This year on the Hub we are celebrating the Twelve Days of YA with a series of posts loosely based on the traditional Twelve Days…
It’s almost Christmas–which means that many of us have a few days off to look forward to, hopefully with some reading time scheduled in. I always look forward to picking up one of my new Christmas gift books, but I also like to read and share with my kids fun seasonal stories at this time of year, too. Here are some possibilities for both you and the young kids in your life this holiday season:
Captain Sky Blue. By Richard Egielski. Jack receives the pilot Captain Sky Blue (“Sky”) and a model plane kit one Christmas, and the two of them have great fun building and flying the plane. When a fun trick, an errant hat, and a bad storm blow Sky far away, he has a wild adventure getting back to Jack–and he saves Santa’s flight on the following Christmas along the way.
Hershel and the Hannukah Goblins. By Eric Kimmel, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. This is an older Hanukkah book–I remember reading it when I was a kid–but the pictures that earned Ms. Hyman a Caldecott Honor and the fun story about Hershel tricking goblins continues to make the book a fun choice.
Classics — whether they are novels, plays, or epics — offer us great characters, interesting plots, and lots of things for discussion … but sometimes they can be a little tough to tackle. Sometimes we adore them, but sometimes we can’t get past page 3, let alone the requisite 50. That doesn’t mean that we should give up what they have to offer, though, does it? Many of today’s authors try to use these classic works as a starting-off point to write a more modern version. If done well, these contemporary versions can have a huge impact and impart the same wisdom that made the earlier story gain its classic status. Jessica Miller and I decided to find and examine some great pairs of classics and their contemporary rewrites to see if they are successful … or maybe not.
The Classic: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
We’ve all encountered this story some kind of way, even if we’ve never read the novel. Maybe you grew up watching one of the old films or discovered it through the new animated one with Jim Carrey as the voice of Scrooge. I grew up watching Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol at least once a year. And who doesn’t love the Doctor Who episode (sadly not a Christmas Special) featuring Charles Dickens?
I recently decided to bite the bullet and sit myself down to read the original source material. And I’m glad I did. Here’s what I can tell you.