List O Mania – Fab Films

In addition to the Awards announced at the ALA Youth Media Awards, during Midwinter a number of committees work very hard to put together lists.

Here, the list I worked on for Fab Films. The theme? Survival. (The photos are our official meeting room!)

Hope you enjoy it; YALSA has decided to end this committee as of next year. There will be one more year, and one more list like this.

As with the Popular Paperbacks list, this is a themed list, not a best-of-the-year list. It can be used for programming, displays, film discussions, as well as collection development.

Here are some of the films; I’ve added my own thoughts about why this is “survival” or what type of programming/tie ins one could do.


127 Hours. Survival because the main character survives being trapped and having to cut off his own arm. Program tie ins? Well, how to survive anything programs; and anything first-aid/why to always let someone know where you’re going so you’re missed when you don’t come back.

Alive. Surviving plane crash (one of the most brutal plane crashes I’ve seen on film, to be honest) as well as having to resort to cannibalism for survival. As with other “based on a true story” films, “fact versus fiction/movie version” is a great program, bringing both resources to the program but also showing how to create search strategies and what to research to discover the “truth” behind a “based on a true story” film.

Eight Below, dogs surviving having to fend for themselves. Because these are working dogs, program ideas could include anything about working animals, the ethics of such work, what work they do.

Jurassic Park, surviving modern man made dinosaurs. Because dinosaurs are always cool. So any dinosaur related program would be great.

Rabbit-Proof Fence, surviving the Aboriginal policies of 1930 Australia. In addition to the fact/fiction/real life history, programs could include looking at how various countries treat the native populations, historically, legally, and currently. What did and didn’t happen in Australia? In New Zealand? In the US? In Canada? In Mexico? In South America?

Wall-E, surviving environmental destruction of the planet. Programs: anything environmental! Also, anything about plants, gardening, and sustainability.

American Experience: The Donner Party, surviving the trip out West and cannibalism. I am fascinated by the Donner party; much could be done with the facts, the primary documents, the journey, as well as why this trip went so terribly wrong. Plus, any excuse to play The Oregon Trail in the library. Personally, I like to name my fellow travelers after celebrities.

For the full list with official annotations, go to the YALSA website.


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