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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reviewed by Dianne Tebby and Deborah Pennyfeather

Rump - The True Story of Rumplestiltskin 
by Liesl Shurtliff

Rump did not pass in our opinion because it took too many side trips and left us yawning on the roadside.  It was a great concept telling the story from the 'other' point of view just as Jon Scieszka did with 'The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs' as told by the wolf but it dragged and dragged until three quarters of the way through.  In our opinion the family history of Rump's mom did very little to move the story forward.

by David Carroll
"Ultra" was a fairly quick read.  The book is fairly realistic as how a race is run and could appeal to the runners and track folks but could equally apply to kids dealing with relationships, especially loss. One wonders where his dad is in all this until about halfway through.  Then you start putting the clues together.  The big crisis at the end of the race does what it is supposed to and clues the reader and the main character in to what needs to be accepted. The figurative language used was very good especially for the middle school level where students are experimenting more with this element in their writing. "He folded the nanaimo bar into his mouth." This is one example of the writing that creates visual pictures in the reader's mind. We found the book fairly predictable for its genre but an okay read.

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