📢 announcing the HEY READER-ATHON as well as a book GIVEAWAY! 📢

    Yay, I’m excited to share the details for this year’s Autumn Hey Reader-athon!

    The readathon will run from Monday, October 18th until Sunday, October 24th. In the video today I will be sharing the four prompts for the week as well as a couple recommendations for each prompt and a couple options I may use for the prompt.

    To join the readathon, hop over to the page on Hey Reader and click “Join”.

    The giveaway will be announced over on Hey Reader after the readathon is complete.

    ** I forgot to mention in the video, but you can use the same book for more than one prompt!


    AUTUMN BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS – great mystery & suspense, classics, science fiction & YA books!

    Last year I realized that autumn is my absolute favorite season.

    In previous years autumn had always been overshadowed by the fact that our cold Canadian prairie winters were coming.

    But last year I was able to appreciate autumn for all that it is: sweaters and wearing layers, the changing color of the trees, the leaves on the ground, the crisp mornings, hot cocoa and curling up with a good book by the fireplace.

    This year I am just as excited, or possibly a little more, for my autumn reading.

    Last year I created a list of some great autumnal reads and this year I wanted to make another list – with completely different books and I’m excited to share them with you! This list includes classics, young adult, mystery & suspense as well as science fiction books.

    (You can also check out last year’s list of autumnal reads here.)

    Also, be sure to subscribe to my BookTube channel here!


    AUTUMN BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS - great mystery & suspense, classics, science fiction & YA books!





    I’ve separated the books into four categories: classics, young adult, mystery & suspense and science fiction.




    I read The Lottery in high school and it is a story that has stuck with me. I’ve since read more of Shirley Jackson’s short stories and have really enjoyed them.

    The Lottery and Other Stories

    The Lottery and Other Stories, the only collection of stories to appear during Shirley Jackson’s lifetime, unites “The Lottery” with twenty-four equally unusual short stories. Together they demonstrate Jackson’s remarkable range―from the hilarious to the horrible, the unsettling to the ominous―and her power as a storyteller.


    I mentioned this book in the video but it is not an official recommendation, this one is one I want to read this autumn!

    We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    Shirley Jackson’s beloved gothic tale of a peculiar girl named Merricat and her family’s dark secret.

    Taking readers deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when a cousin arrives at their estate.



    Father Brown: The Essential Tales

    G. K. Chesterton’s Father Brown may seem a pleasantly doddering Roman Catholic priest, but appearances deceive. With keen observation and an unerring sense of man’s frailties–gained during his years listening to confessions–Father Brown succeeds in bringing even the most elusive criminals to justice.


    Anne of Avonlea

    Following Anne of Green Gables (1908), the book covers the second chapter in the life of Anne Shirley. This book follows Anne from the age of 16 to 18, during the two years that she teaches at Avonlea school. It includes many of the characters from Anne of Green Gables, as well as new ones like Mr Harrison, Miss Lavendar Lewis, Paul Irving, and the twins Dora and Davy.




    The Goose Girl

    Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree, spends the first years of her life listening to her aunt’s stories and learning the language of the birds, especially the swans. As she grows up, Ani develops the skills of animal speech, but she never feels quite comfortable speaking with people.

    So when Ani’s mother sends her away to be married in a foreign land, she finds herself at the mercy of her silver-tongued lady in waiting, who leads a mutiny that leaves her alone, destitute, and fleeing for her life. To survive, Ani takes on work as a royal goose girl, hiding in plain sight while she develops her forbidden talents and works to discover her own true, powerful voice.



    Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells and corridors, but metal forests, dilapidated cities, and wilderness. It has been sealed for centuries, and only one man has ever escaped. Finn has always been a prisoner here. Although he has no memory of his childhood, he is sure he came from Outside. His link to the Outside, his chance to break free, is Claudia, the warden’s daughter, herself determined to escape an arranged marriage. They are up against impossible odds, but one thing looms above all: Incarceron itself is alive . . .




    A Murder is Announced

    “A Murder is Announced” is a staple of crime fiction and often considered as the best Miss Marple novel. The villagers of Chipping Cleghorn, including Jane Marple who is staying nearby, are agog with curiosity over an advertisement in the local gazette which reads: ‘A murder is announced and will take place on Friday October 29th, at Little Paddocks at 6.30 p.m.’

    Is this a childish practical joke? Or a hoax intended to scare poor Letitia Blacklock? Unable to resist the mysterious invitation, a crowd gathers at Little Paddocks at the appointed time when, without warning, the lights go out…


    On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

    Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

    Present day. 
    Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.


    Relative Silence

    A powerful family with dark secrets.

    After personal tragedy, Piper Boone retreats to her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the wealthy Boone family, who are practically American royalty. When catastrophe strikes, her family is put in the spotlight, and the line between victim and suspect gets blurred.

