Battle of the Kids’ Books 第1ラウンド第3マッチの結果

School Library JournalのBattle of Kids' Books  第1ラウンド第3マッチの取り組みの結果が出ました。

対戦The Frog Scientist vs. The Last Olympian




The Last Olympian(Percy
Jackson & the Olympians 5)


審判のCandace Flemingの判定理由はこんな感じです。

Here’s just about the only thing these two books have in common: both feature main characters that are good swimmers.


I read both titles while teaching writing at the American School in Singapore. One afternoon, not long after finishing The Frog Scientist, I took a walk in the jungle. Typically, I would have been on the lookout for those more attention-grabbing animals – long-tailed macaques or flying lemurs. But this time I crept along the jungle path with an eye (and an ear) for frogs. But after an hour’s hike, shuffling through leaf litter and looking between rocks with nary a frog sighting, I began to wonder. Could it be that habitat loss, global warming and disease had affected the amphibian population? Had the pesticide atrazine turned them into half male/half female frogs? After all, I had just learned that frog presence (or absence) is an indicator of environmental health. As my new hero, frog scientist Dr. Tyrone Hayes says, “Environmental health and human health are one and the same.” For the first time ever, I found myself worrying about the plight of the frog, and in turn, the earth and myself.
Pamela Turner did this for me. By skillfully weaving together science with an appealing true-life story of a devoted scientist, she connected me emotionally with… yes, frogs. And isn’t that the purpose of nonfiction? To expand a reader’s world, giving them new eyes and a new awareness of the world around them?

これらの本を読んだのは、シンガポールのアメリカンスクールで創作を教えているときだった。 The Frog Scientist を読了してそれほどたっていないある午後、ジャングルを散歩してみた。通常であればlong-tailed macaque やflying lemur(どっちもサルの一種)といったもっと目を惹く動物ばかり探すのだけれど、今回はカエルを探していた。落ち葉や岩の間で探しながら1時間ハイキングをしても一つも見つけることができなかった私は、これが(本に書いてあった)Habitat lossということで、地球の温暖化や疾病がこの両生類の個体群に影響を与えているのだろうかといぶかり始めた。(後は略)

読者に訴えかける科学者の実話と科学をうまく組み合わせ、読者をカエルに感情移入させ読者の視界を広げ、新たなことに目覚めさせる。それを果たしている The Frog Scientist を審判は評価しているようです。

でもその後 The Last Olympian をプールサイドで読んだCandace Flemingは、すぐさまこの本の世界にはまりこんでしまいます。登場人物と一緒になって笑ったり、どきどきしたりしているうちに、プールサイドにいるのをすっかり忘れてしまうくらいに。

A few days later, I opened The Last Olympian at the swimming pool, and was instantly hooked. After all, who can resist a story that begins, “The end of the world started when a pegasus landed on the hood of my car?” Percy Jackson’s voice is wholly authentic, the voice of every kid – crackling with both wit and real emotion. And the story is a wild romp. One minute I was laughing, the next I was being whisked off on a dangerous mission with deadly consequences. So lost was I in the story that when I looked up from the pages an hour later, I was startled to find myself still surrounded by splashing children and sunscreen-slathered grownups. Where was I? It took me a moment to realize I was no longer bathing in the River Styx or vanquishing Roman zombies.

そして、結局のところ、どちらも良い本だけれど、アドベンチャーを与えてくれるという理由でPercy Jacksonを選んだようです。

As a reader, I long to care about the characters, be they real-life or fictional. I long to go on an extraordinary journey, be it wading through a Wyoming pond beside a frog scientist, or racing to the top of the Empire State Building on the back of a hellhound. And in the process, I long to learn something. Both books satisfied these longings. Oh my, it was a hard choice.
Percy Jackson and the last Olympian vs. Tyrone Hayes and the last amphibian?
For sheer adventure, I choose Percy.