Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Racing to Beat the Movie Release

I wasn't sure what I wanted to read aloud next to my class. Last week we finished RUBY HOLLER by Sharon Creech, one of my all-time favorite read-alouds. Creech's pacing and descriptions make it easy to listen to and visualize, and the characters (and the situations they get into) are just enough over the top to be crowd pleasers for the 9-11 crowd.

I wasn't ready to plunge into the more serious BLOOD ON THE RIVER: JAMESTOWN, 1607 by Elisa Carbone no matter how well it would integrate with our upcoming social studies unit on Colonial America.

Then I saw the TV commercial/movie trailer for BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (book by Katherine Paterson). My heart sank. I Googled the movie release date -- February 16. Is there enough time to get this book into kids' heads before the movie version kills personal imagination and visualization? It's worth the try. In years past, I've managed to "save" TUCK EVERLASTING for one class, and BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE for another. I'll be proud to add this book to my list of "saves."

(What am I going to do about reading aloud the ending of this multiple-hankie book, you ask? I'll deal with that when I get there. I managed to read aloud EACH LITTLE BIRD THAT SINGS without a tear by thinking, "Ice cream, sunshine, puppies, pizza!" the whole time I was reading the words that caused tears to stream down my face with no sign of stopping the first time I read the book.)


  1. Anonymous7:06 PM

    Bridge is one of my favorite books in the world. They had a free screening at ALA (I had a conflict and couldn't go.) I spoke with someone who went and said it was fabulous; and for what it's worth, Paterson's son cowrote the screenplay (and it was this son who lost a friend as a child who inspired the book.) Both Paterson & her son were at the screening and supporting the movie.

  2. I'm glad to hear that Paterson was involved and supportive. And I'll concede that one trailer a movie does not make. But ever since Hallmark Hall of Fame totally messed with the pictures in my head for SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL, I've been pretty much of a The Book Is Always Better sort of girl. I don't begrudge anyone else seeing the movie...just don't make me go!

  3. Anonymous5:13 AM

    I too have been apprehensive after seeing the trailer despite knowing the author's involvement. However, I heard from a number of trustworthy folks who went to the screening that it was fabulous.

  4. Anonymous3:03 PM

    What a wonderful book. Although this is probably to young for your students, there is a song called Bridge to Terabithia performed by a young girl for SteveSongs. I wrote about it in a previous post. It is beautiful.

    I would have to let the students read the book out loud...I'm not sure I'd be able to read it in it's entirety without letting loose a few tears. But maybe, that's exactly what your students need to see. Good luck.

  5. Anonymous6:07 PM

    I have a hunch that their fantasy is made visible (much like in Heavenly Creatures. without the matricide, of course) rather than their fantasy is presented as "real."

    After a few adaptation disappointments, I've come to view movies & books as different versions of a story & to judge the movie that way. That said, what always works best for me is to either have as much distance as possible pass between reading and viewing (so I'm not going "but what about") or to read after watching.

  6. Anonymous9:45 PM

    A 5th grade teacher I know always hands the read aloud off to a student to continue when she starts to unabashedly cry. The students love to it.

  7. Anonymous8:18 PM

    My assistant principal is still sore at me about Each Little Bird That Sings. I say let yourself cry--it lets the kids know you're human. They're the same ones that get surprised that teachers go to the grocery store and drive cars!

    Sharon Creech is one of my favorite authors, and I've never tried Ruby Holler as a read-aloud. I'll add it to my mental list.

    Oh, and I'm terrified to see Bridge. I got my childhood copy signed by Paterson a few years ago and I don't want to mess up my own mental images.


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