February's Reads

February's Reads


We arrived in Connecticut just in time for the snow. The news said it wasn't going to snow, but then a week later there were 7 inches predicted. I prepared as any sensible person would do, I took note of the milk and eggs in the fridge (okay, not really) and I went to the library.

I hunted for A Wrinkle in Time to prepare for the upcoming movie (!!!) but they were all out with other readers (no hard feelings; I think we'd be friends). The librarian, disappointed for me, took it upon herself to find me a stack of her favourite YA novels, taking inventory of my likes and previous reads. 

She presented me the stack, nervously awaiting my assessment. I looked through them quickly: first the front over, then the back, the inside cover, finally a quick note of the font size. 

"Would I be greedy if I took all of them?"

She responded with absolute delight. "That's what I was hoping you'd say!" She happily checked out the books, making small talk along the way, and genuinely asking me to find her when I came back to return them, so I could give her my own reviews.

So this list is not mine. This list is from Suzanne, of the Seymour Town Library. (And it's only 3 of the 5 she suggested.) Thank you, Suzanne.

Wonder by RJ Palacio

“Because it's not enough to be kind. One should be kinder than needed... we carry with us, as human beings, not just the capacity to be kind, but the very choice of kindness.”

Why I read it: The movie has been out for a while, and I wanted to be sure to read it before seeing it. Thankfully, the library has a copy of the movie already so when I return the book, I can take out the movie.

What it's about: The story centers on a ten year old boy named Auggie who has a face that's different from everyone around him. He's starting middle school and it's his first time in a school setting (having been homeschooled because of surgeries and medical issues before) and the story follows his first year.

Why I enjoyed it: It's light, deep, and human. It teaches kindness and compassion. 

When You Reach Me  by Rebecca Stead

"Mom says each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world... but sometimes our veils are pushed away or a few moments, like there's a wind blowing i from our faces. And when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. We see all the beauty, and cruelty, and sadness, and love."

Why I read it: I would not have just picked this one up. This was a result of Suzanne putting it in my pile and I kept it because I liked the font and that the main character's name was "Miranda" (which is a character's name in Wonder as well).

What it's about: Miranda is in the 6th grade in New York City and her mom is training to be on a game show and, without giving too much away, it's the story of a few weeks in her life. Bonus: it involves time travel.

Why I enjoyed it: Early last year I read a book called, A Tale For the Time Being. It talked about time travel and quantum mechanics and all that fun stuff.  I love that book. This book is like that book, but for kids. It's a simple story and an easy, quick read.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

"Don't you look at me with that face, young man... Things blossom in their time. They bud and bloom, blossom, and fade. Everything in it's time."

Why I read it: The cover itself is a bit darker than the others' but I was intrigued by the plot of a young boy being raised by ghosts. One of the reviews named it as a modern Jungle Book so that interested me too.

What it's about: A young boy named Bod (short for "Nobody Owens") was, as a baby, adopted by two ghosts who had no children of their own. Bod was granted the "Freedom of the Graveyard" to live and be cared for by the community of ghosts who live there. But the man who killed his whole family is still on the lookout for Bod, so his ghost family must now protect him and teach him about the living world.

Why I enjoyed it: This book has been harder to get through than the first two that Suzanne recommended. I like it because each chapter is an adventure that Bod goes on, all woven together by him learning about the world around him - inside and outside of the graveyard. Since starting the book, I haven't looked at a graveyard in the same way.

Ivy + Rill is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you purchase any product through the links above, Amazon will pay us a small commission. Thank you!



This is my Narrative

This is my Narrative