As some of you know, this semester I'm taking Materials for Youth. That basically means we read at least 40 picture books and 30 novels with a variety of plots, authors and reading levels. We have to keep track of these books of course and to do this I started another blog, which I am pleased to say is called Books and Cleverness. Today I added the books I read this week so if you're interested, you can check those out. Also, if you have any recommendations for me of either book type, let me know! 50% of my books have to be written in the last 5-7 years so keep that in mind.
Books I am intending to read are: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, The Tale of Despereaux, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (sneaky!), The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Fairest, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Inkspell, The Golden Compass and something by Vicki Grove. I need some more "real life" books and I need more books directed at boys, but really I want to hear any and all recommendations.
And thus concludes the book portion of today's blog.
Last night I watched Son of Rambow, and overall, I liked it pretty well. It went a little long, and sometimes I get a little impatient with movies only about and only featuring kids. Now that I sound like an ogre, I have one more thing to say about this movie. OK, for those of you who don't know the premise, the main character is a little boy who never watches TV (his family is very religious) but he's extremely creative. He happens to watch First Blood at a classmate's house and loves it. So, long story short, he and this friend are making a sequel to First Blood where the little boy has to save Rambo(w) from the Evil Scarecrow.
So, I did really love something about this movie and that was how magical Rambo was to this little boy (William?). He started wearing his tie around his forehead and ran everywhere, jumping on things, and fist fighting with the air. It wasn't that he turned violent or mean at all, but it just excited him so much and he was so exhilirated. I started wondering how often that happens now. It seems like everything is so well advertised and easily accessible, that it would be hard to be sort of hit over the head by something now. I mean, we hear about movies months before they're released, we see the trailers and the stills and merchandise. The only experience of mine that I can equate to the First Blood experience is seeing Return of the King for the first time. In that case, I hadn't read the book yet, I didn't watch the trailers, I didn't see any stills, I read no spoilers whatsoever. Of course, this led to me having minor nervous breakdowns in the theater but it was so worth it to be completely blown away. But even then, I'd seen the first two movies so I had some idea of where it was all going.
Anyway, I liked that Son of Rambow really captured this little boy's experience of seeing something thrilling for the first time and having it really work on his imagination and change his life. Plus the movie that sparked all this was First Blood, which is totally unexpected but it works so well! So, long story short, I would recommend it because, in addition to all that stuff I rambled about, it's also well made, quite funny, creative and the cast is all very good.
Did I mention it's British?