TIFF and the Books that Inspire the Films

If you were following all the red carpet events at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, you probably heard about some of these films that have been based on best-selling books. While some of these films will be shown in smaller venues, you might like to read the books they were based on before seeing the movies. The books are always better than the movies anyway, right?

Angie Thomas’ THE HATE YOU GIVE was one of the most talked about YA books of 2017, and the movie is sure to be popular as well, and it won’t just appeal to the teen crowd. Thomas’ writing has been lauded as fresh and real, and hopefully, the movie will be true to her vision.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.


Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.


But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

BEAUTIFUL BOY: A FATHER’S JOURNEY THROUGH HIS SON’S ADDICTION by David Sheff is one of the more heartfelt films on the list, from all accounts. And the book will probably delve into the subject matter even more.

What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first warning signs: the denial, the three a.m. phone calls—is it Nic? the police? the hospital? His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every treatment that might save his son. And he refused to give up on Nic.


And one of the other popular films at TIFF this year was IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK by James Baldwin.

Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions–affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where pas sion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.

The novel has been called stunning and honest and has a bit of humour mixed in with the emotional themes. It’s definitely one that shouldn’t be missed.

Have you seen any of the TIFF movies? Are there any others you’re looking forward to seeing or reading? Place a hold on any of the books, download an audiobook or ebook, or ask us for an interlibrary loan on anything we don’t have in our catalog. Get reading…and then get watching!

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