Francisco Stork, Dana Reinhardt, Barry Lyga and Susan Patron have to say about some of this year's books. Such a mix of writers! I'm happy to say I've read at least one of all of their books and you should too! Weirdly, I don't really remember what my votes were but I think I'm 3-1. How are you doing? Check out some first half of the contest stats at What We Read and Write, such cool charts!
Now, on to the match!
The Odyssey by Gareth Hinds
I have fallen in love with graphic novels. So much so, that I joined The Graphics Novel Challenge! Oh, sure, I'm not reviewing them but I am reading them! That counts right? Anywho, it's been one billion years since I've read the Odyssey but I must say this was the sexiest version I'd ever encountered. I mean the guys and ladies are buff! Unfortunately, that's all I can remember right now and I don't have the book here because I lent it to a teacher! Sorry Mr. Hinds!
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
I reviewed this one back in June and you can read my full review. Here's an excerpt:
"We didn't come for a revolution. We came for breakfast."
One Crazy Summer was not about the Black Panthers but about family and what it means. How family comes in forms we are not always ready for. How sometimes it just might be necessary to take care of yourself first. Or not.
There were times when I felt Delphine's voice was too grown-up but when I thought about her years of taking care of her younger sisters, of sitting around with Big Ma watching the news, of pretty much raising herself, I understood that she would say those things and act that way. Her eleven year-old inner self was in a battle with her forced to be older behavior.
Gareth Hinds does a good job of making an old story seem new and I can see students flocking to this book. I've been creating our graphic novels section - we mostly had manga - by adding titles from ALA's list and other places. This will be included but, Rita Williams-Garcia makes historical fiction interesting. She details the people instead of the historical event. So, I gotta go for One Crazy Summer. I know it's won it's share of awards - Newbery Honor, 2011 Notable Children's Book, National Book Award Finalist, and Coretta Scott King Award! It even won an honor from the students in my Mock Newbery Club! I really think it deserves to go the next round!
The cover of this book is pretty childish though and I really hope they change that for the paperback! No self-respecting middle schooler wants to pick it up. The Newbery clubbers and I worked hard to get others to read it, including tempting students with Jumped!
I'm giving the nod to
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia.