IMDb Home School: Book-to-Screen Adaptations

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 1 month ago

We share some of our favorite movies and TV series based on literary classics, new and old.

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1
Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay in Wonder (2017)

Wonder | Now Streaming on Prime Video and Hulu

Rating: PG

Based on the New York Times bestseller, this movie tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters the fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.

2
Storm Reid, Levi Miller, and Deric McCabe in A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

A Wrinkle in Time | Now Streaming on Disney+

Rating: PG

After the disappearance of her scientist father, three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which send Meg, her brother, and her friend on a dangerous journey through space in order to find him.

3
Mara Wilson in Matilda (1996)

Matilda | Now Streaming on DIRECTV and Available to Rent on Amazon.com

Rating: PG

One of many whimsical Roald Dahl titles adapted to film, Matilda stands out as one of the very best. It tells the story of a highly intelligent little girl who also happens to possess some magical powers, which she cleverly uses to set straight the loathsome people in her life, including her awful parents (Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman) and school principal.

4
Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women (2019)

Little Women | Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: PG

Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters - four young women, each determined to live life on her own terms.

5
Irrfan Khan and Soham Chatterjee in The Namesake (2006)

The Namesake | Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: PG-13

American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, while balancing his family's traditional values.

6
Amybeth McNulty in Anne with an E (2017)

"Anne with an E" | Now Streaming on Netflix

Rating: TV-PG

The adventures of a young orphan girl living in the late 19th century. Follow Anne as she learns to navigate her new life on Prince Edward Island, in this new take on L.M. Montgomery's classic novels.

7
Paddington (2014)

Paddington | Now Streaming on IMDb TV

Rating: PG

Based on a beloved series of books by British author Michael Bond, this animated flick follows a young Peruvian bear traveling to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.

8
Neil Patrick Harris, Patrice Goodman, Justin Sanchez, Amadi Chapata, Josh Cruddas, and Isaac Arellanes in Ghostwriter (2019)

"Ghostwriter" | Now Streaming on Apple TV+

Rating: TV-G

When a ghost haunts a neighborhood bookstore and starts releasing fictional characters into the real world, four kids must team up to solve an exciting mystery surrounding the ghost’s unfinished business. Armed with secret messages only they can see, the young heroes chase down the truth — and become friends in the process.

9
Shia LaBeouf in Holes (2003)

Holes | Now Streaming on Disney+

Rating: PG

A wrongfully convicted boy (Shia LaBeouf) is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason. Based on the novel by Louis Sachar.

10
Liesel Matthews in A Little Princess (1995)

A Little Princess | Now Streaming on Netflix

Rating: G

The world began to take notice of filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón with this story of a young British girl who is sent to a boarding school in New York while her father fights in WWI, where a clash with the school's severe headmistress sets into motion an unexpected series of events.

11
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)

Howl's Moving Castle | Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: PG

When a young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

12
James Gandolfini, Max Records, and Vincent Crowley in Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Where the Wild Things Are | Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: PG

Spike Jonze's under-appreciated adaptation of Maurice Sendak's signature illustrated book follows Max, a young boy runs who away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king. See our parents guide for more information on the movie's themes and situations.

13
Michelle Trachtenberg in Harriet the Spy (1996)

Harriet the Spy | Now Streaming on Prime Video

Rating: PG

Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. But when Harriet's friends find her secret notebook the tables are turned on her. Can she win her friends back and still keep on going with the spy business? Based on the children's novel by Louise Fitzhugh.

14
Ernest & Celestine (2012)

Ernest & Celestine | Now Streaming on Prime Video

Rating: PG

This 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature (it lost to Frozen) is centered around the unlikely friendship between a young mouse and a big bear who both dream of a life filled with art and creativity.

15
Maggie Smith and Laura Crossley in The Secret Garden (1993)

The Secret Garden | Now Streaming on the Roku Channel and Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: G

Director Agnieszka Holland brings her art-house sensibilities to her take on Frances Hodgson Burnett oft-adapted novel about a orphaned girl who is sent to England after living in India all of her life. In her new home, she begins to explore the secrets and mysteries of her widowed uncle's estate. Maggie Smith steals the show as the nefarious Mrs. Medlock.

16
Gene Wilder and Peter Ostrum at an event for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory | Now Streaming on DIRECTV and Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: G

Clearly we love Roald Dahl adaptations — this one features our favorite Gene Wilder performance. In the movie, a poor but hopeful boy seeks one of the five coveted golden tickets that will send him on a tour of Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory.

17
Noah Hathaway in The NeverEnding Story (1984)

The NeverEnding Story | Now Streaming on IMDb TV

Rating: PG

In this '80s classic from director Wolfgang Peterson, a troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book. Based on the novel by Michael Ende.

18
Agnes Moorehead, Debbie Reynolds, Henry Gibson, Dave Madden, and Don Messick in Charlotte's Web (1973)

Charlotte's Web | Now Streaming on Prime Video

Rating: G

E.B. White's classic tale about a gentle and wise spider who pledges to save a young pig from slaughter never fails to inspire, whether in print or on the screen. Also made into a live-action film in 2006, starring Dakota Fanning and Julia Roberts.

19
Amandla Stenberg, Sabrina Carpenter, and Megan Lawless in The Hate U Give (2018)

The Hate U Give | Now Streaming on Cinemax and HBO

Rating: PG-13

Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what's right. See our parents guide for more information on the movie's themes and situations.

20
Cicely Tyson and Yvonne Jarrell in Sounder (1972)

Sounder | Available to Rent on Prime Video

Rating: G

The oldest son of a loving and strong family of black sharecroppers comes of age in the Depression-era South after his father is imprisoned for stealing food.