Book Sequels Hot off The Press
Book Sequels with a Modern Day Twist
I adore reading! There is nothing better than a good book. Books and the stories inside can take you away from your day to day mundane lives. Books can bring you to foreign lands without ever getting felt up by TSA agents and without paying extra baggage fees. Books will place you the reader in Fabio's strong arms on a tropical beach, alone at dusk, warm winds blowing through your long luxurious hair, with Fabio's hand s-l-o-w-l-y inching up your thigh. Books allow the natural voyeurism in you to come out as you enter the characters' bedrooms, boardrooms and briefcases. Novels - what a Novel idea, they were! Books bring forth all kinds of emotions for the reader. They can make you cry or laugh out loud. They teach and they make you think. Books are wonderful!
Parents have been reading "Little Golden Books" to children forever; and kids love it. I think kids love having books read to them, because when parents read to a child, it is one on one quality time. And the child is listening. The child too is transported into those pages of the book. Why else would they continuously pull out their favorite books to be read each night? "Good Night Moon", "Cat in The Hat" "The Elves and The Shoemaker". Now once a child gets older, they tend to toss the books aside, found often times at the bottom of the toybox only to be cast away for a more desirable item; like a hand-held video game, the television remote, or a skateboard. Then as we age, something happens, and we rediscover the wonder of the written word once again! For most of us, it doesn't usually happen until you have passed beyond your school years. Why is that? It's because today's youth are far too busy for books. You are getting your daily excitement through the day to day learning of social activities. You don't need to "read" about sports stars when you're a shortstop on a Little League team, or sitting in Fenway Park with your Dad eating a hot dog while watching a Red Sox game. You don't need to "read" 'The Scarlet Letter' when now a days Hester Pern's great great great great grandaughter and her friends are of the new generation where "Friends With Benefits" is the new and commonplace thing. You don't need to "read" about 'Serpico' when you can "watch" 'COPS' on Fox television or shoot some cops yourself on some violent video game. I myself, "Lover of Literature", "Believer of Books", "Wanter of Written Words"; experienced a long book drought in my youth. I recall an evil and wicked plan devised by a girlfriend and myself back in high school. We both went to different schools, but ahhhhhhh.....the dreaded "Required Reading List" is pretty much universal for all high schools. We concocted this plan to "trade" past book reports. This plan served it's purpose for what it was worth, in that we only had to read half the books required. But alas, with our mutual distaste in the amount of time and effort that it took to read and comprehend a book, we were bartering sub-par book reports to start. Nonetheless, you could never get away with a book report based on reading the Cliff's Notes to a book alone, so as flawed as our little scheme was, if the traded book reports were passable to our teachers, that was good enough for us.
But as you grow older, you need to be swept away sometimes and there is no better, safer, more inexpensive way, than through books. As you age, you will note that "everyone" is reading books! It's not just a "girl thing" to do and it's not just the so-called academia of your yester-peers that read. That's a wonderful thing, but we've got to get our children 'Back to the Book'. You can never cast aside the Classics, but what you can do is put those books on a higher shelf. And when a child is mentally ready to move up with curiosity, they will be able and willing to reach that higher shelf. It is time that we, the adult teachers, become the Pied Pipers of Reading. If kids can convince their peers to have sex, do drugs, and play in the street; why can't we the adults find a way to suck kids into books?
Here is my simple solution. Modernize your reading material. Kids live for today. Kids must stay active. If you don't grab their attention immediately, then you've lost them. For one, get rid of the textbooks. They are outdated, costly and you will save a forest. Kids love to be on the computer - put all textbooks online. No more weak excuses like: "I left my book in school", "The school doesn't have enough books to go around", or the classic excuse of: "The Dog Ate My Homework". We have the computer, use it. For example: Teach the Presidents in a fun way: Lincoln freed the slaves but add to that, he was killed with a small pocket pistol- a Philadelphia Deringer (many kids in inner cities are intrigued with guns, as are the youth of the North who have grown up with guns and hunting. Therefore, including the gun specs on Lincoln's assasination just may help children to remember Lincoln's story). Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country...". Teach them that the Kennedys did more for their country than hold office. They gave us a whole lot of insight into the Kennedys' boudoir: Jack and Marilyn; Teddy & Mary Jo; Jackie and Marlon Brando, Jackie and Bobby. Just "hip up" the material by adding some of the juicy stuff, and kids will be more eager to learn. How about Geography? Teach the 50 U.S. states in a different way. Ask which states have a Six Flags Theme Park; or what state does Justin Bieber come from, or P.Diddy, or Beyonce? Kids can learn if you get them interested.
Which comes to the subject of this article. I love reading...now. Books and especially The Classics are my friends. I now trade books with my peers in the way my brothers used to trade baseball cards, in the way us girls traded friendship bracelets. Let the "Good Books", otherwise known as "The Originals", stay on the top shelf of the bookcase until a child is ready to appreciate them. In the meantime, let's write some sequels people! I have a few ideas to get all of you budding authors and pioneers of print started. Who knows, you may just become the next J.K. Rowling with this idea. I call it: "Anita Sue's New and Improved Book List with Today's Student in Mind".
"One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest...Part II". This is a story about the sad but true addictions of famous people in the Betty Ford Center. Characters include the likes of Lindsay Lohan (aka. LiLo), Charlie Sheen, Johnny Cash, Chevy Chase and Alice Cooper, just to name a few. Learn about the evils of drug, sex and alcohol addiction and the often times satirical happenings in a Rehab Clinic.
"Helen Keller...Part II". This is a riveting story about a deaf, dumb and blind little girl who finally learns to get her "Wah--Ter" from a drinking fountain, and also learns how to order a glass of Perrier in a restaurant without managing to knock all of the silverware and dishes off of the table. Read how beloved teacher Annie Sullivan integrates Helen into a real classroom where Helen makes friends with little Stevie Wonder, little Ronnie Milsap, little Ray Charles, Boy-in-a-Bubble and that little Pinball Wizard - TOMMY. "See" how Annie opens up the kids' world by teaching them that there are other games they can play besides the obvious: "Pin The Tail on The Donkey", "Hide and Go Seek...in plain sight", "Blind Man's Bluff", and smashing at "Pinatas".
"The Good Earth...Part II". This is a story of a poor Chinese farmer who married an ugly chick. Wang Lung realized early on that there was money in Real Estate, so that is where he invested his meager earnings. As Wang's portfolio grew, he no longer had to hang in some two-bit tea house, but rather he began living the lifestyle of his peers who also worked their way up from the bottom. Great men like Donald Trump, Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez. Soon Wang Lung was living the lifestyle. No more cheap house saki or the occaisional scorpion bowl...he was knocking back shots of Petrone with the boys and snorting cocaine (vs. opium) with a hundred dollar bill (or at least the YEN equivalent of a 100 dollar bill). He began staying out late at night in establishments where women were plentiful: The Playboy Club, Studio 54, The Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas (even appearing on an episode or two of that great Reality TV Show, "Rehab - Party at The Hard Rock Hotel"). In the conclusion of this demented yet modernized version of Pearl S. Buck's classic, learn how Wang's first wife gets the last laugh, thanks to her co-counsel of Marvin Michelson and Gloria Allred, as they got O-lan a great Pre-nup! And... see below an excerpt from the demented modernized version of Pearl's "Sequel to the Sequel"....
"The First Wives Club....Part II". In this novel, you will learn how O-lan (ex-wife of Wang Lung), Elin Nordegrin (ex-wife of Tiger Woods), Camille Grammer (ex-wife of Kelsey Grammer) and Ivana Trump (ex-wife of The Donald), along with Larry Fortensky (ex-husband of Elizabeth Taylor) over cocktails, botox parties, and very large Alimony checks, think up fun and evil ways to get back at their cheating ex's and those bitch homewreckers that took them away!
"The Old Man and the Sea...Part II". In this novel, you will learn what it was like to go out and catch fish, when Fishing was Fun! Haddock was plentiful and fish sticks were not made of "fish parts". You could have a Tuna and Mayo sandwich, without the mercury. Learn about the days when you could go clamming in the mud flats and never even heard of the expression: "Red Tide". This is a story about "Fishing at it's Finest"!
"Jaws...Part II". This terrifying novel comes to a major climax with it's conclusion of Roy Scheider (Sherrif Brody) killing the Great and Powerful Shark that has been menacing Amity Beach, a vacationer's paradise, somewhere in New England. When the Shark is pulled ashore and eventually gutted, you will be amazed at all they find: "The Old Man"...from Hemmingway's novel "The Old Man and the Sea", a couple of men from the Andrea Gail (ref: "The Perfect Storm" movie), a pair of my old "arm floaties", Princess Fergie's bikini top (surely you all remember that scandalous photo printed in the "Enquirer"), several bottles with messages inside, a crystal chandelier from The Titanic, and last but not least: Whitey Bolger and D.B.Cooper!
"The Pokey Little Puppy...Part II". In this childhood remake, learn how the Pokey Little Puppy gets into all kinds of mischief, loses his collar that contains his I.D., gets picked up by the local Dog Catcher, sits ten days in impound before finally being unclaimed. Learn how unfortuneately the Pokey Little Puppy was not placed in a "No Kill" Shelter and how after ten days the Pokey Little Puppy was euthanized.....poof....his life snuffed out in a cloud of dust. Learn how you can help donate to a local Humane Society so that all of the unwanted Pokey Little Puppies everywhere don't have to meet up with the same fate. Will you be the one to make a difference in some mischievous Pokey Little Puppy's life, or will you turn your cheek to these atrocities? Will you be a part of the problem, or a part of the solution? Have your pet spayed or neutered.
And that my friends is how you make learning fun and get kids "Back to Books". Make your characters real and your subjects interesting to today's youth. May your fingertips catch fire if you type another: Thou, Art or Whilst. Words like: Yo', Phat and Dawg should be scattered amongst the pages. Modernize, Modernize, and Modernize!