order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish


“Between Two Ferns” with me and . . . Madison Ross!

I’ve met lots of talented folks through the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. Madison Ross is the thirteen-year-old mastermind behind two great 90-Second Newbery movies (adaptations of Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard and Carl Hiassen’s Hoot). When I was visiting Rochester, NY this past November, we had the idea to record an interview together. Our twist: do it in the style of Zach Galiafanakis’ wondrous fake interview show, Between Two Ferns.

Madison and I improvised it. She has great comic timing, really nailing the passive-aggressive vibe that is the heart of Between Two Ferns. I had a ball making this with her. Watch out for Madison, she’s the real deal!

This was shot at RCTV-15 in Rochester by Joshua Bloodworth and edited by Carol White Llewelyn. Along with Deb Ross (Madison’s mother), we also shot some more straightforward interviews that aired on RCTV-15, talking about The Order of Odd-Fish, the 90-Second Newbery, being an author, etc. The interview is in three parts, and you can watch them here: Part One and Part Two and Part Three.

Thanks, Madison, Deb, Carol, Josh, and everyone at RCTV-15!

90-Second Newbery: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

First of all, congratulations to the new batch of Newbery winners announced yesterday, including Katherine Applegate’s Medal-winning The One and Only Ivan. That book, along with the rest of this year’s winners, are now officially fair game for next year’s 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. Get cracking on your movies, folks! Deadline December 2013! Complete details about the film festival here. (Oh, speaking of the ALA awards, special shout-out to fellow Brother Delacorte Adam Selzer, who under the pen name S.J. Adams just won a Stonewall Honor for his novel Sparks!)

Speaking of the 90-Second Newbery, here’s a great video of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler I received a few months ago that, somehow, I forgot to post! It’s by Rebecca, Henry, Kate, Lucy, Elliott, Peter, and Emma from Cincinnati, OH, the same crew who last year brought you the unforgettable Valley-Girl version of The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

This one lives up to the promise of the first! With definitely the sassiest Frankweiler I’ve seen in any 90-Second Newbery. It’s slightly long, at about 5 minutes, but this group knows what it’s doing, keeping interest with good cutting and use of locations, a great museum montage, and a tight, funny script. (For some reason my favorite part was the “Empty your bladder . . . with a number two pencil” bit.) I liked the ridiculousness of finding the note in the mixed-up files that just straight-up says “It’s a Michaelangelo.” Funny and well-made! In the words of their Frankweiler: “And that, Saxonberg, is what’s up.” I can’t wait to see what this group does for the third year!

And remember, folks, although the February 10 screening in Chicago is sold out, we have screenings of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival coming up in Portland and Tacoma. See my events page for details. See you there!

Holy Cats! The Chicago 90-Second Newbery is SOLD OUT!

The Chicago screening of the Second Annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is now SOLD OUT! My co-host Blue Balliett and I will do our best to make it worth the while of the 385 or so folks who have registered to come.

Remember, though, we have additional screenings in Tacoma, WA (February 23) and Portland, OR (February 24)!

To celebrate the full house, here’s a short video by Chicago librarian and past 90-Second Newbery participant Eti Berland, in which she sings her own version of “Call Me Maybe” over clips of great 90-Second Newbery videos we’ve received both this year and last year. Great thundering glory, this is awesome! Thanks, Eti, for this compilation of highlights, not to mention your expert Weird-Al-ification of Carly Rae Jepsen!

What else is going on? On Tuesday I visited LaSalle-Peru High School, right around the corner from Illinois’ best-kept-secret, the tremendous Hegeler Carus mansion (this crumbling, gorgeous, chaotic mansion is where we managed to put on the second Order of Odd-Fish fan art show). Anyway, I had a splendid time at LaSalle-Peru high school, certainly one of the most beautiful high school buildings I’ve ever seen, and the students and teachers made me feel right at home! You can read a write-up about my author visit in the LaSalle News Tribune.

Now, this weekend, I’ve been invited to attend ORD Camp here in Chicago. Not sure what to expect, but I’m very much looking forward to it . . .