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The Order of Oddfish

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The Chicago 2022 90-Second Newbery Film Festival: Online Screening!

Hello, Chicago-area fans of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival! Usually, we do our screenings live at libraries and theaters around the country, including at the Chicago Public Library. However, due to Covid, we can’t do our Chicago screening live this year.

So instead, we are doing online screenings! In the video above, join film festival founder James Kennedy (author of the YA fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish and the new adult speculative thriller Dare To Know) and author Keir Graff (author of The Tiny Mansion and many other books for kids and adults) as we watch the best kid-made 90-Second Newbery movies of 2022!

This is a special occasion, because 2022 marks the HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY of the Newbery award! And so Keir and I open the show with a brief skit in which we learn about the HORRIFYING PROPHECY that comes true on the centenary anniversary of the Newbery award. Will John Newbery rise from the dead? Will we once again sing our way bravely through an opening musical number? Yes and yes! Thanks to Javier Ramirez and the Exile in Bookville bookstore in Chicago for helping us out with that. (Go buy a book from them! They ship!) And thanks to Chris, Alice, Heather, Domingo, Lucy, and Ingrid for helping sing the opening song.

Want to learn more about the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival? Check out our official website at www.90secondnewbery.com. And remember, it’s never too early to start making movies for the 2023 90-Second Newbery Film Festival!

Thank you to all the young filmmakers for their fantastic movies, and the families, teachers, and librarians who assisted them! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the video above.

Here’s the running order of the movies, with links to their reviews on the 90-Second Newbery website:


1. A Visit To William Blake’s Inn: Poems For Innocent and Experienced Travelers (Nancy Willard, 1982 Medal Winner) by Mack and Archer, Elk Grove Village, IL

2. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night (Joyce Sidman, 2011 Honor Book) by Play In A Book and South Shore Fine Arts Academy Students in Grades 3 – 5, Chicago, IL

3. Doll Bones (Holly Black, 2014 Honor Book) by Sia and Emi, Lincoln Hall Middle School, Lincolnwood, IL

4. Doll Bones (Holly Black, 2014 Honor Book) by The Leland Street Players, Chicago, IL

5. A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L’Engle, 1963 Medal Winner), Elizabeth and Olivia, Lincoln Hall Middle School, Lincolnwood, IL

6. The Wish Giver: Three Tales of Coven Tree (Bill Brittain, 1984 Honor Book) by Peter, Lincoln Hall Middle School, Lincolnwood, IL

7. Onion John (Joseph Krumgold, 1960 Medal Winner) by Laurel, Frances, and Thuan of Chicago, IL

8. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Robert C. O’Brien, 1972 Medal Winner) by Play In A Book and George Armstrong Elementary School, Chicago, IL

9. Shiloh (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, 1992 Medal Winner) by Lucy, Ursi, Ruby, Charlie, Isabella, and Amelia, Chicago, IL

10. Along Came a Dog (Meindert Dejong, 1959 Honor Book) by Lily Manning, Chicago, IL


James Kennedy is the author of the YA fantasy The Order of Odd-Fish and the adult speculative thriller Dare To Know. He is the founder and curator of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters. You can find him on the web at http://www.jameskennedy.com and on Twitter at @iamjameskennedy.


Keir Graff is the author of funny and fantastical middle-grade adventure novels including The Tiny Mansion, The Phantom Tower (named a Best Children’s Book by the Chicago Tribune), and The Matchstick Castle (an official Illinois Reads selection). He also writes books for grown-ups—some of them under fake names! He lives in Chicago with his wife Marya, sons Felix and Cosmo, and cats Toothless and Totoro. Follow him on Twitter at @KeirGraff and find out more at www.keirgraff.com.

Do you want to support the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival, so we can keep this crazy show going every year, coast to coast? Please make a tax-deductible donation to the 90-Second Newbery here. The 90-Second Newbery is under the nonprofit fiscal sponsorship of Fractured Atlas.