Welcome back to another installment of Bookster's 5x5! With the holidays right around the corner, we've gathered five wonderful Jewish writers to talk about Hanukkah, inspiration, and representation.
While there are moments in The Institute that would give you similarly dark vibes, this work serves as another example of a strong point that his new works have been striving towards making: not just to instill fear in the reader, but also to provide the tools to help combat it...
Its is Roald Dahl Day! It’s the day we celebrate our long lost childhood! Just kidding, it’s a day we celebrate the adored children’s author Roald Dahl, as it is his birthday! Dahl is best known for works such as Matilda, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.
Roald Dahl was a British-Norwegian author who wrote short stories, novels, poetry and screenplays. He is best known for his fantastical children’s stories, but also published widely for adults, earning him acclaim as an adult author for books like Going Solo.
His work continues to be celebrated to this day, from new movie adaptations (Spielberg’s The BGF and a recently announced upcoming adaptation of The Witches) to events such as The National Museum of History’s James and the Giant Weekend, which was a festival that included numerous activities for family fun! Mixing science, bugs and storytelling, kids got to learn a whole bunch about the making of Dahl’s story and discover what kind of bug they would be based off a personality quiz….Weird but great!
Today the National Museum of Natural History is paying another tribute to ‘James and the Giant Peach’ called James’s Minibeasts: Science and Fiction which is all about the real characters from Dahl’s story. Another way children have been playing tribute to is by dressing up as the characters from all his books!
Image via Telegraph Uk
His childhood haven’t spent in a boarding school inspired some parts to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because Cadbury Chocolate used to send chocolates to his school for tasting and he always dreamed of making the perfect chocolate bar for Mr. Cadbury! Pretty neat!
Image via Giphy
It’s imperative that Roald Dahl will continue to live on in little kid hearts! His lasting impact on children’s literature will go on uninterrupted as his works continue to be adapted to big screen productions and redone. So sit back and relax and channel in your inner kid and watch some Matilda!
Featured Image via Hand Made Places
If you payed attention in grade school or were a total bookworm during your childhood, you probably know the name Judy Blume. She features on many back to school reading lists, as well as being a favorite of young adult readers the world over. Judy is a complete icon, who has produced plethora of classics for a bunch of children and pre-teens alike.
Image Via New York Post
Judy Blume quickly shot to fame because her books taught lessons about sex, love, friendships and family. She has impacted many people with her words for almost fifty years and counting. Her first book The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo was published in 1969 after a long span of rejections, and she released one more book, Iggie’s House before finally gaining acclaim with Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret in 1970. Blume broadened the understanding of female adolescents by providing audiences with brilliant representations of teenage girls in her work.
Image via Broadly
In an interview with New York City, Strand Bookstore Judy Blume says her favorite childhood book was Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans and was the first book she bought for her daughter when she was born. Blume has gone on to collected well known awards such as Young Adult Literary Prize from the Chicago Tribune, The McGovern Award and Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award. She ahs also received an honorary doctorates from Harvard.
Tiger Eyes was adapted to film by her son Lawrence Blume in 2012, and sold over 85 million copies in over a dozen different languages. Even though she’s eighty-years-old she’s pretty tech savvy and extremely funny on twitter, so don’t be afraid to tweet her @judyblume.
Image via Twitter
Feature Image via New York Post
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing is studied and discussed in many school and college classrooms due to her political and social activism, which she explores in both her novels and her mini-manifesto, We Should All Be Feminists.
Ngozi Adichie presented a fascinating Ted Talk called The Danger of a Single Story in which she discusses how writing shaped her childhood and adult writing and understanding of the world.
Image via Variety
Adichie’s understanding of the effects of the single story narrative stemming from her childhood is fascinating. Stories are not only told through books but also through language. She admits were not many diverse books about African culture when she was a child, and so she read many European and American books. As a result, she internalized the idea of an ordinary American girl being the ideal, and all the characters she wrote about would be white, with blonde hair and blue eyes, who talked about the weather, and ate apples, two things little girls in Nigeria didn’t do, as the weather was temperate and the local fruit was the mango. She uses the example to show how it is important to write what you know in order to broaden the minds of your readers, rather than writing what you have read over and over.
Adichie makes it clear that she had a comfortable upbringing, in a middle-class home with educated parents, and she had many opportunities others did not have. Going to America for college was eye-opening, as many people had preconceived notions of what being ‘from Africa’ meant. Her roommate wanted to listen to her ‘tribal’ music and teach her how to use the stove.
If you’d like to learn more about how important it is to challenge the ‘single story’ perspective, watch Adichi’s amazing talk below!
Feature Image via Foreign Affairs Symposium