Optimistic Gamemakers: Roth’s Chosen Ones Movie Rights Already Sold.

See news item here.

The deal marks a reunion of the team that brought Divergent to the big screen: [Erik] Feig acquired the rights to Divergent when he was the head of Summit Entertainment and will now produce, as will Pouya Shahbazian, one of the original Divergent producers. Roth will also act as a producer.

Wow!  There is clearly optimism here especially considering 1) how the Divergent franchise overplayed its hand and imploded and 2) that Hollywood seems to have passed on Roth’s Carve the Mark duology.

This makes me hopeful that the early positive reviews of this volume are deserved. But, if I were Ms. Roth, I would have made purchase of the film right contingent on a producer pledge not to get greedy.  And perhaps asked Mr. Feig to write this 100 times or so, first.

 

Pottering around the house in the midst of the COVID-19.

This particular Hogwarts Professor has had her academic workload suddenly quadrupled as she tries to move three classes, one lab, two thesis students and two interns online.  But, I wanted to pop in and suggest a few ways Potterphiles with more free time can entertain themselves during confinement.

First, the fine folks at Audible.com have made many great books available for free, including some good young adult lit and classic works of literature.  Check them out and, if you find something you want to discuss here, include it in the comments.

Second, JKR has relaxed the copyright on Harry Potter, and allowing teachers to read aloud to students.  Among the many conducting read-alongs are the Head Girls who run the great Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival; check out their Facebook page to tune in.  Another choice would be my friend and former student Dylan’s YouTube presentation. 

Finally, my sweet sister-in-law sent me a link to a Virtual Harry Potter Escape Room, created by Peters Township Public Library.  I’ve only just gotten started, but it looks pretty good.

All for now…  stay home and stay healthy, everyone.

 

 

Final Day for Make Magic for Autism T-shirts.

My Make Magic for Autism T-Shirt campaign ends tonight at midnight EST.  This is the final opportunity to purchase a shirt (in your favorite house color) in support of my Skillcorps Ecuador Team for the Global Autism Project. 

I am hoping to have a long-term partnership with the organization, and there will be many opportunities for fundraising in the future. Which makes me wonder, what would a clever Cormoran Strike t-shirt look like?

For those who are wondering, the Global Autism project cancelled its February trips, in an abundance of caution for the coronavirus. This resulted in a loss of 1/3 of the organization’s revenue, making our current work that much more important. July SkillCorps trips are still planned, in hopes that the corona virus will no longer be a threat. If those trips get canceled, too, I’ll be re-booked on a later one. The virus won’t last forever; autism will.

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”- Albus Dumbledore.

Early Reviews for Veronica Roth’s Chosen Ones Look Promising.

About a month ago, Publishers Weekly published a great interview with Veronica Roth, where she talks about a lot of the same topics I addressed in my first article on the book. All Roth readers and fellow Divergent junkies are invited to check it out and discuss.  Notably, she speaks about the hurt she felt when she read about herself described as a “one-note wonder.”  Unfortunately, the interview itself played into that theme a bit by never mentioning her Carve the Mark duology, or any of her other post-Divergent writings.

If the early reviews of Chosen Ones are accurate, though, this could be the series that rids her of that moniker once and for all.  The Publishers Weekly review says that Roth “puts the popular trope of the teenage ‘chosen one’ under the microscope and delves into both the societal impacts of young shoulders carrying the weight of saving the world and the psychological strains of such a responsibility,” and predicts “readers will be delighted by both the magical adventure and the diverse cast.”  Kirkus states, “There’s a lot of magic and action to make for a propulsive plot, but much more impressive are the character studies as Roth takes recognizable and beloved teen-hero types and explores what might happen to them as adults.”

Looking forward to April 7th!!

In a World Full of Umbridge, Who Would You Be?

Like a lot of Potterphiles, I have Harry Potter merchandise popping up on my social media feeds on a near-daily basis. One of the more recent appearances was a T-shirt reading “In a world full of Umbridge, be a Fred and George.”  While the mischievous redheads were undoubtedly major nemeses of the Toad Lady, I found it hard to envision myself wearing one of these shirts. I guess I’m at the age where I identify more with the middle-aged ladies of the Wizarding World than the kids.

Which led me to think, who would I put on mine?  Two answers immediately sprung to mind.   First, the teacher who was the antithesis of Dolores: Minerva McGonagall. In our humor episode of Reading, Writing, Rowling, several McGonagall v. Umbridge moments made it into our “funniest scenes” lists. Certainly McGonagall is one of the finest teachers in the series, one with high standards of excellence and who daily earns the respect of her students. In other words, everything dear Dolores wanted to be. Harry’s regard for her is clear: when even his own godfather’s murder could not push him into performing a Cruciatus curse on the perp, Amycus Carrow’s spitting in McGonagall’s face did.

The second, of course, is the best (or, at least the best living) mom of the series, Molly Weasley. In addition to being a surrogate mom and regular source of comfort (as opposed to pain) for Harry, Molly is also a loving mother to the twins. Yes, she gets exasperated with them frequently, sometimes seeming as short-tempered as Umbridge, but her love never wavers and she is never cruel. In the end, she accepts that the twins are successful in their own right, even with their poor OWL results, aborted education and non-conventional career choice.

More on Minerva, Molly and T-shirts after the jump! [Read more…]