Friday Five: Why You Should be Reading Books by Andrew Smith in 2015

This week’s Friday 5 is a list of the 5 reasons you should be reading books by Andrew Smith.  If you tweet this (tag us) or retweet our post of this on twitter or comment in the comments section, you will be entered into a drawing to win an Unstoppable Corn T-Shirt (if you’ve read Grasshopper Jungle, you’ll understand how cool this is). The drawing will take place next Friday, 1/16/15! Below is a picture with one of my students wearing his T-Shirt. The back lists the chapter titles.

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  1. Winger will have a sequel this year, Stand-Off.
My students cannot get enough of this book. I have ten copies that I can’t keep on my shelves. Students hand (sometimes forcibly) this back to me and tell me how mad they are at the ending–but they all loved reading it.  When I tell them there’s a sequel, they’re all excited, but many of them are still upset about what happens.  I have NEVER had so many students (and a diverse population) so passionate about a book.
  2. 100 Sideways Miles :|:
 We’ve already reviewed this (see the link on the title) and it is the kind of book you want to read if you like Kurt Vonnegut. Or if you just like good books about good people.
  3. Grasshopper Jungle
: Why wouldn’t you want to be reading a book about an apocalypse involving human-sized radioactive praying mantis-like creatures? Well, it isn’t really about them, it is about Austin and Robby, who are just trying to figure out life as teenagers in Iowa.
  4. The Alex Crow, coming in March. I read the ARC, which I got at the NCTE conference, and let’s just say, this may be my favorite yet.  Smith’s writing is genre-bending.  It is hard to categorize this one–but it reminded me a little bit of The KiteRunner, a little bit of The Stand and a little bit of Andrew Smith’s crazy-beautiful mind.  I think Ariel (whose name, I am convinced is a reference to Ariel in The Tempest) is one of the most amazing and heartbreaking characters I’ve met.
  5. Andrew Smith is a wonderful human being. I’ve met over 50 authors in my life at conferences, book signings, and panels. I realize authors have to deal with crazy fans and arrogant reviewers and plenty of random people, but I am always impressed with authors who deal with us crazies with aplomb and poise. Andrew Smith is one of the most accommodating authors I’ve met. When I practically tackled him after his ALAN talk at NCTE and asked for a picture, he was polite and smiled and totally let me capture this picture:

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He is always retweeting students who tweet to him and posting excited students and teachers on his Facebook page.  This man is the best kind of author there can be: brilliant, and kind.

Posted by Kate, VP Secondary, PCTELA

Friday Five: Why You Should be Reading Books by Andrew Smith in 2015

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