Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Best Week: Laughter in the Dark

New layout! New feature! New…erm, season!

It's fall. L'automne. No more heinous heat and humidity. No more tornado…oh, what? There's a tornado watch over DC/MD today? …Oh.

Well. No more heinous heat and humidity, at least. And look! Here I am! With a shiny new blog feature I think I really can keep up with!

I'm calling it the very imprecise-yet-snappy MY BEST WEEK, and the idea is, when a week or so has gone by since my last post, I'll come back to tell all about the best thing that I was in some way a part of in the seven-ish days prior.

Today I have TWO things, because I am an over-achiever.

Best Thing 1:

PITCH PERFECT screening with FYA@DC book club friends last Wednesday, graciously set up by the lovely ladies at Forever Young Adult.

Guys. Guys. GUYS. PITCH PERFECT is so.very.crazy.good. SO GOOD. And SURPRISING, which is always the best part of a good funny story. Surprisingly good singing/vocal arrangements; surprising cameos; surprising abstention from formulaic plot points. Surprising…erm, projections. (I'll let those moments themselves spoil you when you OBVIOUSLY EVENTUALLY SEE IT)

Thank you again, ye goddesses at FYA HQ, for showering big book club cities with PITCH PERFECT screening love.

And you're welcome, Universal Pictures, for ALL OF THE MONEY I will be spending to see the movie again and again and again once it's released for real.

Best Thing 2:

So I read a lot of middle grade, and love a lot of middle grade, and recognize the technical wizardry of a lot of middle grade, but I forget how easy it is to forget what it's like to be ten and find the perfect book that just worms its way into your brain from page one and is THE BEST THING EVER.

Well, no longer.

I've been feeding one of my fifth grade tutoring students lists of potential "fun" books she might like to pick up whenever she finishes with THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, and even though it wasn't even released when I first told her about it, and therefore couldn't offer an informed opinion of any sort, this bright, off-the-walls energetic ten-year-old girl was figuratively DYING to get her hands on a copy of Ellis Weiner's THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA:

Holy BELLS did Weiner and Chronicle Books hit the nail square in the middle with this one. Every paragraph, every irritated narratorial aside, every satiric beat of the questions for review at the end of the four not-actually-prologue Prologues…perfect. My student was literally rolling off her chair laughing.

It was incredible. I mean, INCREDIBLE. I have all these dreams about kids getting their hands on wonderful books and really GETTING them and LOVING them, but it's been so long since I've seen it first hand, I'd forgotten how viscerally moving it is.

So I left my (library!) copy with her. I mean, even if she loves it to destruction (which I think she is far too excited about taking care of it to do), I'm willing to pay the replacement fees to engender that kind of enthusiasm for reading.

So. There it is. Entry one in MY BEST WEEK.

See you all for the next one.

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