Smackdown Books 2017

Arlene's smackdown17 book montage

The Memory of Things
Hour of the Bees
The Gospel Truth
Ultraman, Vol. 1
Ghost
The Bunker Diary
Echo
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
One
Updraft
All American Boys
»

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sister Mine and Liars

I abandoned Sister Mine.  I am quite fond of fantasy, but maybe I'd like mine with a little less incest and possession.  Liars was better, at least it's a book I could actually recommend to a student.  Maybe I'm still smarting from the disappointment of Afterworlds, but am I the only one that feels dismay at the thought that the books in the running so far are representative of the best that 2014 YA had to offer?  Are we truly feeding our high school readers a diet of despair, hopelessness, self-centredness and lust?  Yes, I get the power of some grit and conflict, some intent to reflect the realities of life--I loved Code Name Verity--but to what extent do we promote wallowing in crapulence? What about notions of courage, bravery, standing up for right, defending the powerless?  Aren't there any more Harry Potters to be found?  Even Hunger Games and Divergent at least have some of the sense of courage and hopefulness in a hopeless time (at least in the first few books).  I've thought of myself as an avid YA reader up until this point.  I love fantasy, science fiction and a bit of romance, but, clearly, either I'm behind the trend, or I'm reading from a very different section.  Are we raising a generation of students who will never read Lord of the Rings because they're too busy waiting for the next Fifty Shades?  I hope for better:

“Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”― C.S. Lewis

3 comments:

  1. My copy of Sister Mine came first..s and so I read it first. I am glad that I did not receive my second book for a while, as I am a complete failure at reading two books at once... I will always gravitate to the favoured book and can't find my way back to the first book if it has lost my interest. That would have been the case here because I struggled all the way through Sister Mine. I couldn't even find the fantasy in this tale which seemed more like someone's disjointed nightmare with no cohesion. I made it too the end, and no, Kath, it didn't get easier or better. This book is out of range for junior high; and I would suggest high school as well. I have struggled to find a positive message and failed. I, like KathDurance, love SciFi and Fantasy but this just didn't cut it for me!

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  2. Well said! There is definitely times where it is hard to get out of the muck of whiny angst in YA...you have to dig for the heros and the good news. I think some of the books still in the running have those. In my bracket, I'll Give You the Sun and Night Gardener both have those quality....of course only one will move on. Maybe the zombie pick will be more pleasing for CS Lewis!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said! There is definitely times where it is hard to get out of the muck of whiny angst in YA...you have to dig for the heros and the good news. I think some of the books still in the running have those. In my bracket, I'll Give You the Sun and Night Gardener both have those quality....of course only one will move on. Maybe the zombie pick will be more pleasing for CS Lewis!

    ReplyDelete