Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Through the Fence

Recently I saw a preview showing of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas- based on the book by John Doyne (2006). It took me days to shake the movie off. I remember people sat in the theater without moving or talking for several minutes after the credits rolled. Usually I am the last to leave. Not so, this time. When people finally pulled themselves together enough to leave, they began to talk. They talked of Bruno. They talked of the boy he met through the fence.

There is a new book out this year- a picture book for older readers, also about two kids and a fence. A fence that surrounds a work camp near a small village in Germany. Based on a true story, Angel Girl by Laurie Friedman (2008) tells the story of a boy who was sent to a work camp where a young farm girl met him at the fence and brought him apples. It may not have the ending you expect, but you will be all the better for it.
Suggestion? Read it after The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It won’t take away the horrors of that story, but it will remind you that sometimes a good deed is rewarded.
By the way, I was able to see an advance screening through Grace Hill Media. Sign up with them and you can get invitations (first come first served seating) at many movies you might share with kids. I also get invitations from Walden Media. Sign up for their newsletter too. Both sites have links to discussion guides and many other resources that you might use. Publishers Weekly has a Children's Bookshelf Newsletter that will keep you in the know about what books are being made into movies. See the movie, but read the book. It's usually better!

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