroh Tagame
The Backstagers, Volume 1 by James Tynion IV
Black Hammer, Volume 1 by Jeff Lemire
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson
Jonesy, Volume 1 by Sam Humphries
Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green
Brave by Svetlana Chmakova
Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 1 by Keith Giffen
Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
#Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackkenzi Lee
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg
Sandwiches!: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food by Alison Deering
I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina
Spill Zone by Scott Westerfield
Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy
The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found by Martin W. Sandler
A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival by Melissa Fleming
Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds
La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Dreadnought by April Daniels
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

PopSugar 2019 – January

Month one of PopSugar’s Reading Challenge down! As with Read Harder, I am trying to force myself to read only a set amount of books each month in an attempt to stave off burn out. I had initially planned on reading six books in January, but ended up reading eight. Six books were from my Amazon TBR, and four were audiobooks. I had better book luck with this challenge, enjoying most of the books I read. My favorites being At the Mouth of the River of Bees, An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good, and And Only to Deceive.

Tentative books for February: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (#1), Pride & Prejudice (#7), Unmarriageable (#15), Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? (#16), Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating (#21), Labor of Love (#29), A Paris Apartment (#38), Blackfish City (Adv #1), My Lady’s Choosing (Adv #2), and A Green and Ancient Light (Adv #6).

mouth river of beesAt the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson
#9 – Meant to read in 2018
In general, I am not a fan of short story collections. I find them to be very hit or miss – mostly miss. River of Bees was an exception to this. Johnson writes beautifully, and while none of the stories are high action, they flow well and and most had a nice fantastical feel to them. My favorites were “26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” (slightly absurd, with a nice ending), “At the Mouth of the River of Bees” (sad, but comforting – especially if you have pets), “The Bitey Cat” (everyone needs companionship), and “Ponies” (so very, very disturbing).

pirate latitudesPirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
#13 – Published posthumously
This felt like a fairly standard pirate story that had a whiff of the fantastic (the kraken). I liked the intersecting plots and the dynamics between various characters. I like this style of Crichton’s writing. It’s in the same vein as The Great Train Robbery and Dragon Teeth, though not quite as good.

 

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten
#23 – Set in Scandinavia
A short book in a small package, Maud is the black hat version of Miss Marple. I loved these stories! and would love to read more. All Maud wants is to be left alone in peace, and there is always someone who disturbs it. She puts on a classic frail, ditsy old lady act and manages to get away with murder. The stories are all connected chronologically, though they don’t read in that order.

and only to deceiveAnd Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
#30 – Featuring an amateur detective
The pace of this story is slower, but the writing is lovely. The main character, Lady Emily, doesn’t start out as an amateur detective, but as she delves further into the secret life of her deceased husband, she becomes one. Throughout the book, she educates herself about Greek antiquities, realizes that her husband’s death might have been intentional, and discovers that he was madly in love with her while she saw him as a slightly better alternative to living under the thumb of her mother.

Sour Heart: Stories by Jenny Zhang
Adv #3 – OwnVoices
The book had a gritty tone overall. The stories were all well-written, even if I ended up not liking most of them. Honestly, if I wasn’t reading it for a challenge, I would have DNF’d it. “The Empty the Empty the Empty” was horrible. I can’t imagine young children behaving like this. I have two daughters, and what the characters did were completely outside their sphere of reference. In my bubble of reality, this would be a complete outlier. “Our Mothers Before Them” was also very hard to read. The mom was so extremely narcissistic and emotionally manipulative. It was one of the longer stories, and all I could think about was when it would end.

Every Dog Has His Day by Jenn McKinlay
Adv #4 – Read during the season the book is set in (winter)
Ultimately, this was a cute story, and I will probably read the other two books in the trilogy. That being said, the author about lost me on the first page by using the phrase, “harshing my mellow.” 1) I haven’t heard anyone say that in at least 15 years, and 2) it’s a pot reference and should not be used to describe someone being woken up by a doorbell. The author also used “amazeballs” multiple times – another term I haven’t heard in years. There were also several conversations between the characters dedicated to how many names they could think of for orgasms and vaginas, which felt out of place and more like the author was trotting out all of this cool slang the younger generation (maybe) uses.

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History by Keith O’Brien
Adv #7 – Same title
Fly Girls looks at the history of female aviators in the 1920s and 1930s. Most of us know who Amelia Earhart is (and she is one of the women profiled), but there were other women who were equally daring, created and broke aviation records, and pushed their way into a male-dominated area battling extreme misogyny, opening the way for the fly girls of WWII.

