So, anyone have a good high school commute story?
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
AK: First off, can you tell us a little about yourself?
M2: Believe it or not, I'm sixteen years old. I attend the local high school and work as a clerk at the local library. On the side I love to make videos, like the Blue is for Nightmares preview that I recently posted on YouTube. You can find all my videos that I've created there. I also enjoy creating art, any kind. This can include paintings, drawings, stories, and even videos.
AK: You not only made an awesome video for Blue is for Nightmares, but you’ve made a video for the soon to be released Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer—which presumably you haven’t read yet—and for a couple other books. Could you tell me a little about why you make these videos? What made you start? Were you inspired by a video someone else made?
M2: Well, I'm not quite sure exactly how I became interested in video making. Both my parents work in television, directing the news or making commercials. For some reason, I absolutely adore movies. There's just something about them that makes me feel all excited. When I first started making videos, they were just fun ones about my friends and myself. Then I began to see other people's videos on the web, and I guess they inspired me. Another thing that could be the main reason for me making these videos, is the story on which the movie is based. Without books like Blue is for Nightmares or Eclipse, these videos wouldn't have been made. I feel that creating videos is something that I will be doing for life. Why? Because I love it.
AK: How do you do it?
M2: When I start making a video I almost have a system right from the beginning. I always choose the music first. Music is the greatest key to movie making. It adds emotion to moving pictures on screen. What else can do that? But overall I guess it usually depends on the sort of impact I want people to have when they watch it. I want them to be on the edge of their seat, or by the end of the video, really wanting to pick up that book and read it. If the music and the pictures/film are well put together it can have this effect on a person every time they watch it.
AK: What kind of computer system do you use?
M2: For some reason that question makes me laugh. See, my editing system is nothing but a cheap program that came with my computer: Windows Movie Maker. It's not much, but I'm able to make videos and post them on YouTube. I've always wanted a better system, but for now I spend my time admiring the one my dad uses at his work. It gets the job done and something is better than nothing
AK: What’s the key to a good book video?
M2: Like I just said above, it's the hope that the video will have a great enough impact on the people who watch it, so they will go and want to read that book. Just like a movie trailer, it has to leave the viewer wanting more. It's like going to the movie theater. I never want to miss the previews because that's I exactly what I am trying to do with my videos on YouTube. It draws you into the story, before you've even seen the movie or read the book.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
It's a a positive and very perceptive review with a perspective on the book that's a bit different than what we typically hear from the kidlit review crowd. I really like her last paragraph:
"Read it and enjoy, then get your local library and high school to stock it. It may help open hearts and minds in a way that mandatory diversity seminars can’t. More than that, though, it’s also just an insightful, funny read about first love and first heartbreak. All of us, gay, straight, bi, and questioning, can relate to that."
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Lopez said the book challenges stemmed from a basic interest in the types of books in her sons' school libraries.Of course she hasn't read any of these books--and that's not uncommon--but the fact that she used the card catalog's keyword search functionality for the express purpose of finding stuff to remove from that very catalog strikes me as a particularly bizarre abuse of the library.
So, she went to the computerized card catalogue and typed in the keywords "homosexuality," "abortion" and "atheism." She was shocked by the dozens of titles that popped up.
I'd also be really interested to know if she took the time to cull from her list any books that might have expressed viewpoints she agreed with on her three sacred subjects (or does she like to mix Stalinism with her fundamentalism by denying the existence of the topics entirely?).
I've been thinking about this for while today, and I wonder if it might be interesting for librarians to fight keywords with keywords, as it were. Why not do a book promotion (because promotion is the opposite of suppression) based on sets of keywords? We could even stick to the Bible. How about "peace, justice, and mercy" or "poverty, love, and forgiveness" to start? They're straight out of the Sermon on the Mount, after all . (Funny, I couldn't find the part where Jesus talks about homosexuality.)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Interestingly, Pink is for Promises was the working title of Laurie's third novel (Silver is for Secrets) and it was advertised as Pink is for Promises in the first printing of White is for Magic and as a result Laurie has been explaining for years about what happened to Pink. Well, now she's got another answer.
"Cassie Sullivan [the novel's protagonist] is a lovely kid, aware of the earth and how to save it, but nobody’s listening. Cassie’s voice is funny, angry, sad, sarcastic, and perplexed as she struggles to find her own identity. And to find hope for the future despite all the yahoos surrounding her. You will laugh, you will weep, and you’ll really enjoy this delightful and poignant novel about a kooky idealist who refuses to give up as she grows up."
This is a particularly cool blurb for this book because not only is Nichols an eminent novelist of the Southwest and author of the acclaimed The Milagro Beanfield War, but he was, as far as I can tell, a friend and associate of one of Cassie's favorite authors (and mine and I suspect Brian's at that age): Edward Abbey. Abbey is dead, so this is as close as Cassie (and Brian) will get to an endorsement from him. It might even be enough for Cassie to forgive Mr. Nichols for calling her a "lovely kid."
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Alex Richard's first novel, Back Talk, is officially available. You only wish you could land an internship like this one.
And, of course, Canadian provocateur Tim Carter has unleashed his apocalyptic demons in Epoch. Fans of a certain boy wizard will find this one to be a nice palatte cleanser (and when you meet the demons, you'll know what I mean by "cleanse") before July 21st's big to-do.