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Welcome to “C.A. Hughes Book Reviews!”

Join me (a 20-something, bilingual, elementary school teacher) on my quest to tackle my ever-growing TBR pile and to search for stories with diverse representation that will broaden my horizons. Look below to learn more about my 2021 reading goals, the criteria I use to review what I read, and check out the “Blog” page to find my latest blog post documenting what I’ve been reading!

2021 Reading Goals and Review Criteria:

2021 Goals and Progress:
  • Read 72 books:
    • 24/72
  • Read (at least) 5 classic novels:
    • 3/5
  • Read more non-fiction:
    • 8
  • Read (at least) 5 books in Spanish:
    • 0/5
Currently Reading:
  • Penny From Heaven
  • The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas
  • Stef Soto, Taco Queen
Most Recently Enjoyed:
  • Nerve
Review Criteria:

When I review the books that I finish, this is how I will structure the information and insights that I share:

  • Title:
  • Author:
  • Year of Publication:
  • Genre:
  • Summary:
  • Format: How did I read the book? (Paperback, audiobook, etc.)
  • Themes: What were the important takeaways from the story? What messages will stick with me?
  • Character Development: How did the characters grow and change throughout the story?
  • Plot/Pacing: Did the story hold my attention the whole time? Was it predictable?
  • Writing Style: Was there anything unique or especially engaging about the writing style or literary devices used?
  • “Bingeability”: How hard was it to put down? *Note: this criteria is not necessarily a reflection of quality, but an important characteristic to note nevertheless when describing the reading experience.
  • Emotional Investment: How connected did I feel to the story? To the characters?
  • Windows and Mirrors: This criteria assesses the diversity of representation (of people or experiences) in a book and is totally subjective. Was it a window into someone else’s experience or a reflection (mirror) of my own?
  • Overall Thoughts: My general thoughts on the book.
  • Recommendation: If I recommend the book and for whom I recommend it. For children’s books, if I recommend them for children and/or classroom use.

Latest from the Blog

Top 10 Tuesday: Books for Every Color of the Rainbow (and Then Some!)

Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is about books for every color of the rainbow!

Originally, this post was supposed to be about book titles that sound like they could be Crayola crayon colors, but I really couldn’t come up with anything for that! So instead, I decided to make a virtual rainbow out of book covers! Unfortunately, there are fewer than ten colors in the rainbow, but that just means I got to add in some extra ones! I definitely had to recite ROYGBIV in my head many times while coming up with this list in order to remember the colors and their order in the rainbow (does anyone else do this??). Also, most of these are books I’ve read and enjoyed, but a few of them are on my TBR! However, something they all have in common is that they all have stunning covers! Without further ado, here is my rainbow of books!

Book Review: “We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We should all be feminists: A controversial statement that shouldn’t be controversial.

This very short book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie certainly packs a punch. In this book, she gracefully tackles the concept of feminism and the stigma that surrounds it.

With many personal and relatable anecdotes, Adichie takes down the criticisms of feminism (both a a word and as a concept) one-by-one. I also found that there were many indirect connections to the arguments surrounding the BLM movement, which I liked! In the classroom we call that a text-to-world connection; I thought it was great that I was able to learn and think about so many things in such a short amount of time.

Spoiler-Free Review: “We Should All Be Feminists” is a short but powerful rebuttal to those who have misconceptions about the concept of feminism. In this quick manifesto, Ngozi Adichie shares many…

Top 5 Saturday: April Acrostic

Welcome to Top 5 Saturday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by Devouring Books, and for this week’s challenge I’m using book titles to create an April acrostic poem!

This week’s prompt was originally about books with blood on the cover, but I couldn’t really think of any for that. However, April does have five letters, so I figured an acrostic poem would make a good prompt! The books I’m picking have nothing to do with April or spring or anything, I picked them solely based on the first letter of their titles (and also if I enjoyed them enough to flaunt them on here)! Without further ado, here are my top five books that make up an April acrostic poem:

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