January 25, 2012
So the 2012 Newberys have been awarded! I’m looking forward to reading Jack Gantos’ Dead End in Norvelt and all the Honor books too. Congratulations, all! (UPDATE: You really have to hear Jack Gantos talk on NPR about how he ended up serving 18 months in the federal pen for drug smuggling when he was in his twenties. Hilarious!)
Speaking of Newbery―some of you know that I’m bringing the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival to Portland, Oregon on March 3. It’ll be at the Central Library (801 S.W. 10th Avenue) from 3-5 pm. I’m also doing other events at area libraries the week leading up to the event; check out the sidebar for details. (Don’t know what the 90-Second Newbery is? Here you go.)
I’ve been lucky enough to have superstar co-hosts for other screenings of the 90-Second Newbery: the hardest working man in children’s literature Jon Scieszka for the New York screening (with a special appearance by Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead!) and the next-big-thing comedian Seth Dodson for the Chicago screening. So who would I get to co-host in Portland?
The answer was obvious: National Book Award nominee and noted pink-hair-flaunter Laini Taylor, the author of the rightly much-buzzed-about and thrilling Daughter of Smoke and Bone (as well as her similarly great Lips Touch and her two Dreamdark books, Blackbringer and Silksinger). I first came to know Laini when she posted a fabulous review of The Order of Odd-Fish on her blog and I’ve since read all her books and become a friend and admirer. We finally met in person a couple months ago when she was blowing through Chicago to promote Daughter (that’s when the above photo was taken).
Portlanders! The deadline for entries to the Portland screening is February 13, 2012. You can find complete rules and details about the contest here. (Hey, aren’t Beverly Cleary’s books set in a thinly veiled Portland? Ramona Quimby, Age 8 won a Newbery Honor in 1982 and Ramona and Her Father won a Newbery Honor in 1978. These definitely need to be done by Portlanders!)
I’ve already received some great videos from the Portland area (check them out here), but here’s the latest―a quite good 90-second version of Sid Fleischman’s 1987 Medal winner The Whipping Boy, adapted by Kieran and his little brother Ackley, along with their friends Lach and Christian. The storytelling is brutally efficient, and I especially liked the doleful way in which the whipping boy gripes “I hate this job” and the resourceful use of Legos for the outside scenes. (Also, is it me, or don’t their “lady” voices sound like Cartman?) We’ll definitely be screening this on March 3, and I’m told Kieran and the rest will be in attendance:
And this is also a good time for me to call attention to some great 90-Second Newbery videos I got last year from the Field School, an all-boy school in Charlottesville, Virginia. I received five videos from them, which I’ve featured on a special page here. But you can get a taste of their moviemaking prowess here, with this adaptation of Avi’s 1992 Newbery winner Nothing But The Truth:
Click through here to see all of the Field School’s great 90-Second Newberys. Great job, and congratulations!
And Portlanders, I’ll see you on March 3!