Musings on children's and YA literature, the academy, and the relationship between them, from an English professor and mother.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Do you sometimes worry that a movie can't live up to a book you love? How many times have you been disappointed? My first time was with, of all things, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I'd loved the book (by Ian Fleming, of James Bond fame). It was funny and smart and rude (the car had buttons that lit up and said, "Push Me, Stupid!"). The family wasn't gorgeous. There was no "Truly Scrumptious" (though that is a Bond-ish name, isn't it?). The whole thing wasn't just a dream. The movie was an utter disappointment, so great that I have actually never seen it again.

And yet I keep going to see movies made from books. Some work, some don't; some improve on the book, some are just interesting interpretations. Sometimes I can forgive major departures from the novel; sometimes I can't. Sometimes the casting is so right, or so wrong, that it colors your reading of the novel forever. (A tween girl I know is already worried about the casting for the upcoming Twilight movie...)

Persepolis works. And now you can read Caroline's great column about it, too.


  1. thanks for the link, and the movie list! I haven't seen any of the ones you mentioned, good or bad...

  2. Gone with the Wind - I know, I know. Huge movie hit. But I made the big mistake of watching it right after I finished the novel. I think I cried sheerly out of disappointment.