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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Gabi and Crossover - Two Beautiful Books

For the first time this Smackdown I loved both these books.  To me, Gabi came alive.  The skill of the author in creating this loveable and so, so realistic character was the highlight of this novel.  As Lisa commented, this book was again a checklist of teen issues but each was so beautifully dealt with and incorporated into the story that it felt almost musical.  I’ll admit that I wept, agonized and argued along with Gabi throughout this book.  Thankfully, Gabi did give me that dose of hope I was missing in the other books I’ve read this Smackdown, but didn’t taste so sugary sweet that my taste buds were left wincing.  

Crossover got my vote and will move on from our bracket.  So many of my students have read and loved this book since I first came across it last year.  The writing is, well, poetic and the agony wrapped around love in this book can be felt in each word.  I loved the struggles the brothers had between them and the complete freedom they felt on the court.  This is a book that basketball players as well as many other teens will pick up and enjoy.  I will also be using excerpts as a mentor text in my writing mini lessons.    

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