“The big trees blocked what little sun was left and the houses somehow seemed bigger.” "Paperboy"

“The big trees blocked what little sun was left and the houses somehow seemed bigger.”

Students in the fifth grade at Grant Center for the Expressive Arts in Tacoma, Washington, decided after reading Paperboy that they wanted to bring the story to the screen.

Under the tutelage of their teacher, Bryan Johnson, the students created a video as part of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. My review of the production: two thumbs up and five stars.

The most impressive part of their video was the choice of scenes they used to tell the story. In 90 seconds they managed to cover a lot of the narrative and many of the themes found in the book such as segregation and bullying. I found it a little eerie that their video starts off much like a screenplay that has been created for the book.

The acting was superb with Little Man’s stutter realistic and not overdone. The young lady who played Mam got the southern accent exactly right when she said “Rules is rules.” Mrs. Worthington even had red hair!  Well done, casting director.

I video chatted with the class and should report that the young man who played Rat is okay after taking a baseball in the eye.  Mr. Johnson says that the class even tried a form of method acting by consuming some Vienna sausages to get in the proper mood. What actors won’t do to hone their craft!

I have never had the pleasure of visiting Tacoma, but I was taken aback that the neighborhood street depicted in the video reminds me very much of the street I grew up on in Memphis. Well done, location director.

Readers of this blog have heard me praise teachers over and over on the way they make Paperboy come alive in their classes. This is another excellent example.

To view the video, go to: https://youtu.be/3U-9SzECqrk

BRAVO to Mr. Johnson and the fifth graders at Grant Center for the Expressive Arts.

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