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

Monday, January 9, 2017

From the Westminster Crew-- or at least the part that came back from the Christmas holidays

It is wonderful to have two books that challenge their readers-- 

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda- by Becky Albertalli - The romance and the youthful longing felt  true though the theme is not new or even really interesting anymore.  But for a book with very little action except the mystery of the identity of one young man wooing another in internet communication-- it kept me interested.  Although some might be repulsed by the hints of masturbation, this book could not exist without it.  It is about a teenage boy exploring his sexuality--- hard to escape.   Well done and I want this book for the library.  I also think it is the most readable for teenagers of the two books-- but the book I choose is Challenger Deep which I think is brilliant.

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman was moving and powerful.  Though at the beginning the voyage that parallels and illuminates the decent into madness seems repetitive and dismiss-able, that voyage takes on real importance as it translates for us the protagonists interpretation of events in his life.  I don't know if young students would be inclined to work past the incomprehensible at the start-- but for someone who is watching the incomprehensible in real time, it is a hopeful and loving book.

So we like Challenger Deep.

Wendy Dawson and Laura Johnson

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