Drawing from Memory by Allen Say Scholastic Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet Candlewick Judged by Ron Koertge
Pen vs. Brush
I drop two books on the table in the Turf Club. No big surprise. Bobby and I are always bringing things to read. We’re at the races four days a week, but we’re not degenerate gamblers. Sometimes an hour goes by before there’s something worth betting.
Sammy, another regular, picks the books up. Weighs them. The cover of Mal Peet’s Life: An Exploded Diagram features a lethal-looking rocket. On Allen’s Say’s Drawing from Memory, a dreamy boy in a blue sweater and blue socks appears to be flying.
“What’s the deal?” Sam asks.
“I have to decide between them,” I tell him. “It’s like a match race.”
“Doesn’t seem fair. One of them is thin like a pizza; the other’s fat like a sandwich.”
“Mal Peet’s book starts during WWII and goes to 2001. That’s more like a five-course meal.”
“And the other one?”
“Allen Say’s life in 62 pages.”
Sam flips through Drawing from Memory. “It’s got pictures,” he says. “Has the other one got pictures?”
I shake my head.
Sam says, “Doesn’t sound fair to me.”
“They’re both really good.”
Sammy grunts. “So, do you like anybody in the first race?”
Just then Bob shows up. He drops his copy of Daily Racing Form, picks up Life: An Exploded Diagram and flips through it. “Bold historical sweep, epic in scale with keen insight …