Inspired by Mo Willems’ dinner doodles, my friends and I attempted our own. Behold!
A snail with attitude. (more…)
I noticed people often reveal their TBR pile to show what reading experiences are looming on the horizon. My TBR pile is daunting at the moment, so I’m going to take some deep breaths and present my ABR (already been read) pile.
For those who’ve read these books, which title do you recommend I plunge into first? (more…)
Our motion picture related post got us thinking about the silver screen. Now that Downton Abbey is on hiatus, might we suggest the Montmaray Journals, which we think would be perfect as the next big period drama. Exiled royalty, a vengeful (and borderline insane) servant, debutante parties, the onset of WWII, and an opinionated great-aunt that could give Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess a run for her money, the FitzOsbornes have it all as they zip in and out of world events with dignity, humor, and style.
We’ve decided to do some wishful casting for The Montmaray Journals, but despite all the Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Downton Abbey we watch, our knowledge of actors is fairly limited. So please chime in with your own fan casts!
Sophie FitzOsborne: Saoirse Ronan (aka the girl from Atonement)
Veronica: Jessica Brown Findlay (aka Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey)
Toby: Eddie Redmayne (aka Marius from Les Mis)
Henry: Ramona Marquez (aka Karen from Outnumbered)
Simon: Skandar Keynes (aka Edmund from Narnia)
Daniel: Arthur Darvill (aka Rory from Doctor Who)
Rebecca: Siobhan Finneran (aka O’Brien from Downton Abbey)
Rupert: Tommy Knight (aka Sarah Jane Smith’s son from Doctor Who)
Julia: Jenna Louise Coleman (aka Oswin Oswald/Clara/??? from Doctor Who)
Anthony: Thomas Howes (aka William from Downton Abbey)
(Yeah, it’s basically one big Doctor Who party, with some Downton thrown in as well. Conclusion: we watch way too much television.)
Update: Author Michelle Cooper has actually thought this through before. See her picks and many more here.
Usually we prefer books to stay books, because the movie versions rarely turn out as good as what we’ve envisioned in our heads (set design aside…) But there are always exceptions to the rule, and we think these books would be brilliant as films:
1) Team Human by Justine Larbalestrier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Twi-hard fans and Twi-hard avoiders will adore this clever and comic take on high school with vampires. Subverting a genre has never been so fun. (Even the cover looks like a movie poster!)
2) Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Kids in a dangerous rocket ship. What could go wrong?
3) Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
This is a teen action-spy movie waiting to happen. Plus, everything goes down on prom night.
4) Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch
This graphic novel would make a quirky animated film. A quirky animated cartoon film. With the panels drawn in for good measure!
5) The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
If George Lucas/Disney is bringing us Star Wars Episode 7 and more, why not go all out? This is the ultimate homage. We’re thinking live action with Kellen’s doodles. (But please don’t let George write the script!)
What are some books you’d like to see as movies?
1) It is truly the year of YA fiction and the YA judges. Round 1 has left a wake of non-fiction and middle grade spines in its wake. (Bomb is the only non-fiction book to prevail when pitted against fiction, YA or middle grade; Starry River is the only middle grade book to prevail against YA.)
2) In Round 1, 6 out of 16 books were YA, 6 out of 16 books were MG, and 4 out 16 books were non-fiction. Going into Round 2, 5 out of 8 books are YA, 2 out of 8 books are MG, and 1 out of 8 books are non-fiction. The percentage of YA has increased from 37.5% in Round 1 to 62.5% in Round 2; the percentage of MG has decreased from 37.5% in Round 1 to 25% in Round 2; the percentage of non-fiction has decreased from 25% in Round 1 to 12.5% in Round 2.
3) With YA dominating the field, the diversity of genres has decreased from the first round to the next. This makes future brackets less exciting, in my opinion.
4) As I understand college sports (which is barely, so feel free to correct me) Division I schools play other Division I schools, and so forth. If it is unfair to pit a Division I team against a Division III team, then why match middle grade against non-fiction against YA in the first round?
5) Instead, do a Liar & Spy vs Splendors and Glooms, and match YA against YA, non-fiction against non-fiction, and middle grade against middle grade in Round 1. It’s not affirmative action, it’s reducing inherent biases.
6) Then judges won’t have to reiterate ad nauseam how choosing one over the other is like picking “apples and oranges,” or resort to egalitarian politesse (until Round 2 or 3.) That should make Roger Sutton happier.
7) Unrelated, but could the judges stop doing in-depths summaries of the books? We’ve either read the books already, or we want to read the books, so it’s a lose-lose situation when the judges give away more than the basic premise.
1. So far I’m 5/5 in the Battle of the Kids’ Books Round 1 predictions…I’m flabbergasted. I should celebrate, before tomorrow’s match (the hardest one, I think) throws everyone’s predictions out the window.
2. The SLJ artwork keeps getting better. I’m enjoying the creative backgrounds for each match–especially the Endangered bonobo peering out from behind a tree. If the artwork gets any more elaborate, next year we’ll have videos of fighting books instead of still images.
5. …but there’s also a serious trend of water playing a huge role in the plot. The Titanic sinking, the drowning in Splendors and Glooms, the Resistance canoeing down a river in CNV, the river in Three Times Lucky, the Moonbird coastlines…I could go on. Am I missing something? Are books usually so water-heavy, or is there something special about this year’s lot?
School Library Journal’s BoB is one of my favorite events of the year. The mad scramble to read all 16 contenders, the howls of misery and delight (remember last year when a certain book lost via a coin toss?), and, of course, a spectacular opportunity to demonstrate my lack of divination powers. So here goes:
Bomb v. Wonder, judged by Kenneth Oppel: he seems to write adventure-ish books, so I’m going with Bomb.
Code Name Verity v. Titanic, judged by Margarita Engle: I can’t see Maddie and Queenie losing out in round 1, so I choose Code Name Verity.
Endangered v. Three Times Lucky, judged by Kathi Appelt: this one’s tricky. Three Times Lucky reminds me of Keeper, but in the spirit of unpredictability, I’m giving this one to Endangered.
The Fault in Our Stars v. Temple Grandin, judged by Deb Caletti: The Fault in Our Stars. Again, I can’t see this one losing out in round 1.
Jepp, Who Defied the Stars v. Starry River of the Sky, judged by Adam Gidwitz: to make up for the randomness of my Kathi Appelt call, I’ll go with Starry River, since it’s fairy tale-ish and more like Gidwitz’s books.
Liar & Spy v. Splendors and Glooms, judged by Franny Billingsley: Chime was creepy, and Splendors and Glooms is creepier than Liar & Spy, so that’s my pick…
Moonbird v. Seraphina, judged by Marie Lu: Seraphina, just because.
No Crystal Stair v. The One and Only Ivan, judged by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: The One and Only Ivan, in defiance of the Newbery Curse. (more…)