Useful sites (weekly)

Useful sites (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Andy Griffiths on Roald Dahl

Sitting at home I have had time to listen to the Radio National Book Show, Yesterday (Tues 16th) there was a discussion by Andy Griffiths about Roald Dahl. The podcast is now up and you can listen to the recording of the  session. This is the 20th anniversary of the death of the wonderful English (Welsh) storyteller Roald Dahl and Andy Griffiths talks about the impact of Roald Dahl on his own life and work.

Andy Griffiths is well-loved by many, especially the boys at our school. He quirky humour, that appeals to all children, especially to boys,  is not always loved by adults, who seem not to remember their inner child. He has however won many awards and recently was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for children’s fiction for Just Macbeth, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. This was a great way to introduce the Macbeth story to younger children and was a lot of fun.

The latest book by Andy we bought into the library this year was The very bad book. When the first one (The bad book ) came out a few years ago there were again adults selling the young people short and wanting to prevent it being sold let alone put into school, due to some of the impossible storylines. Talking about the stories with the kids just brought home how silly it is for adults to assume that the young cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is just fun and silly and totally not real. Some of this is discussed in the podcast and related to Roald Dahl’s writing as well.

Also on The Book Show site is a link to a podcast where  Donald Sturrock and Ophelia Dahl discuss Roald Dahl.

Roald Dahl left instructions nominating his daughter Ophelia to write his biography or to choose a suitable person to do so. Ophelia is a trustee of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and has archived much of his work. She chose Donald Sturrock , a former BBC documentary maker, biographer and director, to write the biography. As a young man Donald had made a documentary on Roald Dahl and has also written five opera libretti including one based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  At the recent Times Cheltenham Literary Festival Dahl’s daughter Ophelia and biographer Donald Sturrock discussed the life and times of the great English storyteller.

YA and children’s Literature – podcasts

There has always been a steady readership for John Marsden’s Tomorrow, when the war began series. After the publication in the early nineties the  initial very high interest levels in this series has settled to  remain constant until this year. There can be no denying that a film can breathe new life to a novel as it has done in this case.

 The film version of Tomorrow, When the War Began was released in cinemas during the September school holidays, and Pan MacMillan have re-published the series of novels, with new cover designs.  

There are obvious advantages for authors to have their novels made into films but in the translation from book format into screen format there will inevitably be some compromises made and that can sometimes be difficult for the author.

This was the subject of a broadcast on the ABC Radio National’s The Book Show on 19th. of October. The discussion by John Marsden about his story being filmed and “put out there’ to a whole new audience makes for a very interesting podcast that can be downloaded for later listening or sharing with classes. The way the characters look and behave in the film, the violence the screen and the visual images of the hitherto unknown enemy are just a few of the items covered by JM in this 17 minute interview. Apart from general interest in the books it would be good for students who are contemplating creating book trailers to hear John Marsden speak about the differences between the two mediums.

Another podcast worth listening to was the ABC’s Life Matters program where author and illustrator Graeme Base discusses the inspiration for his latest beautifully illustrated book, The Legend of the Golden Snail. In this podcast he talks about drawing on his childhood sea voyage to Australia as inspiration for the story about an epic sailing adventure, with some big lessons in life for a boy called Wilbur. If you visit the Graeme Base’s site you will also find trailers for the title.

YA literature – Printz award winners and a podcast

Thanks to a post on the Fiction Focus (CMIS) site, I found out about  a collection of book trailers. These have been created for many of the Printz Award winners and Honor Books and go back as far as 2000. They were created by students at the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Women’s University.

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

There are some Australian books also on the list of trailers. Melina Marchetta’s On the Jellico Road, Printz winner in 2009, has been included as has Sonya Hartnett’s Surrender, a Printz Honor Book in 2007 and Margo Lanagan’s Black Juice, a 2006 Honor Book.

Speaking of using the film media to promote books – here is another interesting item.

Since the movie came out we have had a great rush on John Marsden’s books. There has always been a steady readership but, invariably, after a movie adaptation there is a rush back to the book. We are fortunate that we have mini class sets of the Tomorrow series books and we have been able to accommodate all those who have come to the library keen to read the books

There was a great interview from the RN Book Show has John Marsden discussing the film adaptation of his very popular Tomorrow when the war began book.  and some of the compromises he has had to accept.

The first book in the Tomorrow series was published in 1993 but there is a renewed surge of interest in the novel because it is now ‘a major motion picture’. The film version of Tomorrow When the War Began was released in cinemas during the September school holidays in Australia, and as a tie-in Pan MacMillan have re-published the novel, and its numerous sequels, with new cover designs made up of stills from the film.

Any author would be happy to have their novel back at the front of the book store but the translation from page to screen inevitably involves compromise and that can sometimes be less comfortable.

John Marsden was as articulate as ever and he gave thoughtful answers. He discusses the changes/differences between his story (the characterisations, the portrayal of violence, the way the enemies are less faceless to name three) and the new medium of film. The podcast is 17 minutes long but very easy to listen to and many of our boys would have opinions on the issues discussed.