Fly Girls: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII by P. O’Connell Pearson
Adv #8 – Same title
This was middle grade book, and the information was presented on the level. It was interesting reading about the the challenges and sexism the women faced, and how they rose above them. Being a woman in the military world takes self-confidence and thick skin. The only complaints I have relates to the lack of proper capitalization of the individual U.S. military branches. It’s not army, navy, marines, etc… It’s Army, Navy, Marines, etc… There was also a lack of capitalization when a cabinet level position was mentioned. It’s not the secretary of the army, it’s the Secretary of the Army. It drives me nuts when authors do this (especially with the Marine Corps).

Sophia’s PopSugar 2018 – COMPLETE!

Deciding to try to read all 5 books from A Song of Ice and Fire was probably a bit overly ambitious on my part, especially for a single challenge year.  Which means, I did not in fact finish the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge.  Oops.

Aside from those 5 plus one other task, the second half of this challenge still led me to some truly amazing books.  Here are three of those:

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Kindred by Octavia E. Butler – Octavia Butler is a seriously spectacular writer.  This book is simply perfection.  It’s gripping, emotional, and effective.  It immediately pulls you in to the story and transcends all of the genres it falls under.  Everyone should read it.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – This was a lovely and impressively compact family saga.  The characterization is strong – each personality is immediately whole and clear.  The plot progression is pitch perfect, moving along at an engaging pace while still creating a full reading experience.  Haunting and beautiful.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol AndersonWhite Rage is one of those books that should absolutely be required reading for absolutely everyone.  Carol Anderson provides a detailed outline of racism in the United States that is succinct, accessible, and powerful.

1) A book made into a movie you’ve already seen – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
2) True crime – Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, David Grann
3) The next book in a series you started – Eternally Yours, Cate Tiernan
4) A book involving a heist – Invictus, Ryan Graudin
5) Nordic noir – Midnight Sun, Jo Nesbo
6) A novel based on a real person – Margaret the First, Danielle Dutton
7) A book set in a country that fascinates you – House of Names, Colm Toibin
8) A book with the time of day in the title – The River at Night, Erica Ferencik
9) A book about a villain or antihero – Genuine Fraud, E. Lockhart
10) A book about death or grief – The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin
11) A book with female author using a make pseudonym – The Cuckoo’s Calling, Robert Galbraith
12) A book with an LGBTQ protagonist – Look Past, Eric Devine
13) A book that is also a play or musical – The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux
14) A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you – Such Small Hands, Andres Barba
15) A book about feminism – We Should All be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
16) A book about mental health – Heart Berries: A Memoir, Terese Marie Mailhot
17) A book you borrowed or that was a gift – How to Drink, Victoria Moore
18) A book by two authors – Obsidio, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
19) A book about of involving a sport – Into Thin Air : A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, Jon Krakauer
20) A book by a local author – The Fall, James Preller
21) A book with your favorite color in the title – Red Clocks, Leni Zumas
22) A book with alliteration in the title – A Clash of Kings, George R.R. Martin
23) A book about time travel – Kindred, Octavia E. Butler
24) A book with a weather element in the title – A Storm of Swords, George R.R. Martin
25) A book set at sea – Into the Drowning Deep, Mira Grant
26) A book with an animal in the title – American Panda, Gloria Chao
27) A book set on a different planet – Saga, Vol. 8, Brian K. Vaughan
28) A book with song lyrics in the title – Comfort & Joy, Kristin Hannah
29) A book about or set on Halloween – Hallowe’en Party, Agatha Christie
30) A book with twins – Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
31) A book mentioned in another book – The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
32) A book from a celebrity book club – The Power, Naomi Alderman
33) A childhood classic you never read – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
34) A book that’s published in 2018 – The Cruel Prince, Holly Black
35) A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner – A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin
36) A book set the decade you were born – 1984, George Orwell
37) A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn’t get to
38) A book with an ugly cover – Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff
39) A book that involves a bookstore/library – You, Caroline Kepnes
40) Your favorite prompt from a past PopSugar challenge (blue cover) – A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin
41) A bestseller from the year you graduated high school – A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin
42) A cyberpunk book – Catharsis, Travis Bagwell
43) A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place –
44) A book tied to your ancestry –
45) A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title – Bitter Greens, Kate Forsyth
46) An allegory – The Crucible, Arthur Miller
47) A book by an author with the same first or last name as you – The Scapegoat, Sophia Nikolaidou
48) A microhistory – Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark, Bill Dedman
49) A book about a problem facing society today – White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, Carol Anderson
50) A book recommended by someone else taking the PopSugar challenge – Dear Fahrenheit 451, Annie Spence

January Books

One month down, eleven more to go! I ended up being a bit obsessed with getting as many books read as humanly possible. I could have read more if I hadn’t stayed on the sick train that started in December. Out of the 39 books I read in January, 30 of them were from my Amazon TBR lists. I also managed four Audible TBR books. To counteract this, I ended up adding 105 books to Amazon and 10 books to Audible.

