"review" · comics/graphic novels · juvenile lit · recommend · sci-fi/fantasy · series · young adult lit

{comics} no sleeping beauty

The Rise of Aurora West By Paul Pope; J. T. Petty; David Rubín (Illustrator)

(First Second Books 2014) tradepaper.

Having read Paul Pope’s Battling Boy, naturally I was eager to seek out The Rise of Aurora West. We’d met Aurora West in Battling Boy as the recently orphaned (before our eyes) daughter of Arcopolis’ Science Hero Haggard West. The Rise takes us back to a time where Pope and Petty can flesh out a bit more of the mystery not only behind the up-and-coming hero of Aurora West, but the arrival and rise of the supernatural monsters terrorizing the city. You read with dread their development of a weapon to take down the elder West. The most compelling mystery for Aurora, of course, is the death of her mother and whether her imaginary friend was really all that imaginary–or harmless.

puzzling out the pieces

The ass-kicking adventures are tempered by familial implication and what a violent life-style costs. Haggard had to come to his own decisions about the monsters that haunt them, Aurora must as well. Haggard is driven by the desire to protect his daughter and avenge his wife. How might the ending of Rise and the events of Battling Boy affect the nature of Aurora’s own career as a hero of Arcopolis?

While the characterization in Battling was sound, it was good to learn more about Aurora’s background as well as become more familiar with her own Ms. Grately. Too, Rise sets up intriguing story lines for the next volume and the next issue of Battling Boy adventures. Rise functions successfully as a prequel, but it is a complex novel in its own right–one that would be a shame to miss.

Now for the art. I hadn’t thought nor expected a different illustrator. David Rubín is obviously talented, but I prefer Pope’s rendering of Aurora and company in Battling Boy. The smaller size to the novel was nice. It made me think Archie over epic fantasy superhero, but I was less taken with the aesthetic. The black and white befitting the size. And for a narrative told from Aurora’s POV, a shift in artwork suits the shift in mode.

Rise isn’t the current adventure, but a story of what was going on before Battling Boy arrived on the scene. In a genre that frequents artistic collaborations for design purposes or necessity, I should have better anticipated another hand. Rise sets itself apart from Battling in a good way, and an important way. You’ll want this volume (the first of two) for your collection–just adjust another expectation: that the volumes are not going to fit uniformly on the shelf. Not that Aurora could fit uniformly on a shelf somewhere. Watch out female comic book heroes.

{images belong to Paul Pope; J. T. Petty; David Rubín}

"review" · Children's · concenter · Picture book · recommend · wondermous

knock for yourself…

30 days of pbDay FifteenKnock! Knock!: My Dad’s Dream for Me

By Daniel Beaty, illus. Bryan Collier

Little, Brown for Young Readers 2013.

knock knock coverEvery morning, I play a game with my father.
He goes knock knock on my door
and I pretend to be asleeptill he gets right next to the bed.And my papa, he tells me, “I love you.”
But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.—publisher’s comments.

It is not unusual enough for me to laugh loud enough to draw attention when reading picture books in public spaces. It is a rare moment for a picture book to draw a tear, even in private. Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is one that slays me every time. Seated with a stack of picture books in the studiously quiet adult section of the library, I was tearing up and sniffled beneath a few casual stares.

KnockKnock3I was first moved by the tender ritual between father and son. The heartstrings tightened to breaking when the boy wakes to find his father no longer there. It is a slow waking. A dawning is not fully realized until the end of the book when the boy has grown into a man with a family of his own, “For despite my absence you are still here.”

Why or where the father has gone is left without explanation. There are any number of reasons, nevertheless the little boy is left to deal with the reality of the absence and unrequited desires: “Papa, come home, ‘cause there are things I don’t know, and when I got older I thought you could teach me.”

knockknock2Like A Snowy Day (Keats) and Bird (Elliott) we see a boy sitting by the window looking out from the inside. We are there with him as he sends a paper airplane letter into flight.

The text is powerful on its own, the father’s letter is touching, and the son’s maturity aggrieved but inspiring as he comes to take on the dreaming for himself. But the images do more than hold their own. They have the kind of narrative complexity I usually anticipate with graphic novels. Everything about them moves to strengthen the evocation of the written narrative.

Collier’s photo collage and water color, the inclusion of textures and patterns–a life made up of clippings–gives the images layers, depth, the concrete complications of reality. Not only are the boy and his settings tangible, but the emotional conflicts as well. The most easily read is the rainbow on the wall that falls. I love the border of marching elephants, memory in a line on a bedroom wall, large in composition. The construction trucks crash together in the hands of a troubled boy. Instead of constructing something they become destructive. As the young boy grows, the childhood interest in construction, in building things, returns in a positive aspect for the man he would become.

knock knock pagesBuildings figure in as the story expands from a room to a kitchen to the neighborhood and we see the photographic images of children’s faces on tenement rooftops, and then street level the fading of a father’s visage. This is when the boy tells his absent father: “I want to be just like you, but I’m forgetting who you are.” We witness the juxtaposition and, indeed, the conflation of the forgotten and the forgetting. He is left imagining what it would be like to be a grown man, a husband, a father. Fortunately, the imagination proves able. He dreams and grows into an image of wholeness, of achievement, of being present.

Knock! Knock! is not one to only be especially selected for a reader’s situation. The narrative, the gorgeous visual storytelling, this is a book that should belong to everyone. If you can only own it for a little while (thank you public libraries) please do.

of note: I really really love that cover. It was appealing before the read, but so much more deeply felt afterward.


Daniel Beaty  is an award-winning actor, singer, writer, and composer. He has worked throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa performing on programs with artists such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Jill Scott, Sonia Sanchez, MC Lyte, Mos Def, Tracy Chapman, Deepak Chopra, and Phylicia Rashad. He holds a BA with Honors in English & Music from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre. He is a proud member of New Dramatists and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. Both Emergency &Through the Night have are published by Samuel French and available online. Knock Knock is his first children’s book based on his poem.  Daniel has also written a Spoken World Ballet Far But Close that premiered in the 2012/13 season for Dance Theater of Harlem.  (via site’s bio)

the poem performed:

Bryan Collier‘s “interest in art was always encouraged both at home and at school. He began to develop a unique style of painting that incorporated both watercolors and collage.

“Collage is more than just an art style. Collage is all about bringing different elements together. Once you form a sensibility about connection, how different elements relate to each other, you deepen your understanding of yourself and others.”

In 1989 Bryan graduated with honors from Pratt Institute with a bachelor of fine arts degree. Today Bryan spends his time working on his book illustrations, creating his own studio pieces, and going into classrooms to talk with teachers, librarians, and students about books and art. “I ask them to tell their own story. Then I ask them to tell their own story through art.

“The experience of making art is all about making decisions. Once the kids really get that, you see them making the connection. They go from saying, ‘That’s not about me’ to ‘Hey. Look at me. This is who I am.'” (via site’s “bio”)

"review" · Children's · Illustrator · juvenile lit · Picture book · recommend

{book} goldilocks and just one bear

DAY 24

Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson

Nosy Crow, 2012

Alright, so I hadn’t intended another Goldilocks story but this one was staring out from the shelf at me. And I was curious about the “one bear” part. And I sort of read it and really really liked it so how could I not share it. You’re welcome.

In this award-winning author-illustrators witty sequel to the traditional Goldilocks story, Little Bear is all grown up and Goldilocks is a distant memory. One day, Little Bear wanders out of the woods and finds himself lost in the Big City. Will he find the city too noisy? Too quiet? Or just right? And what are the chances of him bumping in to someone who remembers exactly how he likes his porridge?—publisher’s comment.

There is a Charlie & Lola*-esque quality to Goldilocks and Just One Bear: the easy way the message comes across as the aside it sort of is; the vibrant combination of colors; mixed-media; and the charming and clever British way of phrasing things is about where the similarities go. Leigh Hodgkinson’s creativity will not fail to charm its audience. It is fun to read the signage in the cityscape upon which Bear encounters on his evening walk and note those kinds of details, but the way she guides Bear through a familiar story template is what sets it apart. Hodgkinson makes the breaks where it serves the story best and plays with the scripting of the food, chair, and bed sequences.

