If you are at all a fan of comics, or have a child who is, you have likely heard of Ryan North, writer of the hilarious comic book series, Adventure Time , the wildly popular Dinosaur Comics and perhaps even the #1 best-selling Amazon short story anthology Machine of Death .
North had an idea for a new project, a take-off on the beloved children’s series Choose Your Own Adventure, wherein the reader can select different paths for different characters. Each path leads to a radically different ending for the character and for the story.
Why not apply the same idea to the Bard? North mused. He took his idea to Kickstarter, a crowd-sourcing site which funds creative projects. North made his goal of raising $20,000 in three and a half hours, made six times his goal in a week, and now the project has accrued $580,905.
Here’s an idea of what you can do with North’s adventurous Hamlet (from The Guardian):
Readers will be able to opt to Hamlet (“an emo teen in his early 30s”), Ophelia (“She’s got a +1 science stat, but she’s also got a -1 weakness against water”) or the King, Hamlet’s father, “who (SURPRISE) dies on the first page and becomes a ghost. And then we make fun of you for dying on the first page, but you can become a ghost and must INVESTIGATE YOUR OWN MURDER that you TOTALLY SLEPT THROUGH because you got SLEEPY IN AN ORCHARD. (“Shakespeare wrote this part,” said North.)
So what are you waiting for?
There is good news for young adults (and parents) who are tired of lifeless, often commercially-oriented films. Two classic novels for young people, Lois Lowry’s The Giver is in production and Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes was released in 2012.
Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal, Lowry’s The Giver is often required reading in junior high and it is one novel that most students enthusiastically embrace. Set in the future, Lowry’s riveting tale revolves around Jonas and his “community.” When Jonas is selected to be the new “Receiver of Memories,” he discovers that the idealized life his community has created is horrific. Little by little, Jonas becomes increasingly aware that everyone he knows and loves, and everything he has been taught in his engineered, perfect world is evil.
For the film version, (the making of which has been rumored for some fifteen years) actor Jeff Bridges will play the lead. Auditions are still underway to fulfill the role of Jonas. You can listen to an interview with Lowry and the upcoming film based on her novel on NPR’s Studio 360 here.
(Have you been assigned The Giver in school or do you want to learn more? Here at eNotes, not only do we have a comprehensive study guide for the work, but also individual quizzes for each chapter of the novel! Test your knowledge before your exam or just for fun!)
Another teen favorite which made its debut on the big screen recently is Judy Blume’s classic novel Tiger Eyes. Tiger Eyes is about teenager Davey Wexler dealing with her father’s sudden and shocking death. Like all of Blume’s work, (which has won over ninety awards) the author treats real world concerns of teenagers with deftness but also includes her trademark humor which keeps even the most sensitive of topics from becoming overbearing. Tiger Eyes was released in April 2012. You can listen to an interview with Blume on NPR’s Think with Krys Boyd here.
Want to learn more about Tiger Eyes? Check out our study guide and stay tuned for upcoming chapter-by-chapter quizzes for the work!
Readers, what other Young Adult novels would you like to see given a cinematic treatment?