Nevermind, though: Moonrise Kingdom is a consciously literary movie.
It has a quaint narrator and obvious, meteorological foreshadowing. But more important, it has two misunderstood and possibly violent adolescents running away together. What's more literary than that?
The movie also features a small library of made-up books, which one of the runaways, Suzy, carries around in a suitcase. They are, of course, stolen library books. Because stealing library books is both badass and nerdy--a difficult combination to achieve unless you're a computer hacker. I watched a video of the made-up books before seeing the movie and seriously considered packing my favorite childhood books in the suitcase I inherited from my grandmother and hiding it under my bed in case of emergency/apocalypse.
After seeing the movie, which is very clearly set in 1965, I wondered: what books might Suzy really have carried in her suitcase (you know, if she was real, also). The first book that popped into my head was The Goats, by Brock Cole, because it involves children torturing each other, runaways, and islands. But that wasn't published until 1987. In fact, while lots of people have described Suzy's collection as "fake YA books," the YA category didn't really exist yet.
What books would have been available to Suzy that met her criteria? I can't find the exact quote, but I know she said she liked books with some magical element, usually with a girl protagonist. Here are some from 1965 or earlier that she might enjoy:
::The ListA Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Over Sea Under Stone by Susan Cooper
Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Bedknob and Brookstick by Mary Norton
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes
Books that were published too late to make the cut: From the Mixed-up Files of Ms. Basil E Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Escape from Witch Mountain by Alexander Key, I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier, The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton, The Midnight Fox by Betsy Byars, The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson, The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, The Wednesday Witch by Ruth Chew, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery.
Also, does anyone remember what other characters carried around books in suitcase? Besides Amanda Beale in Maniac Magee?
::Elsewhere:Summer reading for Suzy Bishop of Wes Anderson’s 'Moonrise Kingdom' at the New York Daily News
10 Fake Books in Movies That We Wish We Could Read at Flavorwire