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136: Get to Know the Unabridged Podcast Hosts in 2020 - Season 3 Wrap-up

As we wrap up Season 3 of the Unabridged Podcast, Ashley, Jen, and Sara look back at Give Me One, a segment we introduced this season. After our Bookish Check-in, we each recommend a Give Me One, and then we end with an episode we recommend from the season.

Thank you so much for all of your support! We definitely are looking forward to Season 4.

Bookish Check-in

Ashley - Sandhya Menon’s 10 Things I Hate about Pinky

Jen - Roselle Lim’s Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop (coming out August 4)

Sara - Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project

Discussion - Recommended Give Me One Segments from Season 3

Jen - Episode 113 - A YA Lit Favorite

Other Mentions

Sandhya Menon's When Dimple Met Rishi

Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give

John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series

Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi's Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You

Give Me One - Recommended Episode from Season 3

Ashley - Episode 113 - Why Teach YA?

Jen - Episode 106 - 2019 Unabridged Awards

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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Ashley 00:02

Hi and welcome to Unabridged this is Episode 136: Get to Know Unabridged in 2020-Season Three Wrap Up. Before we get started today, we just wanted to share a program that we'll be launching in season four. Are you listening and loving Unabridged? We have a new program, Unabridged Ambassadors coming in Season Four that might be perfect for you. Stay tuned for more information in upcoming episodes and on our website Also, be sure to check out our Patreon page. We've got content coming there every month. Okay, before we get started today, in this episode we're going to be sharing some of our favorite Give Me One topics from Season Three, our Give Me Ones are a way for us to share a little bit of ourselves outside of just the books that we read and the discussions that we have around books. So we really love having a chance to show a little bit about our personalities and just other things that we're interested in. So, we each have chosen a Give Me One topic today that we really enjoyed. And so we're going to share just a tiny bit about why each of us chose the one that we did, and we'll share those Give Me Ones with you. And then we're going to wrap up our discussion today with a recommended episode from Season Three. So as we look back on Season Three and get ready for Season Four, we wanted to just have a chance to let you get to know us a little bit better and get to know a little bit more about our show.

Bookish Check-in

We always start with our Bookish Check-in so we're gonna jump into that to get us started. What are you reading, Sara?

book cover of Farrah Rochon's The Boyfriend Project

Sara 02:04

I am finishing up Farrah Rochon's The Boyfriend Project, which is a contemporary romance. It is about Samiah, who is in the tech industry. She is very successful and she makes a pact with some of her girlfriends that they aren't going to date or try to do any of that kind of stuff for six months. And then of course in walks Daniel, who they have an instant connection. There's a little bit of a mystery in it. There's a lot of female bonding and friendships which I really love. And I especially love Samiah, her character. She's so strong, she's so successful, and she really knows how to stand up for herself in a profession where where women are very underrepresented. I just, I love her so. I really am enjoying it. I'm almost finished. So I'm at the tail end and I've just really enjoyed listening to it and I did listen to it. It was an audiobook and the narrator is fantastic. It is a bit steamy. So that is always something to consider when you're listening to it on audio, whether you feel comfortable with those steamy parts being read aloud to you but the narrator is great and I have really enjoyed the whole experience.

Ashley 03:24

That sounds wonderful. I cannot wait to read that one. I'm so excited. And we actually just found out that Farrah Rochon is going to be on the podcast during season four. So we are so excited to talk with her about her work and we will be sharing those details as we know them better but be on the lookout in season four for our discussion with Farrah. What about you, Jen? What are you reading this week?

book cover of Roselle Lim's Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

Jen 03:52

I am reading Roselle Lim's Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop and this book is coming out August 4. So, I am reading it as an e-galley. She is the author of Natalie Tan's Book of Love and Fortune, which I really enjoyed. And this one similarly has a hint of magic to it. I just have finished Chapter One. And already, we know that Vanessa can read tea leaves and tell the future, and she is the person in her family who everybody wants to get the gossip from. She helps people make decisions. And she has this kind of synesthetic response that when she sees the person's future, she tastes what their future is going to be like. So, if they have a good thing coming. It's a really sweet taste. Yeah, if it's bad. It's not so great a taste. So yeah, it's really engaging so far. She is the oldest unmarried person in her family. And so she's shopping with her aunt and her aunt's talking about setting her up and I know that there's a matchmaker to come, so it's going to be a nice breezy read for summer, I think. It's great so far. I really enjoyed her first book. So, Ashley, what are you reading?

