Some of you may remember two years ago when we saw Elijah Wood and Liv Tyler gracing posters and bookmarks of libraries everywhere during the Teen Read Week of 2001, just before the first of Peter Jackson’s movies was released. I actually worked for a libary at the time, and still have the poster we had featuring Frodo Baggins reading a book, while lounging in a tree.
This week, two years later, Teen Read Week is with us again, and we are now seeing posters and such featuring Orlando Bloom, the Elf who so gallantly captures the hearts of teenage girls everywhere.
<ul>Orlando Bloom, who has graced the pages of teen magazines since his appearance in the first installment of “The Lord of the Rings,” will use his powers over adolescent girls for good.
Bloom, who portrays Legolas the elf prince of Mirkwood in the fantasy series, has lent his hunky image to the Young Adult Library Services Association’s new Teen Read Week poster.
Teen Read Week is a national literacy initiative sponsored by YALSA that encourages teenagers to “read for the fun of it.” Teen Read Week will be celebrated in hundreds of schools and public libraries across the country, this week, Oct. 19-25.
The poster shows Bloom with his natural dark locks, a contrast to the blond tresses he sports in the “Rings” series. He is shown clutching a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece, the basis of the “Rings” films.
“Tolkien’s words, the film’s moving imagery and teens are made for each other,” says YALSA President Audra Caplan.
“We are proud to work with New Line, whose ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy so powerfully presents a teen protagonist struggling against the odds,” she adds.</ul>
So, if you are a teenager, or are the parent of one, encourage your friends or children to read and read some more. It is the key to learning, and brings you what no movie could ever do: images of your own creation and imagination. The works of J. R. R. Tolkien in particular have inspired in my mind some of the most beautiful images and characters that no film can recreate or take away.
We should all be thankful to New Line and Peter Jackson for broadening the audience of Tolkien’s works to those who otherwise would not have been able to enjoy them. In this they continue to bring these great writings to a younger generation of readers, who will carry these pieces that we know and love into the next century.
(Matthew Rooney – Armenelos)