Audiobooks (22)

my name is markham great st mary day out into the dim

Novels (16)

too wilde to wed

Graphic (1)

Read Harder 2019 – January

My first month of Read Harder is finished! And I managed to stick to my guns and read no more than eight books. I am proud that all eight books are from my Amazon TBR lists, and that only four of those were audiobooks. None of the books stood out as absolutely amazing, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Kiss Quotient and Tempest.

Tentative books for February: The Underground Girls of Kabul (#5), An Unkindness of Ghosts (#6) [ended up not reading this in January when I realized that Her Body and Other Parties fit the bill for #3], The Queue (#10), Wotakoi, vol 1 (#11), Maisy Dobbs (#14), The Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (#18), Rafe (#23), and one as yet undetermined book.

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
#2 – Alternative history
This was very different in tone and feel than the Sookie Stackhouse books. It didn’t grab me as much as the the early books in that series did, but An Easy Death is still a solid read. Gunnie Rose has no time for nonsense, and can back up what she says and does. The world is gritty and filled with death, but still feels realistic.

her bodyHer Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado
#3 – Woman/AOC who won a literature award in 2018 (Lambda Literary Award)
I found this collection of short stories to be hit or miss. There were several that I absolutely loved – “The Husband Stitch,” “Inventory,” and “Difficult at Parties.” They hit the right amount of tension, and each felt complete. Other stories, such as “Mothers” and “Heinous,” made absolutely no sense. I started tuning out after a while on “Heinous” because I couldn’t find the thread.

Jack Jetstark’s Intergalactic Freakshow by Jennifer Lee Rossman
#9 – Published before 2019, less than 100 reviews on Goodreads
I started out being annoyed by this book because I couldn’t articulate what about the writing bothered me so much. By the time I was half way through, it had turned into a hate read – I was going to finish the damn thing if it killed me. There was almost zero world building or character development, with most of the text dedicated to either the characters talking or Jack’s inner thoughts and opinions. The writing itself was all over the place, expecting readers to accept gaps in both time and logic, and random personality changes without providing any solid basis for such changes. Towards the end, I thankfully figured out what this book was – tweemo; a weird mash up of emo and misplaced optimism with an overly cloying sweetness.

mort(e)Mort(e) by Robert Repino
#12 – Animal/inanimate object POV
This book has been on my TBR for more than five years, but I’ve never managed to actually read it. The pros: I loved the concept, the idea of religious belief versus logic, and how as much as things change they stay the same. The cons: well…the story didn’t grab me. I wouldn’t say that it was boring necessarily, but I never got wrapped up in the characters and their paths.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
#13 – By/about someone who identifies as neurodiverse
This is a book that I should have written about right after I finished listening to it because other than a general sense of “I enjoyed this book and would definitely read it again”, I don’t really remember my specific thoughts. I loved the dynamic between Stella and Michael. I loved how he was respectful of her boundaries, and how both made an effort with themselves and each other.

tempestTempest by Beverly Jenkins
#16 – AOC, historical romance
I’ve only read two of Beverly Jenkins’ books (Tempest and Destiny’s Captive), but she has become one of my favorite romance authors. Her stories and characters are well-crafted, and are not melodramatic. Regan is strong, independent, and level-headed. I love the dynamic she has with her step-daughter, Anna. And I love how Regan, Anna, and Colton grow as individuals and as a family unit.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol 1: The Crucible by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Robert Hack
#21 – LGBTQ comic author
As a genre, horror does not really appeal to me. I will read it if the story sounds interesting, or if there are fantastical or comedic elements. Bearing this in mind, while I’m not a fan of the artwork (again – this is a me problem because horror isn’t my jam), it was well-done and helped move the story forward. The story itself feels like a set up – getting the characters introduced and put into play – but it still had a self-contained plot. Love Madam Death, and want to see how she progresses. Absolutely love the ending.

the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace
#24 – Poetry published after 2014
Another raw and angry collection of poems by Amanda Lovelace, this time focusing on misogyny, violence against women, and self-image. It felt more bleak than the princess saves herself in this one, and because of that I did not enjoy it as much. I do like how she uses formatting, and how she adds quips at the end of each poem that act as closures or counterpoints.

2018 Audiobooks (First Half)

With incredible lateness, I finally put together my audiobook list from the first half of 2018.

Favorites

 

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
I didn’t know what to expect going into Erotic Stories. I assumed I would have to force myself to finish it because it was a celebrity selection, and I have a hard time reading/enjoying the majority of books chosen by celebrity book clubs. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that I absolutely LOVED this book. Different subplots complimented or intertwined with each other, each one looking at community and/or a woman’s sense of self. There was also character growth all around! I enjoyed how Niki went in with a set perception, then had it drastically altered as her relationship with the widows grew. The widows were by far my favorite characters.

