cover image STEVEN SPIELBERG: Crazy for Movies

STEVEN SPIELBERG: Crazy for Movies

Susan Goldman Rubin, . . Abrams, $19.95 (96pp) ISBN 978-0-8109-4492-3

Fans of film will revel in this behind-the-scenes look at Spielberg's childhood, movies and the choices that led to his stellar career. Rubin (Margaret Bourke-White; Frank Lloyd Wright) quotes liberally from articles plus interviews she conducted with Spielberg, his family, mentors, colleagues and actors. A portrait soon emerges of a director who drew upon his childhood fears ("of trees, of clouds, the wind, the dark," even a clown doll) to feed his tremendous imagination and who began filming his first feature-length film, Firelight, at 16. Rubin corroborates Spielberg's own assertion that each of his movie ideas originates from a childhood memory (e.g., "Poltergeist is about all the terrible things I did to my younger sisters," he says). This biography offers glimpses into the making of movies and also reveals little-known aspects of the director's journey, including how he created a 26-minute, 35-mm film called Amblin' solely to show to Universal Studios (when Universal offered him a seven-year contract to direct television shows, he left college). Family photographs and film stills help document Spielberg's progress. Ultimately, the finest special effect from this peek at the man behind Jaws, E.T. and Saving Private Ryan may be its convincing message—that anything is possible when one perseveres and follows his or her dream. Ages 9-12. (Nov.)