Books to Film

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Every once in a while, I get to thinking about my favorite television or movie adaptations of books. Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, The Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women, and Matilda come to mind.

For this generation, perhaps it is The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Harry Potter.

But whatever books we are talking about, when a popular book or book series is made into a movie(s), controversy surrounds it. Which characters did they change? What characters did they leave out? How much did they alter the story for film?

I remember the Lil’ Diva complaining for days because a certain character, and therefore, her favorite scene, were cut from Divergent. Gasp! How dare they?

What are some of your favorite television and movie adaptations? Were you ever irked in how they changed it for film?

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

11th

Lovers of dystopian fiction will want to read Jeff Hirsch’s The Eleventh Plague.

Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn lives the life of a salvager after a biological war left most Americans dead. His family is among the few survivors. When his grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen makes his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems almost untouched by the war. There Stephen meets Jenny, a complex girl who refuses to accept things as they are. When they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, they find themselves in the middle of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing and their lives forever.

Ever since reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the Lil Diva (11) has been on a dystopian fiction kick. It’s not my favorite genre, but it definitely is one filled with raw emotions. During last year’s summer reading program at the library, pre-teens and teens got a chance to pick free paperbacks as prizes. That’s how we got our hands on The Eleventh Plague.

After the collapse, meaning after a nation unleashed a deadly virus on the United States, survivors ended up in certain roles. Some, like Stephen Quinn’s family, were salvagers. Others became slavers or mercenaries. Stephen has only known life as a salvager, but all that changes after his grandfather dies and his father slips into a coma after a fall. Found by scouts from Settler’s Landing, Stephen and his father are brought to this almost ideal community where a woman doctor cares for Stephen’s father and Stephen attempts to adjust to life as a kid going to school and playing baseball. Then he meets Jenny. He doesn’t know what that girl’s deal is, but she certainly isn’t happy about the life she’s living. As they grow closer, Stephen is torn between a commitment to caring for his father, going to school, and his attraction to Jenny.

While I will never be a fan of this genre, I must admit Hirsch put together a can’t put down story that begs to be read. This book drips angst. The only life Stephen has ever known is tossed into chaos. He’s not welcome by everyone at Settler’s Landing and he has trouble fitting in. And to watch the results of an innocent prank unfold into something Jenny and Stephen could never have imagined is totally heartbreaking.

If I had to level any criticism of the book it would be that the epilogue went on too long. Even if a book is the most satisfying one you ever read, I don’t know many people who enjoy an epilogue that is nearly twenty pages long.

My girls at 11 and 9 are a bit too young for the book, but they often read more advanced material. Parents should be forewarned for pre-teens that there are a few kissing scenes and Stephen talks about how Jenny feels against his body or his reaction to her kisses.

Superb story, excellent ending, and definitely a winner if you enjoy this genre.

Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Reading level: Ages 12 and up

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545290147
ISBN-13: 978-0545290142

We received a free copy of this paperback from our local library. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Interview with Nicole Langan, Founder of Tribute Books

Beginning in 2012, Tribute Books will become solely an ebook publisher of young adult titles. In 2011, Tribute Books celebrated its 7th year as an independent publisher for independent writers. We got a chance to interview their founder, Nicole Langan, to talk about this most recent development.

It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for Tribute Books. What made you decide to enter the YA market?

First and foremost, I am a fan of the young adult genre. I think with the enormous popularity of the Twilight and Hunger Games series, it has opened the flood gates for readers of all ages to enjoy the type of escape these books provide. Plus, I feel the quality of writing in the current young adult market can hold its own against any other literary category. The stories might be marketed to teens, but their crossover appeal can delight the sensibilities of a more adult reader.

What prompted the decision to be solely an ebook publisher for this market?

Without a doubt, it was the level of passion shown by young adult fans for the books they love. That level of enthusiasm for reading truly inspires me as a publisher. I love seeing the outpouring of support throughout the social media spectrum for titles like Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush Hush series or Cassandra Clare’s uber-popular Mortal Instruments installments. Their excitement for the written word makes me want to get up in the morning.

Will you consider printed YA books in the future?

At this point, we’re probably going to remain focused on the ebook market. The book industry is in such a state of flux right now, it is probably best to wait and see how the dust settles before committing to offer future print publications.

Is there a particular story or stories for this market you’re hoping a writer brings to you?

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’m flooded with submissions of some damn good writing. For me, the particular focus isn’t so much of a priority as the overall quality of the author’s ability. If it’s good, I think avid readers will want to check it out regardless of what particular niche it falls into. If the buzz is positive, I feel readers will take a chance on different aspects of the young adult genre.

What are some of the most important skills a writer must have in order to be considered by Tribute Books?

My preference is to work with authors who have been previously published by a royalty-paying press. Ones that know the ins and outs of what it means to promote a book. I’m looking for authors who know what it means to have an established social media presence and are committed to maintaining a blog, Twitter account and Facebook page on a daily basis. If they’re willing to commit to the time and effort it takes to promote, then I’m here to help them every step of the way.

Here are additional details from Tribute Books:

  • They seek those who have experience having their work edited and know the effort required for successful book promotion.
  • There would be NO charge for authors, and those selected would receive 50% of the net retail price in royalties.
  • To begin, they’re looking to work with 12 authors in 2012, publishing one per month.
  • Tribute Books is a traditional publisher, not a vanity press.

Visit Tribute Books online at www.tribute-books.com to view their submissions guidelines.