Just in case any readers missed the big reveal on Good Morning America today, here is the official Hunger Games trailer!
Ever since I read The Hunger Games and heard it was being turned into a movie, I've thought that it's one thing to read about teenagers massacring each other—and another thing to see it unfold on a 50-foot tall screen. (Although now that I think about it, I'm not sure which is worse. It's pretty horrifying to have those images come alive in your imagination.)
If you've wondered about the look in Katniss's eyes when she hears Prim's name called during the Reaping, or when she talks to Gale . . . wonder no more, and watch the trailer now.
The movie hits theaters on March 23. Who's excited? (And who's worried that she will have to watch half the movie with covered eyes?)
The movie version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules comes out on March 25, and the trailer just became available. Will all the potty humor and middle school escapades, how could it not become a hit?!
In November, I saw the actors who play Fregley, Rowley and Greg (not to mention author/illustrator Jeff Kinney) live at Belmont University on the Wimpy Kid bus tour. Kinney showed the audience some behind-the-scenes clips from filming the movie, but this is the first time I've seen the full trailer.
Will you (or your kids) go see the movie?
Don't miss BookPage's interview with Kinney in the November issue or Alice Cary's additional photos from her meeting on the blog! Also, this short video of why kids love the Wimpy Kid is pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself).
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Scholastic • $34.99 • Originally published July 21, 2007
It feels like yesterday that I was waiting in line at a bookstore in New York City—at midnight—about to explode with excitement over the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (It seems like I can track my childhood in terms of where I was when I bought the Harry Potter books. Like, the time when I had one overnighted to rural Tennessee so I could read it at summer camp. Or the time I made my parents pull over to a Books-a-Million in Hattiesburg, MS, so I could read the latest Harry Potter en route to Florida on a family vacation.)
If you don't know what Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is about, then you probably have no interest in the series at all, because there's no way you could read earlier books and not make it to #7, in which Harry continues on his quest to find the final horcruxes and destroy Lord Voldemort once and for all.
I'm always shocked when I meet people who didn't read Harry Potter when it was coming out (especially people who are now in their '20s or '30s—wasn't everybody you knew reading it?). The Harry Potter series is fantastic. Even if you have never liked fantasy or children's/YA books, I'd encourage any person of any age to start the series. Forget about reading them because they're popular, or because the movie is coming out this week (woo-hoo!). Read them because J.K. Rowling's world building and character development is so detailed and alive that these stories will truly stick with you forever.
Here's a short excerpt from Deathly Hallows:
I had proven, as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.
Barbara Robinson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever—about the "worst kids in the history of the world," the Herdman kids—is one of my favorite books ever—and definitely my favorite book for the holidays.
So I was happy to hear that Walden Media has just acquired the film rights to produce this classic holiday story. Walden is knows for their adaptations of children's classics, from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to Bridge to Terabithia and Ramona and Beezus.
Although I'm usually skeptical of movie adaptations, I think this one will be great. My local children's theater did a production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever when I was in elementary school, and it really was the best play there I ever saw.
If right now you're thinking, "Christmas? It's not even November!", then you might check out Robinson's TBCPE spin-off The Best Halloween Ever.
Just about everybody on the BookPage staff who has read Rebecca Stead's Newbery-winning novel When You Reach Me has raved about it. (I am most guilty, posting here and here—and don't miss our post-Newbery Q&A with Stead.) I loved spunky sixth-grade narrator Miranda. I loved how Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was subtly integrated into the plot. I loved how Stead depicted a realistic relationship between mother and daughter. And I loved the combination of mystery and fantasy.
So, I was thrilled to read this morning that Amber Entertainment won a bidding war to produce a movie version of the novel. Both Stead and Ileen Maisel (The Golden Compass) will produce.
I can't wait to see New York City of the 1970s come to life, and the scenes that take place on game show "The $20,000 Pyramid" should be fabulous.
When A Wrinkle In Time was made into a TV movie in 2003, L'Engle said of the adaptation, "I expected it to be bad, and it is." Let's hope the movie of When You Reach Me doesn't get a similar reception—but how could it, since Stead is involved?
Do you think When You Reach Me will translate successfully on the screen? Are you looking forward to this movie?
By the way, we shared this news in Wednesday's Reading Corner, but in case you don't subscribe—this weekend a couple of our editors are off to attend the Newbery Caldecott Banquet in Washington, D.C. When they return, they'll post a full report of Stead's and Jerry Pinkney's speeches on this blog.
One fan of the book is the daughter of Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, the producers of Precious. The family enjoys the books so much that their Smokewood Entertainment production company is taking on Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer as their next project.
In a press release from Judy Moody publisher Candlewick, Siegel-Magness said, “Our company, Smokewood Entertainment, intends to make films with a positive message for a variety of audiences, and the adventures of independent Judy and her family and friends are a perfect vehicle for that.”
The movie will come out in 2011. In an interview with Daily Variety, director John Schultz added that the movie will appeal to girls and boys and engage adults.
Do your kids or grandkids like Judy Moody? Will they be excited about this movie? Who should play Judy and Stink?
In past months, I’ve blogged about Madeleine L’Engle’s birthday and her granddaughter’s debut novel. This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to hear another item of L’Engle news: A Wrinkle in Time is coming to the big screen! (Read more in The Hollywood Reporter.)
Jeff Stockwell will write the screenplay for Bedrock Studios. Stockwell isn’t a stranger to book adaptations for kids—he wrote the screenplay for Bridge to Terabithia, too. No word yet on when Wrinkle will be released.
I’m somewhat skeptical of adaptations of L’Engle’s books—in 2002, Disney did a made-for-TV movie of A Ring of Endless Light starring Mischa Barton as Vicky Austen. Just about every major theme and character was significantly watered down. Charlotte Voilkis, L’Engle’s granddaughter (not the author), is executive producing Wrinkle, though, which gives me hope—perhaps she’ll be an advocate for keeping faithful to the book.
Who would you cast as Meg Murry, Charles Wallace and Calvin O’Keefe? What's your favorite line from Wrinkle?
GalleyCat posted the Ramona and Beezus trailer this morning, and it was the first I’d heard of a movie adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s classic.
My first question is: Why is it called Ramona and Beezus? (The names are reversed in the book title, since it’s from Beezus’s point of view.)
What do you think of the trailer?
I guess the fantastical scenes are supposed to depict Ramona’s big imagination, but they seem too dreamy for the Quimby family. I’ll always remember when Mr. Quimby lost his job in Ramona and Her Father, and the family cat ate the Jack-o-Lantern because they couldn’t afford fancy cat food. Or when Ramona stuck her doll, Bendix, in the oven. The Ramona books were great because they showed how life isn’t perfect, and growing up isn't easy. I’m not sure that will come across in the movie.
Will you see Ramona and Beezus, released July 23?
Related in BookPage: Read an interview with Beverly Cleary.
As a child growing up in the early 1980s, I loved the picture book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and its goofy—but oddly realistic—illustrations of such meteorological events as the floods of orange juice and storms of hamburgers that engulfed the town of Chewandswallow. (My father, who read the book aloud to my brother and me many hundreds of times, was less fond of it, which may explain why I never saw the sequel, Pickles to Pittsburgh, until I was an adult.) So I was excited to find out that Sony Pictures Animation has done a movie adaptation of this classic book by husband-and-wife team Judi and Ron Barrett, although its distinctive illustrations have been replaced Pixar-style animation. The movie, which will be released in the U.S. on September 18, includes the voices of such talented and funny actors as Lauren Graham, Neil Patrick Harris, and Bruce Campbell.
Those of us who miss Ron Barrett’s illustrations can see more of them in the Barretts’ newest book, The Marshmallow Incident. This book tells the tale of the towns of Left and Right, and how they are brought together by a marshmallow war that looks more like a blizzard than a military campaign. With its detailed drawings of the two towns and their curious establishments (“Lefty’s: We Proudly Serve Leftovers”), The Marshmallow Incident is a delightful story about how the towns of Left and Right learned right from wrong.
On July 7, Lynn blogged about New York Times columnist Nicolas Kristof’s controversial column on must-read children’s books. Also on July 7, Kristof posted an acknowledgement of the huge reader response he received; more than 2,350 people commented on his list.
(For those who weren’t following the debate, Kristof posted a list of the “best kids’ books ever” and neglected to mention many wonderful authors. Personally, I was aghast that Laura Ingalls Wilder got the shaft.)
In his apologetic response, Kristof wrote, “As many readers pointed out, Roald Dahl really should have had a place on the list. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a pinnacle of literature, a bit ahead of Proust.”
Ah, Roald Dahl. How many of us have worn copies of Matilda, or James and the Giant Peach, or The BFG on our bookshelves?
As a huge Dahl fan, I was interested to read Wednesday’s headline from the UK’s Telegraph newspaper: “Roald Dahl proves a man of a great many letters for his biographer.” Apparently Donald Sturrock, a British documentary filmmaker and friend of the Dahl family, was set to finalize an authorized biography of the beloved author when he found an unexpected source: over 300 letters between Roald Dahl and his best friend, Charles Marsh. In order for Sturrock to have time to factor in the new information (“everything from politics and illness to sex, marriage and why he started writing,” says the Telegraph), the biography’s publication date has been delayed until September 2010. Sturrock won’t reveal how he got the letters.
There is, however, something to look forward to in the near future: Farrar, Straus and Giroux will release More About Boy: Roald Dahl’s Tales from Childhood in September, just days before what would have been the author's 93rd birthday (September 13). The publisher promises that this addendum to Dahl’s classic autobiography, Boy, is a “special keepsake hardcover edition” with “some of the secrets that were left out” from the original. Can’t wait!
Simon & Schuster’s The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington comes out in paperback on September 8. (Read BookPage's review here.)
And of course, the movie version of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, featuring the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep, is coming November 13. Click here to watch the trailer.
If you could discover a secret collection of letters from an author, who would it be?
To continue the reminiscing . . . does anyone have a favorite character, book or film adaptation from Dahl’s wacky universe?