IMWAYR | August 9, 2021

The weekly post where I recap some of the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Ocasionally, I’ll also talk about some adult fiction books as well.

Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other Kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR piles.

Currently Reading

Just Finished

Dad and the Dinosaur
written by Gennifer Choldenko
illustrated by Dan Santat
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR, 2017)

We read so many Dan Santat books in our home that my kids can now recognize his art style, which I think is great. I picked this up from the library but it took me forever to actually read it. I don’t know why, but I thought I knew what the book was about just by the cover and I was completely wrong. This is such a sweet story. The ending surprised me and I feel like I may have gotten more out of it as a parent than my kiddos did. Highly recommend.

Secrets of Camp Whatever
by Chris Grine
(Oni Press, 2021)

I thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel! You can read my full review here.

Martian Ghost Centaur
written by Mat Heagerty
illustrated by Steph Mided
(Oni Press, 2021)

I had no clue what this book was about when I picked it up to read. The story is a bit quirky and unusual and that makes it feel fresh. It is about a girl trying to save her struggling tourist town once known for its Bigfoot sightings. At it’s center, it is a story about growing up, learning that some things aren’t as straightforward as we thought and realizing that this is ok. The characters are upper YA aged (getting ready to graduate high school) but I feel like this is a solid middle grade book.

Fat Vampire
by Adam Rex
(Balzer + Bray, 2010)

August 13, 2021 UPATE: I wrote my feelings at the bottom before finishing the final 3 chapters of the book becuase I thought that I had a good overall impression. Unfortunately, the final chapters of the book soured me to the whole thing. Yes, I do feel like this book is targeted to teenage boys, and those parts of the book I got used to once I realized it. But I feel like the book’s ending was harmful in many ways.

The following sentences contain spoilers, which I normally do not include, but I feel these are important to expressing how I feel.

The main character, Doug, starts the book out as a nice enough kid, but turns into a pretty unlikable character and doesn’t really redeem himself by the end. He uses the f-slur a few times (referring to not being gay), which was very jarring, but I was waiting for him to come back around and show a significant amount of growth, which I do not feel he did. He is assigned a gay vampire as a mentor, who is constantly regarded as weird, odd, or off by the other senior vampires. And then at the very end, it is revealed that this gay vampire is the bad guy and has been targeting young teenage boys to turn into vampires in hopes that they will be so offended that a gay guy turned them instead of a sexy female vampire that they’ll seek him out to kill him becuase vampire suicide is “ungrateful” and distasteful. There is so much wrong with this. There are a few female characters that are implied to be lesbians, so I could see some making the argument that the baddie being gay isn’t a negative thing. But I would say that this very much feels like the fetishizing of f/f relationships with m/m relationships being wrong and other. I also feel like it is perpetuating the damaging stereotype that gay men are also pedophiles. I will not be reccomending this book to anyone, which is disappointing becuase I really enjoy Adam Rex’s picture books.

Original feelings: I had no idea that Adam Rex wrote novels. I mostly know him from his funny picture books, which I love so I decided to give this one a shot. I enjoyed this book overall, but it took me a bit to get into it. My biggest problem was that, as a 36yo woman, I am not the target audience at all. Once I realized that, the book was much more enjoyable. This very much felt like a book for teenage boys, which was very refreshing, once I figured it out, because I don’t think there are enough YA books targeted at teen boys. And it is very funny in typical Adam Rex fashion.

Added to My TBR

5 thoughts on “IMWAYR | August 9, 2021

  1. What a great set of books! I heard from the author of My Last Summer With Cass, Mark Crilley, at a virtual panel in May, so I have a copy of that waiting to be read.

    Secrets of Camp Whatever sounds great as well! I took a look at your review, and Willow being hard of hearing without that being the main point reminded me of another graphic novel with that same situation, Mooncakes—I didn’t totally love that book, but I really appreciated that aspect of it.

    Dad and the Dinosaur looks lovely as well! And I hope you enjoy The Little Guys—I had fun with it a few weeks ago! Thanks so much for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jane! I just finished the Adam Rex book (I had written my thoughts when I had about 3 or 4 chapters left) and unfortunately I did not like the ending at all. I updated my little blurb, but know that it does contain spoilers. HOpe that helps.


    1. Does your library use the Hoopla or Cloud Library apps? My phyical library’s selection of graphic novels isn’t huge, but I was amazed at how many new graphic novel titles I was able to find through my library digitally on those apps.


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