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The Order of Oddfish


90-Second Newbery: Movies From PS 11 in NYC

November 27, 2012

Just a few more days until the second annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at Symphony Space in New York City! It’ll be this Sunday, December 2. Full details of the event from Symphony Space here. I’m co-hosting it with children’s literature legend Jon Scieszka, with special guests kidlit superstars Kate DiCamillo, Rita Williams-Garcia, Margi Preus, Dan Yaccarino, and Brian Floca!

Right now I’m in Rochester, New York, staying as a houseguest of the the marvelous, gracious Ross family. Last night we did a screening of some of Rochester’s standout 90-Second Newbery entries (here and here), including those of Madison Ross, who did an excellent 90-Second Newbery movie last year of Linda Sue Park’s A Single Shard and this year, an even excellenter movie of Carl Hiaasen’s Hoot (in the style of a Godzilla movie!). Tonight I’ll be speaking at the Rochester Barnes and Noble and tomorrow at Writers and Books; see event sidebar for more info on those.

This Thursday I’ll be speaking at PS 11 in Chelsea in New York City, and I’d like to feature two 90-Second Newbery videos I’ve received from that very school!

If you scroll up, you can check out a superior adaptation of Jack Gantos’ Dead End in Norvelt, made by Mia and her friends from PS 11. Really well-directed! The locations were chosen perfectly, especially Mrs. Volker’s house. “Grandma Gilda” does a great job portraying her! Mia kicks off the story with a bang and keeps up the pace, telling the story swiftly and efficiently. I especially liked when “Mr. Spizz” (terrific voice and mustache!) is insisting to Mrs. Volker that he marry her. And of course, the brief half-second in which Mrs. Volker is trying to do surgery on Jack’s nose. A well-done movie of a book I love!

But that isn’t the only 90-Second Newbery we got from PS 11. Mohana, who is all of 7 years old, did this one-woman show version of The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth. I haven’t read this book yet, but now I’m quite intrigued, especially because of Mohana’s interpretation here—done entirely as a mysterious silhouette that rapidly and repeatedly changes character on a dime:

Thanks, Mohana! I loved the device of having your silhouette speak all the lines to get the story across! It almost kind of reminded me of when Gollum is arguing with himself in the Lord of the Rings movies.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all on Thursday at your school, and at the screening on Sunday!