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Silent Movie Hardcover – March 1, 2003
I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God
Through Bible stories, short devotions, and prayers, children discover the meaning of each name and how it relates to their lives. Hardcover
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From School Library Journal
Nancy Palmer, The Little School, Bellevue, WA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
More About the Author
Avi is part of a family of writers extending back into the 19th century. Born in 1937 and raised in New York City, Avi was educated in local schools, before going to the Midwest and then back to NYC to complete his education. Starting out as a playwright--while working for many years as a librarian--he began writing books for young people when the first of his kids came along.
His first book was Things That Sometimes Happen, published in 1970, and recently reissued. Since then he has published seventy books. Winner of many awards, including the 2003 Newbery award for Crispin: the Cross of Lead (Hyperion), two Newbery Honors, two Horn Book awards, and an O'Dell award, as well as many children's choice awards, he frequently travels to schools around the country to talk to his readers.
Among his most popular books are Crispin: The Cross of Lead, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, the Poppy books, Midnight Magic, and The Fighting Ground.
In 2008 he published The Seer of Shadows (HarperCollins), A Beginning a Muddle and an End (Harcourt), Hard Gold (Hyperion) and Not Seeing is Believing, a one-act play in the collection, Acting Out (Simon and Schuster). Crispin: the End of Time, the third in the Newbery Award-winning series, was published in 2010. City of Orphans was released in 2011, receiving a number of starred reviews. Learn more at Avi-writer.com. Follow Avi on Facebook, facebook.com/avi.writer, where he shares an inside look at his writing process.
Avi lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife and family.
Top Customer Reviews
The beauty of this picture book is that the reader can understand the story by looking primarily at the pictures. The front cover depicts a stage, while the back cover has the credits (author, illustrator, and characters). Mordan captures the feelings of the characters in each one of his illustrations, while Avi's text compliments the drawings. The illustrations are done in black and while to convey the feeling of a silent move. Also, many pictures appear to have a spotlight, furthering the silent movie theme. Teachers can use Silent Movie with their students in learning about immigration and the history of films.
An author's note and illustrator's note can be found at the back of the book. Both describe the style used in Silent Movie, in terms of recreating a melodramatic yet simple story, and provide a brief history about silent films. Considering Silent Movie was published in 2003, this may be a contender for the 2004 Caldecott Award and other book awards.
The story recpaitulates much of the immigrant experience: The yearning for economic freedom, the shipboard travails, and the ghettoized poverty that awaited the new arrivals (this particular family is from Sweden). The family is eventually helped by ghetto dwellers, but especially by a Dickinsian stroke of good luck: The robbery of the young protagonist turns into his "discovery" by a movie director (bald and cryptic, modelled perhaps on Von Stroheim), who turns the boy from extra to $100 a week feature player.
The story, a little like the movie that the family sees at the nickolodean, is melodramtic, abrupt, and somewhat implausible. Right away, the father is separated, but the family doesn't seem to do much to find him. (Of fourse, finding something to eat is takes precedent over reuniting the father.) All kinds of fortuitous events move the sketchy plot along, such as the robbery and subsequent cinematic rise of the boy.
However, the book's major and unique appeal is the visual. Capturing the look of early silent films, the illustrator uses all the trick of the early directors and cinematographers: Extreme close-ups, scene-setting longshots, the skewed perspectives and angularity of the German expressionists, high contrasted silhouettes and splotlighted characters, and melodramatic facial expressions that more than make up for the lack of spoken dialogue. In addition to the story and visual elements, the book design expresses a silent movie theatricality from the opening "credits" to the curtain.Read more ›