2011 is going to be a great year for kids movies... because it seems like they're all based on books! So while the Potter-files count down the clock until Harry and Voldemort's final duel, and Twihards breathlessly await Bella and Edward's wedding, here are some other books that have been adapted to to sate your literary viewing needs.
Due out this February is THE EAGLE, based on Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth. For ages 10 and up, this historical novel is the perfect read for that kid who's obsessed with military history. Set in Roman occupied Britain, this book has it all: action, historical detail, unlikely friendship and adventure. Sutcliff based most of her setting detail on archeological findings, and she is thusly able to sneak in a little history lesson while weaving her complicated tale of pride, redemption and bravery. Oh, and bonus! If you love The Eagle of the Ninth, don't fret! Sutcliff wrote an entire series of novels set in the Anglo-Roman era!
Also out in February is the sci-fi / action / thriller I Am Number Four, based on the Pittacus Lore novel by the same name. Some know Pittacus as Lorien's ruling elder, others know him as James Frey. Whoever this Pittacus is, he's penned the most popular YA sci fi / action novel since Suzanne Collins' runaway hit, The Hunger Games, and I am Number Four is sure to appeal to that same crowd. So track down a bullet proof vest, find a safe vantage point and get amped for the most explosive teen title on the scene, appropriate for ages 14 and up.
If the previous two titles promise a few more battle scenes than you're interested in, then get excited, because coming out this August is the most adorable story about penguins ever to get the Newbery Honor Award. Mr. Popper's Penguins, written by Richard and Florence Atwater, is the wholesome and hilarious tale of a humble house painter with grand dreams of Arctic exploration. When his favorite adventurer sends Mr. Popper a penguin, he embarks on an unforgettable tale of penguin husbandry and circus performances. Though the movie casts Mr. Popper as a successful New York business man instead of a house painter, it still promises all the hijinks and preciousness that only penguins could provide. Appropriate to read aloud to kids ages 4 and up, or else on their own ages 6/7 and up.
There are way too many cool graphic novels out there for teens today. Listed below are only a couple.
The Runaways by Brian K Vaughan (books 1-7): Set in the Marvel Universe, this series is about a group of kids who find out their parents are super villains. What ensues qualifies as a teen/comedy/romance/adventure story that fans of Maximum Ride will devour. Keep an eye out for cameos by Captain America, Wolverine and even a vampire. For ages 12+
Scott Pilgrim Series (6 books) by Bryan Lee O'Malley:
This Eisner award winning series tells the story of man-child Scott, who falls in love with a girl named Ramona. However,
in order to be with her, he must defeat her 7 EVIL EXES! Kooky drawings and a loveable cast of
supporting characters make this one a romantic angsters MUST. Hilarious, sexy, and all too honest. For ages 13+
Erin Stead now joins the ranks of illustrators such as Robert McClosky and Maurice Sendak as the 2011 Caldecott Medal Winner*! (Pause for Applause) Written by Philip Stead, A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a tender story of reciprosity and friendship. When kindly zookeeper Amos has to call out sick from work, his animal friends come to him! Erin's gorgeous illustrations make this already charming story pop. Through use of limited palette and meticulously rendered pencil drawings, the visual world of Amos McGee is at once gentle and arresting. The soft colors meld flawlessly with the story to create a book that is perfect for night-night reading. So put on some pajamas and socks, curl up and read this Caldecott Winning book with your own little zoo animal.
*The Caldecott Medal is awarded yearly by the American Libarary Association to the most distinguished American Picture book of the year.