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Judy Blume Feature

Judy Blume, featured in LA Times:

When "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing" first came out, publisher Dutton did not send Judy Blume around the country to talk about it. "There were no book tours!" she says. "I don't think they sent children's book writers on tour."

That was in the 1970s, when Blume had a string of hits for young readers, from small children to those grappling with adolescence. "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" (1970), "Then Again, Maybe I Won't" (1971), "Freckle Juice" (1971), "Deenie" (1973) and "Blubber" (1974) were go-to books for kids for their humor and real-life frankness. That's common now -- think Jeff Kinney's Wimpy Kid series -- but it was Blume who made it mainstream. Her books have embedded the phrases "I must -- I must -- I must increase my bust!" and "Eat it or wear it" deep in the minds of two generations of readers.

This week, a film made from one of Blume's books, "Tiger Eyes," debuted at the Palm Beach Film Festival in Florida. There have been television adaptations before, but nothing for the big screen. "I love movies, and I've never had a feature film based on one of my books, so it's very exciting," Blume says.

An the next Tintin is...

Highly Recommended Feature

Four major film adaptations of children's books ("Hugo," "Twilight: Breaking Dawn [Part I]," "Tintin" and "War Horse") have hit theaters in the past two months; throw in "Harry Potter" 7.2, released this summer, and you've got a pretty spectacular year for young-adult stories in Hollywood. The trend looks set to continue through next spring, with the release of the first "Hunger Games" movie in March.

[Salon] asked a number of authors -- most of whom write specifically for young adults -- to share their thoughts on the best and worst teen-book-to-movie adaptations, and to name the titles they'd like to see hit the big screen in the coming years.

The Hobbit Trailer

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Hugo - Scorsese

Adapted by screenwriter John Logan (Scorsese's "The Aviator") from Brian Selznick's popular, richly illustrated children's book "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," Scorsese's new movie is a Dickensian drama about a lonely boy's quest for happiness. The film also brings to life some of the Oscar-winning director's longtime obsessions: the history of cinema and film preservation. "Hugo" simultaneously stands on its own as a drama while also being a love letter to the creation of the medium.

release date mid-July 2011

Numbers Movie

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Chicken House Books has announced that award-winning British feature film company, Warp Films, have acquired Rachel Ward's novel NUMBERS.

NUMBERS, the story of a girl who can see the date of a person's death in their eyes, has been published in over 20 countries to date, with two sequels completing the bestselling YA trilogy.

The book will be adapted for the screen by Paul Fraser (A Room for Romeo Brass, Heartlands, Somerstown).

Shaun Tan Oscar

The Lost Thing, co-directed by Tan and based on his book of the same name, won this year's Oscar for Best Short Film (Animated).

War Horse Given Christmas Holiday Release

DreamWorks has announced, via Deadline, that Spielberg's new film War Horse will be released December 28 2011, just five days after his motion-capture film The Adventures of Tin Tin hits theaters. The studio said that after screening War Horse, the story of a boy who enlists in World War I to track down his beloved horse, it felt "like a holiday movie."

Zack Snyder, Film Director, Intrerviewed

... the director of 300 and Watchmen has taken a step into the family friendly genre of animation with his latest film Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole. The film is based on the children's books of the same name that were written by Kathryn Lasky. Not only is he stepping into new territory by doing a family film, but Legend of the Guardians also marks his first encounter with 3D.

Flipped - Movie Review

The movie mostly fails to gain traction due to the lack of solid direction by Reiner. For one, the film is set in the '50s/'60s for no discernible reason other than nostalgia, which doesn't play that big of a part in the plot anyway. Also, aside from half of the voiceovers not really working, the back-and-forth between the two main characters is just not compelling. Even when you know where things are headed, there needs to be that certain something that keeps the audience wanting more, and Reiner never infuses the story with that extra oomph.

A popular children's book (albeit one that's nine years old), Flipped should have no problem drawing a decent number of moviegoers. But with a flawed structure and so-so overall storyline, the film is just more evidence that Reiner ain't what he used to be.

AS Byatt on Alice In Wonderland

In the week Tim Burton's film is released, AS Byatt takes another trip down the rabbit hole to celebrate classics she first enjoyed as a child

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Time Riders Trailer

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Norwich author Alex Scarrow says, "It's a sort of teen book about time travel. The teenagers are plucked from the very last seconds of their lives in a way that doesn't make a difference to history to become time travellers and work for a covert agency.

