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

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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