book cover of Sandhya Menon's 10 Things I Hate about Pinky

Ashley 05:09

So I am reading Sandhya Menon's 10 Things I Hate about Pinky. This is the third in her When Dimple Met Rishi series. I don't know that they're all in the same world. I am not sure series is the right word, but they are all connected characters between them. And, so this one is about Pinky and Samir. I'm pretty early on in this one, but I already am seeing some characters from her other work. And I am so excited to read this one. One of our Bookstagram friends @book.amore sent this to us to share because in June, we had a buddy read for When Dimple Met Rishi and had a great discussion and so much fun and I think what I'm really amazed about with Menon's work is the way that she's able to touch on a lot of really important and complex social issues and cultural issues that her characters are working through. But she does it in a really remarkable and fun way. And so I think what's really great is just that her books are so compelling, they're so fast moving, and the connections between the characters are sweet and rich. And yet, at the same time, she's hitting on all of these really interesting and important social topics and working through those with her characters. And so I'm already seeing some of that and 10 Things I Hate about Pinky, and I am just thrilled for this one. It just came out on July 21. And so be sure, you know, to be on the lookout for that one because it is a new release.

Jen 06:49

I can't wait to read that one.

Sara 06:51

Me either. I've really loved When Dimple Met Rishi so I'm excited.

Main Discussion - Recommended Give Me One Segments from Season 3

Ashley 06:55

So today, as I mentioned in the beginning, we wanted to share a few Give Me Ones from Season Three that we enjoyed. Season Three is the first time that we added that to our episodes and so we were looking back on them to think about some that we've enjoyed discussing together. So Jen, what's the one that you chose?

Jen 07:14

So, I realized as Ashley was introing the episode that I did not do the thing where I picked something that was not about books, but I'm just going to forge ahead. So, my Give Me One that I would love for you to re-listen to is a YA Lit Favorite. And I'm a little book crazy, so that's probably fair. So, in this one we just each shared a YA book that we love and this was at the end of our episode about YA literature, so it was a nice cap to that episode.

Ashley 07:42

Awesome. Yeah, I love that one too. And that's funny, because I didn't even realize that I'm talking about YA with a recommended episode because I think that like Jen said--it may be no surprise at all to listeners that Jen you would choose a Give Me One that's related to books because that is your passion. And also, it's not surprising to me that we would choose ones related to young adult literature because that's something that all of us are really passionate about.

Ashley 08:05

Okay, so here's the one that Jen chose. Let's listen back.

Jen 08:12

We are going to do a Give Me One related to our topics. So, in light of our topic, give me one favorite YA book.

Sara 08:24

Oh, Lord.

Ashley 08:25

I know. I didn't know what our topic was. Ah, so there are so many. I am going to use this opportunity to say we've been working on on our website, we have Bookish Faves and Book Reviews that we're doing every week. And we don't do young adult all the time. But we are trying to share with you all those titles that we really, really love. And you're also welcome to contact us about that. And we do have a Teachers Pay Teacher's store as well, where we've put up some resources for some books that we think would be great in the classroom and as whole class texts. So, I just want to mention that while I'm stalling and one...there are so many that I absolutely love.

book cover of Emily X. R. Pan's The Astonishing Color of After

Ashley 09:02

I'm going to talk about Emily X.R. Pan's The Astonishing Color of After. I think that the reason I'm going to pick this one is because it is definitely YA, but it is gorgeously written. And both in theme and in style, I think that it is on the playing field of any other book of literary merit. And so I think I'm choosing it just because not only do I love it, but also because it does all of that. And I think also it hits on a lot of very difficult issues that kids do sometimes have to face or they know someone who's facing them and they're having to work through it. So in it, Lee, we don't have to say all that. I can just say...

Jen 09:48


Jen 09:48

Okay. I felt like I had to give a summary. I don't have to give a summary. I am out!

Ashley 09:52

I love that book. Read it.

Jen 09:54

Sara, do you want to go?

Sara 09:56

Yes, I'm having trouble deciding. There are so many. I've read so many great YA books.

Ashley 10:02

This may be our upcoming Bookish Faves...

Sara 10:04

I know!

Ashley 10:05 our long list of some of our favorite YA picks.

