Monday, September 19, 2011

90-Second Newbery in Your Library

Do you have 90 seconds to spare and a few willing, creative kids in your library?  If so, you still have time to create and submit an entry to James Kennedy's 90-Second Newbery Film Festival by Monday, October 17th

James Kennedy, author of The Order of the Odd Fish, and Betsy Bird of NYPL and SLJ's Fuse #8 Production blog, have joined forces to curate a film festival consisting of videos "that compress the story of a Newbery award-winning book into 90 seconds or less."  This contest is open to all (ages 0-18) and at the bottom of a blog post back in January, Betsy Bird made note of a "New York Caveat" where NY kids are not restricted to only Newbery books.  Imagine the possibilities!  (Note: Since you're in the area, you can also attend the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival at the main branch of the New York Public Library on November 5, 2011 from 3-5pm.)

So if you're wondering why I'm making such a fuss over this clever little contest, allow me to explain.  Near the end of last school year,  I "caught" a few of my 5th grade students huddled around a computer streaming James Kennedy's video "A Wrinkle in Time" In 90 Seconds on Vimeo.  One of the girls explained to me what the video was and how she wanted to get some kids together to enter this contest with her.  Right away, I was interested in the project and knew I had to get involved. 

As a faculty advisor, I was able to help the students get organized, access equipment that the school already owned, and provide a space/time for them to prepare and execute the video.  I had the very good fortune of working with a group of kids who were extremely motivated as well as technically proficient.  At times it felt hectic but for the most part it was fun!  The students decided to create a  90-second(ish) rendition of Ellen Raskin's 1979 Newbery winner The Westing Game.  Without further ado...

Want to see more 90-Second Newbery entries?  Check out YouTube and search "90-Second Newbery" or visit James Kennedy's blog.  Enjoy!

This post was brought to you by HVLA President, Angela Ungaro.


  1. It was a great video! I'm looking forward to putting it up on my blog soon. Do the stars plan to come to the film festival? If so, maybe we can do something special with them at the screening! Let me know.

  2. Thanks, James! That would be so cool. I'm certain my students would love to do something special at the screening. I will be in touch...