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, January 6, 2016

Revolution Vs. Crossover

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

What a well written book!  I had a hard time setting into Revolution, mostly due to how intimidated I was when I received it. Once I was able to dedicate some time to it and engage with the text, it was more than able to hold my attention and interest and found the book engaging and enlightening. It took a while to get into the characters, but once I had a handle on who was speaking in each chapter,The characters are dynamic and realistic, and are thus able to offer insight into an unimaginable period in time.  There are so many things we take for granted as females, it is hard to believe the racial tension, prejudice, segregation and inequalities that existed only a few years before I was born.   Although this is more  American history than Canadian, and perhaps our students would have less background knowledge of the racial tension that existed in America during the 60’s, the author does a remarkable job teaching the historical facts through the non-fiction sections scattered through the fictional narrative of Sunny, Gillette and Raymond.  

My only hesitation with Revolution is how complex the issues it presents really are. We think it would be better suited for an strong/ advanced/ mature reader in Div 3 (I don’t think even the strong readers in Div 2 would be able to fully comprehend this text). To do a book like this justice it would have to be central to a novel study where a teacher could go more in-depth and provide some structure to delve deeper into the history/truth behind the text. Many of the intricacies, complexities, and significance of these events would be lost on many students. We had trouble at times keeping facts and characters straight, so we can only assume it would be far more difficult for the average adolescent reader. We would gladly have Revolution in my classroom library and would highly recommend it to our students!

Crossover by Kwame Alexander
We all like Crossover. It was a little odd at the start - sometimes difficult to keep track of the minor details - until you get a feel for the two brothers and truly come to appreciate their passion. I think this style of writing is highly captivating for many readers - not to mention, way less daunting for the average reader (compared to Revolution). We were all captivated by the unique style of this novel. We think this book would be a huge hit with reluctant readers, especially those same readers who prefer sports to reading!

As adults, our preference is for Revoution, but for our students we are voting for Crossover.

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