Jen 10:08

Maybe it'll be a series; we can each have one. Oh yeah, that's a good idea.

book cover of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down

Sara 10:11

Because I definitely have read more YA than adult because I was teaching, and I was reading YA all the time. And I just know that in my mind, I haven't captured all of them. And so I'm like, I don't want to decide, but I'm going to, I am going to go. . . . I'm going to go with Turtles All the Way Down. I because John Green is my absolute favorite. And unlike Jen, you know, Jen always is like, that's an auto-buy author for me, I don't really have many auto-buy authors. But John Green, I will buy anything that he does. And I thought Turtles All the Way Down was just great. And I thought it dealt with mental health issues in a really deliberate yet subtle . . . like caring way. I don't know how to explain it, but I just really appreciated it, and I am going to go with Turtles All the Way Down.

book cover of Alix E. Harrow's The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Jen 11:03

All right. I'm madly scrolling through Goodreads because I thought I knew and then I was like, oh, maybe not. But yeah, the fact that we don't want to have a big explanation is helpful. So I will do a recent fairly recent read to Alix E. Harrow's The Ten Thousand Doors of January, which I absolutely think you could teach even to the most upper-level students because that book is YA, but it is complex, it is layered. It is amazing on the character level. It has a book within a book, which is one of my favorite things. And so there are multiple stories to work through and figure out the connections and how each illuminates the other. All right.

Sara 11:42

Can I say one thing?

Jen 11:43


book cover of Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give

Sara 11:43

I didn't . . . decided not to say this one because I thought maybe one of you would. And so I just want to say The Hate U Give is probably my most recent favorite YA book. I think it is phenomenal. But we've talked about it so much. I wanted to give a different a different book. But I think that book is phenomenal.

Ashley 12:02

Yeah, we have spent--I'm really not trying to like, pitch for our Teachers Pay Teachers stuff here, but I think like we, when we started creating book discussion guides and also book flights, the first thing that we thought about was The Hate U Give because we all loved it so much, because we think that it is such a powerful text in the classroom, and then we got to think about police violence and the intersection of police violence and race in America. And so I think that that led us to thinking about a lot of books that relate to that. So yeah, I think that that's a great, very pertinent topic that kids need to know more about, but also are you know, forming opinions about and that there's a lot of great literature out there for.

Jen 12:41

Yeah. All right. Well, thank you all for joining us today. We would love it if you would recommend some of your favorite YA books as well, and let us know what you think about teaching YA. Thanks so much.

Ashley 12:56

We hope you enjoyed listening to some of our favorite YA picks. That's certainly a topic that we all love discussing.

Ashley 13:03

What about you, Sara? What's one that you would recommend people listen to?

Sara 13:06

So I'm going to recommend Episode 104, the Give Me One, and that one was a toy you loved when you were a kid. And what I love about this one is that it . . . that it is totally representative of our personalities. When you listen to it, you will see Jen's personal . . . organizational personality, you will see my, like, fly by the seat of your pants personality and Ashley's general, like I don't know what my favorite toy was when I was a kid. She just she she kind of talks through that, and I don't know: I just thought it was really representative, and I really like it. But I'm not going to tell you what our toys are because you'll listen through.

Ashley 13:51

Yeah, it's funny that you said that, Sara, because I was like, what did I say? What was my favorite toy? I'm not surprised that I don't remember that or that I struggled through it. None of that's surprising to me. Okay, so let's listen back to that one and find out what our favorite childhood toys were.

Ashley 14:10

And we want to end today with Give Me One. I don't know what our topic is. I always do the audio, folks., so I feel like there is a document that I'm always supposed to be working on, but I'm never on it. So I . . .

Jen 14:25

It's "toy you loved when you were a kid."

Ashley 14:27

Thank you. Okay, so let me know, ladies, what's a toy you loved when you were a kid?

Jen 14:34

So this is Jen. And I will just say I acknowledge now that there could be some problems with this. But when I was a kid, my sister and I played by, I mean hours and hours and hours, with our Barbies. And we had a Barbie house. And and this will surprise no one, but one of my favorite things was to organize them and their clothes. And we had a lot of them and I would go on our computer, and I would type up all their names organized by age--because of course we knew their ages. Yeah, so my favorite toy was Barbies.

Sara 15:03

And this will surprise no one: I also had Barbies and they were all dumped in a big chest, and I had to dig through them to find, find their heads and . . . they would switch heads. You know.

