Books, More Books, Films about Books, and a Film

I was volunteering at the school library today for M’s class, and the kids were having a great time watching each other’s videos that they’d produced as part of a library project. They were supposed to create a short persuasive film about why a particular book should be chosen by the Newbery or Caldecott award committees. Okay, so, first of all? The fifth-graders have surpassed my media production skills. I’m beginning to feel like a little old lady. No, I’m sure that I could pick it up, if I had to. Right? Yeah, I don’t know. But anyway, it was kind of annoying because they’d chosen their possible books from some of the short lists floating around for Newbery and Caldecott and such, and then the awards were announced today and none of the books the kids in the class had chosen won. Weird. I was pretty bummed that Wonder, which I mentioned before that we loved so much, didn’t even nab an honor. But I haven’t read the Newbery Medal winner (The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate), so I guess I can’t judge. And looking into this made me realize that now I’ve got that one as well as others on my “to read” list, including Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–The World’s Most Dangerous Weapon, by Steve Sheinkin. And I was completely unaware of Amelia Bloomer List of recommended feminist books for young readers until moments ago, so clearly I need some more free reading time.

Which reminds me of another item which I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned before, the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it before because my publisher from is always touting it as a great project.  In fact, her kids’ submissions have been included in the festival a couple years in a row, if I’m remembering right. Here’s their most recent submission, a version of Hoot gone Japanese monster-movie.

And another one, my friend’s elementary school students created their own trailers for bunches and bunches of books, a great way to help your older elementary school aged kids come up with some new books to read.

And speaking of trailers, did you see the movie poster for The Place Beyond the Pines?

Look! It’s got Schenectady right there, man! I saw it first on Keep Albany Boring.


  1. Cheri

    Wow! Thank you for the endorsement for the book trailer site! Also, The One and Only Ivan is wonderful and I highly recommend it. I literally whooped in the library when it was announced!

  2. @Cheri, oh, all right. And I meant to mention the site earlier, and then last night I was like, oh, I hope she’s okay with me linking it. But then I figured that the internet’s public, right? Do you have a copy of Ivan that I can borrow?

  3. Nathan

    My friend Ben Coccio wrote Place Beyond the Pines and he is a Niskayuna native. I am very excited for him and I am excited to see the movie.

  4. @Nathan, It’s completely exciting. It feels like such a community project–they filmed in our neighbor’s house, a friend’s kid was an extra–it’s going to be so much fun to see the finished product.

  5. I have almost zero idea, Eric, except if you don’t mind me sharing your email with the person who commented and said he was a friend of his, I can forward your email to him and see if he can send it along. That’s all I got. Let me know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *