Noonan, Brandon 1979-
Noonan, Brandon 1979-
Born May 8, 1979, in Yuba City, CA. Education: University of Southern California B.F.A. (film).
Screenwriter and novelist.
Plenty Porter (young-adult novel), Amulet (New York, NY), 2006.
Author of screenplays, including Dem, produced by Pretty Pictures, 2006, and Arrow, produced by Warner Bros. Contributor to periodicals, including Swink online.
Twelve-year-old Plenty Porter, the narrator of Brandon Noonan's coming-of-age novel, is the youngest of eleven children raised by her sharecropper father in rural Galesburg, Illinois. Set in the early 1950s, PlentyPorter recreates the stifled relationships within the girl's disconnected family, where civilized human interactions take a back seat to survival amid economic hardship. For Plenty, a sensitive and perceptive preteen who stands out because of her height, a friendship with Ed Prindergast, the son of the local landowner, provides the perspective needed to strive for more in her own life and recognize that her outsider role in both her own family and society at large does not limit her future.
Noonan, a graduate of the film program at the University of Southern California, wrote his highly praised young-adult novel while working as a Hollywood screenwriter. Among the films he has contributed screenplays to are Dem, which Noonan adapted from the 1967 novel by William Melvin Kelley, and the martial-arts movie Arrow.
In reviewing Noonan's first work of fiction, a Kirkus Reviews writer praised Plenty Porter as "smooth and compelling reading," while Cindy Dobrez compared the novel to Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird. While noting that the book features an ending that readers cannot predict, the Kirkus Reviews critic added that Noonan's first novel "occasionally has the feel of a writing exercise." "Plenty has a distinctive voice," wrote Kliatt contributor Janis Flint-Ferguson in an enthusiastic review of the book, "and her account of the year is poignant in its innocent retelling" of alcoholism, abuse, and an attempted suicide driven by an older sister's despair. Faith Brautigam, discussing Plenty Porter in School Library Journal, cited the novel's "stylistically innovative" opening and concluded that the book's "beautifully written sentences, … well-shaped plot," and independent-minded young heroine make Noonan "a writer to watch."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, April 15, 2006, Cindy Dobrez, review of Plenty Porter, p. 57.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September, 2006, Karen Coats, review of Plenty Porter, p. 26.
Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of Plenty Porter, p. 413.
Kliatt, May, 2006, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of Plenty Porter, p. 12.
School Library Journal, August, 2006, Faith Brautigam, review of Plenty Porter, p. 126.
Harry N. Abrams Web site,http://www.hnabooks.com/ (November 15, 2007), "Brandon Noonan."