February 15, 2007

There are so many stories of the Holocaust that trail vaporous wisps of regret, "If only" or "What if" flutter from them like so many sad ghosts, and here's another... the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in New York, as per this morning's NPR report, has just found letters from Otto Frank, the father of the famously journaling Anne, where he asks friends and acquaintances and friends-of-friends to help him get his family out of Holland. That hit me right in my heart. Oh, if only that bright girl had survived. They imagine her as a 77-year-old writer living in Boston, still unmasking the world with her dark eyes and finding the goodness in people... Of course, without her diaries, would we have ever known her at all? Would she be completely anonymous, just a fun grandmother who wrote little stories for her children? The world is full of so many alternate endings... it's like a Choose Your Own Adventure story; in this case, we turned a page that ended in grief, but the story still has so much depth and goodness to give us.


Now that the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (Cybils) are finished for 2006, the great idea now is to read all of the books on the list. I've been working on that, and you can too. As Jen Robinson suggests, if you find a book you loved, buy it -- from the Cybils site, so that the site gets a little commission, and the publishers get the idea that we, as bloggers, can create an impact as the reading public. Even if you normally support independent booksellers, it might be a nice thought to pop over to Amazon and buy a book where book stats are recorded. Thank-you for supporting the Cybils, and thank you Kelly, at Big A, little a, and Anne from Book Buds for the standout idea, all the hours and hours and HOURS of work you must have put in, and inviting the rest of us over to play. Readers ROCK!

Oh, THIS is good. I and many others have been wincing at the truly cringe-worthy trailer for the CGI-laden A Bridge to Terabithia, the latest YA novel-into-film disaster. Meanwhile, Christianity Today, the online evangelical magazine, has a Katherine Paterson interview where she discusses the trailer ("I'm just telling everybody I know, "Don't see the trailer, don't see the trailer." Because it's exactly what the trailer ends up making you think, is that it's this glorified fantasy adventure with nothing but special effects, and that's not what we ended up with in this movie."), the integrity her son David fought to preserve in the storyline, and more. Thanks to As If! for the heads up; I withdraw my earlier prejudice, and may see the movie after all. Maybe. If someone else sees it first and promises I won't want to fling popcorn at innocent bystanders...

Meanwhile, coming soon to a theater near you...? MTV's Shawn Adler helpfully explains which children's and YA books he thinks should be made into film next. Oh, goody. (Thanks to Big A, little a for the link, and for the suggestion to turn down the music at work!) Okay -- I won't lie. The MTV list shows some real thought. Books like The Westing Game, A Cricket in Times Square, and Artemis Fowl would make great movies, because they are indeed some fabulous books. Just -- filmmakers, please - read the books first, and bring what's already there to life. No need to rewrite the whole thing!


DaviMack said...

For a movie producer to remain faithful to a book? That would happen, oh, when movie producers began to actually read books. I'm somehow not seeing it, really.

It would also require that they actually love the book more than they love their own selves, and more than what they see as an act of creation; making films is, to the producer/director, something which allows them to express their own stories, rather than the story they were given.

If you ask Miyazaki to produce your cartoon, it's going to have machines and war and all manner of Miyazaki-isms, and will totally distort your story (Howl's Moving Castle, anybody?).

Conceited, selfish pigs, all of them except the producer of the Jeremy Brett as Holmes series, and maybe the latest incarnation of Poirot, and perhaps the Firth version of Pride & Prejudice.

If you love a book, don't see the movie. Ever.

Kelly said...

Davimack makes a good point, for sure, but I have to say the MTV list actually was pretty good.

TadMack said...

I thought the list was pretty awesome, too, but the more I LIKE a book, the more I worry it'll be ruined!!

Little Willow said...

As I posted at BAla:

Ooh, I forgot to ask the MV Books authors if MTV had any mention of film/TV rights in their book/author contracts.

As per the MTV list:

Glad to see THE WESTING GAME listed first. However, they forget to mention that it HAS been made into a film.

I have yet to read The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray. I love POISON so much that I haven't let myself read another Cray novel yet.

a. fortis said...

Can I just say how much I looove The Westing Game? I recall being blown away by that book in about sixth grade. Definitely would make an interesting movie--though I agree with T, the more you love a book the scarier it is when a movie's proposed.

I did like Howl's Moving Castle, though--book and movie. But yes, it did turn into a Miyazaki movie.

Jackie said...

I feel like a bit of a broken record on this one, but I saw BtT at ALA, and it was really good. Now, I hadn't read the book since I was a kid, but it was true to my memory, and the CGI was used only as representation of the kids imagination. Appropriately.

I totally cried. Which I don't do in movies. Especially when I already know how it's going to end.