Sunday, December 14, 2014
Freedom Summer Murders Vs Night Gardener
Well, Sandra and I had to sit down over this one. The Freedom Summer Murders is a non-fiction account of the murder of three men who were working on the Freedom Summer campaign, a campaign to register african-american voters in Mississippi in 1964. The three were brutally slain by the (spoiler-alert), KKK and the book tells the story of the three, as individuals and then when they worked together. It also attempts to tell the story as the KK would have seen it. It is was powerful event that eventually led the FBI to discover and prosecute the killers and whose events led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act.
The Night Gardener is also scary tale but one of fiction. Two orphaned kids end up working for a wealthy family in the house in the middle of the woods. The house has been built around a tree that is able to provide the family members with things they want, but at a cost - their health and mental well-being. In addition, the creepiest man ever comes at night to tend to the tree. It is a book you don't want to read before bed!
So how do you decide? Two books, both good, both have merit - do we pick the book we like best of the book we could sell to kids? How do you compare apples to alligators? Well - it's year 5 and we still can't figure it out. So, in the end, Sandra liked them both but preferred Freedom Summer Murders. Although I found FSM interesting, it did not grab me and I definitely preferred Night Gardener. If you love non-fiction, read FSM but if you want to read the book that is moving forward, it will have to be the Night Gardener (just read it during the day!)
And good luck to whoever gets this in the next round because you think comparing it to FSM was hard, I can only imagine how you will compare it to Aviary Wonders.