Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Top Ten Books that Would Make Great Movies

I rather enjoy this Top Ten Tuesday meme, especially reading other people's responses.   A meme is a chance to share a post with others posting on the same topic.  This week I am trying: Top Ten Books that Would Make Great Movies.  I was thinking as I began, I usually enjoy the books more than the movies!  Isn’t it the worst when a great book becomes a mediocre movie??  I still think these books would be great on the big screen!  As always, I have chosen to highlight children's and YA book characters.  



Be sure to check out the other great Top Ten Tuesday Lists like mine.

 In No Particular Order:   
Top Ten Books that Would Make for Good Movies:

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.  I loved this book with its complex characters, friendships, and loves.  I also love the idea of a boarding school.  I can just envision a mature but inexperienced Anna meeting her classmates!  I would also love to see each of the famous places visited by Anna and her friends in Paris.  I don’t know a lot about Paris, so for me, this would really enhance the book.  Most of all, it would be great to see an actor portray St. Clair with his sensitive, exciting, and oh so charming personality.  Even as an adult, I would enjoy that kind of movie, but I know teens would be into it for sure.  I bet it would meet PG-13 standards of viewing.

2. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson. Much Like Anna and the French Kiss, I would enjoy this book because of the trek that Ginny takes across Europe.  The characters are very colorful, the places are amazing to imagine, and both would be fun to see.  I can imagine this movie with a voice-over narration from Ginny or maybe even from her Aunt Peg.  In my mind, Collin Firth (swoon!) would play her uncle.  The movie would be popular with teens and young adults.   For the movie, I might make Ginny a bit older.   Maybe 19 or 20.  I might also up the romance a bit to increase the audience.  This would put the book solidly in the PG-13 category.

3. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall.  I chose this book because I think middle grade and elementary children deserve a wholesome movie with likable, believable, and adventurous characters.  This book is 100% in the realistic fiction genre and would have audiences with each of the 4 ages of girls.  Think of the adventures, trouble, and good clean fun of this book.  I am sure this movie might not be a blockbuster, but it would be child centered and parent approved.  I think this movie would easily pass for PG.


4. Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. This makes me smile because I could see this book being an awkwardly animated movie, just like the book.  The hand-drawn look of the pages of the book would be a perfect way to tell the story of Origami Yoda, Tommy, Dwight, and each of the classmates featured in Angleberger’s book.  Lovers of Star Wars would be an instant audience, as would lovers of underdog stories.  Maybe this is a stretch for a movie, but I love the idea.  Tween boys lack movies without weapons and fighting as well as movies that have important life themes like bullying, friendship, and social awkwardness.  Movies for this age set rarely represent kids who are able solve problems and think creatively!  A movie for the under 13 crowd equals a PG rating !   

5. The Agency series by Y.S. Lee. This series features Victorian Spies, romance, and suspense.  I would enjoy a beautiful costume movie with dark shadows, suspenseful music, very suggestive (but not over the top) romance, and great stories.  I love the elegance of Downton Abbey and would see this as a suspenseful, undercover agent version.  One book in the series even offers a story inside the Queen’s palace with the protagonist, Mary working as a maid.  The books were mature and definitely of the YA variety with mentions of late night romps and Mary being a young lady, not really a teen.  I would see this being offered as a PG-13 movie for teens and young adults.

6. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. This is a nearly 50 year old book. Wow!  If you ever taught 2nd or 3rd grade or had a child in those grades you’ve probably met Flat Stanley. I personally love his story.   He was crushed in a household accident but gained the ability to be folder up into an envelope and sent across the globe.  Stanley visits friends and relatives, but in later books goes on many, many adventures.  Kids love this book because they create their own Flat Stanleys to be traveled through the mail or on vacations.  (Photos snapped and collected along the way!)  Can you imagine, with today’s digital technology, being able to portray Stanley as a flat but personality filled child traveling across the globe?  The thought makes me smile.  I don’t know who could resist a movie like this for children of all ages and adults who read the book in the last 50 years.  I easily could see this movie as being rated G.

7. Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow. I chose this book because there are not many historical fiction accounts of what happened in Berlin before and during WWII.  This book looks at not only the war experiences of a teen jew in the months leading up to WWII, but also the cultural experiences of all teens and children in Nazi Germany.  The scenes in the schools, the inclusion of a transsexual, the portrayal of ‘die Kristallnacht’, and the brutal realities of war all are tangible while reading, but would be very powerful in a movie as well.  All set with a backdrop of a true German celebrity of Nazi Germany, boxer Max Schmeling.   The inclusion of boxing, training, and fighting act as the perfect metaphor for German Jews, but would also lend to beautiful cinematography.  Violence, Mature Content, and Language might lead this movie to be PG-13 or even R.

8. Bigger than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder.  What I love about this book was the realistic fiction story with a small bit of fantasy.  Rebecca finds a magical breadbox that will magically grant her wishes, as long as her wish can fit inside the breadbox.  As a child, I always knew magic wasn’t real, but still hoped that I could have one little piece of magic, like this, for myself.  The plot would easily play out on the big screen with family, friends, and neighbors all playing a part in Rebecca’s story.  Children would enjoy this magical little story, but also would definitely learn from the tale.  Things aren’t always what they seem when one person’s gain is another person’s loss.  This movie would probably be PG given the child’s point of view in this story.

