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30 Great Children’s & Young Adult Books Made into Movies

There are so many great books turned into movies; and while I could keep going with the list, I decided to stop with 30. Technically, there are more since I do have the Harry Potter series in there!! These include children’s and young adult books made into movies; so books for all ages – from picture books to those for young adults. I have included books where at least one of us in the family has done both – read the book and watched the movie.

Once Upon a Time,

the World Stayed Home and worked on new ways to keep themselves occupied. Reading books and watching movies were definitely part of the older, much known ways that were on the top of lists around many homes.

So here is a list for all of you… as we stay home. Go ahead and read the book first, and then watch the movie (if you haven’t already) and compare and contrast the two for a fun family event!

And oh, I almost forgot! I also have a poll for each one, so if you have read the book and watched the adaptation featured, you can vote on which one you thought was better!!

30 Great Children's & Young Adult Books Made into Movies

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One more thing for you that you can use. A free downloadable template for a fun book vs movie discussion and more. Below is just a part of it and you can download it here or click on the image to download.

Our 30 Favorites

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland book vs movie

I realized I used an image of a French(?) edition of the Disney animated movie here!! But, well, I would have watched that too, with subtitles! While I loved the Disney version, and enjoyed the CGI and some of the characters in the real-life version, the book it is for me!!

[yop_poll id=”1″]

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables book vs movie

The book was a favorite from years ago; and I think I watched one of the movie versions as well many years ago. I also started Netflix’s Anne with an E recently and I love how the main character portrays Anne’s spunkiness effortlessly. But oh well, the books win this one over every adaptation made onto screen.

[yop_poll id=”27″]


the bfg book vs movie

We watched this movie along with my brother’s family on a trip to India in the theaters and that means this movie brings back great memories always! Also, watching it in the big screen did add to the impact the wonderful animations made on us – the viewers. But Roald Dahl’s storytelling magic wins through the pages of the book.

[yop_poll id=”28″]

Black Beauty

black beauty book vs movie

Black Beauty makes regular appearances on my blog, lending credence to its importance in my life. It was one of the first books that made me cry, and I have read many times over. And I did enjoy the movie version I watched (have not watched the newer version though). But if I had to choose, it is the book.

[yop_poll id=”31″]

The Book Thief

top 10 books vs movies #bookthief

The Book Thief has become one of my favorite books since I read it a few years ago. Markus Zusak knows how to reach out to his audience and grip their hearts directly! For me, the book was a clear winner in this case. You can pick your choice below.

[yop_poll id=”2″]

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

charlie book vs movie

Holding a book is like holding the Golden Ticket – for me (and I am sure for many book lovers all over)! And a Roald Dahl book is also always a treasure, you never know what marvels it contains within. This book definitely wins over both versions of the movies; while the older movie wins over the Johnny Depp one.

[yop_poll id=”29″]

The Chronicles of Narnia

narnia book vs movie

Narnia is definitely one of those fictional places I would love to visit!! What about you? Do you think so as well? I only watched the Disney versions made about a decade ago and the movies were well made, of course, but books rule in Narnia too!

[yop_poll id=”30″]


top 10 books vs movies  #coraline book vs movie

What do I say about a girl called Coraline? I watched the movie first, loved the title scene, and the movie itself. I then read the book (bowing now to the mastery of Neil Gaiman)!

The book it was for me. You can pick your choice below.

[yop_poll id=”3″]

The Diary of a Young Girl

diary of a young girl book vs movie

Anne is another regular visitor to my blog!! I lost count of the number of posts she appeared in. She inspired me in so many ways, and continues to do so even today. I enjoyed the movie but love, love the book, and am so looking forward to reading this graphical adaptation of the book.

[yop_poll id=”32″]

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars book vs movie

Both the book and the movie left me bawling; and it was a very close finish in this case with the book winning by a bit. What about you? Pick below!

Did you prefer the book to the movie? Or vice versa?
[yop_poll id=”6″]

Harry Potter: the series

harry potter book vs movie

What can I say about this series that has not been said already? That said, I don’t think I have really reviewed the books or the movies on my blog, ever! But of course, I have faithfully watched all the movies and read all the books (books first, of course!)

[yop_poll id=”33″]


Heidi book vs movie

Heidi is another childhood favorite that I continue to cherish! And I am yet to watch its many adaptations (have watched only the Shirley Temple one so far). The book, again, wins, though Shirley temple definitely was a darling Heidi to watch.

[yop_poll id=”8″]


holes book vs movie

A family favorite definitely! We watched the movie again recently, one of our many shelter-in-place watches.

[yop_poll id=”34″]

Horton Hears a Who

horton hears a who book vs movie

Horton made a couple of appearances on my blog earlier, and I do love him. And his creator is one of my favorite authors! The Seuss museum in Springfield is on my want-to-visit list as well. I loved both the book and the movie.

