‘Insurgent’ Movie Previews: This is Making Me Nervous!

Another Insurgent trailer released today, along with a “Sneak Peak” that includes commentary from the actors, director and Veronica Roth herself. As much as I am looking forward to the film and want it to succeed, there are more than a couple of elements that are making me a bit wary about getting my hopes up for something that was as good an adaptation as the first movie. [Read more…]

Call for Papers: New Young Adult Literature Journal

Good news, YA scholars!  Study and Scrutiny: Research in Young Adult Literature, a new peer-reviewed journal on young adult literature is being launched!  Please consider submissions of scholarly work!

Halloween Howler to JKR

As a special Halloween treat, J.K. Rowling provided us with a biography of everyone’s least favorite Hogwarts professor. No, not John Granger (Trick, Headmaster, trick!). Dolores Umbridge.

On the one hand, I am, pun intended, tickled pink.  Recently I presented a paper at the Chestnut Hill conference on Harry Potter and Nature Deficit Disorder, arguing that the most oppressive characters and settings in Harry Potter are also the most removed from nature,  (See the Mugglenet academia podcast for a summary… my section begins about 1:13). While I didn’t address Umbridge in the talk, I added a section on her last night when writing up the paper for hopeful publication–before reading this latest edition, thankyouverymuch–describing the artifically frilly decor of Umbridge’s offices and the disconnect with the natural world (the flowers, foul porcelain kitten plates), and what that tells us about her (hint: it isn’t good).  I even remarked about that fact the she and McGonagall share the same cat patronus, but whereas Minerva embraces the actual animal to the extent of turning herself into one, we never even see Umbridge approach a real cat,  only her artificial ones.  JKR confirmed that she doesn’t like them. [Read more…]

New Insurgent Posters released today

New “interactive” Insurgent posters are being released on Lionsgate today.

Here is the first, of Caleb.

And the second, of Tori.

The Living, Post 1: Names Do Have Meaning Out Here.

I’ve been wanting for some time to start a series of posts on Matt de la Pena’s The Living, and in light of the increasing concern about ebola– specifically, the sluggish response of a wealthier nations to diseases afflicting poor people of color, not to mention the conspiracy theories already cropping up– the book should attract even more interest.  With the sequel coming out on May 15th, we should have time to discuss the book fully before then.  But, rather than start with the germ class warfare angle, I am going to start with a look at the possible significance of some of the names of the key characters. The title of Chapter 11 is a line the mysterious Shoeshine tells Shy on the Paradise ship, “Names have no meaning out here.”  I am going to argue that they do.

Spoilers ahead!

[Read more…]