"For example, one of them is called Liam and is a steward on the Titanic, and he is taken just as the ship is sinking, so it doesn't make a difference to history as he would have died anyway.

"They are based in New York and their job is to stop others changing the course of history. So in this book, Neo Nazis have gone back in time to make Hitler win, and the kids see New York transformed into a Nazified version of the city. They have to work out what has happened and go back in time and stop the future being changed."

See local news feature...

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Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief

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The movie PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF is out on February 12th.

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack:

Movie poster:

Desperately Seeking Sendak

Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers relive the cold winter's day when they went to visit famously prickly writer Maurice Sendak, to talk about filming Where the Wild Things Are...

FRAMED update

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The 90 minuteTV dramatisation of Frank Cottrell Boyce's Framed is now showing tomorrow night (Monday 31st August) on BBC1 at 8.30pm, not tonight as previously announced.

BBC - Framed


new Children's Drama
from Jeranette Winterson...

Una Stubbs will star in Ingenious, the story of 11-year-old Sally, who lives on a farm with her grandmother and friends. The children find a mysterious old glass bottle which leads them on a magical adventure. As the nearby Jodrell Bank telescope picks up curious signs, the children and a local author suspect a dragon could be at large. The drama will be shown on BBC1 later in the year....

Cirque du Freak Trailer

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Trailer for Darren Shan's first Cirque du Freak movie, titled The Vampire's Assistant, due for release in October.
The series' fans have been posting alarmed and disappointed messages on YouTube. Certainly the movie appears to have gone for the light entertainment, family holiday viewing approach, but looks to me to have done that quite well, as far as a short trailer can convey. It does have a great theme tune and intro.

Financial Crisis Hits Next Narnia Film

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from The Independent:

Disney took advantage of the seasonal news lull last week to quietly slip out news that it has decided to withdraw from producing The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the next in the Chronicles of Narnia series of films based on the children's books by C S Lewis.

Blaming "budgetary considerations" for its decision, the studio said it would not renew an option to co-finance the $200m (£137m) movie because the worsening economic climate has forced it to become more selective about the number of films it produces.

It was the second major fantasy franchise to be unceremoniously cancelled in recent months. Earlier this year, Warner Bros decided not to make a follow-up to The Golden Compass, the first instalment of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy...

Tim Burton On Alice Movie Set

As with "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," his mission is to reclaim a children's classic and resharpen its edges.

"The story is obviously a classic with iconic images and ideas and thoughts," he said. "But with all the movie versions, well, I've just never seen one that really had any impact to me. It's always just a series of weird events. Every character is strange, and she's just kind of wandering through all of the encounters as just a sort of observer."

Austrailian actress Mia Wasikowska will be Burton's Alice in the 2010 release and Johnny Depp will play the Mad Hatter.

Roman Mysteries, Season Two

Season Two of The Roman Mysteries started this Tuesday on BBC1 and will be repeated each Sunday evening on CBBC...

See the link to Caroline Larence's own blog for more details.

Nim's Island

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Nim's Island

Jodie Foster grew up on-screen in the 1970s, acting beyond her young age in such films as "Taxi Driver" and "Freaky Friday." Now Abigail Breslin, who starred in "Little Miss Sunshine," is doing the same.

Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin co-star in "Nim's Island."
The two were brought together for the adventure comedy "Nim's Island," opening Friday, a film adaptation of the 2002 children's book by Australian Wendy Orr.


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Jacqui And Colin Hawkins daughter stars in Mike Leigh film...

Hawkins had "quite a magical childhood": her parents, Jacqui and Colin, write and illustrate children's books, and Sally and her older brother were immersed in their irreverent world of fairy-tales, pirates and witches. "They were always drawing, and it was incredibly creative to be around that," says Hawkins. "I was encouraged to draw and paint and express myself and create things. And I wasn't pushed academically; I could just be what I wanted to be. My parents have a strong work ethic, but their attitude to life, their philosophy, is: whatever makes you happy."

Where The Wild Things movie...

Where the Wild Things Are is being accused of scaring kids-- before it even gets released...

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