The father person’s “chair” was too “ouchy” because it was actually a cactus. The mommy person’s chair was too “noisy” because he was actually sitting on the cat. But the boy person’s chair was just right as he plops down on a bean bag chair—breaking it in a way the boy person finds no complaint as he is shown tossing the stuffing into the air with a smile. There are a lot of fun descriptive words Hodgkinson draws added attention to by underlining here and illustrating select words there like “frothy” and making it look frothy, “crunchy” looks crunchy, and “pink” isn’t only pink but a bit prissy and posh—like the mommy person who owns the bed that is just too pink to sleep in.

And just who is this mommy person? It is a sweet moment when the reunion is made, a flashback of Goldilocks’ encounter years before, followed by an amused acknowledgement by Bear (“I would never do that, of course”). But then everyone behaves a bit badly sometimes, don’t they? and not always because their intentions are bad. See, the moral just slipped in there right before a perfectly charmed little ending. Where we recall the other things Baby Bear and Goldilocks had in common way back when, like how they both like their porridge. Bear seemed so at odds with this urban and posh environment at the beginning, bumbling along a bit, but he eventually finds how it can be just right—at least for his now grown childhood memory Goldilocks. Hodgkinson takes us on a sweet and hilarious reminiscence to learn whatever happened to Goldilocks and the one bear?

*Lauren Child’s book series which I highly recommend.

{images belong to Leigh Hodgkinson}

"review" · Children's · fiction · Illustrator · juvenile lit · Picture book · recommend · Tales · wondermous

I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press, 2011

Hardcover, 40 pages.

The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2011.

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor– and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke. ~publisher’s comments.

Possible lessons learned in I Want My Hat Back? No matter how polite a bear you are, the smaller animals will be intimidated. Believing that someone is telling you the truth is not a bad trait, but then, neither is using your powers of observation. Lying to a bear is not a good idea. Bears really love their hats. Stealing is bad.

The repetition and progression of the story is charming. A bear wants his hat back, he asks around. It is all simple and straight-forward. The text is big, the dialog exchanging colors with no bother for exclamation points or “the bear said,” “the fox said;” the majority of the book holds the text, uncomplicated, on white. Notably, the Reader doesn’t know what Bear’s hat looks like, but there is an interaction that reads “guilty!,” which plays beautifully into the final page.

The story and illustrations (digital & Chinese ink) are so quiet. The color palette isn’t blinding, the images unmoving, taking expression from the text. The images/text have a lovely balance in that while one reads tension (potential tragedy), the other creates comedy. The subtle humor and intensity builds into an enthusiastic sprint—until it stops and settles back into the tremulous moment and a cathartic splinter of laughter.

Travis Jonkers at “100 Scope Notes” writes, “Jon Klassen’s hilarious, deadpan picture book will be divisive. Not everyone will enjoy it. But those that do like it are gonna really like it.” I agree. Not everyone will appreciate I Want My Hat Back and its darkly comic ending, or maybe the fairly stark illustrations are not their cup of tea, but me and mine found it to be absolutely brilliant. Give Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back a go, and be prepared to want to take it home.


Horn Book’s review , 100 Scope Notes review, Pamela Paul at the NY Times review

Jon Klassen’s “Burst of Beaden” blog-site.

Children's · juvenile lit · Picture book · recommend · wondermous · young adult lit

press here

Press Here by Hervé Tullet

Chronicle Books, 2011

Originally published in France in 2010 by Bayard Editions under the title: Un Livre.

Hardcover, Children’s/Juvenile Picture Book—really, for all ages.

Press Here is magical—and a delight for any age. The daughter, who is not only a very cool tween, but a TAG reader of books well-above her age, was seen the other day on the floor of the Library with Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, a rather simple looking pre-school interactive book—at least, that is what I thought when I saw it. We were at the “Lucky Day” shelves of the Juvenile Section. I figured the book had been mistakenly shelved. It may have been, but Natalya was pressing and shaking and blowing across the pages. She insisted I take a turn with the book. And when we got it home, we insisted Sean take his turn as well.