Sara 15:13

So I know I did like we look my sister and I both played with Barbies, too, but probably my favorite . . . one of my favorite toys growing up was my roller skates. Because I really started loving roller skating and we went we would go to the roller rink and wear the brown skates with orange wheels that you have to rent. And then I got the white skates with the hot pink wheels.

Jen 15:40

I had those, too! Oh my gosh.

Sara 15:42

And I loved them. And my sister and I also . . . my family was big into watching the Olympics together as a family, and we always watched the Winter Olympics with the ice skating. And well there was no ice skating rink around us. So we . . . my sister and I tried to perform stunts in our roller skates, which you know, roller skates are quite heavy, but we would try to do some of the stunts we saw, with me holding my sister and all that. So it shows this time . . . we make up routines to songs and stuff. So it's just a really happy time. And I really, I think my roller skates bring me the most joy thinking back on my childhood toys.

Ashley 16:19

That's awesome.

Ashley 16:20

So I made it clear already that I didn't know this topic prior, and now I'm thinking what is my favorite? So I'm just gonna say, first of all, I did also have Barbies. We are all children of the same generation here. And I yeah, I really enjoyed them. But I, as a mom of daughters, I am like, adamantly opposed to them having them, and I know I'm gonna have to let go of this, but it is hard. Anyway, that's my confessional for you today. And I think that I am going to talk about one of my stuffed animals. I had a stuffed bear named Fuzzy, and I loved stuffed animals as a kid. I use them, you know, to do all the imaginative play and all that kind of stuff, and so Fuzzy is still with us today with my girls, and I think that's a pretty special toy for me.

Ashley 17:14

So yeah, that brings us to a close for today, but we really do want to hear what you have to say about this hot topic we didn't know that we had related to holiday movies, what you'll be watching this season with your family, ones that you enjoy, and what you think about them as far as do they qualify to be a holiday movie. So thanks so much for joining us and let us know what you think. Find us on Instagram @unabridgedpod.

Ashley 17:45

Well, there you go. That refreshed my memory about what we discussed for our favorites from childhood.

Sara 17:52

Ashley, what is your favorite Give Me One?

Ashley 17:55

So one that I chose is one that, even as we move out eventually I hope, of have this time of quarantine. I think it's something that's relevant because we've all had, during this time of spending a lot of time in our homes, we've had a chance to really think about the items that are important to us and the things that have been worthwhile and that we've enjoyed doing as a family. And so, or individually, and . . . so I want to the one I wanted to recommend is Episode 123, a worthwhile purchase during quarantine. And I love that one because, like I said, I think that all of us have reflected a lot on the things that we have in our home and the ones that have been the most useful. And so we recommended some things or that we appreciated purchasing. And we also talked about things that we've just found in our house, you know, and have really appreciated as we've had more time at home.

book cover of Asia Citro's The Curious Kid's Science Book

Ashley 18:42

And I also wanted to mention that one because I in that one I had recommended a book that has been really useful for doing activities with my kids. And I have a couple of those that I mentioned then, and I since then have purchased one more. So these are all, like Jen said, we're still talking about books a lot here. But I have purchased one more. It's called The Curious Kid's Science Book, which I'll put the link in show notes. But it's 100+ Creative Hands-On Activities for Ages 4-8. And this is a book by Asia Citro, who has done the 150+ Screen-Free Activities, which I have, I think shared with a lot of people. I shared it on the podcast, we purchased them for the county, and for teachers. And, you know, I think that she does great work. But what I love about the science one is that some of the activities that are recommended are just very quick and easy to implement immediately. So it's mixing oil and water with colors and seeing how those things change and those kinds of things that are relatively simple concepts, but it's nice to have a book on hand that recommends something and that it's an experiment that can be done quickly, but it also she makes some recommendations about the questions to ask or the things to think about or to make a hypothesis before you try the experiment. And so it's helpful in just helping our kids think through the scientific process and how to do that even if activities are quite simple and it also has been nice because some of this stuff is very simple to do, which I appreciate because the other ones I recommend in this, the ones I talked about in the Give Me One that I'm sharing are great, but some of them require a fair bit of setup and we all, moms out there and dads out there who do that setup, know how that can go down. So.

