As many of you know, JCF is sponsoring a Teen Reading Project which we’re undertaking with the able assistance and partnership of Rebecca Garland, who rose to fame on the movie message boards a few weeks ago when she attended a Neilsen test screening of John Carter, loved it, and wrote about it online. For all the denizens of the board waiting for John Carter, that meant that Becky suddenly had a long list of new best friends who wanted to pick her brain and gain insights.
The first phase of the teen reading project — a focus group in which 20 teens were to read A Princess of Mars and answer a questionnaire about their experience — is now drawing to a close, and to thank those kids who have already finished the book and their questionnaires, we held a gathering Thursday night at the Barnes and Noble in Long Beach. The Long Beach Press Telegram was there, and now they’re released a feature article on our little get-together.
Former teacher promotes reading through John Carter project
By Kelly Puente Staff Writer
Posted: 01/27/2012 08:30:18 PM PST
Updated: 01/27/2012 08:45:36 PM PST
Teacher Rebecca Garland, who was laid off by the LBUSD, is trying to get teens interested in reading books by Edgar Rice Burroughs that were about one of his famous science fiction characters John Carter. The first two of the John Carter books by Burroughs. (Scott Varley / Staff Photographer)
LONG BEACH – In a time of “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” fanatics, getting young readers excited about books written over a century ago isn’t an easy task.
But with Disney’s action-adventure “John Carter” hitting theaters next month, fans hope the movie will turn a new generation of readers on to the classic character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the early 1900s.
On Thursday, the project held its first focus group at Barnes & Noble in Long Beach. About a dozen local teens discussed the book “A Princess of Mars,” on which the new Disney movie is based, and filled out a questionnaire about what they liked and didn’t like.
So far, the feedback has been positive, Garland said.
“What we’re finding is that boys and girls equally love the book,” she said. “They like the book because it doesn’t read likeit was written a hundred years ago. It’s very easy to get into, and it’s very addictive.”
Students who participated in the focus group will get to see a special pre-screening of the Disney movie March 3.
Published in 1917, “A Princess of Mars” tells the story of Earthling John Carter and his adventures on planet Mars. The book is part of a series that skyrocketed to popularity in the mid-20th century and inspired such writers as Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke.