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 6, 2016

The Art of Secrets vs. the Heartlight Saga

The clear cut winner for this round is The Art of Secrets.  While most of our group would consider themselves a fan of fantasy and science fiction, it was generally felt that the Heartlight Saga was dated and very exposition heavy.  One member of our group felt that she needed to "push [herself], yelling and screaming, through the Heartlight Saga." The Heartlight Saga lacked artistry and felt generic when compared with The Art of Secrets.

Without a doubt, The Art of Secrets is by far the better read.  It was simply more interesting in it's presentation of different perspectives, with different voices telling the same story, and of course, the final twist.  While the characters were more interesting than the mystery itself, there was a lot of meat to the story.  It was nice to have a story centered around a Muslim family; and, of course, issues of racism arose.  While the vocabulary and general structure is accessible for the average junior high student, the themes of friendship, family, race, poverty, romantic relationships, charity, and deception give a lot of depth and create potential for sophisticated class discussion.

Posted by Amanda B. on behalf of Shelley K., Shelley P., Christine W., and Travis D.

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