Sara 20:25

I would just like to comment that our choices--it's been so fascinating--that our choices of Give Me Ones are so indicative of our personalities. Of course, Ashley's is the practical one, Jen's is about books, and I'm way out in left field. [inaudible]

Ashley 20:46

One thing that you can count on, folks, is that we are consistent with our personalities. So in light of that, let's listen back to our quarantine purchases that we're glad we made.

Sara 21:01

All right ladies, let's move on to Give Me One because it's still kind of in the same vein of things that we can do in our homes and so today's Give Me One is one worthwhile purchase you've made while we've been at home. So, Ashley, do you want to start?

Ashley 21:21

Yes, I always feel . . . lately I felt like I needed to say like 10 things not to do that, but before I say my most worthwhile purchase I do want to say that the item that has been most valuable in our house is LEGO sets. And I had no idea that I was going to be so valuable to us. It's something that my life partner is like really passionate about LEGO, so we have--and I had them growing up so (and my family kept everything)--so you know, we have the ones from the 80s and 90s. We also have new sets both that my husband has gotten for himself, like you know people gift it to him because that's something he really loves, and for kids, for our kids. Anyway, I mean, I just think I couldn't have known that for my five year old. She just now like this morning, we took apart one of her little Friends LEGO sets, and she built the whole thing this morning before breakfast. And so I think it's just . . . she's at this moment of realizing . . . and I think it goes back to what you said, Jen, about teachers often giving affirmation and kids wanting that affirmation. They want, they want to accomplish a goal, and they want to see that they have done a thing, and then get get people to see it. And so she did a set yesterday, she did a set today. And I mean, all on our own. And then we've been working on some bigger sets together. And I just couldn't have known that that was gonna be so valuable. But I think that's really awesome. So I think that how do we think about what is in our house that can be used maybe in a different way, or kind of brought back to the surface, like all of our building stuff our kids have used, we have Keva planks, we have straws that hook together, and we have the magformers is what we have, but there's a lot of different magnetic tiles, like all of those kinds of things, getting those out, can be really helpful. So it's, it is interesting. We're going to mention purchases, like a single purchase that was really helpful, but I think I've been shopping in my house and discovered that we actually have a lot of things that we don't normally have time to take advantage of, and just like bringing them to light and saying oh look, we can do this thing in a new way can can really make a day a better day. Anyway,

Sara 23:21

I was just gonna say, my daughter is the same. She she got all these LEGO sets for Christmas because that's what she told every single person she wanted for Christmas, she did not vary. So we got like 10 LEGO sets and some of the giant ones. But it's been awesome because she has not had time because we've put usually our sports and practice and all this stuff on the weekends. And she has had time, she's built those, and they . . . I mean they've been great. And the other thing I will say is not like something I bought but she is very creative, she loves art, and she loves to make things her own. So I've given her like old t shirts and old shirts and stuff. And she's been designing clothes with them and she doesn't have a sewing machine or anything. She's just been cutting them and tying them and using rubber bands on them and drawn or drawing on them. And so she's doing her own little Project Runway, and I mean she will spend a long time doing that, and she loves it and then she comes to this like little fashion show and we FaceTime the grandparents. Then, she shows what she's made.

Ashley 24:21

That's so cool, Sara. I really want to see . . . I'd love to see pictures of some of the things she's made because I think that my kids would really enjoy that too. And again, just repurposing it's funny to see how useful that can be.

Sara 24:33

And when she makes a shirt or, you know, she cuts his shirt up or whatever, she then wears it that day because she is so proud of it. Yeah, it's really cool.

Jen 24:41

I'm going to jump on the Lego train really fast and just say recently, I recommended the show Lego Masters as one to watch. And that it . . . my boys love Legos, too, and the Lego Master show has been really cool because they have the challenges in each episode, and then my boys will go and take apart their sets and try to build the challenge that's on the show, so I wonder if your kids. I mean, there is a reality TV component, Ashley, that I don't know for your girls they would love but even if you just like it's, it's on Hulu--we've been recording it--but you could get to the part where they show the challenge and then the part where they show the result is really neat.

Sara 25:19

So my kids just started watching that one and they really liked it.

Jen 25:24

It's really neat.

Ashley 25:25

Well, and y'all know that I don't currently have Hulu but let me tell you . . . but that's okay I have been thinking lately that--we talked about this with Kindle Unlimited in one of our recent episodes--that like if there's ever a time to go ahead and subscribe to something for a little bit. I think this might be the time.

Jen 25:40

You can watch Little Fires Everywhere with us.

