Monday, January 24, 2011

Ship Breaker - Printz winner

So for those who don't know, the Printz winner is given to the best Young Adult novel of the year. It is like the Newbery for teens. Ship Breaker was the winner in 2011, and I just finished it. It was good, but not great. I can see why it won. It's going to have appeal for boys, it is post-apocalyptic and works in themes of environmental and social havoc (takes place in Orleans of the future). It explores morality, what family means, importance of literacy (main character, Nailer, learns to read and it plays an important part in the climax of the story), strong girl character, potential of sequels, exploration of genetic engineering and even some religion thrown in. Even so, I didn't love it or fully buy into the world that was created. But I know that I tend to like fantasy better than science fiction. By definition, this was fantasy (took place on earth) however it had the feel of science fiction somehow and was very gruesome and graphic at times. I can deal with rough and violent things as long as I like the main character. I think Nailer never convinced me to care that much. And the evil father figure and rogues who populated this dark world seemed too contrived and like something out of a poorly acted movie. Would I recommend it? Yes, but I wouldn't gush about it.

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