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, May 4, 2016

3 for Crossover

The Family Romanov was our pick way back in round one. We enjoyed the writing and it was nice to read the story of Russia again. We were happy to see the book make it this far in the Smackdown but this round, for us, came down to the other two books.

We enjoyed Crossover and The Thing About Jellyfish and have waffled back and forth as to which one stood out as the winner. Throughout the Smackdown we have been on the hunt for books we can bring to the students in our school so, with that in mind, I turned the books over to my students. 

When I did a book talk of each book and read an excerpt, the first chapter of Jellyfish really pulled me in again. I was captivated by the characters loneliness. Ali Benjamin hit on some key memories for me of family vacations to the SeaWorld touch tank, being mesmerized by the jellyfish at the Vancouver Aquarium and how we all go through grief differently.

What got me about Crossover, when doing the book talk, was how captivated my students were. They loved the language, the topic and I had boys asking, "Can I read that?" Crossover became one of those books that circulated around the room and had my students begging me to read out loud to them. As a teacher, nothing makes me happier then to see a reluctant reader (and a too cool for school grade 9 basketball player) with his nose in a book!

We won't deny that Jellyfish it's a touching tale about grief that is beautifully written however, most of my students just weren't into another one of those quirky kids who is wiser than their years. There will be no dinner brides this round Holly. Our vote is for Crossover.

Suanne, Katrina and Judy

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