The instructions in the book are simple. “Press here [on the yellow dot] and turn the page,” “Rub the dot on the left…gently,” “Tap the yellow dot 5 times,” “And five taps on the red…” What is marvelous is what happens when you do and turn the page. It is a magic trick. And while you are older and know that you could just flip the page and the change will occur without following instruction, it is more fun to play along; you have a want to suspend yourself in the magic. As Publishers Weekly writes, “The joy is in the tacit agreement between artist and reader that what’s happening is magic.”

The anticipation builds as you progress through the book and are asked to “tilt the page” this way and that, or clap so many times, or try to press on all the yellow dots that are spread out across the two pages.* What wonderfully whimsical thing will occur next? Even on the second or third pass through the book, or even experiencing the book with another, there is a smile, a delighted laugh ready. Press Here is a book you should not miss out on, regardless of age, or perhaps, especially because of your age.


*on the last image (which is 3/4s the double-page) it was fun to watch the solution the person came up with to carry out the instruction. In a video I saw, the children pressed the yellow dots in succession. I spread out all my fingers to push them at the same time, Sean and Natalya used an arm.

noted: “Tullet’s brilliant creation proves that books need not lose out to electronic wizardry; his colorful dots perform every bit as engagingly as any on the screen of an iPad.” Publishers Weekly (April) which is something to get excited about.

"review" · arc · comics/graphic novels · Illustrator · juvenile lit · recommend · sci-fi/fantasy · series · series · Tales · young adult lit

courtney crumrin and the night things

in full disclosure: I had the pleasure of this read thanks to NetGalleyOni Press, and an advanced reader copy. What follows is my free, fair, & honest review.

Courtney Crumrin (Volume 1) : The Night Things, Special Edition

Art & Story by Ted Naifeh

The Courtney Crumrin stories were originally released in digest form since 2002. Coming in March 2012 from Oni Press, “Fan-favorite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full color hardcover editions.”

Young Courtney Crumrin and parents have recently moved into old Professor Aloysius Crumrin’s house. Having exhausted the means of supporting their desired lifestyle, Courtney’s hideously shallow parents are thrilled by any opportunity to hobnob with the very wealthy neighbors. As for Courtney, the only redeeming value the move has is her mysterious Great-Uncle and the strange creatures she catches lurking about. The Night Things are the stories a darkly accommodating neighborhood forest goblin Butterworm would tell of Courtney coming to stay, her discovery of the magical world around her, and her possible place in it. And although The Night Things are only a fraction of the telling, it proves a splendid appetizer.

Courtney Crumrin is darling in the way Wednesday Addams is darling. She takes the darker side of the world in stride. And she smirks at just the right moment. “If you wanted to become Courtney Crumrin, you should have done a little more homework. I’m rude, bad-tempered, and basically, I don’t like people” (107). This, of course, doesn’t mean she is invulnerable to loneliness. In fact, it is part of her loneliness, her otherness, that fuels her interest in her falsely infirm Uncle and the contents of his study.

Butterworm’s presence as narrator book ends The Night Things, as does Courtney’s and Aloysius’ meeting. The first is the initial introduction where Aloysius welcomes them into his home with a warning to stay out of his private chambers, which is followed by this amusing frame: a 3/4 image of creepy old Uncle Aloysius with the text and query: He shot her a withering gaze with his terrible eyes. “Would you care for some hot cocoa?” (6). Yeah, Crumrin House is hardly cozy at first. But not without effort does it become a home for the mostly ignored Courtney whom finally finds care and understanding with her Uncle by the final story of this collection. The development of their relationship is subtle, subtle enough not to alert the reader that this may be one of the more important threads lacing The Night Things together until that ending.

The Night Things has a lovely sense of humor. Courtney Crumrin elicits a lingering smile, and even her awful parents garner a laugh now and then, however derisive in affect. The stories/illustrations have a darkling charm that outpaces that of Thomas Siddel’s Gunnerkrigg Court; which came to mind during the reading. Courtney isn’t invincible, nor does her heroine status feel contrived. She isn’t distractingly pretty. She’s impish, and she has no nose.

