Hey parents, teachers, librarians, and actual middle grade aged readers of this blog (a.k.a kids)--have I got a great project for you!
Ever heard of the Newbery award? I thought so. It's when everybody interested in books for kids blows horns, bangs drums, and jumps on the bed to show their love for the very best kids' books of the year. This year the great big winner was THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, which is gorilly great!
|2013 Newbery Award winner, The One and Only Ivan|
Well, once the winners and the honor books are announced, there's something sweet and special and awesomely creative you can do. Grab your friends and a video camera and condense your all-time favorite Newbery book (winner or honor) into ninety seconds. Sound like a challenge? You betcha.
Now, I wish I'd been the originator of this great idea, but I wasn't. That honor goes to the zany James Kennedy, the author of THE ORDER OF ODD-FISH, which Cory Doctorow has called "an extraordinary and delightfully weird romp that’s one part China Mieville, one part Lemony Snicket, with trace amounts of Madeline L’Engle and Roald Dahl." (Since pretty much all of those mentioned are my favorite authors, it goes without saying that I am currently speeding my way to Powell's bookstore to snap up a copy.)
But I digress. Here are the rules for the 90-second Newbery, from the pen of Mr. Kennedy himself.
1. Your video should be 90 seconds or less. (Okay, okay: if it’s two minutes long but absolute genius, we’ll bend the rules for you. But let’s try to keep them short.)
2. Your video has to be about a Newbery award-winning (or Newbery honor-winning) book. Here’s a list of all the winners.
3. Just to be clear: we’re not looking for book trailers. We’re looking for full-on dramatizations, with mostly child actors, that manage to tell the entire story of a book in an ridiculously short amount of time.
4. Upload your videos to YouTube or Vimeo or whatever and send me the link at kennedyjames [at] gmail [dot] com. Make the subject line be “90 SECOND NEWBERY” and please tell me your name, age, where you’re from, and whatever other comments you’d like to include, including whether you’d like me to link to your personal site. You can give an alias if you want; I understand privacy concerns.
5. Sending the link to me grants me (James Kennedy) the right to post it on my blog and to other websites where I sometimes post content (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and to share at public readings, school visits—and hopefully the “90-Second Newbery” Film Festival screenings!
6. The deadline for the second annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is December 10, 2013
The winners are shown in Chicago, New York, Portland and Tacoma. The Portland showing is on Sunday February 24th, 2013. If you want to meet me, I'll be there, as my son and his friends entered the festival with their version of THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILER, which you can view on my Middle Grade Mafioso blog if you're curious and have time on your hands.
And here's a guide on how to plan and film your entry: