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Book to Movie for Teenagers

by Miriam Downey 6. August 2014 13:55

One of this summer's big movies is The Fault in our Stars based on the book by the same name by John Green. My 13-year-old granddaughters loved the movie and can't wait to read the book. In the last year or so, many exceptional young adult novels have become movies. This is not a new phenomenon, but in the past couple of years, some of my favorite young adult books have gone from the page to the movie screen. For example, the Newbery award winning novel, The Giver, by Lois Lowry will be released as a movie in August. This is the story of a utopian society and the old man who knows what society should really be like. Last year, another of my favorite The Book Thief by Markus Zusak showed up on the screen. It is a World War II story about a refugee girl in war-torn Germany. Then, of course, there are the blockbusters--Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, two series of books turned into a series of movies. Oh, and we must not forget the Lord of the Rings Trilogy turned into movies.

An article in the Los Angeles Times suggests that there are more teen novels turned into movies than usual, but the history of teen novels into movies has gone on for a very long time. I have compiled a list of great teen books that became good movies. Pair them up--read the book and then watch the movie, or the other way around.

Recent Books into Movies

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. (movie 2014).

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. (movie 2013).

The Giver by Lois Lowry. (movie 2014).

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. (movie 2013).

Inkheart by Cornelia funks. (movie 2008).

Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle)  by Christopher Paolini. (movie 2006).

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. (movies 2001=2004).

Great older books and movies

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (movie 1983).

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. (movie 1965).

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. (movie 1949 and 1994) I like the 1994 version.

Sounder by William Armstrong. (movie 1972).

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende. (movie 1984).

The Princess Bride by William Goldman. (movie 1987).

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. (movie 1959. Masterpiece Theater, 2010).

Of course, I could go on and on. The two following websites continue the list of books into movies. Check them out for more suggestions.

Book Riot

Teen Reads

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Book or Movie? What Should We Do First?

by Miriam Downey 30. July 2014 07:40


 What do you like to do first--read the book or see the movie? My grandchildren and I had an interesting discussion about this dilemma around the breakfast table the other day. I was asking specifically about the movie The Fault in Our Stars, which my 13-year-old granddaughters had just seen. I have this book by John Green sitting on my desk, waiting for an afternoon so I can read it before I watch the movie. I asked the girls if they would like to read the book now that they had seen the movie. Thus the conversation. The girls had loved the movie so much that they both wanted to read the book.

My 17-year-old grandson piped up and said that he liked to read books after he had seen the movie. He said that when he read the Hunger Games books, he had the vision of the characters from the movie in his mind. He was quick to add that he had loved the Percy Jackson books so much that the movie didn't compare to the images he had in his mind. So, as we discussed the issue, what emerged was the idea that it can go both ways--sometimes the book is better; sometimes the movie.

So, here's a summer challenge for you. There are a wealth of movies based on children and teen books. Today I am going to give you a list of ten book-movie pairings for elementary grade children. Next week I will give you a list of book-movie pairings for middle and high school-aged kids. Try them out both ways--movie first and then book first. See which one you like best.

I have provided a link for the book if it is available online. Of course, the books will all be available at the library, and it is likely that the movies will be available at the library as well, but they will also be available at some of your other movie sources. I also indicated the year of the movie. This is only a partial list. A more complete list of book-movie pairings can be found here.


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. (The movie is the Walt Disney version updated in 2010).

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. (Animated version 1973 and live version 2006).

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit. (Movie is 2005).

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. (Disney Version, 2010).

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg. (movie 2000).

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield. (movie 2008).

Holes by Louis Sacher. (movie 2003).

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. (Disney version updated 2007).

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (movie updated version 2009). Also a new movie about the making of the Mary Poppins movie called Saving Mr. Banks (2013).

Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. (movie 2011).

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. (movie 1997).


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