The darkling aspects of faerie lore are not cute, no matter how darling Miss Crumrin may seem. I found certain disappearances surprising and Courtney’s participation in one of them in particular deliciously intriguing. Magic has its darker aspect and Naifeh explores them. For instance, the desire to be attractive is not a new story and Courtney falls prey to such a vein quest. She wouldn’t mind some glamour, or, at the very least, someone to share a lunch table with at school. The lengths to which the story plays out it is delightfully horrid. It is so nicely done, I felt robbed by most every earlier version of the story and their outcomes. Aloysius: “You’re lucky. You saw only the tip of the iceberg. It could have been much worse.” Courtney: “It was getting pretty bad for a while.” The understatements exchanged between Courtney and her Uncle at the end of this episode had me laughing out loud. Naifeh is good with those cathartic moments. And he needs to be, for all the grim notions introduced and explored.

Naifeh draws great creatures, but he shows any one or thing can be a monster via composition (ie. angles, shadows) and story (text, sequence). As the stories progress, Naifeh manipulates expectation, not turning them on their head per se, but sliding the black or white further into the grey.

The majority of the Reader’s Copy I was granted access to was in black and white. However, the color portion looked good, as expected. A nice palette, one that if I had to draw a reference, I think Kazu Kibuishi’s books. The Night Things style is more traditional comic illustration with a few contemporary notes. Don’t expect overt nods to manga or the cartoon-y. For young audiences, the effect is refreshing while yet maintaining popular aesthetics, i.e. it is completely accessible.

There were no visual signals between collected volumes in my copy ala title panel or page. I can’t say if there will be, but the shift in time and intent is abrupt enough to mark a change. I can say I preference a marked change, even with the evident beginnings and endings to each part. I think the continual development of the setting, situation (world), characters, and themes create a strong enough woven material, not to mention the book ends, that the visual breaks wouldn’t hurt. Regardless, I’m really excited to see how the final special editions of Courtney Crumrin’s adventures turn out.

It will be nice to revisit The Night Things in the Spring as it will allow a perfect break before another visit in the Fall. Courtney Crumrin will be a delightful autumnal read as scary things in one form or another seem to be waiting for Courtney to cross their path. But they are not the only Night Things creeping about. And while Courtney may be young, she is daring, studious, and fierce. She’s a marvelous heroine. She’s just darling.

—–so noted———

Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things has been recommended for all ages, but I would start at a morbid 8 year old, or otherwise 10&up.

{ the first image is of the Trade cover and is not necessarily the final cover of the special edition. quotes attached to page numbers are subject if not very likely to change. other images are from Naifeh’s site gallery (in b/w) which reads like an excerpt. expect nice color work with the new editions.}

here is a nice review at “paipicks” by James Ashelford. do check it out.

There is rumor of a film adaptation in the works; some say it is to be headed by The Orphanage (2007) director (and friend of Guillermo del Toro) Juan Antonio Bayona. a few links in this regard: here and here (nada on IMDb–yet).

"review" · cinema · music · recommend

{film} broken hill

…and an absence of glamour.

Luke Arnold as Tommy McAlpine and Alexa Vega as Kat Rogers in Audience Alliances musical drama Broken Hill. Image: Matt Nettheim

A gifted teenage composer (Tommy), dreams of being accepted into the famous Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Unfortunately, a good band is hard to find in the middle of Outback Australia – until a strange incident involving flying watermelons leads him to a group of talented prison inmates. ~published summary by H. Rose (IMDb)

Plenty have pegged Dagen Merrill’s 2009 film Broken Hill as a formulaic small-screen feel-good drama—as if this is necessarily a bad thing. Nor is the accusation wholly accurate. A family channel submission would have a excluded two important aspects to the film. As it is, I think the film works for young audiences.

Luke Arnold as Tommy plays the Dreamer convincingly. With a faraway gaze, a youthful (almost childlike) verve, a smile of absolute delight he transcends the limits of his rural home in Australia. Even as the inescapable is acknowledged, Tommy’s determination is equally impossible. He is driven, partly because he is impossible—wonderfully improbable. Or is he?

