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Month in review

Reviews
All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney
All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan
Attack of the Ninja Frogs by Ursula Vernon
Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf
Big Hero 6, Volume 1 by Haruki Ueno
A Brew to a Kill by Cleo Coyle
Cat Got Your Crown by Julie Chase
A Deadly Grind by Victoria Hamilton
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
The End of Oz by Danielle Paige
Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
The 5 Misfits by Beatrice Alemagna
The Ghost in Apartment 2R by Denis Markell
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Girl on Film by Cecil Castellucci
Hilda and the Mountain King by Luke Pearson
Hotel Dare by Terry Blas and Claudia Aguirre
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain
Naomis Too by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Audrey Vernick
No Place Like Here by Christina June
The Oddling Prince by Nancy Springer
One Night in Georgia by Celeste O. Norfleet
Past Perfect Life by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall
The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden by Heather Smith and Rachel Wada
The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham The Professor and the Puzzle by Carolyn Keene
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
Read and Buried by Eva Gates
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

Miscellaneous
Beat the Backlist 2020
Favorite book releases of 2019
Favorite Canadian books of 2019
Favorite diverse reads of 2019
Favorite graphic novels of 2019
Favorite Mysteries of 2019 It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (December 30)
November 2019 Sources
November 2019 Summary

Road Essays
Favorite road narrative spectrum books of 2019
Road Narrative Update for November 2019

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020

Beat the Backlist 2020



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Favorite Canadian books of 2019: 12/18/19

Canadian favorites

As I have family in Canada, I've dedicated Tuesdays to reviewing Canadian books. These are by Canadian authors, though some of the narratives are set outside of Canada.

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena

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The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena is a YA set in Toronto. The novel alternates between the points of view of Susan, recently moved to Canada from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Malcolm has lived most of his life in Toronto and he's earned a bad reputation and has pretty much given up on school.

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Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

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Poppy aka Pops works for a chicken restaurant as their advertising mascot. She dresses up in a chicken suit for work every day. Her twin brother Cameron, aka Cam, has started work at a hair salon. She is struggling with self esteem after a photo of herself dressed as Rosie the Riveter was edited to include a hamburger and uploaded to a site that ridicules fat people. Cam, has recently come out as gay and is trying to find a balance between things he likes to do and things he's now expected to like.

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Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks

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Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks is the graphic novelist's first prose only novel. It's set in a small town in Nova Scotia, a town with ties to a hot comic book franchise, recently adapted to a blockbuster movie.

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The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter

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The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter opens with a shipwreck. It opens with a girl calling to her mother and expecting to drown. This nightmare will play a significant role in the novel.

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Gideon Falls, Volume 3: Stations of the Cross by Jeff Lemire

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Gideon Falls, Volume 3: Stations of the Cross by Jeff Lemire explores more into the inner workings of the Black Barn and its relationship to Gideon Falls. Our tour guide for this is Father Burke who is chasing after Norton Sinclair, the vicious killer associated with the barn.

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Heartwood Hotel 2: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George

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Heartwood Hotel 2: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George is set during the winter hibernation. The Heartwood Hotel is the place to hibernate in style. The end of winter is celebrated with a huge feast and party.

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The Hollow under the Tree by Cary Fagan

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The Hollow under the Tree by Cary Fagan is set in Toronto in 1925. It begins with a poorly maintained circus train, a tight schedule, and the inevitable derailment.

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In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen

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It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad is a picture book biography of an illustrator whose artwork will probably be familiar to parents and grandparents.

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It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad

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In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen is about a Guyanese teen trying to adjust to life in Canada. At school she's tired to McKenzie aka "Mac" asking inane questions and making even more inane assumptions about her life and culture. At home she's tired of being put in constant competition with her spoiled and all-to-perfect cousin Farrah.

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An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

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Most time travel books are set in contemporaneous times, either as the origin point — for traveling to the future or the past, or as the destination point, from either the past or the future. Lim, instead, sets a time range from 1978 to 1998, a span of twenty years, that is forty to twenty years in the past. This choice gives the entire novel a retro feeling, like reading a newly discovered time travel book from the 1950s or mid 1970s.

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Read and Buried by Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany)

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Read and Buried by Eva Gates is the sixth book in the Lighthouse Library mystery series. In Something Read, Something Dead (2019) a huge crack in the foundation of the library was found. Read and Buried takes place during the last weeks of the repair work and the mayhem that ensues when a box is uncovered, containing a diary and a map of the area.

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A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong

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A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong is a middle grade fantasy set in a kingdom made up of clans. The ruling clan divides the matters of state between the two oldest siblings. The eldest becomes the monarch and the second eldest becomes the monster slayer.

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