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The Order of Oddfish

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90-Second Newbery Films From Robert Gray Middle School in Portland, OR

Nicholas Kapranos’ sixth-grade class at the Robert Gray Middle School in Portland, OR have submitted six very enjoyable videos for the 2012 90-Second Newbery film festival. Let’s watch them all!

First, The Graveyard Book by Gabi, Kendal, and Audrey:

Excellent! I liked the choice to use puppets (and in particular how Gabi, Kendal, and Audrey took the time to make both “young” and “old” versions of Bod and Scarlett.) Fun to watch, and a good retelling of the book!

Next, Ellen Raskin’s The Westing Game, as adapted by Kaeleigh, Mariquia, Molly, Nora, and Noreena:

As I’ve said before, it’s always a bold choice to do The Westing Game in 90 seconds, because the book is so wildly complicated. It’s a real challenge to boil it down to 90 seconds and do it justice. But Kaeleigh, Mariquia, Molly, Nora, and Noreena pulled it off with style—literally—I liked their fashion choices as well as the filmmaking. Well done!

Next, Lois Lowry’s The Giver as adapted by Audrey, Kaisa, and Katie:

Audrey, Kaisa, and Katie did a splendid job telling the whole story in 90 seconds. Good use of black and white vs. color. I chuckled when the Giver said “I am . . . THE GIVER” in a husky coo. And of course, the inevitable baby-killing scene . . . I’m going to have to add that to my highlights reel.

And now another version of The Westing Game, this time by Andrew, Fletcher, and Jake:

The way the kid shrieks “It looks beautiful” and titters “you’re on” here was strangely amusing to me. Good movie!

Jerry Spinelli’s Maniac Magee gets the Lego-animated treatment from Clay, Craig, and Ryan:

I thought the “baseball” sequence in here was particularly resourceful. Clearly a lot of labor and ingenuity went into this, and it shows! Good job!

And finally, Louis Sachar’s 1999 Newbery Medal winner Holes, as adapted by Owen, Quinn, and Robert:

I like how Stanley actually holds a piece of paper that represents the curse—so that when the curse is broken, THE PAPER CURSE LITERALLY EXPLODES. Nice special effects, guys!

Thank you, Robert Gray Middle School, for all your entries!