Good sentences don’t make good writing

Alex Eylar, Sentience Structure, flickr, licensed by CC 2.0

Tell me: Which of the sentences below is a good sentence?

“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”

[Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960]

“It was October 23, 2008.”

[Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise, 2012]