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Six Modern KidLit Gems That Should Be Made Into Movies Post Haste!

Posted by: | September 4, 2013



I know, I know. The book was better.

The books are always better than the movies they inspire but that doesn’t mean a young reader can’t dream of seeing some of their favorite modern KidLit gems on the big screen, right?

Below are six terrific reads that, in the right hands and with the right cast, would shine brightly at the multiplex. And all come with my voracious 9 1/2-year-old reader’s stamp of approval!

And someday even, maybe you’ll see Sticky Washington, Demerara the glittery Invisible Cat, and Prince Frederick costumes at the Halloween store!

Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

The Hero’s Guide Trilogy — Saving Your Kingdom, Storming The Castle, Being an Outlaw

by Christopher Healy

The movie rights were sold before the first book in the trilogy was even released last year and it becomes quickly obvious as to why: princesses, castles, wry humor, ridiculous villains, two macho princes and a pair of dainty ones too in Frederick and Duncan who, once made famous on the silver screen, will become oft-referenced pop culture icons. I’m not camping out waiting for these films yet, but I wouldn’t blame anyone who gets in line super early for Hero’s Guide…the Movie(s)!


The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop

by Kate Saunders

Demerara the immortal & invisible talking cat, a cigar smoking rat, the ghost of an elephant, a pair of magical kids, evil villains, and the world’s greatest chocolate are Whizz Pop’s recipe for success at the box office. Add in a great title, London as its location, and the mysterious Secret Ministry of the Unexplained and one can easily imagine legions of young readers having Whizz Pop, and some buttery movie popcorn, on the tips of their tongues.

Betti on the High Wire

Betti on the High Wire

by Lisa Railsback

The movie would open in a ramshackle circus tent deep inside an unnamed, exotic, war-torn country — dramatic and gut-wrenching! The performers are known as left-over kids, orphans really, waiting for an adoption that will never come. Until one does for young Babo, a 10-year-old with a vivid imagination and a heart of gold. The process of her becoming Betti, an Americanized tween, would offer many laughs not unlike those goofy unfrozen caveman-style of flicks, but with far more tenderness. Betti would soar on screen!

The Mysterious Benedict Society Trilogy

The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Trenton Lee Stewart

Considering the success of Harry Potter, I cannot believe the trilogy of Mysterious Benedict Society books have NOT yet been filmed. The Harry Potter reference isn’t because of any magic or castle, but rather the depth of the kid characters (George “Sticky” Washington and his unreal memory, Reynie the puzzle master, and small and precocious Constance Contraire, among them), the frightening baddies, and the bizarrely curious story. These books are amazing. Make this happen, Hollywood!

Nancy Drew Clue Crew

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew

by Carolyn Keene

The series of light young reader mysteries is still ongoing, so the movie would focus on, and flush out, one or maybe two of the not-completely unrelated story arcs from the nearly three dozen books published thus far. The important thing would be the exploration of the relationships between main characters Nancy, George and Bess…with a Ned Nickerson cameo of course.

Otis Dooda Strange But True

Otis Dooda: Strange But True

by Ellen Potter

A self-proclaimed hillbilly boy and his family move into the top floor of a downtown highrise and hilarity ensues with a guy who lives in a potted plant in the lobby, a boy who thinks he is a ninja, and a claptrap birthday party business-cum-circus family. If Wimpy Kid can be a success at the cinema, Otis Dooda would easily translate beautifully to the big screen.

*I must also note that Otis Dooda illustrator David Heatley does double duty as a musician, and he wrote a full length album to accompany this book. When combined with the prose, and the pictures, this CD is a must have soundtrack to the book that’s already been published and the movie that should be made.

What kid’s book would you like to see made into a movie?

  • modern father online

    Seeing we’re not on the kidlit scene yet – I am still reading Dr Seuss and picture books – I’m going to have to take your word on this. But I have to disagree with you on one thing; the movie is always better…

    • Jeff Bogle

      Sometimes, Modern Father, you are correct. In capable artistic hands, films can outshine a book but there are far more cases of the movie being worse throughout time. The most glaring example I can think of to support this is the first Percy Jackson flick which was SO damn bad that I gave up reading the books altogether. It ruined the series for me.

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