Ashley 25:42

I was gonna say that I have been loving your IG Live stuff about Little Fires Everywhere, and you all know that I love Celeste Ng so very much and so yeah, I'm like if I got Hulu then I also could watch that, which would be fun. So and like we said, I mean a lot of why we don't have it is just because we already have way more things than we have time to watch. But now is a good time to have a little bit more time to watch, and I am trying to motivate myself to read and to work in all of my down minutes, but it is true that like, I mean, it's an exhausting time, and so it is nice to be able to relax a little bit. So, okay, so that was a digression.

Sara 26:20

Give me one, give me one thing.

book cover of Kimberly McLeod's Fun and Easy Crafting with Recycled Materials

Ashley 26:22

Okay, so related to what I said about repurposing things, the one item that I think has been most useful for me, sorry, I want to give two again. I keep doing this, the one that I already had is called 150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids, and I love that book. I talk about it all the time on my stories. But anyway, I've had that one a long time, but that one is like my go to. When the day is falling apart, that is like the thing that I get out, and I will find something in there that we can do pretty easily, and often that can kind of repair the, you know, devolving situation and get us back in in a better mood. So anyway, the one that I got recently was Kimberly McLeod's Fun and Easy Crafting with Recycled Materials: 60 Cool Projects that Reimagine Paper Rolls, Egg Cartons, Jars, and More. And I just got that recently, and I wasn't sure how great it would be with my age kids. But it . . . there are a lot of things that we can do in there. But I do think it could range for anybody in elementary school. And it is really cool because it's very simple items, but imagined in a really interesting way, and so I found that in general, I'm happy to do art and craft projects with my kids, but I'm just not a very creative thinker in that kind of way. So I will do them. But I need the ideas to be I need to see it. And then I'm like, oh, yeah, we could do that thing, and then you know, we kind of can go from there. And so that book has been a great resource for me. So that's been a good investment during this time.

Sara 27:52

That's awesome. Jen, what about you?

book cover of John Flanagan's The Ruins of Gorlan, Ranger's Apprentice series book 1

Jen 27:55

So my recommendation actually is going to connect to a lot of things we talked about today. I had bought John Flanagan's--the first in John Flanagan's--Ranger's Apprentice series a year or more ago for my son who is almost 13 now because I knew he would love it, but he just did not want to read it. And it was one of those things like he knew I wanted him to read it, and he just wasn't feeling it. And then one day, he picked it up, and he, as I knew he would, loved it. And so he did the thing where he was like, Mom, will you buy me the next book in the series, and there are like, 12, and then there's a spin off series with I think, eight more books. So I hopped on Amazon, and I saw Ooh, if I get them all, it saves me a couple dollars per book. So I took a chance, and I bought the whole thing, and I had the confession moment with my husband when I was like I just spent this much money on the entire Ranger's Apprentice series. I really hope he loves it. And oh my goodness, he does. So it is a lot of money, and I know everyone does not have flexible spending money right now, but I think investing in a series once you know that your kid . . . like, Sara, you were saying, once you know that your kid likes the first book, he has now read the whole series twice. And then yesterday, he was like, Mom, I'd really like to listen to those on audio also. So I was like, scouring the internet to find a way so I'm not paying the ridiculous $30 or whatever it is to buy an audiobook on Audible. But yeah, scouring the internet to try to find them an audio too because he loves them enough that he wants them in that format as well. And yeah, we're scoping out IMDb because he's like these would make great movies. It's been optioned. So I just I just yeah, and then he's read the spin off series now. So it has just exploded. And yeah, it's one of those times it could have been a big disaster and a big waste of money. But fortunately for me, it has worked out. So that is John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, which is fantasy, it has a lot of action. I loved the book when I read it. I was a high school teacher, as you all probably know, and I have students who loved it and would read the whole thing, so I think it's good for older kids as well.

Sara 30:04

That's awesome.

Jen 30:06

What about you, Sara?

Ashley 30:06

What about you, Sara?

Jen 30:08

In stereo.

Sara 30:11

So mine is like I said, my daughter is super into art, and so is my son: he loves to draw. My daughter loves to do everything, but my son really loves to draw and paint some. So right before all this started going down, I bought these little . . . this little art canvas paint set that had like a thing that holds up the canvas.

Jen 30:34

An easel!

Sara 30:34


Jen 30:35

All right, sorry, we were watching Sara gesture, and I was like, I know what that thing is!

