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>At the Movies

>I see that Russell Crowe is set to star in a movie adapted from Robert Cormier’s Tenderness, certainly among the more filmable of Cormier’s often narratively cunning novels, but we shall see. I’m sure I’m forgetting something completely obvious but the best movie I’ve seen from a YA novel was Gas Food Lodging, adapted from Richard Peck’s Don’t Look and It Won’t Hurt.

We saw two movies this past weekend, Friends with Money and Inside Man, completely different from each other but united in–I hope I’m not giving anything away–the way each ends unexpectedly. It’s not that the conclusions are shockers, more that you don’t expect the movie to end when it does, a far cry from the Ramona book still on my desk from last week: “All the little first and second graders running around the playground, looking so young, made Ramona feel tall, grown up, and sort of . . . well, wise in the ways of the world.” Now, that’s conclusive. Anyone feel like contributing their favorite Last Line?

(Oh, and in between the two movies mentioned above we watched Duel in the Sun on cable, and I now take any opportunity I get to emulate Jennifer Jones as the “half-breed” temptress, pulling down one shoulder of my button-down shirt while sobbing “I’m trash, I tell ya. Trash!”)

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. shewhonowwishestobecalledportia says:

    >”And then I married James Tyrone. And was so happy for a while.”

  2. shewhonowwishestobecalledportia says:

    >Misquote. Didn’t feelquite right so looked it up. Should read, “I fell in love with James Tyrone and was so happy for a time.”

  3. Elizabeth says:

    >Roger, what a pleasurably thought-provoking post. I feel I might wake up tomorrow morning remembering a YA book that was made into a great movie, but in the meantime, I thought I would challenge myself to post a favorite last line from a children’s book…but it had to be one I could find here in the office, at 7 at night. (I may post again when I can look through my collection at home, though.)

    I’ve come up with two, and would anyone like to try their hand at identifying them? Hint: The first is quite new, the second quite classic.

    “I roll over onto my other side, face the cinder-block wall, and wait for whoever is going to come for me.”

    “No one has claimed them yet.”

  4. >”How green was my valley then, and the valley of them that are gone.”

  5. shewhonowwishestobecalledportia says:

    >”and yes I said yes I will Yes.”

  6. rindambyers says:

    >This would be a great ending for a sci fi book, but it is from the picturebook “Where The Wild Things Are” (I hope I am quoting accurately; I should be able to after reading to little ones so often)….”….and it was still warm.”

    Another one for all to guess at, just for fun, from an old favorite MG of mine: “But I must say no more.”

  7. shewhonowwishestobecalledportia says:

    >But the prize for the most conclusive last sentence is from James and the Giant Peach. “And THAT is what you have just finished reading.”
    I won, I won, I won. Give me the prize.

  8. >For Elizabeth: “I roll over onto my other side . . .” is the last line of Chris Lynch’s amazing INEXCUSABLE. What do I win?

  9. >from Everything on a Waffle: …Coal Harbour never became a big resort or swank tourist spot or anything, but I didn’t care because I knew that as long as you lived there you could get anything you wanted. And it always came on a waffle.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    >Hey Jeanneb! Your prize is my admiration and appreciation that someone recognizes that book. And Shewho, I recognize the I won! I won! I won! Gimme the prize as a line from a Sesame Street Cartoon that my friend Matthew and I used to quote. Except I think it’s “I win I win I win”

    My other quote was from Mixed-Up Files…

  11. >A fun assignment — thanks, Roger. I’ll add another Joycean one: “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

    Also, I linked to the Variety column on the Russell Crowe movie — what an amazing mishmosh of jargon! Helmer, thesp, scribe, penned, prexy, Gotham! Strunk and White cringe from beyond!

  12. Andy Laties says:

    >Doesn’t Raymond Queneau’s book “Zazie Dans Le Metro” (1958??) end (at least in the English translation) with: “I’ve aged.”

    Zazie seems like a sort of alternate-Ramona.


  13. rindambyers says:

    >Tcha! Tcha! Not challgenging enough yet….How about I up the ante for you all and stick to last lines from only children’s books?
    Here a few more from more modern but classic, MG books: I’m being really sweet here, these are from MG books we should all know well….

    “It is never a long time ago.” “That’ll do.” “Everbody mooed.”
    “And so,with laughter and love, we lived happily ever after.” “I’m going to keep an eye on Vesuvius.”

    This has been SO much fun! Loved playing…..

  14. >Now for something completely different–my father was the publicity flack on “Duel in the Sun” which everyone in the studio called “Lust in the Dust,” so I got lots of signed still photos of the stars. All, alas, long disappeared. Both the stars and the photos, I mean.

    (For a bonus completely-different: my dad was also the publicity man for Reagan’s “Let’s win one for the Gipper” movie.

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