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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sister Mine vs. Grasshopper Jungle

Good morning everyone. Sorry about the late post; however, since I was the negligent blogger from round one, I am way ahead of the timeframe of last rounds blog.

Without further ado, Team Spruce Avenue was tasked with reading Sister Mine and Grasshopper Jungle. In the end we chose to promote Sister Mine to move forward in the tournament.

I've included a vlog below if you'd like to hear my ramblings. Otherwise, here are our thoughts:

Grasshopper Jungle
The novel we found a little confused and at times difficult to engaging with the text. The development of characters was not as rounded out as we would have prefered. For my teamster at Spruce, the novels was not an enjoyable experience. She likened the read to driving past a car crash and having to look. Ultimately we weren't sure about how much readability the novel would have in Junior High and chose to strike it down.

Sister Mine
The second book, Sister Mine, while also a little weird but we found it to be much more enjoyable.  We found the writing to be more interesting and a pleasure to read.  There was a certain flow to the writing, and the language was less complex and easier to follow the narrative.  Even with the premise of God and demi-God relatives and such, there was something far more relatable about the familial relationships for the most part.   

We are moving Sister Mine forward. 


  1. We advanced it in the first round, so I can't really say anything, but didn't you find the topic of Sister Mine, a bit...risque? Would you recommend it to Jr. High kids??

  2. We thought it would hard to recommend either of these novels to a Junior High audience. More recommendable than Grasshopper Jungle.