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

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Family Romanov vs The Living

In this round, we were saddled with The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming and The Living by Matt De La Pena. Both books were decent - but neither was excellent. 

When a book starts with an ominous warning from a mysterious stranger, you know it will be exciting. The Living certainly delivered on that aspect. With its fast-paced plot, The Living leaves you unable to put the book down for fear of leaving its protagonist, Shy, barely gripping the edge of life. I think the best way to describe it is action packed. However, it has its share of clich├ęs, and there are a few plot holes here and there that make the story difficult to believe. Also, in some cases, it lacks important description and some character depth which could have improved the story.

The Family Romanov was an intriguing true story about Russia's last royal family. It was a good way of relaying information about the Romanovs and it made the historic piece fun to learn. However, it was less exciting than The Living, and therefore is less entertaining from a teen's perspective.  The Family Romanov will have a place in the classroom but once again we are not convinced many teens will pick this up by themselves.  

Although not an amazing book, we chose The Living to move on to the next round.

Submitted by Maureen and Cara (teen reader)

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