Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
The Bunker Diary
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy
The Hired Girl
An Ember in the Ashes
The Porcupine of Truth
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
Goodbye Stranger
Beautiful Blue World
The Blackthorn Key
All American Boys

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Well, even though Counting by 7s is already a clear winner in this bracket, Shelley and I would like to add our votes to its praise and progress! Leonard Peacock was a compelling story, and I personally liked the inclusion of the footnotes, but 7s was still the better read.  I mean, I feel for Leonard, but I think we've seen plenty of characters like him before. (I'm thinking Rotters from last year's Smackdown, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson, among others.) These are characters that the reader knows are brilliant, capable, empathetic individuals, but somehow or other, almost no one in their own lives understands this. Certainly, angsty, misunderstood teens have their place in the YA canon, but there is also a need for examples of other ways to deal with the hurdles life throws us.

Counting by 7s provides a welcome counterpoint to all that angst. We agreed that the optimism and resilience that Willow exhibits is refreshing and even necessary in YA lit. There have been comments that it might not be as suitable for older readers, but has anyone tested this hypothesis yet? Willow might be young, but older readers might have a lot to connect with in Mai and Quang-ha? I dunno, I'm a "grown-up" and I loved it!

Shelly and I both vote for Eleanor and Park to rise again as the zombie pick... But having read Laura's impassioned entreaty, if there's some sort of tie situation, I'm willing to defect to Wonder.

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