Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Power of Small

I was talking to a friend this week about Flipped becoming a movie, and it struck me that the path back to how this enormous film project began is worth retracing.
Worth remembering.
Starting at the end... How does a man like Rob Reiner get interested in your book?
I think the traditional route is that the book or story gets pitched, either by an agent or a screen writer...or it's a huge best seller that everyone's heard about. But the trail here is not a traditional one. It involves Rob Reiner doing a very un-Hollywood thing: He read the book.
And what would a man like Rob Reiner be doing, reading a "kid" book?
Spending time with his kid. Apparently his family was on a flight and his son was reading the book for school.
And why would his son be reading my book for school? It's a romantic comedy with a white cover and an upside chick on it--certainly not obvious "boy" material.
Because Flipped won the California Young Reader Medal and schools throughout California "adopted" it into their libraries, with some schools making it required reading the year of or following its win.
And why did Flipped win the California Young Reader Medal?
Hm. Well, the obvious answer is that kids liked it. This award is a kid-vote award, open to all books published in the US, and in California there are only 3 nominees per category and kids who vote are required to read all three. (Almost all states have a similar award, but in most states there are 10 or 20 nominees per category. However, kids only have to read three of the titles in order to vote. I think California's structure is fair...but the downside is it's hard to get on the list when only three titles are permitted per category.)
So a better question, then, is how did Flipped get on this short list in the first place?
A librarian nominated it.
So there it is, then. The reason Flipped is becoming a movie.
A librarian.
I like this thought. I like this path. I like remembering that little things can make big ripples. And I like to remember that all of us move through this life saying things and doing things...little things...and some of those things go on to affect other people in big ways.
It's good to remember.
It's good to believe in the power of small.

25 comments:

Jinnyd said...

Go librarians! They are the coolest people in the world, other than teachers. Especially English teachers :-).

And I think I'm going to be reading kid books long into my life... I personally think that they're better than the other "types" of books. I think I've ranted about that somewhere on the Internet... anyway...

Oh, and I was meaning to ask you--what happened to How I Survived Being a Girl? I read at my local public library a while back and really liked it! Is it out of print or something? I can't find it anywhere else.

P.S. The Power of Small, and a small baby chicken! Cool how that works out. :-)

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Jinnyd: Wow, how could you have commented already? I barely posted! :-) I agree with you about "kid lit", but I think a lot of people switch over when they "grow up" and then forget. HISBAG recently went out of print--it had a good run, but was at a different publishing house than the rest of my titles. I think you can still find them used, on-line.

xxCammyLoverxx said...

YAy! I cant wait for the movie. I hope it doesnt disappoint me like a lot of my favorite books-to-movies have (Twilight, The Clique..). Hopefully/Most likely itll be great!
xD PS- I just watched The Lovely Bones today (and loved it), what types of movies do you like? :)

PriyankaRPwrites said...

Can't wait for the movie! It'll be awkward watching it with my family (romance) but still! I'm sure it'll be a hit, just like your books!

sammy4ever said...

I can't wait for the Flipped movie! Do they have a trailer for it yet? and there is a rumor going around that they're making a SK movie. I don't really believe it because I think that these people might be mistaking it for Flipped. well, I LOVE ALL YOUR BOOKS!!!!!!

JenPB said...

Very nice blog entry! I love that you boiled it down so nicely, and credited a librarian, to boot! :)

Jinnyd said...

I'm usually on my computer on Sunday nights, and so I was frantically checking every few minutes, forgot for a few hours, and then, when I clicked back, VOILA!! The Power of Small!

Rachel Bird said...

=)

Pooja Dimba said...

Can't wait to watch the movie! My friends and I have already planned on all that stuff!

Wild About Words said...

Beautiful, thoughtful post. And three loud cheers for librarians!!! Hip-hip-go read!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Thanks for your comments and for taking time to read!

SK movie talk is just rumors at this point. I will post at this blog if that changes!

sammy4ever said...

CAN'T WAIT FOR SK AND THE WEDDING CRASHER!!! I was talking about it with my friend today and she said that Casey is her favorite character because he seems like the big brother she wish she had and that she's jealous of Heather for having an awesome sibling. that's exactly what she said and I thought it was sweet. I have two younger twin brothers and always wished for an older sibling. or at least for a big family. my dad grew up with an older sister, two younger twin brothers, a younger sister, and a younger brother by ten years. and my uncle David (who is one of the twins) has five kids and they always seem to have such a blast. but there are bright sides to having a small family of three children. my brothers and I always make up our own games when we're bored and all that other crazy sibling stuff. WOAH, there. I was gonna comment and share something my mom said today about your writing and I started talking about my family! sorry, REALLY off topic. anyway, my mom read Runaway because I recommended it to her and she was blown away by it. then she started reading the SK books and she was even more blown away. One time she even woke me up in the middle of the night to read me a part of Runaway Elf that she thought was funny (the part where Sammy says something like, "What am I supposed to say to her? 'Hi, Mom! Long time no see! Glad you got that gass problem under control!'"). anyway, a while later she borrowed SK and the Wild Things from me and finished it in less than a day. when she finished the whole series she asked me if I knew when the next one was coming out and I said Fall 2010. she flipped out, ranting about how she couldn't wait that long. i did the same thing when I found out I had to wait that long. so now I spend all my free time rereading all the SK books and Runaway and Flipped and Confessions of a Serial Kisser and I gave the Shredderman series to my brothers for their birthday and I think I'm gonna read them too. (: I cannot WAIT for SK and the Wedding Crasher!!! I have it marked down in my calender!!!!!!

sammy4ever said...

