101 Movies To See Before You Grow Up

Today, we welcome Suzette Valle, author of 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up, to talk about the inspiration and the research for the book.

101 Movies to see before you grow up

Meet Suzette Valle:


As a family entertainment blogger, the topic of movies has been a big one in our home for a long time. So when Quarto reached out to me with this book project in October of 2014, it couldn’t have been more perfect for me! I welcomed the opportunity to share my love of films with everyone, because watching movies is one of our family’s favorite pastimes and movies are a common bonding experience for many families as well.

The title of the book was predetermined by the publisher, so I can’t take credit for that. But can you imagine yourself sitting down and making a list of 101 movies that are significant not only to you, but to families in general? It was a daunting first task to say the least!

Admittedly, narrowing the list to 101 movies was overwhelming. But I devised a plan and then carried it out as best I could. Logically, I started by asking my own grown kids to make a list of their favorite films. They quickly rattled off their favorite films: “Hercules!” “Pocahontas!” “The Emperor’s New Groove!” But this made me pause, and I looked up each of these films to see if they had a place on someone else’s list of favorite films. And that’s when I realized a list cannot be based solely on personal preference. Although many of the films in this book are favorites, they have merit on their own too.

After this first fun exercise with my now 20 and 23-year-old kids, I researched existing lists of films: the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars), the American Film Institute (AFI), the British Film Institute (BFI), and the National Film Registry, among others. Cross-referencing the movies on these lists helped me reduce my list from thousands to hundreds of movies.

However, 101 Movies is not simply about award-winning films—that’s too easy. Some pop-culture classics needed to be in there too. For this aspect, I consulted other websites and books by film critics I respect, such as the late Roger Ebert, Leonard Maltin (who was recently named the honorary head juror of my hometown’s first film festival, the Coronado Island Film Festival 2016), and Nell Minow (Movie Mom). Finally, once I had narrowed down the list, I contacted Nell Minow. She and I had met once before at Comic-Con when I boldly approached her, introduced myself, and asked her for a selfie, which she happily agreed to. I was so happy when she replied, graciously agreed to look over the list, and offered me her valuable opinion about it!

Writing about movies I had watched growing up was like taking a trip back in time; the images and the emotions conjured up as I read about how or why each of these films was made brought back precious memories of my own childhood. Mary Poppins was one such film. As a child growing up in a border town in the Imperial Valley, where temperatures hover around 120 degrees for 5 months at a time, my family and I spent many Sundays in the cool theater in town watching Disney films. I will not soon forget the sense of wonder I felt when I saw Julie Andrews (her screen debut) and Dick Van Dyke dancing on the big screen with cartoons! I remember thinking, “Wow! I want to jump into that screen and dance with the penguins too!” That was the first time I had seen a mix of humans and animations together on film. Boy! Has technology changed since then!

Even as an adult, I have felt that same sense of wonder watching other films with my own children. The Harry Potter film series is one experience that lasted practically throughout my children’s childhood. We read the books, wore the costumes, and waited with anticipation for each of the eight films that brought the places and characters to life. It was a magical time!

More recently, the hype around the next Star Wars film premiering in December of this year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, compelled me to organize a movie marathon of the original trilogy with my family. I had already done plenty of research about the original Stars Wars IV: A New Hope (I never refer to this film by this name. To me, it will always be Star Wars because that was its original title when it hit theaters in 1977—it was renamed later), so I subjected them to countless pauses while I explained a special effect, a line, a costume, or location. It was triply fascinating to watch these films again with the information I had at the ready—but it was probably annoying to my family!

When you read this book, I promise I don’t overwhelm you with pre- or post-production details. I share with you only a small portion of information that I hope will pique your interest to watch or re-watch any of the 101 movies in this book. Watching these films will also expose kids to some of pop culture’s most influential films, so they’ll know why a film has a ride at their favorite theme park or why certain Halloween costumes even exist.

But most of all, the films in 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up are meant to be watched with your family. I hope that if I inspire you to do this even once a week, you will have spent an unforgettable hour or two taking a journey together into the limitless boundaries of imagination and creativity that only movies can take us on from the comfort of your own home.

Suzette is on Blog Tour — please visit the other stops! And take a peek at Suzette’s full bio below as well.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy Healthy Hip Parenting


Q&A and giveaway


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Unschooling Momma and Poppy


Review and giveaway


Friday, October 2, 2015

Nerdvana Kingdon


Q&A and giveaway


Monday, October 5, 2015

Mommy Makes Time


Giveaway only


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Deleting the Adjectives


Review and giveaway


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Life Is a Journey

Review and giveaway


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Curling Up with a Good Book


Guest post and giveaway


Friday, October 9, 2015

Optimistic Mommy


Guest post and giveaway


The Children’s Book Review




Monday, October 12, 2015

Incredible Dash


Review and giveaway


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Disabled Mom’s Life


Review only


Wednesday, October 14, 2015


Q&A and giveaway


Thursday, October 15, 2015


Guest post and giveaway


Friday, October 16, 2015

Mommy Like Whoa


Review and giveaway


Monday, October 19, 2015

Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books


Review and giveaway


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Real Mom of SFV


Review and giveaway


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

From My Balcony


Q&A and giveaway


Thursday, October 22, 2015

NC Teacher Stuff


Q&A and giveaway


Friday, October 23, 2015

Francia Benson Gone Wild


Guest post and giveaway


Monday, October 26, 2015

My Brain on Books


Guest post and giveaway


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fandom Monthly Magazine




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Live to Read


Review and giveaway


Thursday, October 29, 2015





Friday, October 30, 2015

Rockin’ Book Reviews


Review and giveaway


Monday, November 2, 2015

Geo Librarian


Guest post and giveaway


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

SoCal City Kids


Review and giveaway


Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Mom’s Guide to San Diego


Review and giveaway


About Suzette Valle

Suzette Valle is an award-winning mother of two and freelance writer focusing on family entertainment. She graduated with a B.A. from the University of San Diego, and has a Master’s Degree from Oxford University, England. Suzette has been a director and board member of several non-profit organizations in her community, including the Parent Teacher’s Association, Islander Sports Foundation, and is currently a board member of the San Diego-based international charity Foundation for Women. She also has her own blog, Mamarazzi Knows Best.com, where she writes about parenting in a celebrity-driven society and all aspects of entertainment. She is a featured Hollyblogger at the award-winning Hollywood publication The Wrap.com where she contributes film reviews, interviews with celebrities, and has covered and written about pop-culture events like Comic-Con International where she’s interviewed actors, directors, producers and writers about current and upcoming projects. Her articles have been featured on YahooMovies.com, MSNentertainment.com, and REUTERS among others. She wrote over 30 articles for the monthly column Parent Talk for AOL’s Patch.com, and headed this publication’s Parents Council in her community. Suzette lives in the seaside town of Coronado, California. This enchanted island is also known as the Emerald City because L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, penned several of the Oz books here. Suzette enjoys watching movies, and walks on the beach with her husband of 25 years and Bella, her adorable dog.

101 Movies to see before you grow up

Format: Flexibound, 144 Pages
ISBN: 9781633220430
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr.
Age Range: 8 to 12
Series: 101 Things
Pub Date: Oct 13, 2015




  • Lysa Luansing-Garcia

    Our family loves movies! I’m looking forward to checking out the book!