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning
A wonderful reimagining that has Holmes as a socially inept magician, and Watson as his unintentional handler. The stories have wide streak of understated sarcastic humor and a wealth of bad puns.  Denning does a good job following the original stories, but it is best to have an appreciation for the weird and fantastical side of British humor.

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames
What happens when the leader of a band of retired middle-aged mercenaries gets the gang back together to rescue the daughter of one of their own? Much sarcasm, deadpan humor, and poking fun at fantasy tropes. The characters and their dynamics are what make this story. All of them are entertaining, but Moog and Jane are by far my favorites.

Forging Hephaestus by Drew Hayes
This books was a slow burner, but when it got going, it got really freaking good. I love morally ambiguous characters, especially when the focus is on superheroes and villains. What makes a superhero bad, or a villain good? Do the means justify the ends? I couldn’t stop listening, and am waiting impatiently for the Hayes to write the sequel.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Black’s writing was on point and her world-/magical rule-building was amazing. The story was a good mix of adventure, tension, and nastiness. Black’s darker, and quite frankly more realistic (as such) characterizations of fairies was a joy to read – there should always be a consequence or loophole or interesting interpretation when humans make deals with immortals. The story gets you from the opening scene and steadily ramps up from there, kicking into high gear during the coronation. The characters are also well-written – not a single good or bad guy; all of them are vaguely unlikable shades of gray.

Honorable Mentions: Dead Until Dark, Lagoon, Awaken Online series, The Great Train Robbery, The Collapsing Empire, The Others series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Geek Feminist, Class Mom, Burn For Me, How to Date Your Dragon, Illuminae

Adult Fiction (60)
Fortune’s Pawn
Devil in a Blue Dress
Brave New World
Northanger Abbey
The Murder at the Vicarage
Everfair
The Trouble with the Twelfth Grave
Before the Rains
The Great Train Robbery
Amberlough
The Time Traders
The Collapsing Empire
Kiss of Midnight
Flight of the Sparrow
Written in Red
Murder of Crows
Vision in Silver
Marked in Flesh
Etched in Stone
Hexed
Hammered
I Am Legend
Shadow of Night
Alice
Forging Hephaestus
We Are Legion
For We Are Many
All These Worlds
Lord of Scoundrels
A Good Debutante’s Guide to Ruin
Dark Waters
Hungry Earth
Furious Flames
Red Sister
Son of the Black Sword
Awaken Online: Catharsis
His Majesty’s Dragon
Awaken Online: Precipice
Awaken Online: Retribution
The City of Brass
Accidental Abduction
Intentional Abduction
Dual Abduction
Lagoon
Grace Keepers
The Other Daughter
Class Mom
Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Lady Audley’s Secret
Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone
Kings of the Wyld
The Rules of Supervillainy
Burn For Me
White Hot
How to Date Your Dragon

Adult Nonfiction (11)
The Princess Diarist
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?
Shark Drunk
The Geek Feminist Revolution
What Doesn’t Kill Us
Cosmos
A Beautiful Work in Progress
Disappointment River
Endurance
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

YA/MG Fiction (16)
Denton Little’s Death Date
Fangirl
Three Times Lucky
Anne of Green Gables
The Cruel Prince
Peter Pan
A Boy Called Christmas
The Wizards of Once
No Good Deed
Flying Lessons and Other Stories
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
the Book of Dust
The Conspiracy of Us
Long Way Down
The Supernaturalist

Dramatization/Multi-Cast (4)
The Tempest
Illuminae
Gemina
Obsidio

Storytime: Volcanoes 2

This ended up being my first storytime since last May, and one child showed up. I was scheduled to do storytimes in October, November, and December, but one was cancelled due to weather, and no one showed up for the other two. The director and I are thinking that the lack of attendance is due to two reasons, 1) the children who attended last year are now in school, and 2) there are a lot of new babies.

Books

*We only read one book – Volcano Wakes Up! The two nonfiction books were back ups in case the children skewed older.

An Island Grows by Lola M. Schaefer
Volcano Wakes Up! by Lisa Westberg Peters
Earthrocks! Volcanoes by Sara Gilbert
Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch

Scarf Song

*We used orange and red scarves for lava, and danced to “Volcano Juice” by Brent Holmes.

Activity

Baking soda volcanoes – I used a mini muffin pan to freeze a mixture of baking soda, food coloring, orange/red glitter, and enough water to allow everything to stick together. I’ve found that freezing this mixture makes it more stable than just air drying (it tends to crumble out of the pan).

To make the lava, I mixed red and orange liquid watercolors in vinegar.