It’s officially summer, and with that typically comes increased family time since kids are home from school and *mostly* homework free! For parents looking to keep their children occupied but still squeeze in quality time, reading books and watching movies together may be the way to go. In my house, I was taught to ALWAYS read the book before watching the movie adaptation because my mom is a big believer that the book is always better. While I completely agree with this sentiment, watching a movie after reading a book is a fun and exciting reward. This summer, I challenge you to encourage your kids to read a book with a movie adaptation so that after they finish, the whole family can enjoy a movie together – complete with snacks, of course! Here are some of my personal book-to-movie recommendations:
Bridge to Terabithia: Katherine Paterson
- This book is about a young boy and girl who befriend each other and create a “new world” for themselves using their imaginations. This fantasy play bonds the two of them until tragedy strikes. Warning: this book deals with serious topics like death. The movie of the same name was released in 2007.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Roald Dahl
- A young boy named Charlie obtains a rare Golden Ticket that gives him access to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. While spending the day in the factory, Charlie experiences magical moments and encounters moral challenges.
- Two movies have been made about this book: 1971’s Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, and 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring Johnny Depp.
Holes: Louis Sachar
- This book follows a young boy, Stanley Yelnats, as he gets falsely accused of theft and sent away to a bootcamp. While at camp, readers learn how the actions of others affect Stanley in the present. This book deals with serious topics such as racism, fate, and friendship. The movie of the same name came out in 2003.
Harry Potter (the series): J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter is a seven-book series, beginning with Sorcerer’s Stone. The books follow a wizard named Harry as he progresses through Hogwarts, a school for witchcraft and wizardry. Each book was turned into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. The books can be read first with a movie marathon held after, or you can be like my family and read a book, watch the movie, read the next book, watch the movie, and so on.
After watching these movies as a family, have your kiddos draw comparisons and spot differences between the books and the movies. How did they feel about the changes? Were certain parts cut out of the movie? Do your children agree with the changes? If they are anything like me, they may strongly dislike when movies veer too far from the books!