9. Travel Team/Summer Ball by Mike Lupica.  Maybe I would just enjoy a Mike Lupica story turned into a movie because the stories are so good.  Lupica is a talented writer having honed his skills through years and years of writing non-fiction, MG novels like these basketball books, and countless articles, commentaries, and features for the New York Daily News, not to mention his other work featured in magazines, newspapers, and websites.  His storytelling is what I might like most about him though. He tells stories like he is creating something very personal and real.  He sounds like he is speaking from experience (he is) and that means something to readers.  A movie based on these 2 books would be received by children, parents, and sports lovers as a story with hope.  Plus the cameos from a few star athletes would be nice for fans.  The books are very cleanly written and would easily garner a PG rating.

10. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. To me Wonderstruck read like a movie.  The black and white images flying through the book at a quick pace made me imagine an old cinema. Could you see this movie (ala Wizard of OZ) being filmed in either black and white or in color depending which part of the story is being told?  I also think the black and white scenes could be silent?  I love the idea!  Connect this with the heartwarming story, amazing scenes in old theatres, mystical museums, and cold winters and you could have quite a magical experience.  This movie would be PG for it’s not so scary or mature content.

Of course if you want to experience any of these ‘movies’, make sure you read the book with an active and creative imagination.  Books are usually better than the movies anyway!  Make sure you leave a comment and if you have a Top Ten Tuesday I will be sure to visit yours as well.

24 comments:

  1. What a great list! I really like that you mentioned the Origami Yoda series as I thought about that one as well … the CGI would need to be good, but I think it could give Wimpy Kid a run for its money :-)

    I would love to see WonderStruck in the theatres … I loved Hugo, and think that the next book would be amazing as well...

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    1. I haven't seen Hugo as a movie! I just imagine that Thunderstruck would be beautiful! I hope we get to see it!

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  2. i agree that the book is usually better than the movie!
    i just finished reading anna and the french kiss and really liked it. i thought i wouldn't because the title and description were kind of cheesy but it was great.
    i have had a flat stanley visit me in korea and i took him to taiwan!

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    1. Glad to know that Flat Stanley is still making it around the globe!

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  3. I just realized how amazing "Wonderstruck" would be on the screen. Thanks for sharing! Great post, and I'm a new follower as well!

    I would love it if you could check out my TTT!

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    1. Yes, I agree. Wonderstruck might have a good audience considering how popular Hugo was with both viewers and critics. Plus, remember, Hugo was nominated and awarded a ton of awards! I say, sign up the same screen writers and directors.

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  4. Anna is on my list too! Somebody commented that she'd be worried that they'd ruin St Clair for them, which is a valid point I suppose. But I've never been to Paris, so it's on my list for the same reason as yours!

    Here’s my list :)

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    1. Yes, I would hate to see St. Clair ruined. Someone even mentioned on the audio version he sounded a little off and I cringed a little. But, hey - it's still Paris!!

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  5. I think 13 Little Blue Envelopes could be a great travel movie! I'd love to see her as she follows her aunt's letters through this continent-wide adventure.

    My Top Ten

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    1. I wonder if 13 Little Blue Envelope would be able to show all 13 of her adventures? It's like 6 countries and tons of adventures. I would be disappointed if some of the best parts were eliminated.

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  6. I'd really love to see Anna done, it's a wonderful book! Just would have such high expectations though!

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    1. So many of us had the book on our lists. I wonder if there are plans in the works. From what I understand, film rights to books are often optioned very early in the book process. It's the development of the movie that can often get bogged down with screenwriting, pitching to movie studios, and everything else. I would love to see it though!

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  7. Ohhh I would LOVE to see Origami Yoda made into
    a movie! How fun would that be?! :)

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  8. LOVE that Stephanie Perkins' book made it on your list. I meant to put it on mine, too, but forgot. :( I would pre-order tickets to that movie! Hahaha

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    1. I would see Anna and the French Kiss for sure! Thanks for stopping by the blog!

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  9. Sigh... Anna and the French Kiss. And I'd love to see The Agency as a TV show! I want to watch James every week!

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    1. The Agency would make a terrific TV show! Each week Mary would be on another mission. And, yes, James would make for quite excellent TV viewing! ^.^

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  10. Thanks for stopping by! I have to admit, I haven't read any of these titles, but some of them have been on my TBR list forever! I'll have to get on that!

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    1. Oh, there are some great ones. I am sure you will be pleased when they make it to the top of your TBR pile! Have a great week with reading!

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  11. Great call on Anna!!! I thought about that one too.. How lovely in Paris.. and super cute story!

    Awesome list and thanks for stopping by! :)

    Michele | Top 10

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  12. Yay for Flat Stanley! What an interesting movie that would make! My son really enjoyed that one. You've got a lot of other great kid books on here as well and some I need to add to my list to read!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great week :-)

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  13. I would love to see The Penderwicks as a film! Ditto for any Mike Lupica books!

    I'm kind of surprised Flat Stanley has not been made into a movie yet...

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  14. Great list! You know, I think they DID make a movie about Flat Stanley a few years back - vague recollections...

    I agree Wonderstruck would be fabulous as a movie!

    Sue

    Great Books for Kids and Teens

    Book By Book

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