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From fall reading to family movie night

Pairing books with movies is an easy way to keep kids reading. While parents usually want their children to limit screen time, the silver screen may be the exception that encourages kids to read. Make movies, and the books that inspire them, the double feature that hooks kids on books.

Watching movies and books hand-in-hand gives parents the opportunity to discuss books with kids. For example, you can ask questions like these:

  • Which was better, the book or the movie?
  • What were some differences between the book and the movie? Did you like the changes?
  • Did the cast capture the personalities of the characters in the books?
  • How would you make the book different? How would you make the movie different?
  • If you could pick any book that wasn’t already a movie, which book would it be and why? Which actors and actresses would you cast in the movie? Would you change the beginning, middle, or ending?

Here is a list of 65 books in a variety of genres that have been made into movies for kids of all ages. Many of the movies that go with these books can be checked out at the library for free. Fill your bookshelves, pop some corn, and make it a double feature!

Picture books

  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • The Night at the Museum by Milan Trenc
  • Eloise at the Plaza by Kay Thompson


  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • The Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
  • Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Realistic Fiction

  • Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  • Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald
  • Holes by Louis Sachar
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary
  • Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Historical Fiction

  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp (the movie is The Sound of Music)
  • American Girl series by various authors
  • The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper


  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  • Doctor Dolittle series by Hugh Lofting (the movie is titled Dolittle)
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  • Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine


  • Paddington Bear series by Michael Bond
  • Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
  • Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr
  • Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket

Science Fiction

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key

Especially for Teens

  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Janeen is a mom, freelance writer and teacher who holds a Master's Degree in Education. Her favorite book/movie pair is Anne of Green Gables.


See our related articles:

How to start a family book club

25 can't-miss family stories and movies

Reel life: Family movie night

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