Judy Blume and Shannon Hale

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I’m reading a book to review for School Library Journal this weekend so I don’t have a book to share this week, but there is movie news…

It’s been 48 years since the publication of Judy Blume’s classic novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, was published, and it’s finally being made into a movie. As it did for many young girls, Blume’s coming of age novel answered so many questions I was afraid to ask out loud when I was twelve. Today there are more and better resources for young people to learn about changes in their bodies and their emotions, but Blume’s book stood alone in the 1970s, and it was there when I needed it most. Girls have the same concerns today, but now the issues are discussed openly on television and social media so it will be interesting to see how Blume’s book connects with girls today. I have high hopes.

Last year, a good friend of mine visited Key West where Judy Blume now owns a bookstore called Books and Books. While there, she met the author and sent me a souvenir of her visit:

As I wrote about Are You There God?, I was aware that this was – and is – a book primarily read by girls. Most books are not gender specific. I tell kids at school all of the time that there is no such thing as a “girl book” or a “boy book.”  A good story always prevails. There are books, though, that might directly address a question a girl or boy has about their changing bodies and it’s important to have a place to look for that information – especially when there is no one to ask.

Shannon Hale, the author of Real Friends and the Princess in Black series, recently published an important essay on this topic for the Washington Post called “What Are We Teaching Boys When We Discourage Them from Reading Books About Girls?”

Here’s a link:


More next week –

Tommy Orange visiting Inly on Thursday!

My Bags are Packed….

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A quick post before I take a travel break.  I plan to return with lots of book-related pictures and new books to share, but until then….

The 11th book in the Wimpy Kid series will be released on November 1, 2016.  If you’re curious about the enormous popularity of the adventures of Greg Heffley, there are now (according to the official Wimpy Kid website), “more than 165 million copies of the books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in print globally.”


My head was spinning after reading a list of books in the pipeline to be turned into movies. My favorite adaptation of the past few years is Brooklyn by Colm Toibin – with a screenplay by Nick Hornby.  If any of the new movies are as wonderful as Brooklyn, there is lots of popcorn in my future. Among the books listed are: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


If you’re going to be in New York City between now and September, be sure to include a visit to the New York Historical Society for this blockbuster:


A sign of spring in Boston. Walking by The Brattle Book Shop last week, this was as welcome as seeing crocuses.


Happy Reading!

Get Your Popcorn!


There were many book to film adaptations in 2013 – most of which I didn’t see.  Like any devoted reader, I’m initially curious when a book is turned into a movie, but then I see it and am usually disappointed. It’s hard not to be – given the limitations of the screen and the length of a movie versus the unlimited space of a book. Although….The Hunger Games was awesome, and I’ve always thought the adaptation of Holes by Louis Sachar was pretty successful.

2014 promises to be another big year for movies based on best-selling novels.  Here are a few to watch out for:


The Fault in Our Stars – June 6.  (brought to the big screen by the same people who made The Perks of Being a Wallflower and starring actors from Divergent.)


The Giver – August 15 (Very nervous about this movie because the book is perfect. But Meryl Streep is in it. That makes me more optimistic.)


Mockingjay – November 21 (I wonder how many records for opening weekend ticket sales it will break?)


Gone Girl – October 3  (So curious about this one….Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris.)

The picture below was taken at school yesterday. The kids were “crossing themselves” for a snow day. It worked!  No school today…


Lost…but now Found

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This could be a very expensive movie to watch, but I’m committed. The DVD didn’t cost much – about $6.00 plus shipping and handling.  It’s the international/all formats DVD player that could be the issue, but even that won’t deter me from seeing it. The popcorn popper is ready.

As my regular readers know, the Irish picture book author and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers is one of my very favorite children’s book people. One of the (very) few authors whose books I will order unseen. He is just that good. And my favorite of Jeffers’ ten picture books is Lost and Found. It’s the one about the lonely penguin who finds a friend. I know it sounds cliché, but if you don’t know the book – seek it out!

And now there’s a movie version of Lost and Found. Well actually, it’s been around since 2008. Why didn’t I know about this earlier? It was on YouTube, of course. Lost…but now Found: