Saturday, February 08, 2014

January Book / Movie Review

What a crazy month January turned out to be! A huge writing opportunity came to me which completely threw me off my schedule for so many things. Project complete, I'm furiously trying to get caught up again. Since I didn't want to miss any of my planed blog topics, the first order of business today is to jump back in time and write the blogs I missed for the past two weeks. Thanks for being patient. 

Saving Mr. Banks

Since the premiere of this delightful film, critics have tried to debunk it. Everything from Meryl's Steeps' inappropriately timed comments about Walt Disney being sexist in a time when everyone was sexist, to biographers who insist "the story didn't happen that way," and now members of the Disney family fighting over their inheritance. My response? Who cares?

Saving Mr. Banks was a wonderful film about--of all things--forgiveness. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson were fabulous, and both should have received Oscar nods for their work, yet they were ignored. I grew up watching Walt Disney on television and Hanks played him perfectly, even managing to capture the twinkle in Walt's eye.   

If you haven't yet seen the movie, you must. Be sure to take some tissues, yet know you will come from the theater with a song on your lips and a lighter step than when you went in. Oh, and you'll want to pull out your copy of Mary Poppins to watch as well when you get home.

Ender's Game 

I'm not sure exactly how long ago I first read the novellette that grew to become the multi-book series about Ender Wiggin and the other children who were taken to battle school to save the world. At the time I though the science fiction would remain just that--fiction. How wrong I was. Has anyone stopped to consider that author Orson Scott Card actually invented the iPad? No wonder it took so long for this movie to be made. Technology had to catch up with the ideas Card had all those years ago.

Ender's Game is worth seeing just for the performances of Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley alone. They made the movie.

I will admit, having read most of the book series helped me understand the significance of the events, the relationships between Ender and his Battle school colleagues, and why his sister was so important to him, but even viewers without that background will become involved in the story.

I love the fact Ender's Game left the door open just far enough that we might just see a sequel.

Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin
Liesl Shurtliff

If you're looking for a delightful story to read with your upper elementary or middle school student and you like retold fairy tales then Rump might be just the book for you. 

The story starts with poor Rump, who has never known the rest of his name, discovering that he has inherited a wonder skill--he can spin straw into gold. But like all things that seem too good to be true, Rump soon discovers that what he thinks will be his ticket to freedom actually binds him into chains. 

Shurtliff has done a wonderful job of developing reasons as to why Rump would want to take someone's baby, why names are so important, and how friends and family are the greatest riches anyone could ever ask for. 

Rump is a finalist in the Middle Grade category for the 2013 Whitney Awards.  

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