Sara 30:42

So it has an easel, and then it came with two canvases, three paint brushes, and some acrylic paints. And they . . . it has been a lifesaver. And then I also ordered another set of canvases that were just really cheap, and they really, it's been nice having those on hand for when they want to do art projects, and I don't know it just it was something I bought on a whim and because I was like oh my gosh we're going to be in the house for two weeks. Now four weeks later, but anyway that we were going to be in the house for a while, so I bought them and I mean they've used the paints and they've used the canvases, so it's been just a good, pretty cheap, good purchase for this time. And I did want to give a shout out Ashley also did buy the 150+ Screen Free . . . I also bought that in a panic, that was the other panic buy. Because I was like Ashley loves this book. I know that we can do this. So I bought that too.

Ashley 31:38

With that one, I think it . . . the thing that's really amazing about that book to me is that it starts with babies, so it goes all the way up, and not that every activity is appropriate for them, but she's very specific. Asia Citro, I think is her is her name, she is very specific about what ages are appropriate and for sure, again, through elementary school and even older, some of those activities are really great for them. And there are some things that you need, like not every activity--because we don't have access to everything right now--not every activity you're going to be able to do necessarily, but a few key purchases for me, like again, I've had that one a long time, but a few key things, like I got liquid water colors, which is just like instead of, you know, where you see 'em on the tray, they're drop bottles instead. And that works for so many things. And you can do food coloring instead, but it does stain some so I think you know, it's that kind of thing like I made that purchase one time. I have had those for the last three years or however long I've had that book. And I use those for tons of projects because basically anytime you want to dye like a slime or a playdough or any of that kind of stuff, like all those work every time, and so just a couple of things, like I got a bunch of Elmer's glue, and that goes in a lot of different slimes and things. So I found that there are times when the kids will pick something out of the book that then I need to find an ingredient or two to make it work, but there are a lot of ones in there that once I got a couple of those key things, I can just make them work fine. And I mean, you know, it's just a lot of fun, and like my girls really love going through both of those books, the ones I mentioned with the recycled materials and 150+, they like going through the book, like they enjoy looking at all the pictures and finding something that they're interested in doing. And so that part is fun, too. But yeah, I love that one because I think it is a really great age range thing because like when I first had my second child, it was really a struggle. And I think this is a struggle a lot of people probably have in their house right now is like your one age kid wants to do something that the other kid can't do, doesn't want to do, isn't interested in, it's not appropriate for them or whatever. So then it's kind of finding things that bridge those age gaps.

Sara 33:42

No, great. Okay, well, I think those are some good, good tips. Before we leave today, we want again to just another time, thank all the essential workers around our whole world who are making sacrifices for us. We appreciate it. And we are thinking of you. And we know that it is a difficult thing that you're doing, and we are so grateful for your sacrifice. Thank you for listening today. We are thinking of all of our listeners, and we hope to keep continuing to bring you content during this time, and we would also love to talk to you on social media and discuss books and give you a little respite from your day. So hit us up there.

Ashley 34:36

Well, listeners, we hope that you have enjoyed those Give Me Ones as much as we enjoyed both recording them and reflecting on them. And like Sara said, I think that you can see our different perspectives and personalities in the ones that we chose. We did want to end today's episode, just like we end all of our episodes, with a Give Me One, because again, something that we learned in season three and that we hope you're enjoying is that we have some bookends on our episodes: we always have our bookish check in, we always have our give me one. We have found that that is great for us as an anchor, and also when we have our guests on as part of the interview, it's really nice to hear what they have to say about those things before we discuss the other content with them.

Give Me One - Recommended Episode from Season 3

image with the text Give Me One repeated

Ashley 35:17

So to finish up today, we decided for our Give Me One, as our reflection of season three continues, that we wanted to recommend an episode from season three. So Sara, what do you recommend?

Sara 35:29

So I know everybody's looking at the planning sheet, and I of course put two down . . . well, the thing is, okay, so I always love our holiday episodes, anytime we talk about holidays or gift giving, so I always love our Bookish Gifts episode, which this year, this past season was Episode 100. And the reason I was struggling is because my favorite Give Me One is the same episode as my favorite episode from season three. But I'm still gonna just say it. So it's Episode 104, and this is the debate on what makes a holiday movie, and I love this one so much because Jen and I had . . . we, it is just rare in our podcasts that we kind of fundamentally disagree with each other, or we really have not, not contention, but like any type of agitation or conflict. And I love this episode because Jen and I had--of course, it was not contentious at all, but it was . . .

Ashley 36:29

Maybe a little bit.

Sara 36:30

And what I love about this episode is there's this part where Ashley's like, I feel like I'm the most confrontational, and I have literally no opinion on this. And Jen and I are debating back and forth, but I just I thought it was really a lot of fun to talk about that topic, and I always love to talk about movies. And I know it's nice because I know Jen loves movies too, so like we're both coming from this place of passion. I just really liked it, and I like that Ashley was kind of the calming factor and the mediator, so I just thought it was a fun episode. It was a healthy debate, and I enjoyed it. So

Jen 37:05

I will say (shameless plug) if you enjoy our conversations about movies, check out Patreon where we talk about a book-to-film adaptation or a book-to-TV-series adaptation every month. And they are really fun.

Ashley 37:18

Yeah, what I think is funny about that, Sara, is that maybe lesser known fact about Sara's personality is that she is for sure the most nonconfrontational of the three of us, but I think she also secretly enjoys something about some, you know, healthy banter confrontation. So because this has come up before with things like when we do unpopular opinions, Jen and I are both like, no way, and Sara's, like, they're my favorite. I'm seeing a theme here.

Ashley 37:51

What about you, Jen? What's the one that you'd recommend?

Jen 37:53

So I am choosing this may be a surprise to you, too. So I'm choosing Episode 106, Unabridged Awards, which I love and hate. So I hate to choose favorites. I hate . . . like I love to curate a list, but the list usually has like 50 things on it. And so it is always really hard for me when we do these award shows, and I'm trying to pick like my favorite books from the year, but I also like that process of like all of us combing through the books that we've read, and trying to choose a favorite and having to articulate why they're are favorite. So sometimes the process is painful, but I usually like the result. So I . . . my give me one is once again Episode 106, Unabridged Awards.

Sara 38:38

I will also say with that, Jen, you have a lot more . . . you are like a fine tooth comb, and mine's like a wide-tooth comb. Because like I do think I mean I do feel like if I if I could read and more volume that it would be harder for me to pick those kind of books, but I often don't have . . . I have like a select few that I just loved in a year. And other ones that were fine, but they would not be an award winner. You know what I mean? So I think that's, that speaks to the volume that you read.

Ashley 39:08

Yeah, yeah, I agree that it does make it, of course, the more you have to choose from the harder to make a choice. It's understandable. I've come to really appreciate the episodes that we come back to each year. So I enjoy doing the awards every year, like Sara said about bookish gifts. I've enjoyed revisiting those each year, so I think those are a lot fun when we do them from season to season.

Jen 39:28

Ashley, what's your give me one for this one.

Ashley 39:31

So I wanted to recommend Episode 113, Why Teach YA? And I wanted to recommend that one because, as I mentioned before, we are all so passionate about young adult literature, and it is something that I think is close to all of our hearts is the importance of integrating young adult literature into the classroom. And I think we're seeing more of that as time moves forward and people are able to purchase and access more young adult books and I think there's certainly a movement toward that in education that people are seeing success with teaching amazing literature that also is written for young adults. But it is something that is still a really important conversation to have because it is something that is still . . . there are still a lot of people who are not yet moving in that direction. And not that everyone has to do everything the same way, of course, but there is value in having young adult books, and reading them ourselves as adults, and book talking them and recommending them to kids. And so I just loved that discussion because I felt like all of us have different experiences connected to teaching young adult literature in the classroom. But we all agreed that even though we have different experiences and some different opinions about it, that it is something we are all really passionate about. So I just think it's a great example of an episode that shows a lot about our personalities, not just as book lovers, but also as teachers.

Sara 40:52

Yeah, I like that one too. I like anytime we discuss YA because I think that we're all passionate, and it is a great conversation.

Jen 41:00

Yeah, I agree.

Ashley 41:02

Well, thank you all so much for joining us today as we've wrapped up season three. We are so excited to launch season four next week with our discussion of Stamped: Racism, Anti Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. Spoiler alert: we all absolutely LOVE, LOVE, loved that book. And speaking of young adult literature, we are just so excited to get it into the classroom and into the hands of teens and kids. And so we can't wait to share that with you. Thanks for listening.


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