March 27, 2007

... Later that Same Day

I'm still kind of reeling over that whole Striped Pajamas-into-Movie thing on which I posted earlier. I didn't allow myself to dwell on it before, but it's... one of those things. Periodically, you read a really horrible book, and you think, "The world is strange. Either the publishing world is made up of COMPLETE IDIOTS, or else even I should be able to get published." And so is with this film... I'm going with the idea that Miramax producers don't read, 'cause that's really the only viable option that makes any kind of sense -- not everybody can write a script. Of course, with my well-documented HATRED for YA novels turned into books movies? (Thank you, Sara!) This one will more than likely be an entirely new and different storyline anyway. So, never mind...

...we've been talking about book covers lately, and Margo Rabb talks briefly about her great one in her interview at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy. I MUST get a cool cover like hers. I want someone to tell me how to do it... do I wrestle my editor into submission, or beg?

I read in the L.A. paper that there's kind of a theme going on right now with apocalyptic novels. Thanks to the whole war-without-end thing, and September 2001, novels are turning pretty dark. I find it interesting that this has long since been reflected in children's literature... we've had that dark world-ending thing going on for quite awhile now. Could it be that adults assume that YA lit would accept that "reality" more readily? Hm.

Read Roger had a recent post on what he called "lunch books," that is, books only interesting whilst one is eating. It's true -- some books aren't worth reading if you're not otherwise multitasking! I was mostly interested (because my novel is food-esque) in the Simmons Summer Institute in Children's Literature July 26-29th this year entitled Food, Glorious Food. It will be discussing the role of food in children's lit - literally and metaphorically. If I ever wanted to brave Boston in the summertime, that could be fun.

Mitali suggests using children's books as helps in learning a new language. One presenter at the Reading the World IX conference suggested that another use for chidren's books is to help older people come to understand other cultures. Aging people are often put into the situation of having to live with people with whom they would never have otherwise encountered. People working in Residential Care centers are finding that older people feel less threatened by other cultures when learning about them via children's books. Kind of an ingenious idea, really.

Though I am completely late on this, DO read the Cybils interview with Gene Yang. The book is awesome. I love it, love it, and would give it generously to every graphic novel liking kid I met - and even those who don't yet know enough about graphic novels to like them. I was impressed that Mr. Yang was a.) a teacher b.) a Bay Area guy, and c.)drew so creatively. The variously interwoven storylines were just -- delightful. I know I'm babbling, but I really liked the book, and I have never really been able to appreciate graphic novels -- mostly because I was cursed to receive graphic versions of the New Testament when I was a child from some well-meaning adult... the experience sort of soured me on graphic novels in general. However -- good drawing and an intriguing storyline make a huge difference!

Also - again very late - we are all cordially invited to the Cybils post mortem as our noble leaders decide how it's all going to go next time. Speak up!

Via Bookshelves O' Doom, it's death by chocolate -- literally!! Honestly, if you give me this much chocolate, you can shriek Exterminate! Exterminate! and I will really not much care. Where were these people at my last birthday party!?


Sarah Stevenson said...

The Dalek chocolate cake is AWESOME. Still, I can't think of a reason I would ever actually make one.

I completely agree with Mitali on the use of children's books as a language learning tool (and I'm going to go tell her so right now!).

Sara said...

YA novels turned into books? Perhaps you mean movies? ;)

But I'm so with you on this one -- I mean, besides the fact that the book was HORRIBLE -- the thing people seemed to like about it (for some odd reason) was the fact that the reader would only gradually figure out that it was about the Holocaust -- and that's going to be pretty obvious in a movie when there are flags with swaztikas all over the place. Of course, lots of books get optioned and the movies never get made -- so we can still hope!

And I so want that Dalek cake!!

David T. Macknet said...

The reason for the Dalek cake? Try because there're 52 episodes of the old Dr. Who (beginning sometime in the 1960's) in our NetFlix Queue, in addition to Season Two of the current run (which is not available to us yet, for some odd reason).

After many many hours of watching Dr. Who, I'm thinking we'll want to kill some Dalek.

Redzilla said...

The thing about YA books with end-of-world themes--I've always assumed it reflected the nature of adolescence. Teenagers are ready for the world to end, because they have a dark forboding feeling about their own existence. I loved bleak books as a teenager, but as an adult I have a hard time stomaching them.

tanita✿davis said...

Yeah, I find that I can only take that for so long before I have to read about something lighter -- which is why I find it so interesting that Oprah's newest book pick is post-apocalyptic. In the popular culture - for adults in a group that seems to be unusual.

I think you're right - adolescence already seems like such a crapshoot that books reflecting that inner turmoil work well. Which is why Scott Westerfeld's books are so popular.