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One of the cool kids

Sometimes I feel special. Like I belong in a very exclusive club. Like just because I read, I’m that much more ahead of the game compared to so many people. It’s like getting to be one of the cool kids before that which is dubbed cool becomes universally recognized.

The movie trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES set the interwebs on fire today.  Lots of excitement about it. LOTS.  Which is good.  The little we saw looked to have the right tone and feel.  While some online denizens balked at the casting choices (Actual quote from months ago when the casting was announced: “He can’t play Peeta. HE’S NOT BLONDE!”), I have a feeling that if they nail the movie as the trailer suggests they did, all (or most) will be forgiven.

And while the majority of the buzz I saw online came from people who are excited to see this series of books come to life, I also saw quite a few people saying things like, “Guess I should get around to reading these now…” 

At first, I was really sad that it took a movie trailer to get people interested in the books.  David Levithan was recently quoted as saying that you have to think of the movie as a two hour commercial for the book. Makes a lot of sense. And if the trailer inspires people to pick up the books, more power to Suzanne Collins.

But I can’t keep from smirking just a bit smugly.  Because I got there first. I bought HUNGER GAMES the day it was released. I’ve known for a few years now that these books were special. I was one of the cool kids. And now many are aspiring to be as cool as me (OK, maybe not, but you know what I mean).

Children’s books are becoming more and more of a bellwether to pop culture shifts that are felt beyond the targeted audience. Forget the phenomena of Harry Potter.  That’s a perfect storm that we likely won’t see again in our lifetimes. But I feel several waves of pop culture patterns can be traced back to children’s books. A little while ago, my husband mused that with shows like ONCE UPON A TIME and GRIMM tapping into fairy tale mythology, it wouldn’t be long before we started seeing it in YA books. I got to gleefully tell him that YA was years ahead of the recent spate of fairy tale nostalgia. Modern twists were cool in YA before Hollywood came along to do their take.

So, please non-readers, ooh and aah at the movie trailer (it really does look pretty nifty) and threaten to toddle down to the bookstore to get one of them book thingies people are talking about. I’ll just continue to toil as someone you don’t yet know is cool.  Then, once you figure it out, I won’t be cool anymore because you’ll appropriate it as your own. But that’s fine. You know why? Because I keep reading. And I know what you’ll love before you do.


Published in: on November 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm  Comments Off on One of the cool kids