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The Order of Oddfish


90-Second Newbery: Savvy (2009), The Giver (1994), and Riverside-a-palooza!

August 24, 2011

For those of you who are interested in my occasional book reviews for the Wall Street Journal, I reviewed Jeff Ryan’s history of Nintendo, Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America, last Saturday. Capsule: an enjoyable survey, but fell short for me as an in-depth history. Read the review if you want to watch me fact-check Mr. Ryan on the true nature of “Yars’ Revenge.”

More entries for the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival! Above is a charming, action-packed 90-second version of Ingrid Law’s 2009 Newbery Honor book Savvy. It’s done by the “Filming in the City” camp run by Wordplay, the same folks in Toronto who brought us the silent movie version of The Graveyard Book and the Supertramp-fueled When You Reach Me, so you know it’s good. Bonus points for the stop-motion animation! Even Ingrid Law herself loves it!

I also recently received an amusing version of Lois Lowry’s The Giver from Paris Cal, Margaux Arntson, Tori Smith, and Zoe Keskey from Tacoma. Some pretty funny mugging in here―and what a ludicrously elaborate costume for the Giver! Loved it! He looks like a drag queen Gandalf!

(I also enjoyed the harmony-singing of “The Giver, so beautiful” at the end. Great work, Tacoma!)

Now, the next chunk of videos I want to share might be slightly overwhelming. You see, the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival really took off in Riverside, Illinois, and in consequence I received no fewer than forty-nine entries from that one school district. Thanks so much, Riverside!

I usually write a paragraph or two about every 90-Second Newbery film I receive . . . but with a ton of movies like this, that’s simply too much work. But I still want to showcase these great short films on my blog! So that’s why I’ve gathered all forty-nine films from the Riverside district together here on one page. Check them out!

Thanks again, students of Riverside, and I hope you can come to the screening of the 90-Second Newbery film festival on November 16 at the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicago!

And now, the Riverside films! They come from Mrs. Wright’s class at Ames Elementary, Mrs. Brackett’s class at Central School, Mr. Elgeness’ fifth grade class in Riverside, Ms. McCarthy’s fifth-grade class, and Ms. Whaley’s fifth-grade class at Central Elementary. Let ‘er rip!