Saturday, January 9, 2010

Book and Movie Reviews

Contrasting pictures. And yet, this novel and movie have the same theme.

Since I signed up for the 2009 SCBWI conference I attended in November, I have been making my way through Patricia Reilly Giff's collection of novels. And, I have enjoyed each and every one.

I just finished Nory Ryan's Song, which is a tribute to Ms. Giff's ancestors who weathered the famine in Ireland. While a historical novel can always teach us something, it can also inspire us. But very few times have I gotten choked up while reading a novel, particularly a children's book. But Nory's sacrifices for her family led me to finishing the book late one night while my husband groaned because my light was keeping him awake. Usually something I try to avoid but totally incomprehensible to me that evening. The ending was somewhat happy but heartbreakingly real.

From the persecution of the Irish by the English, my husband and I moved onto the persecution of aliens by humans. Yep! You heard me right. Nev is on top of the movie scene. Most often, I retrieve a movie from my mailbox that I've never heard of. As parents of young kids, watching movies at home is one of our most popular activities. I appreciate my husband's efforts to choose interesting atypical movies.

District 9 was not your beat the aliens movie we've seen for decades. Knowing it was produced by Peter Jackson (who made the Lord of the Rings movies), I had hopes it wouldn't be just any alien movie. I'm not into alien movies. I would have chosen Julia and Julie last night over the aliens but opted to have a little faith in Nev(and Peter).

From the first scene, I was in. Not only was it a completely different take on aliens, it was good. All the way until the last scene. And, the theme was the age old idea of treat your neighbor how you would want to be treated. No matter their color, religion, political affiliation, or whether they have skin or scales.

Give one, or both, a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.


  1. Thanks, Jen! They both sound terrific. Barnes & Noble carries a neat little light that runs off a small battery. It clips to your book and you can adjust it too. I have one for those nights that I want to read in bed, and it won't disturb the hubby.

  2. THanks, Amy for the tip. I will have to get one! And, if you noticed, sorry I didn't post yoru comment sooner. I'm having an issue with receiving email notification. always appreciate your comments!