You are likely familiar with the phrase “the movie was good, but the book was better”. But is that always true? Many movies are based on books, and oftentimes readers prefer the book over the movie. Sometimes as readers we may even feel like a movie ruined the story we had read and loved. Nothing beats reading a well-written story, and reading can feel like an intimate experience for the reader. We allow the words on the pages to guide us into envisioning the settings and characters to the extent that our imaginations take us. Movies on the other hand, can really bring these stories to life in a way that we, as readers, may not have even been able to imagine. I love watching movies based on books I’ve read and comparing their portrayal to how I’d imagined the story. There are many movies based on children’s literature. Your family may enjoy reading a book together and then watching the movie version of the story with a movie night! Have fun sharing your opinions with each other on which one you liked better, or maybe you’ll decide they were both well done. Take a look below for some great books that also have movies based on their stories.
So B. It by Sarah Weeks
Twelve-year-old Heidi has a lot of questions about where she came from, but it hasn’t been easy finding the answers. She lives in an adjoined apartment with her mother who has an intellectual disability, and Bernadette – her unofficial guardian who has agoraphobia. She doesn’t know who her father is, or how she and her mother came to live in their apartment. Her mother doesn’t have the ability to give her the answers to her questions. Bernadette doesn’t know where Heidi and her mother came from, but cares for Heidi as if she were her own daughter. A box of old photos of her mother is eventually discovered that provides clues to a location she’d lived. A determined Heidi sets out on an emotional adventure to that location to find out who she is. This is a touching story, and the movie can be requested here.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Everything in twelve-year-old Jonas’s world seems perfect. There is no pain or suffering, everyone follows the rules, and everything is controlled. Jobs are assigned to everyone in the community, and Jonas gets assigned a very special job as the Receiver of memories. The former Receiver holds all memories of life, and now becomes The Giver of those memories to Jonas. As Jonas begins to receive these memories, he learns about the dark secrets of what’s really happening in his world. Receiving the memories changes his perspective and leads him to begin making choices. You will be captivated by this story, and will want to follow-up with the movie!
Holes by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats comes from a cursed family. He always seems to end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. This leads to him being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to a boys’ detention center at a dried up lake, where the boys are required to dig deep holes every day to build character. Stanley soon realizes that things aren’t exactly what they seem at the center, and the warden is actually having them dig holes because she is looking for something. Find out what’s really happening and if Stanley can break his family’s curse. The movie can be requested here.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
This is a creepy and wonderfully told story about a boy being raised by his grandmother, and his experience with witches. The witches disguise themselves as ordinary looking women, and they hate children! His grandmother teaches him how to recognize a witch and what to do if he sees one. He encounters a large, organized group of witches who are hatching a plan to rid the world of children. The boy and his grandmother must find a way to stop them! I highly recommend watching the movie as well.
Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer by Megan McDonald
This is an early chapter book with a lighthearted story about third-grader Judy Moody’s summer vacation. Judy was expecting to have the best summer ever! But she’s really disappointed to find out her parents and her two best friends are going away for the summer. How boring! She gets over her disappointment though when she comes up with new plans that lead to an action-packed summer full of adventure. Fans of this book will also enjoy the fun movie about Judy’s not so bummer summer.