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
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
Girl in the Blue Coat
Defy the Stars

Monday, December 15, 2014

I'll Give you the Sun vs. Through the Woods

Image result for i'll give you the sun 

I’ll Give You the Sun is told from the perspective of a pair of teenage twins, Jude and Noah, talented emerging artists, and the story is told through the artist’s eye with rich imagery and descriptions.  Noah tells the story of “Before” and Jude tells the story of “After.” 

Image result for through the woods

Through the Woods is a series of 5 short stories, plus an introduction and conclusion, told through images and small pieces of text.  The stories are not related, except that they are all about scary and dangerous experiences people have in dark and spooky settings. 

I’ll Give You the Sun in 3 words:  heartfelt, moving, lovely
I love, love, love this book.  I love the way it moves back and forth in time, telling the story from the perspective of twins Jude and Noah.  I love the relationship between Jude and Noah, and how they are almost, but not quite, one person.  The story of their family is tragic and beautiful.  And the ending!  Oh, the ending might make this my current favorite book.  Would I teach this book?  Maybe.  There are some mature themes and fairly explicit content.  I’m not sure if it’s whole class novel material (although I’d love it to be).  I do think it would be a fantastic book to have on the library shelf to recommend to that just right student. 

Through the Woods in 3 words: creepy, interesting (but) unsatisfying
Graphic novels are not usually my thing (reading the pictures is so much more effort than letting the pictures flow in my own mind!) so I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this book more than I expected to.  I read this book on a Saturday morning in my sunny kitchen - thank goodness or I may have had nightmares!  The images are compelling and pull you into the series of short scary stories, but the stories themselves are unsatisfying.  The conclusions leave you hanging.  Not in an exciting cliffhanger way, more in an “Oh, that’s it? What just happened?” kind of way.  I think although students might be inclined to pick up this book because of the spooky stories and creepy images, they’ll put it down frustrated and confused. 

My vote is, obviously, for I’ll Give You the Sun.  Brad will post his opinions in a few minutes…

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