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, April 5, 2017

the Porcupine of Truth vs The War That Saved My Life

Soooooo I was torn. I loved both these books for different reasons.  The War That Saved My Life had such a historical slant that I was hooked immediately, after touring Europe visiting World War II museums and monuments.  I loved Ada, a teenager who had been abused and traumatized, but was resilient because of the love of her younger brother, Jamie.  I was amazed at the honesty of the chance for Ada to find a home with real love and her inability to believe it could be real.  The author, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, wrote brilliantly capturing the effects of trauma and the kind of compassion needed from caregivers when adopting children who have lived through trauma.  There was no fluff or everything is wonderful, the struggles and level of fear Ada experienced reminded me so much of many of my students that I have encountered. I will definitely get the second one to read but my vote actually goes to the Porcupine of Truth.

Carson and Aisha are teenage voices that are very unconventional.  Again this novel hit a heart chord with the narrative showing how many layers of hurt families splitting up can have.  I felt there would be many teenagers who could relate to Carson and Aisha's journey to find the truth while disregarding their parent's requests.  I did at times wonder how realistic the journey was, but then thought to all the stories from students over the years who don't have traditionally calm or stable homes.  The power of secrets throughout Carson's life was so accurately stated, and the struggle of being gay in our society was woven into the story in such a realistic manner.  I again heard many of my student's voices in Aisha's narrative and choices.  The crux of relationships in the novel won me over and that is why the Porcupine of Truth got my vote, but alas it was the only member of my team that felt that way.

Congrats The War That Saved My Life.  #loveyoutoo

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