[yop_poll id=”35″]

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

#InventionofHugoCabret  #hugo book vs movie

The Invention of Hugo Cabret – My son’s interest in the movie, and in the book “drew” me to this book; and I was in love with this format of writing. The movie is beautiful too!

The winner (however) – the book!

[yop_poll id=”9″]

The Jungle Book

jungle book book vs movie

The Jungle Book brings back so many memories – the movie(s), the TV series I watched growing up in India, and the book itself. This is one where I enjoyed both the book and the movie(s) as well as the TV series – each one having it’s own redeeming qualities.

[yop_poll id=”10″]

The Kite Runner

kite runner book vs movie

This book is another that has made a few appearances on my blog. And both my son and I love the book, and the author as well. The book is the clear winner here.

[yop_poll id=”11″]

Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events

lemony snicket book vs movie

While I did not read the books myself, both my kids (now teens) devoured the books; and all of us enjoyed the Jim Carrey movie as well as the Netflix series. And both of them enjoyed the Netflix series the most !!

[yop_poll id=”35″]

Life of Pi

life of pi book vs movie

I loved the book and loved the movie, but the book inched past in the race for love!

[yop_poll id=”12″]

Little Women

little women book vs movie

Little Women is not so little for me, not at all. Numerous appearances on my blog and many mentions IRL (same as with Anne Frank) means this book is a life staple!! And while I have to yet watch the latest movie (2019), I watched a couple of other versions and enjoyed them, but nothing compares to the book, right??!

Alcott’s quote “She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain,” fits me perfectly!!

[yop_poll id=”36″]


 #matilda #dahl matilda book vs movie

Matilda won over our hearts in the book and in the movie; but if I had to choose one, then it has to be the book here.

[yop_poll id=”13″]

Mr.Popper’s Penguins

mr.popper's penguins book vs movie

I think I read the book after watching the movie, thought I don’t recall exactly. Here, the book won our hearts over inspite of Jim Carrey in the movie..

[yop_poll id=”37″]

Nim’s Island

nim's island book vs movie

Nim’s Island was a pretty recent read and watch for us – (be)for(e) last year’s A to Z challenge, in fact. And Gerard Butler, in spite of being him, lost to the book here!

[yop_poll id=”14″]

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

percy jackson book vs movie

The book, in this case, definitely. I still need to get back to finishing this series though and read more Riordian!

Vote and let me know your choice below:

[yop_poll id=”16″]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

the perks of being a wallflower book vs movie

My son is the only one who both read the book and watched the movie, and he liked the book better. What about you?

[yop_poll id=”38″]

The Secret Garden

the secret garden book vs movie

The Secret Garden is another childhood favorite, and while I have tried hard to convince my kids to read it, they never did (but it is still not too late)! And the book won over the movie, though I am looking forward to watching the 2020 movie adaptation eagerly…

[yop_poll id=”39″]

To Kill a Mockingbird

#tkam to kill a mockingbird book vs movie

To Kill a Mockingbird – Gregory Peck’s movie version or Harper Lee’s book version – this was a tie for me…

[yop_poll id=”20″]

Tuck Everlasting

tuck everlasting book vs movie

I am not sure now if I watched the movie first or read the book, but I did both of them as an adult, and truly enjoyed both. Recommended for 10 years and older.

[yop_poll id=”40″]

The Wizard of Oz

the wizard of oz book vs movie

The Wizard of Oz almost made it to the AtoZ Challenge last year, but Wonder ended up there. I read this book only recently (in the past couple of years, that is) while I had watched the two featured movies here before reading the book. And I found that there are many, many other adaptations as well. The book?? The Judy Garland movie??

[yop_poll id=”41″]


wonder book vs movie

The age-old question, one almost every literary-minded person (like me) will almost always answer with ‘the book, of course’. In this case, I did enjoy the book but the movie captured the very best of the book for me and did it right; so, in this case, it is the movie for me (surprising, I know, given the popularity of the book and also considering my kids loved it as well, but there it is).

Dear reader, what about you? Do vote your choice below:

[yop_poll id=”23″]

The End

There are a great many books that I did not include here; maybe for a future more exhaustive list? There are the many Disney princess flicks, the ever popular Princess Bride, Bridge to Terabathia, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and so many more. And if I start thinking of those books which are not written with younger audiences in mind (my son has read many of them, while I read many as a t(w)een), then there are a countless more.

End Credits

You, the readers, of course!!

6 thoughts on “30 Great Children’s & Young Adult Books Made into Movies

  1. Great list of the top 30 children’s/ young adult books. Between me personally reading them and my children and grandchildren, I know almost all of them! That was a fun survey, some I couldn’t vote on because it didn’t have the option of both! I do like the older books because they use more of your imagine then watching a movie.

  2. Wow, that’s a whole whack of books! I’ve tried reading Life of Pi a few times but couldn’t get into it. Yann Martel and his wife, Alice Kuiper live in our fair city. And I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter series! Maybe I might.

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