80 Kids Books to Movie Adaptations

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to sort out activities to keep the small people entertained, and the coffee to keep you functioning. I aim for a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, lots and lots of reading, some movies and a balance of days at home and days out. It’s so important that we allow ourselves and our kids to have downtime (do as I say not as I do on this point).

Recently in the ‘Your Kids Next Read’ Facebook group managed by Allison Tait, Allison Rushby and myself, there was much discussion about book to movie adaptations. Books are regularly made into movies or tv series and it’s no wonder because great storytelling exists in all forms – written and visual, paper and screen. A few of us debated the whole ‘book is always better than the movie’ thing but I think there are a  quite a few cases where the movie has taken the book to a whole other level of gloriousness. On the whole I think it’s a hard task to shove an entire book into a 90 – 120 minute movie but they are different formats and each has a place in the telling of a good story.

Anyway – here is the recommendations from the group – comment with any others we’ve forgotten. I’ve tried to do a rating for them all but they are not in age order so do check for suitability. All these movies have a book that can be read before or after the movie so ensure you look at both forms of the story and debate and discuss the differences. I have linked to each book title where available – click the book title to read more about the book or to purchase.


80 Books to Movie Adaptations

Movie Title and Rating | Book Title and Author

Click book title to purchase from Booktopia or read more. Search iTunes using the iBooks widget in the Advertisers section on the right of this page.

Howl’s Moving Castle (PG) – ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ by Diana Wynne Jones

Matilda (PG) – ‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl

The BFG (PG) – ‘The BFG’ by Roald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach (PG) – ‘James and the Giant Peach’ by Roald Dahl

The Witches (PG) – ‘The Witches’ by Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr Fox (PG) – ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’ by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (PG) – ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl

Esio Trot (PG) –  ‘Esio Trot’ by Roald Dahl

The Jungle Book (PG) – ‘The Jungle Book’ by Rudyard Kipling

Because of Winn-Dixie (PG) – ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ by Kate DiCamillo

The Lorax (G) – ‘The Lorax’ by Dr. Seuss

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (PG) – ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ by C. S. Lewis

Wonder (PG) – ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio

Paper Planes (G) – ‘Paper Planes’ by Steve Worland

Bridge to Terabithia (PG) – ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ by Katherine Paterson

Charlotte’s Web (G) – ‘Charlotte’s Web’  by E. B. White

Wizard of Oz (G) – ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ by L. Frank Baum

Oz the Great and Powerful (tie in with book series) (PG) – ‘Oz, the Complete Hardcover Collection’ by L. Frank Baum

Mary Poppins (G) – ‘Mary Poppins’ by P. L. Travers

Mary Poppins Returns (December release) (PG) – ‘The Mary Poppins Series’ by  P. L. Travers

Pippi Longstocking (G) – ‘Pippi Longstocking’ by Astrid Lindgren

The Little Princess (G) – ‘A Little Princess’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden (G) – ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Ballet Shoes (G) – ‘Ballet Shoes’ by Noel Streatfeild

Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (PG) – ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snickett

A Wrinkle in Time (PG) – ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeleine L’Engle

City of Ember (G) ‘The City of Ember’ by Jeanne DuPrau

Holes (PG) – ‘Holes’ by Louis Sachar

How to Train Your Dragon (PG) – ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ by Cressida Cowell

Millions – ‘Millions’ by Frank Cottrell Joyce

Nim’s Island (Original film PG) – ‘Nim’s Island’ by Wendy Orr

Return to Nim’s Island (Bindi Irwin film G) – ‘Nim at Sea’ by Wendy Orr

Storm Boy (PG) – ‘Storm Boy’ by Colin Thiele

Christopher Robin (PG) – ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ by A. A. Milne

Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG) – ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ by Ann Thwaite

Mr Stink (G) – ‘Mr Stink’ by David Walliams

The Boy in the Dress – ‘The Boy in the Dress’ by David Walliams

Gangsta Granny – ‘Gangsta Granny’ by David Walliams

Grandpa’s Great Escape – ‘Grandpa’s Great Escape’ by David Walliams

Billionaire Boy – ‘Billionaire Boy’ – by David Walliams

Ratburger – ‘Ratburger’ – by David Walliams

Paddington (G) – ‘A Bear Called Paddington’ by Michael Bond

The Borrowers (G) – ‘The Borrowers’ by Mary Norton

Arrietty (G)  ‘The Secret World of Arrietty’ Picture Book by Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Ponyo (G) – ‘Ponyo’ by Hayao Miyazaki

Totoro (G) – ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ by Tsugiko Kubo

Pan (PG) – ‘Peter Pan’ by J. M. Barrie

Hugo (PG) – ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’ by Brian Selznick

The Golden Compass (PG) – ‘Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman

Horton Hears a Who (G) – ‘Horton Hears a Who’ by Dr Seuss

The Cat in the Hat (PG) – ‘The Cat in the Hat’ by Dr Seuss

Peter Rabbit (2018 – PG) – ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ by Beatrix Potter

Anne with an E (PG) – ‘Anne of Green Gables’ (series) by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone (PG) – ‘Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (PG) – ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (PG) – ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (M) – ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (M) – ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (M) – ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (M) – ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (M) – ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ by J.K. Rowling

The Hunger Games series (M) – The Hunger Games’ series by Suzanne Collins

The Maze Runner series (M) – ‘The Maze Runner Series’ by James Dashner

Divergent series (M) – ‘The Divergent Trilogy’  by Veronica Roth

Life of Pi (PG) – ‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel

Ender’s Game (M) – ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card

If I Stay (M) – ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman

The Fault in Our Stars (M) – ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green

Paper Towns (M) – ‘Paper Towns’ by John Green

The Book Thief (PG) – ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak

Everything, Everything (PG) ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon

Hidden Figures (PG) ‘Hidden Figures’ by Margot Lee Shetterly

The Giver (M) ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry

Me Before You (PG) ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes

Lion (PG) ‘Lion’ by Saroo Brierley

Marley & me (PG) – ‘Marley & Me’  by John Grogan

The Lord of the Rings series (M) – ‘The Lord of the Rings’series by J. R. R. Tolkien

Percy Jackson series (PG & M) ‘Percy Jackson’ series by Rick Riordan

The Worst Witch (PG) – ‘The Worst Witch’ by Jill Murphy


The Body Shop


  1. Hung on Sep 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm

    Arrietty is based on The Borrowers. Ponyo and Totoro are created by the director and not based on any books.

    • Megan Daley on Oct 2, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Thanks for your comment! Yes Ponyo and Totoro are def the other way round – but I love the books! But yes, I’ll add that amendment to the post!

      • Kate on Jul 9, 2019 at 7:53 pm

        A great list – thank you! I’m always looking for titles to read to my class. Some other books that are also movies include:
        The Iron Giant
        How to Train Your Dragon
        5 Children and it
        Mr Popper’s Penguins
        Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

  2. Vicky on Feb 26, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    What about Penguin Bloom? It’s a book based on real story of a family and their adoptive bird that helps them heal after tragedy. It was made into a PG movie starring Naomi Watts.

  3. Bec Brown on Aug 5, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    Clifford the big red dog, the one and only Ivan (not sure if the sequel was made into a movie too)
    To all the boys series & the summer I turned pretty – Jenny Han
    The hate you give (I can’t remember the author)
    I’m trying to remember what is on the display I have set up at work

Leave a Comment