Smackdown Books 2018

Wolf Hollow
Salt to the Sea
The Serpent King
Optimists Die First
The Hate U Give
Orphan Island
Dan vs. Nature
The Female of the Species
March
Unbecoming
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere
Paper Girls, Vol. 1
The Passion of Dolssa
The Distance Between Us
When We Collided
Louis parmi les spectres
OCDaniel
Girl in the Blue Coat
Refugee
Defy the Stars

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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