STEVEN SPIELBERG

CRAZY FOR MOVIES

E.T., Schindler’s List, and An American Tale—these seemingly disparate movies all came from the mind of Steven Spielberg, arguably one of the most influential people in the history of cinema. Filled with interviews with Spielberg’s friends, the stars of his films, and his family, this biography presents the man behind the legend. From exploding cherry pie filling his mother’s kitchen to the games he used to play to torment his sisters, it is apparent that Spielberg was destined to become a creative filmmaker. This fast-paced look at Spielberg’s life from childhood through the present is filled with never-before-seen family photographs, eye-catching movie stills, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of movie-making magic. Humorous anecdotes of his early filmmaking career fill the first several chapters, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers. A bibliography includes films, CDs, videos, interviews, and recordings, as well as books and articles. (glossary of filmmaking terms) (Biography. 10-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-8109-4492-8

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2001

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PEAK

Dare-devil mountain-climber Peak Marcello (14), decides to scale the Woolworth Building and lands in jail. To save him, his long-lost Everest-trekking dad appears with a plan for the duo to make a life in Katmandu—a smokescreen to make Peak become the youngest person in history to summit Mount Everest. Peak must learn to navigate the extreme and exotic terrain but negotiate a code of ethics among men. This and other elements such as the return of the long-lost father, bite-size chunks of information about climbing and altitude, an all-male cast, competition and suspense (can Peak be the youngest ever to summit Everest, and can he beat out a 14-year-old Nepalese boy who accompanies him?) creates the tough stuff of a “boys read.” The narrative offers enough of a bumpy ride to satisfy thrill seekers, while Peak’s softer reflective quality lends depth and some—but not too much—emotional resonance. Teachers will want to pair this with Mark Pfetzer’s Within Reach: My Everest Story (1998). (Fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: May 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-15-202417-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2007

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FOOTBALL GENIUS

Sixth-grader Troy White is a one-of-a-kind athlete with the ability to predict which plays any football team will run even before the ball is snapped. However, his mental talents don’t help him crack his youth-league team’s starting lineup (the coach plays his own son at quarterback). Troy dreams of pitching his talent to his beloved Atlanta Falcons, helping them post a winning season. Seemingly an after-school-special waiting to happen, and marked by cinematic writing, this feel-good story has a place in libraries fielding requests for clean and uplifting stories. Touching scenes of underdog Troy wishing he had a father to help him are contrasted with very realistic on-the-field football action, which is not surprising considering that the author is a former NFL player. Many actual players’ names are dropped throughout the story but some, like Randy Moss, may soon switch teams. More than a sports story, romance pops up as Troy nudges star Falcon linebacker Seth Halloway to date Troy’s mother. This light and fast-paced story will appeal to the tween crowd. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: July 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-06-112270-5

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2007

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