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

Friday, November 25, 2016

Wolves beat Footer Davis

This was a decent set of Round One reads!  In the end, though, our vote was unanimous and our reactions were similar.

Footer Davis Probably is Crazy is a too easily and too early solved mystery, but the characters are genuine and likable.  Wendy probably said it best:  "Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught has a very young protagonist and would suit an elementary student though the heroine does deal with and discuss some big bad issues: post traumatic stress, flashbacks, bi polar and familial abuse."  We know some of colleagues might be looking for something dealing with mental health or in in the mystery genre for their upper elementary students, or for their grade sevens, so we recommend picking this one up to look at.  

The better book this round, though, is Wolf by Wolf.  The year is 1956 and the Axis powers won the war and rule the world.  Wendy notes:  "The premise used to be scary but I am much more scared by recent events.  I'm not sure that anyone without much of understanding of the history of WWII would understand the menace in this book.  The author does make some attempt to bring that horror to its reader with vignettes of life in the camps and death of her friends.  But not too sure how much I believe and because that threat is not really current, it loses impact.  This is though, a teenagers book, a love story, sort of.  The novel uses the classic race as its plot line-- a motorbike race-- with some deadly consequences.  The victory would allow proximity to the reclusive Hitler."  Personally, I was worried I'd get bored by the motorcycle race, as I am a person who always finds movie car chase scenes to be too long, but I remained engaged.  I think I agree with Brianne, who said, "I love the jump between past and present. It makes the story more interesting. The stories of the wolf tattoos and the people they are for really pulled me through the text. I wanted to see who was next and how they shaped her character."  Both Krystal and Brianne liked that it would get kids excited about learning some history while they were reading, too.  Krystal and I also both enjoyed the audio version of the book; it's well produced.  And there's a sequel!  Teens seem to love a series.  I liked it enough that I'll get it when it comes out.  We hope the next round of readers are equally engaged.   

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