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“I don't think anything encourages students to read more than having a movie made of a book,” states Carol Gillingham, a first grade teacher in Houston and mother of Andrew “Techno Mouth” Gillingham. “I think being able to make comparisons between the book and the movie will be a lot of fun. It's a fabulous way to get kids to read books.”

“During scouting, every time we went into a school, we met the teachers and librarians who were excited because the students already knew this book,” comments director Bob Dolman.

“I have made a number of movies based on books: The Natural, My Dog Skip, A Little Princess, Donnie Brasco, The Notebook and most recently The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I think that you have a responsibility when you are translating a book into a film, because you have to respect the fact that there is a core readership who have certain expectations from your movie,” explains producer Mark Johnson. “As filmmakers, you can make alterations, but it’s important to try to keep the themes and characters somewhat consistent. I think in a book like How to Eat Fried Worms, that is and has been read by a lot of kids, you want to make sure that they have the experience of seeing something new and original, that yet still reminds them of the experience of reading the book. So it's a little bit of a balancing act.”

Adds Johnson, “the ideal thing is to take the book as your foundation and then have a screenwriter who adds what he or she is particularly talented at, to come up with something that's it's own new animal. Bob Dolman really dreamed up this whole kinetic energy and conflict between all of these kids. The ultimate compliment came from Thomas Rockwell, the author of the book, who had read our screenplay and liked it a great deal. It’s loosely based on his book and he appreciated it for what it is.”

A feature film adaptation of Thomas Rockwell’s hugely popular young adult book How to Eat Fried Worms completely fit the corporate mission of Walden Media. Founded in 2001 by Cary Granat, former president of Miramax Films’ Dimension label, and education reformer Micheal Flaherty, Walden Media specializes in entertainment


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