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October 23, 2014

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The Big Screen’s ‘Dear White People’ and a Roundup of Not-to-Miss YA Novels

Black Boy White School

Dear White People, written and directed by Justin Simien, takes a satirical look at race relations in America. Be prepared for the October 17 premiere with a selection of books for teens that deal with intolerance, civil rights, and racism.

Page to Screen: Kid & YA Lit Flicks to Look Forward to After ‘The Fault in Our Stars’

If_I_Stay_1

With the success of Divergent and The Book Thief, Hollywood continues to tap kid’s books, from classic fairy tales to the latest dystopian, for new ideas. To celebrate the highly the anticipated big screen version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, SLJ has compiled a list of upcoming projects that will be coming to a screen near you.

Page to Screen: A Year’s Worth of New Adaptations

Here is Woodley again, as Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars, based on John Green's popular YA novel.

As 2014 peeks around the corner, SLJ looks ahead to future releases in this latest installment of our roundup of the most highly anticipated franchise openers and long-awaited big screen versions of children’s classics.

Into the Dragon’s Lair | SLJ Reviews ‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’

The Hobbit2 Bilbo

Multiple beheadings, one impaling, and an omnipresent necromancer—these are just three indications that director Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 adventure/fantasy The Hobbit has taken a dark turn. The short novel has been expanded into what might amount to a nearly nine-hour-long trilogy—turning what seems a fireside yarn in print into an overlong saga on the screen.

Smoldering Glances and Hot-and-Humid Heroics | SLJ Reviews ‘Catching Fire’ Film

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence)

In this second foray into Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy, the filmmakers approach Catching Fire’s dystopian derring-do with deadly seriousness. Though a new director, Francis Lawrence, has taken over the franchise from The Hunger Games’s Gary Ross, it has been a smooth transition.

Death Comes to the Multiplex | SLJ Reviews ‘The Book Thief’ Film

Liesel (Sophie Nelisse) sneaks into a neighbor's well-stocked library to pursue her love of reading.

How does a filmmaker adapt Markus Zusak’s bestseller The Book Thief, written in Death’s candid point of view? Director Brian Percival tackles that question and more in this atypical family movie set in Nazi Germany. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse, the adaptation expands to theaters nationwide in the coming weeks.

Kissing Cousins, Killing Fields | SLJ Reviews ‘How I Live Now’ Film

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For those who can’t wait two more weeks to see Catching Fire, relief is at hand. The taut How I Live Now offers a slimmed down dystopian world at its most bucolic—a survival tale meets hot-and-heavy first love with a punkish swagger. The screenwriters have tweaked the snarky-but-soft-hearted narration of Meg Rosoff’s absorbing novel (Random, 2004), but given the heroine a still-defiant voice.

Bedeviled, Besotted, and Bewildered | SLJ Reviews ‘City of Bones’ Film

Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) tells (Lily Collins) about his childhood in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Photos courtesy of Constantin Film and Unique Features.

The first movie adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s popular series, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, is out in theaters on August 21. Lily Collins as Clarissa “Clary” Fray and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace star in the action-fantasy, which provides the thrill of the chase and a sprinkling of the romance for its core audience.

A Fraught First Love, Straight Up | SLJ Reviews ‘The Spectacular Now’ Film

Aimee and Sutter

Director James Ponsoldt’s sharp take on Tim Tharp’s 2008 novel (Knopf) gives The Spectacular Now a higher level of maturity and complexity than most young adult book-to-movie adaptations. The film, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller, arrives in theaters on August 2.

Judy and Lawrence Blume, Amy Jo Johnson at World Premiere of ‘Tiger Eyes’ Film

Director and co-writer Lawrence Blume, author  and co-writer Judy Blume, and actress Amy Jo Johnson (Gwen Wexler) answer questions after screening of Tiger Eyes, the first motion picture adaptation of the author's novels.

On June 7, Tiger Eyes premiered in select theaters nationwide and was released simultaneously on Video On Demand and iTunes. Co-written by Judy and Lawrence, who also directed, this film is the first adaptation of one of the iconic author’s novels. Actress Amy Jo Johnson joined the Blumes in a Q & A session with the audience at the movie’s premiere at the AMC Theaters in Times Square, New York City.

Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics

gatsby movie poster

As reviews for Baz Lurhmann’s whirlwind adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby come roaring in, take a look at the latest installment of SLJ’s Page to Screen, where you’ll find updates on already much-touted future movies, and news of recent options on film rights. This roundup of releases will have your students and patrons heading to the theater—and, hopefully, to bookshelves as well.

Page to Screen: Upcoming Kids’ Books Set for Film Adaptations

Scene from Oz the Powerful movie

The search for the next big film franchise usually begins with a beloved book or series, and film producers are continually eyeing the publishing world for inspiration. In fact, 2013 already promises a packed calendar of book-related film projects based on popular kid and young adult titles. Check out this roundup of releases that will have your students and patrons heading to the theater—and, hopefully, to bookshelves as well.