My monthly exploration into the world of film adaptations of our favorite children’s books gives me a lot of food for thought. There are some months when I have incredibly strong feelings about the differences between the book and its movie, and other months when I think the changes were unnoticeable, or even necessary. Thinking about the two mediums and how they compare to one another always gets my brain fired up. I love it.
So why not spread that love? My colleague Krishna Grady and I have been brainstorming the idea of a book-to-film club for kids for almost a year, and this fall, it will finally be a reality! We’re calling the program RWD (those of us who remember VCRs will know how to pronounce that!) or Read, Watch, Discuss. Every month we’ll select a title, provide paperback copies of the book to check out, and then culminate with a pizza party/viewing of the film based on that particular book, followed by a discussion of the differences between the two.
We are so excited to kick off this new kind of book club at our library. We decided to gear the program towards our older patrons, so its currently open to all in 4-6th grade. We also decided to start with a book that we know many of our kids have read and loved, Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I wrote a post about this very film (and the author’s problems with it) last year on this blog, which helped inspire the club. The book is a favorite in our library, but there was another reason to chose it. Through through carefully placed questions over the summer I came to realize that most of my patrons had not actually seen the movie, and more, were not even aware of its existence, as it was more for my generation than theirs. It will be a new viewing experience for them, rather than something familiar like Harry Potter, which I hope will draw more kids in!
Do you have a film or book-to-film club at your library? Who comes to the club? How long do they stay? And do you have any recommendations for future meetings of RWD? I’d love to hear them!