We wanted to create a way where we could read a few books, learn about many titles and have fun doing it! The tournament style reading of the Mighty Smackdown means that in the first round each participant reads two books, discusses both in a blog post, selecting one book to move on to the next round. Teachers are asked to commit to one round but most, if not all, continue on. We will read to the end when we will have only one book left standing!
If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser VS All Good Children by Catherine Austen
Dear Todd: you are not a young black street kid who grew up in the worst kind of humanity possible.As a result, the way you have Deshawn speak and act feels unnatural and it is really obvious that you have no connection to the character.
If you can get past that, it is an incredibly sad story of a kid who ends up joining a gang, despite all good intentions and his gramma's love. What I did like was that in the end (spoiler alert) Deshawn did not find the goodness in his heart and run away, go to a respectable college and make good. He needed money for his family, he joined a gang, he sold some drugs, he killed a man. Don;t get me wrong, I like a Strasser book, Give a Boy a Gun was great, but this one feels like Todd is now reaching to hard and to far away from what he knows.
All Good Children - Dear Catherine,pick up the pace girlfriend. It took me a good 100 pages to get hooked into this book and to be frank, Katie, normally I would not give a book that much time. That being said,once hooked, I was hooked. The tale of a a not to future society where some of the rules of civility are broken and Max, a high school student, is attending an academic school so he can be succesful. It turns out that even the academic kids can be a pain sometimes so the schools begin a "vaccination program" that changes the kids into zombie-like students. "Yes, ma'am", "We are all here to succeed", etc.. And they don't need parent permission to do it. Will Max be able to fool everyone that he has received the re-education or will he be get the shot?
Bonus - Canadians are the seen as the good guys, which we are!
Moving on...All Good Children.