    A forensic artist with his own haunting past.

    Tucker Landry is drawn to Piper in the midst of the trauma, but the connections being made to her family might prove to be their undoing. With a hurricane beating down on the private island, there isn’t much time to find answers.

    The truth will determine whether she lives or dies.


    Mind Games

    Kaely Quinn’s talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she’s demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

    When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, the reporter’s ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem’s predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

    Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else–including Kaely herself–is killed.




    The Strangers

    The Greystone kids thought they knew. Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best—acting silly and being adored. They’ve been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom.

    But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they’re shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They’re the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Who, exactly, are these strangers?

    Before Chess, Emma, and Finn can question their mom about it, she takes off on a sudden work trip and leaves them in the care of Ms. Morales and her daughter, Natalie. But puzzling clues left behind lead to complex codes, hidden rooms, and a dangerous secret that will turn their world upside down.



    Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It’s his hallucinations who are mad.

    A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people―Stephen calls them aspects―to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems . . . for a price.

    His brain is getting a little crowded and the aspects have a tendency of taking on lives of their own. When a company hires him to recover stolen property―a camera that can allegedly take pictures of the past―Stephen finds himself in an adventure crossing oceans and fighting terrorists. What he discovers may upend the foundation of three major world religions―and, perhaps, give him a vital clue into the true nature of his aspects.


    Be sure to check out my previous autumn recommendations list here!

    And hop over to subscribe to my BookTube channel here!


    RE-TRY OR UNHAUL? ✨ you decide what I should do with these books!

    There’s a bunch of books that I’ve quite for one reason or another in the last while and I thought it would be fun to let you vote and decide which one I should try again!

    The rest of the books will get unhauled soon so choose wisely!

    I’ll announce the winner later this month when I share my August TBR.

    Go ahead and vote below!




    the BEST FOSTER CARE FICTION BOOKS plus a fostering update

    I thought I would share a bonus video this week with a bit of a fostering update.

    Plus, I’m sharing a few of my favorite fiction books that have foster care themes.

    We’ve been fostering for just over a year and a half right now and all of my other updates have been via blog post.

    You can see our foster care timeline here and all the blog posts about fostering here.


    Foster Care Update and The Best Fiction Foster Care Middle Grade Books


    Watch the foster care update:


    Specific fostering blog posts you may be interested in:


    The Best Fiction Books About Foster Care - middle grade foster care books





    Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.


    Pictures of Hollis Woods

    Hollis Woods
    is the place where a baby was abandoned
    is the baby’s name
    is an artist
    is now a twelve-year-old girl
    who’s been in so many foster homes she can hardly remember them all.
    When Hollis is sent to Josie, an elderly artist who is quirky and affectionate, she wants to stay. But Josie is growing more forgetful every day. If Social Services finds out, they’ll take Hollis away and move Josie into a home. Well, Hollis Woods won’t let anyone separate them. She’s escaped the system before; this time, she’s taking Josie with her. Still, even as she plans her future with Josie, Hollis dreams of the past summer with the Regans, fixing each special moment of her days with them in pictures she’ll never forget.


    Ruby Holler

    Brother and sister Dallas and Florida are the “trouble twins.” In their short thirteen years, they’ve passed through countless foster homes, only to return to their dreary orphanage, Boxton Creek Home.

    Run by the Trepids, a greedy and strict couple, Boxton Creek seems impossible to escape. When Mr. Trepid informs the twins that they’ll be helping old Tiller and Sairy Morey go on separate adventures, Dallas and Florida are suspicious.

    As the twins adjust to the natural beauty of the outdoors, help the Tillers prepare for their adventures, and foil a robbery, their ultimate search for freedom leads them home to Ruby Holler.


    Forever or a Long, Long Time

    Flora and her brother, Julian, don’t believe they were born. They’ve lived in so many foster homes, they can’t remember where they came from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe that they’ve found their forever home. Though Flora is trying her best to trust two new people, when she finds out that there will be a new baby, she’s worried that there won’t be enough love for everyone.

    So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past—for only then can they really begin to build their future.


    Closer to Nowhere

    For the most part, Hannah’s life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she’s popular at school, and she’s been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died and she is trying to be patient, but most days Hannah just wishes Cal never moved in.

    For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn’t let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.

    Told in verse from the alternating perspectives of Hannah and Cal, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.


    Do you have some fiction foster care books to recommend?


    picking my APRIL TBR 📚 choosing the books I’ll read in April using my TBR cart and TBR game 📚

    I didn’t create an official TBR for March and I missed it so I am back this month with my April TBR using Hey Reader!




    • April 18th 2pm MDT
    • April 18th 7pm MDT
    • April 20th 7pm MDT
    • April 28th 7pm MDT


    Join my April TBR here.

    Here’s a cart in my color from Amazon (it looks like Ikea doesn’t sell this color any more)

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