Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Into The Past with Matt Blackstone, author of A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie

Today, I have the extreme pleasure of hosting the hilarious Matt Blackstone on the blog. His book A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie was such a funny and off-the-wall-read and the author is no different. He's talking about the books he'd have recommended to others during different stages of his life. So for all you guys trying to find great reads for your sons, nephews and friend's little boys, here are some great recommendations!

Age 5: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.  Alexander is such a whiner, but you gotta feel for him: gum in his hair, getting smushed in the back of the car.  Life in Australia probably would be better.

On another note: Five year-old-me poured applesauce on my brother’s head during dinner last night.  I thought it was funny but he didn’t laugh, and neither did my parents.  I don’t know who had it worse: me, in trouble with my parents; or my brother, wearing applesauce for a hat.

Age 11: What, you have a book about sports?  I will trade a Pedro Guerrero Donruss card for that book.  No?  Okay, fine. Frank Thomas Fleer, second year. No?  Okay, Barry Bonds rookie card.  Which one?  Take your pick!  Just give me the book!

I devoured anything by Matt Christopher: The Catcher with a Glass Arm, The Year Mom Won the Pennant, Miracle at the Plate, Catch That Pass, The Kid Who Only Hit Homers, Ice Magic, Touchdown for Tommy.

While reading any of the above sports books, eleven year-old-me is in the principal’s office for wrestling in the playground.  An elderly aide said I was fighting.  I said she needs to get new glasses because we were obviously wrestling—I mean, a suplex couldn’t be more obvious—but she disagreed, so here I am, waiting for my sentencing.

Age 16: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  It’s a story about a sentimental dropout and runaway and there are curse words and a prostitute and violence and my English teacher is giving me a good grade for reading it? Sweet!

It was clear, from the first few pages, that someone finally got it.  Really, truly got it.  I read it one night.  Then again the next day.  I couldn’t believe there were books about real life.  Now, for the record, I didn’t drop out of high school or visit a prostitute or curse like a sailor, but the message, the protagonist, the sentiment—it was all too real and too wonderful to put down.

Side note: After finishing Catcher for the third time, sixteen year-old-me just decided that someday he wants to write a book about an outcast teenager.

Age 20: Night by Elie Wiesel.  Never had I read a book that made me refuse food or water until I finished it.  Night was that kind of book.  Wiesel’s Dawn and The Accident were haunting, but Night is just . . . there are no words.

As for recent books, eleven year-old-me would’ve been buddies with Harry Potter.  And then I probably would’ve bragged about finishing such a long book.  (I didn’t have much to brag about…)

Five year-old-me would’ve loved Myron’s Magic Cow by Marlene Newman.  It would’ve cracked me up every time I read it.  The pictures are awesome, the writing is terrific, and the story is a blast!

So there you have it! A glimpse into the book past of Matt Blackstone. Did you like what you read? Well, Mr. Blackstone just so happens to be holding a contest at Regal Library and is giving away 10 copies of his novel. Definitely check it out!

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1 comment:

  1. I felt the same way about CATCHER. In fact, it was the only book I read in one sitting during my high school career. (It may be the only book I read in its entirety during my high school career).

    My only regret is that I read it again a few years ago. I still liked it, but not to the extent I had enjoyed it at fourteen. I think modern selections like THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER have replaced my initial fascination with CATCHER. Still, my memory of actually enjoying a high school reading requirement – and discovering their were books out there I could enjoy, is not something I’ll ever dismiss. And of course, that title and author have been a huge part of my own writing journey. If I can capture a smidgen of Holden's appeal and magic in my own protagonist, I'll feel like a winner.

    I have wanted to read NIGHT for years. It’s been staring at me from my bookshelf since 2006. I think it’s time I cracked the cover.


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