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

Friday, January 9, 2015

Aviary Wonders vs Night Gardene

The Night Gardener
I received Night Gardener before Christmas break and was very excited by the cover.  I’m not going to lie; I judge books by their cover.  It doesn't stop me from reading them, but like all those with preteen mentality…I prejudge.  The creepy night man on the front and the black pages…as Dia said I love creepy.  And this book would be creepy for div 2 or 3 students!  It’s not a Children of Wolves novel, which teetered on psychotic.  Instead, it’s a beautiful mix of magic, history (I love me some Irish history), and childhood nightmares.   I couldn't get over Jonathan’s description of the setting; he built this whole world that I could see the characters weave through.  I even wrote down some excerpts to use with my class for creating mood through setting.  Jonathan also had these amazing characters.  He did an incredible job of including accent in dialogue.  I loved hearing Molly’s Irish accent and Bertrand’s stutter come to life as I read.  I may be dating myself here, but my mother game me Something Wicked This Way Comes when I was in junior high and I devoured that book.  They both shared the lesson that you should appreciate what you have and that things may seem like a gift but there is a price to pay.  I was interested to read how Jonathan was inspired to write this book Ray Bradbury’s book!  Maybe this is why I enjoyed Night Gardener so much.

Aviary Wonder…was okay.  I read it in 10 minutes.  I loved the colors and the sarcasm ( or at least I read sarcasm in the message).  I did appreciate the author’s attempt to create a futuristic world where you could order birds, because they've been eradicated.   Don’t get me wrong, I love picture books.  Anyone who knows me understands my obsession with Shaun Tan.  There just wasn't anything in the book to hold my attention or some deep moral issue that resonated with me like Tan’s books.  I don’t have much to say on the book, because there wasn't much to read.   So…. Night Gardener reigns as champion for this round in my record keeping journal.

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