Sunday, January 16, 2011

Coffee For The Brain Book Tournament - Round 1 Decision #10

Another fantastic write-up and reading pair. Great job judges

The Pairing

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Junior is a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation.  Born with a variety of medical problems, he is picked on by everyone but his best friend.  Determined to receive a good education, Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white school in the neighboring farm town where the only other Indian is the school mascot.  Despite being condemned as a traitor to his people and enduring great tragedies, Junior attaches life with wit and humor and discovers a strength inside of himself that he never knew existed. This story is inspired by the author’s own experiences growing up and rising above the life that everyone expected for him to live.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, a bright future full of music and full of choices.  Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her.  Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends on critical day contemplating the only decision she has left – the most important decision she’ll ever make.  Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

And the winner is…
Although these stories were similar in the sense that each character was faced with difficult decisions, they were very different.  In Absolutely True Diary  Junior used wit and humor to conquer the difficulties and setbacks that he faced.  If I Stay  was more of an emotional book and Mia’s decision was based more on the impact it would have on others and how “different” life would be after the event, rather than on her desire to rise above a tragic event. 

We’ve decided to advance The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian to the next round.  We loved the message the author is trying to send adolescents and how he rises above adversity and uses inner strength to become successful. 
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