YA Books as TV Shows

In the past few years, there have been several popular YA book series turned into tv shows.  Often when things are adapted for television (or movie), they get cut up, changed, edited, and patched back together to fit "the industry's" vision of what the public wants.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes bad.  I'm curious, what do you all think?  Are you reading and/or watching these books & shows?  Here are some of them:

GOSSIP GIRL

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I've watched a few of the Gossip Girl episodes, and read several of the books – the Library owns all of them, so go ahead and place a hold if you want to check them out.  I thought casting overall was decent, although I was horrified by the casting of Jenny (her defining attribute, which drove the plot in several of the books is her … um… generous chest, which is nonexistent in the show).  Also, I didn't like them changing the character of Serena's brother.  Oh well.

 

VAMPIRE DIARIES:

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The Vampire Diaries books originally came out in 1995.  They were pretty much out of print and forgotten until the TV show came out in 2009.  Now the books are all reissued and spiffed up, with a brand-new sequel just out.  Ian Somerhalder seems a bit old to me, to play Damon (I can deal with 25-year-olds playing high school students, but 35?).  Also, the actress who plays Elena is a bit too likable for my tastes — one of the things I liked about the books is how nasty she is.  Otherwise, I think the show is a decent adaptation.  Too bad it will have to fight off comparisons to Twilight and True Blood.

 

PRIVATE:

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This series is different in that it is actually a web series, playing on the internet and not airing on broadcast television.  The book series debuted in 2006, and the web series in 2009 (DVD just released in August, and we should have it in the SCL collection soon!).  In an interesting twist, the producers conducted an American-Idol-style casting competition, with the top contenders for the role of Kiran competing in a televised reality-TV-style contest.  I haven't seen this one at all, so you'll have to let me know if the best person won.

 

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS:

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This one is a newcomer to the TV show block — it's still in the midst of its first season, and not coming out on DVD until next year.  The books first started coming out in 2006, and are still going strong.  The story of the missing/ presumed dead girl who comes back to haunt her guilty friends has been done many times before, but this series actually does a good job of keeping you on your toes.  I've only seen the pilot of the TV show, and it seemed like the character development and casting did justice to the books.

 

So, are there any other recent TV shows based on YA books that I am missing?  Let me know, so I can add them to my read and watch lists!

YA Fiction Factory? Wow….

I just read this article from New York Books about author James Frey (known for getting busted for falsely claiming his bestselling book was a true story).  It appears that he is recruiting struggling young writers to participate in a sweatshop-style writing project to try to churn out the next Twilight-style commercial success in teen literature.  I must admit that I am a little shocked.  I actually read the "I Am Number Four" book — it was ok, not great, but clearly written with the goal of becoming a movie. 

I wonder what will happen with this company and the stuff they will turn out?  Will any of them actually become popular?  What do you think?

Read the article here:  http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/69474/

ScholarGamers.com

Check out this cool new website www.scholargamers.com.  Basically, it is a website for students, 13 and over,  to compete for college scholarship money by playing online video games. Competition rounds repeat every 45 days.  The first round began November 1st, but you can get in on the action mid-December.  The site is free to register and play.  Sounds like a great excuse to play video games to me.

Top Reasons to Celebrate NOVEMBER!

Native American Heritage Month

"Pride in Our Heritage, Honor Our Ancestors" is the theme for the 2010 Native American Heritage month.  There are lots of great books about Native Americans in the library — what better to remember their contributions than to check one out?

Aviation History Month

Observe Aviation History Month by creating paper airplanes!  Take them out to a local park or just outside your school, and see how many folks line up to watch!  Lots of fun designs for paper airplanes can be found here, or check out a book at the library!

 

Family Stories Month

Every family has thousands of stories.  Whether happy, sad, silly, outrageous, or nostalgic, they are all important.  Call up a relative and ask them to tell you a story about your parents when they were young.  Tell your parents about your first memories.  Reminisce about "the good old days."  Or maybe actually write some of your favorite family stories down — you are never too young to start your own memoirs!

 

Peanut Butter Lovers' Month

Here's a bunch of facts about peanut butter.  Did you know the average kid will eat 1500 PB&J sandwiches by the time they graduate high school?.  Try my favorite — grilled peanut butter and banana!

 

1     El Dia de los Muertos

The Day of the Dead is a Mexican celebration, a time to honor and celebrate deceased loved ones.  It is believed that the souls of the dead visit their families between October 31 and November 2 ;  families make altars with photos and offerings to welcome them. 

 

2     U.S.A. Election Day

The first Tuesday after the first Monday.  Don't forget to vote!!

 

5     Guy Fawkes Day

"Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November."  A day of bonfires and fireworks to mark the 1605 date of a failed plot to assassinate the King of England.  It's an exciting bit of history — check out a book to learn more!

 

7     Daylight Savings Time Ends

First Sunday in November.  Don't you just hate how dark it is when you go home at night?!

 

11    Veterans Day

Veterans Day began as a celebration of the anniversary of the WWI Armistice.   "At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" fighting ceased in World War I.  No matter your political views or your thoughts about war, there are ways you can show your gratitude to those who have served in the Armed Forces.   How can you celebrate Veteran's Day
—–Make a thank-you card and bring it to a local VA group. 
—–Watch a movie that celebrates our veterans.
—–Ask your living relatives who are veterans to share stories with you.
—–Click the link above for other great suggestions.
 

14    National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day

 Besides the fact that it needs to be done, and your parents may be shocked of the offer to help, you get to compare notes about the grossest thing you found in the fridge!

 

25    Thanksgiving Day

It is thought that the first Thanksgiving traces back to a 1621 harvest feast at the Plymouth Plantation.  In 1789, it became the first US holiday by presidential proclamation.  Thanksgiving became an annual tradition, and then in 1939 President Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November.  What are you doing for your Thanksgiving this year?  Perhaps check out some cookbooks and try some new recipes!

It’s that time again — NaNoWriMo!!

November is National Novel Writing Month! 
NaNoWriMo officially begins at midnight—whatever your local time—on Monday, November 1.  People around the country will be hunkering down to crank out a full novel in just 30 days.  

NaNoWriMo doesn't care about quality writing, they care about quantity.  To get the words and ideas down on paper.  It's all about output.  This allows you to write without worry, to write with no risks, to just write.

Teens who want to participate have a choice of doing the regular (adult) NaNoWriMo program or the Young Writers' Program.  The regular program is for ages 13 or older, and on November 1, you will begin writing a 50,000 word novel.  The Young Writer's Program is for 17 years and younger;  you still have to complete a novel in one month, but you can set your own word-count goal instead of being limited to the 50,000 words.

Which one will you go for? 

While you're writing, you get to talk to other writers on the website forums, get ideas from the "Dare Machine," and if you finish, you not only get the pleasure of having completed an entire novel, you get a snazzy certificate! 

To reach the 50,000 word challenge visit http://www.nanowrimo.org/.
To reach the Young Writer's challenge visit http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/.

And get ready to become a novelist!