Do You Remember?
Can you remember the first time you went to see a movie on the big screen? The smell of popcorn, eager movie goers hurrying this way and that, the big chairs; or maybe you went to a drive in movie and sat in the comfort of your own car with all of your favorite movie treats. Where ever it may have been it’s a memory that you will most likely never forget.
In my house I have a rule...
"We have to read it to see it."
Sometimes we will start reading a book and I will find out later on that a movie was already made. As we get towards the end of the book, I will mention that there is a film to my kids and they will find a renewed interest because they love to see the book come to life. There are so many books that have been made into movies, new and old. Sometimes you have to dig a little bit (local library), and you may have to purchase it (Amazon, eBay, etc.).
You might ask yourself, "Should I encourage my children to read, just so they can watch a movie?" First of all, not every book you read will have a movie, so there is little risk of an I'm-not going-to-read-it-unless-there-is-a-movie issue, unless you instill that attitude into your children. We limit screen time a lot at my house. One family movie a week and the occasional documentary related to a book or topic of interest. Video games don't happen at all. So for my kids, a movie, connected to a book, is extra special.
"But the movies are always so different!" you say.
I count differences as an added learning opportunity. When watching a movie based on a book, we look for and discuss the following:
1. We discuss things that are the same and different, compared to the book
2. We compare and contrast things we liked and didn't like
3. It gives us a chance to revisit key points of a book that portray great moral fiber
4. We can talk about how changes to the story line can greatly change your views of situations and characters
5. We look at how characters seem different from the book
6. We discuss if they like any of the changes made for the movie
7. We ask if this movie was at all like the book
It is also fun to read a book that will be coming out in the movie theater. In October 2017 we read the book Wonder by Palacio. It came out in theaters that November. The kids loved the book and mention often how much they are looking forward to seeing the movie in the theater. They have even said that if they had to choose, they would see Wonder in the movie theater rather than the LEGO Ninjago Movie. NOW, does that tell you something?
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Bellow is my list of favorite and least favorite books turned into movies. I encourage you to PLEASE comment with any of your favorite books that Hollywood adopted that I have missed. Feel free to warn us of any horrible movies too.
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Get a free printable of the 41 movie list
Our Favorite Books
That Hit the Big Screen
Each one will link you to the book in Amazon
The Adventures of Huckelberry Fin
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Alice in Wonderland
Don Quixote (We only listened to some of the stories of Don Quixote. It is a VERY LONG BOOK and my kids were young. We watched the musical (Man of La Mancha)
The Little Prince (Only on Netflix)
The Secret Garden
Wizard of Oz
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIM
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
James and the Giant Peach
Bridge to Terabithia
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Guardians of Ga-Hoole
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Pinocchio (there is a great musical called "Geppetto")
The Velveteen Rabbit
The Tale of Despereaux
The Phantom Toll Booth
A Wrinkle in Time
Winnie the Pooh
Peter Rabbit Love her books so much my daughter’s name is Beatrix. But I must admit that it was not my favorite.
Ferdinand As much as I liked this one better than Peter Rabbit, They took a lot of liberties to create enough content to turn it into a full length movie. But it is one of my all time favorite books ever and the movie has a great "stay true to yourself" theme.
Movies that are more suitable
for Teens/ Adults
Lord of the Rings (ALL Of THEM to include The Hobbit!)
Harry Potter -Book one (ALL Of THEM!)
The Princess Bride
The Maze Runner
HUGO (The AUDIO of this one is wonderful)
The Hunger Games
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Books that we found to be horrible on the screen
(But fabulous as a book)
Little Men - the movie was so different that it could have been its own movie.
Fantastic Mr. Fox - lots of changes and my kids strait up said that they did not like it
Peter Rabbit - It was overly violant, made fun of seriouse things and my kids didn't laugh that much.
Books we are planing to read this year
Swiss Family Robinson
The Lost World
Number the Stars
Wonderstruck * we finished it and loved it