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April 15, 2014

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My sister AND my daughter

My sister AND my daughter

Over on child_lit, Cheryl Klein has been asking for titles of books with big reveals, the ones with a surprise that make you rethink the whole thing. Like Gone Girl, The Thief, and most of Robert Cormier. I contributed Gene Kemp’s The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, the 1977 Carnegie-winning title about an obstreperous but […]

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Frank Baker on libraries and media literacy

Frank Baker on libraries and media literacy

Each year around this time, I reconnect with media literacy guru, Frank Baker (@fbaker) about his resources for thoughtfully examining the media messages surrounding those two, too-interesting-not-to-analyze big winter television events–the Academy Awards and the Super Bowl Yesterday, we had another chat. Although Frank is a strong supporter of our work, he believes that it is [...]

“Kill the she-elf!”

“Kill the she-elf!”

Do we have any actual evidence that Peter Jackson has gone through puberty? Yes, there’s the beard, and the children, but his Tolkien movies all look like they were conceived and directed by a ten-year-old. I only saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on TV but we saw The Desolation of Smowg in all its […]

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Jolly Holiday

Jolly Holiday

The Horn Book’s annual busman’s holiday took us to the movies to see Saving Mr. Banks. We laughed, we cried; it’s not a very good movie but the star power and chemistry of Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks kept me involved. I hear from more knowledgeable sources that the film is at some distance from […]

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Media Breaker–for talking back (and teaching fair use)

Media Breaker–for talking back (and teaching fair use)

Encouraging students to celebrate and use the rich portals of the ever-growing Creative Commons movement to find copyright-friendly media is an instructional no-brainer. Teaching students how and when to flex their fair use muscles–how to decide when their use of copyrighted media is truly transformative–is a greater challenge.  But it is a challenge we must [...]

I only just got why he’s called ENDER

I only just got why he’s called ENDER

I saw Ender’s Game last weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. What impressed me most was how much a true children’s movie it is; like Asa Butterfield’s (Ender) previous movie Hugo, Ender’s Game neither winks over children’s heads to an adult audience nor sexes things up for putative YA interest. Although […]

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Hitting a Wall of Films (documentaries for inspiring thought and action)

Wall of Films    Over 500 Social Change Documentaries on 1 Page

If you know any high school teachers who regularly teach with film or work with learners on building media literacy, you’ll want to share Films for Action and its Wall of Films. This fascinating curation effort moves beyond mainstream film to gather a matrix of more than 500 documentaries, selected for their ability to shift [...]

Are you going to Ender’s Game?

Are you going to Ender’s Game?

Peter Gutierrez has an excellent essay up over at SLJ about the calls to boycott the just-opening film adaptation of Ender’s Game. As Gutierrez points out and The Wrap confirms in greater detail, a boycott of the film has no impact on Card’s wallet–what you need to do is get people to stop buying his […]

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Is ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ the Darkest Superhero Film Ever?

Is ‘Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox’ the Darkest Superhero Film Ever?

Can creators in essence separate the “super” from the “hero” and still be said to be working with the same character?

Exclusive: Papercutz to Publish Rio Graphic Novels

Silvani SDCC 1

The children’s graphic novel Papercutz, already home to the Smurfs, Annoying Orange, and Lego Ninjago graphic novels, is adding another licensed property to its lineup: A series of graphic novels based on the movie Rio, which will fill in the story between the original movie, which came out in 2011, and the sequel, Rio 2, [...]

Confessions of a Cosplaying Librarian

“The key idea is actually a media literacy one related to representation: no one in real life actually looks like an anime or manga character.”

Now in Theaters: An Absolutely Must-See Doc About Digital Literacy

Now in Theaters: An Absolutely Must-See Doc About Digital Literacy

Filmmaker Cullen Hoback’s work represents a treasure trove of ideas for those who want to connect domestic spying and the death of privacy to civics, media studies, ICT, and political theory—not to mention information literacy and digital literacy specifically.

Big Brawlers and Little Children: The Not-New Appeal of ‘Pacific Rim’

Big Brawlers and Little Children: The Not-New Appeal of ‘Pacific Rim’

The reason such overt silliness is nonetheless so effective is that we all connect with the fantasy of controlling a creature much, much larger than we could ever hope to be.

Oh, All That Annoying Movie Marketing: A Chat with Critic Eric D. Snider

“Young people are pretty savvy about marketing…They don’t consider something ‘bad’ or ‘annoying’ just because it’s marketing, the way many of us in the previous generation did.”

The Pop Culture Propaganda of Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim, and G.I. Joe

The Pop Culture Propaganda of Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim, and G.I. Joe

These posters’ apparently value-free aspect is perhaps what’s most worth exploring with young people…

Moriarty, Hannibal, and Despicable Me: How We End Up Rooting for the Bad Guy

It’s okay to find the villain appealing in certain respects—in fact, much of pop culture depends on our doing just that.

‘World War Z’ At the Movies: Some Critical Thinking Questions

‘World War Z’ At the Movies: Some Critical Thinking Questions

Media literacy discussion points covering novel-to-film adaptations, marketing, genre, screen violence, and more.

Why Are Zombies So Good for Libraries?

Why Are Zombies So Good for Libraries?

More than just a craze, the interest in zombies points the way towards a new kind of literacy engagement.

Joss Whedon, Modern Dress Shakespeare, and the Problem of Class in Classrooms

Both curriculum and pop culture, perhaps not coincidentally, have no problem dealing with class systems when they’re at a remove.

‘Tiger Eyes’ and Transliteracy: Confessions of Someone Who Hasn’t Read the Novel

‘Tiger Eyes’ and Transliteracy: Confessions of Someone Who Hasn’t Read the Novel

‘Tiger Eyes’ is not really an upbeat film—which is, oddly, what makes it so refreshing.