BTW, sorry for the really long comment above.
I <3 SK 4 EVER!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Dear Sammy4ever: I loved your post, ramblings and all! Your mom seems great--tell her I say hi! And FYI, I just mailed off the rewrite to Wedding Crasher today and have seen some preliminary art work for the jacket, so it's coming along. Thanks for the happy post. Loved it! Wendelin

xxCammyLoverxx said...

I'm excited for the cover art to come out. I want to see how much the cover I made matches up with it.. I'm not talking about the look, just the images. I only put images of the things I knew about SK&tWC but I dont really know a lot.. I have a ring (for the wedding), a dress (for Sammy as bridesmaid), a high-top (I ran out of ideas), Officer Borsche (its his wedding!), Casey (you told me he'd be in it =)), and Sammy of course! I had to photoshop the pictures of Sammy, Officer Borsche, and Casey to change the colors of the images. I wish you could see it (its on my SK fan blog, on the side border and on one of the older posts) but youre probably too busy.
Anyways, I remembered you said you're working on something called The Running Dream? Or something like that.. .well, good luck!
And I'm becoming really impatient fo the book hehe... I'm also really worried because my Barnes and Noble is huge and it totally rearranged the whole shop so I cant find the SK books anymore (not that I dont already have them all because I do. I was just hunting down my favorite books lol).
Um.. thats it! <<3 This doesnt seem so long when i post it from my phone but it might be..

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I guess I neglected to tell you this, (I'm sorry), but both my husband and I thought your cover was remarkable! You had so little to go on and yet you pieced together a very credible cover. I just sent a condensed version of everyone's input in Think Tank...I'm really, really hoping they'll like the idea of a shoe charm. Anyway, that's finally done, and after a little time goes by I'm going to send my editor the link to your site. I think you've got some great images and I know she would enjoy seeing what you've done. Have a good day!

sammy4ever said...

Okay, this might be weird, but I do the same thing as xxCammyLoverxx. every time I go into a bookstore, I spend hours searching for the SK books just for the heck of it. it takes me hours because I refuse to ask for directions (I'm kinda like my dad that way). when I find them I take all the available ones off the shelf, sit down on the ground and read them. even though I already own every single one at home. I don't know why I do this but what can I say? I'm hooked. And also, I've made a giant poster for my room! it says SAMMY KEYES AND THE WEDDING CRASHER!!! BOOK 13 OF AN AMAZING, SUCCESSFUL SERIES! BY WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN!!! FALL 2010!!!! my mom helped me decorate it (:

sammy4ever said...

P.S. my mom says Hi, too and she also says, "I CAN'T WAIT FOR SK AND THE WEDDING CRASHER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
my mom's a lot like me when it comes to Sammy Keyes.
ha, that almost rhymed!

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

Okay, when you guys do this at bookstores, you can be my secret agents and leave the books face out on the shelves (instead of spine out). It would be a very "Sammy" move. (Face out attracts more attention than spine out.)

Sammy4ever--your mom is awesome!

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Wow, I never knew you looked at it! Thanks! =] Thats what us crazies do when we have a lot of time on our hands and a laptop with full battery, lol. I'm a photographer (in training) so I guess doing things like that is good "exercise" for a photographer (in training). It really bothers me, though, because editing pictures on a laptop isnt easy, especially when I've wasted hundreds of dollars on Photoshop. =/ Anyways, youre editor seems nice! Like, really flexible and cooperative. So.. thanks! And.. happy Friday!
xoSteph

Jinnyd said...

I AM SO DOING THAT the next time I go to the library or bookstore. Or maybe I'll just bring all of the Sammy books and display them on the "new book" tables....

sammy4ever said...

okay, I'm so going to leave the SK books face up the next time I go to the book store! I wanna be your secret agent!!!! YAY!!! AHH, I cannot WAIT for SK and the WC!!! it's driving me insane!!! I wish I had a time machine. when SK and the WC comes out it will be like Christmas or my birthday all over again only 10,000,000 times better
!

xxCammyLoverxx said...

Cant wait for your post tonight (:

Wendelin Van Draanen said...

I've created Secret Agent Monsters! Tee-hee! (Hey, that would be SAMs, which is so fitting!!) Go SAMs!

Rose said...

i will so be a SAMs i love sk books and it is so cool that flipped is going to be a movie!!! me and my sis are so watching it!