Bullies, Shipwrecks & Spies…BOB Matches 1& 2 March 16, 2013Posted by ccbooks in Nerd Line, Quotes.
Now that I no longer have a definitive lunch break (a drawback/perk of being a freelance artist), it has been harder to find time to respond to each day of the SLJ Battle of the Kid’s Books. Not that I don’t still wake up early and immediately check the site, but writing about it has been more challenging. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts on week one:
“…I find that real stories almost invariably contain incidents more amazing and outlandish than the ones I could invent”
–Kenneth Oppel, on Bomb by Steve Sheinkin.
So true. Elizabeth Wein says something similar in her afterword to Code Name Verity. Oppel also correctly put his finger on my one issue with Wonder, that the tone is just a little too optimistic. Guidance-counselor fiction, as it has been dubbed in the comments. For which is there is undoubtedly a time and a place. However, I fully agree with Oppel that Bomb is the greater achievement of these two. I’ve already read Sheinkin’s latest, about a plot to steal Lincoln’s body and I can’t wait to see what he discovers to write about next.
“This is not a simple case of comparing apples and oranges; it’s apple pie against whipped cream. I want both!”
–Margarita Engle, on Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein vs. Titanic by Deborah Hopkinson
So do I, Ms. Engle, so do I. Luckily, this is one of the good things about being a reader. There are SO MANY different kinds of books to choose from! And no one chastises you (at least, not usually) for a surfeit of historical fiction so much as for eating a surfeit of pie and whipped cream. I did end up reading Titanic, and while I agree that it is a great book (for all the reasons Engle mentioned), it didn’t come close to matching my love for Code Name Verity. I remembered, as I was reading the entry, that the last solid YA book to advance far in the Battle was Life: an exploded diagram by Mal Peet, which joined Code Name Verity on the list of Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Awards this year. I am crossing my fingers that the upcoming judges are just as kind to YA this year as they were last year.