Luke Arnold as Tommy McAlpine in Audience Alliances musical drama Broken Hill. Photo Image: Matt Nettheim

One of the wonders of the film is how much Tommy is a product of his surroundings. Not the “uncultured” small town, but the greater vista and history of his homeland. He isn’t impossible, and, ultimately, what he needs isn’t necessarily elsewhere. The story is lovely in how it strives to find value in what already exists, in places that are small or marked uncivilized. Tommy’s mentor and the music teacher at the school is aboriginal. Tommy goes to do community service at the prison, where unexpected beauty exists. Tommy meets and finds encouragement from a prisoner who “lost” diamonds he was accused of stealing and only seeks means of escape. The forgotten and the forsaken and the lost echo the feelings and trajectory of the hero, Tommy.

The echoes are transparent for the older, more critical crowd, and as devices they lack sophistication in the mechanics of plot. However, I prefer the error of accessibility in a film that would inspire young people to pursue their dreams both within their environs and beyond.

By finding an ending more probable than impossible, Broken Hill moves from a whimsy of dream to hopeful reality. We know the formula where some great talent, some diamond in the rough, finds his or her way to the great urban center where they obtain glory and redemption for all that hard work. And we sigh and rarely believe its potential in our own lives. The characters are mythical, legendary, other. After the marvelous experience of witnessing Tommy and his musicians glimmer in the stage light, the film settles. And while they do end up in a great urban center of Sydney, they aren’t in the iconic Sydney Opera House, and there is no Conservatorium scout in the audience. There is his father, and his teacher.  But what is hopeful about missed opportunities? Because there was a key opportunity missed, an initial goal unfulfilled. There is an absence of glamour. We return to the argument Tommy has with his father (Timothy Hutton) when the small-town hero shares the time-worn story of the injury that held him back from playing for the big leagues, from becoming someone. Tommy wants to know just how things went wrong for his father whom we have already seen to be a prince among the locals; he owns his own future, married well, has a gifted son who loves him, is a celebrity. Opportunities shift and dreams become flesh, and it is not to inglorious result.

The other unexpected aspect to the formula that is Broken Hill is in the romantic drama between Tommy and Kat (Alexa Vega). Tommy is obsesses over Kat from afar. His best friend Scott (Rhys Wakefield) pushes him to ask the American beauty out. Yep, a big school dance is in the offing. But Scott’s Cyrano approach is painfully embarrassing. And what gets Tommy on Kat’s radar is that he has a truck. It is actually his father’s, but he has the keys and the crush. He stupidly allows himself to be used. Kat would then leave Tommy to get arrested, obvious in her careless manipulations, and while his attraction isn’t fully extinguished, Tommy becomes wise, cautious, and repelled. Unlike Scott, Tommy doesn’t excuse her because she is “hot.”

The relationship between Kat and Tommy is given time for recalibration with each re-evaluating their assumptions of the other. The development works thematically, the initial daydream shifting into a workable reality that could still inspire a happy ending. Broken Hill is ultimately pragmatic. There could still be the romance, but Tommy isn’t completely the fool, no matter how hot Kat is. He would pursue his dreams, but it takes work,  humility, and great deal flexibility in vision.

With a film about a talented young composer, the music composed must be good. And it is. I like the different forms it finds, both elegant and rugged. I like the hands that carry it. And as a character in itself, the way the piece Tommy composes develops.

The photography is lovely. There is enough of the landscape to enthrall without becoming the main course. The pacing, editing…little if anything in the film is unexpected or erroneous. The transparencies, any predictability, they are not unpalatable. Even the young reader of film will be saying, “of course,” but to comforting effect.

That happy ending is noticeably off-center, unusual to formula. Yet, in the end, Tommy has everything that matters, including his dignity. His dreams now attainable are perhaps less glamorous, but they didn’t have to sparkle, they only needed to serve his desires—for acceptance, for freedom, to be.

Broken Hill (2009)

Directed by Dagen Merrill

Produced by Chris Wyatt, Julie Ryan

Original Music: Christopher Brady

Cinematography: Nick Matthews

Film Editing: David Ngo, Mike Saenz

Starring: Luke Arnold, Alexa Vega, Timothy Hutton, Rhys Wakefield

Rated PG for thematic elements and some language

Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.

IMDb. Wiki.

{photo images via Matt Nettheim at fanpix.net}