Childrens Books The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels  

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List of best movies based on young adult literature written by some of the best young adult writers. These films were all inspired by or adapted directly from novels written for a young adult or teenage audience. Many of these books are widely regarded as "classic children's literature" that has been popular and even assigned to students in schools for decades. Others - such as recent hit films like The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series - are based on newer works that have become important cultural phenomena in the past few decades. Some of the most popular, beloved, and highest grossing movies of recent Hollywood filmmaking, in particular, originated in stories from young adult books.

The massive success of The Hunger Games - which scored one of the highest opening weekend totals in US box office history - has inspired other studios and filmmakers to look to young adult literature for ideas, and a number of other YA books are already set to be adapted in the coming years. (For example, Orson Scott Card's sci-fi thriller Ender's Game has long been considered for a big-budget film version.) Many of these YA books, like Harry Potter, take place in magical and fantasy worlds, making the stories even more compelling on a big screen. A few young adult book adaptations came out to considerably less fanfare, such as the first release from the ongoing Percy Jackson series - The Lightning Thief - but these are widely seen as exceptions rather than the rule.

This list compiles the best films ever made based on books for young adults. Be sure to vote for your favorites and move them up the list, and if your favorite movie based on a book for tweens or teens has been left off, be sure to add it at the bottom of the page.

list ordered by

1
1,350 365
Harry Potter Franchise is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
katrien-de-clercq added Harry Potter is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films. A spin-off ...more

2
1,329 444
The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth The Hunger Games is a 2012 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Gary Ross, based on the novel by Suzanne Collins. In a dystopian post-apocalyptic future in the nation of ...more

3
791 346
The Chronicles of Narnia: The ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a 2005 fantasy adventure film directed by Andrew Adamson and based on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published ...more

4
638 322
The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film, and an adaptation of the 1999 epistolary novel of the same name; it was written and directed by the novel's ...more

5
549 351
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more

6
523 292
Jumanji is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams, Patricia Clarkson Jumanji is a 1995 American fantasy adventure film directed by Joe Johnston. It is an adaptation of the 1981 children's book of the same name by Chris Van Allsburg. The film was directed by Joe ...more

7
556 235
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
courtneythevamps added Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O'Brien, Patricia Clarkson The Maze Runner is a 2014 American science fiction dystopian action thriller film directed by Wes Ball, based on James Dashner's 2009 novel of the same name. The film is the first installment in ...more

8
494 309
Bridge to Terabithia is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm, AnnaSophia Robb Bridge to Terabithia is a 2007 American-New Zealand fantasy adventure family drama film directed by Gábor Csupó and adapted for film by David L. Paterson and Jeff Stockwell. The ...more

9
467 291
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill ...more

10
548 246
The Fault in Our Stars is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
WillowHalverson added Shailene Woodley, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern The Fault in Our Stars is a 2014 American romantic drama film directed by Josh Boone, based on the novel of the same name by John Green. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat ...more

11
426 265
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter Alice in Wonderland is a 2010 British-American live action and computer animated adventure fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and written by Linda Woolverton. Released by Walt Disney Pictures, ...more

12
404 264
Mrs. Doubtfire is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field Mrs. Doubtfire is a 1993 American comedy film, starring Robin Williams and Sally Field and based on the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine. It was directed by Chris Columbus and ...more

13
588 294
Divergent is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Kate Winslet, Shailene Woodley, Ashley Judd Divergent is a 2014 American science fiction action film directed by Neil Burger, based on the novel of the same name by Veronica Roth. The film is the first installment in The Divergent Series ...more

14
359 279
The NeverEnding Story is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn The NeverEnding Story is a 1984 West German epic fantasy film based on the novel of the same name by Michael Ende, about a boy who reads a magical library book that tells a story of a young ...more

15
332 99
Matilda is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
punksnotdead added Danny DeVito, Mara Wilson, Paul Reubens Matilda is a 1996 American fantasy comedy children's film directed and narrated by Danny DeVito. The screenplay by Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord is based on Roald Dahl's novel of the same ...more

16
383 249
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane The Outsiders is a 1983 American drama film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by S. E. Hinton. The film was released on March 25, 1983. Jo Ellen ...more

17
329 301
Hugo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee Hugo is a 2011 American 3D historical adventure drama film directed and co-produced by Martin Scorsese and adapted for the screen by John Logan. Based on Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of ...more

18
307 198
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
ElizabethR.Hill added Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Heike Makatsch This film is a 2013 American-German drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. The film is about a young girl living with her ...more

19
371 325
Lemony Snicket's A Series of U... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Jude Law Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a 2004 American fantasy dark comedy film directed by Brad Silberling. It is an adaptation of the first three novels of A Series of Unfortunate ...more

20
359 246
Pirates of the Caribbean: On S... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Keith Richards Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a 2011 action adventure film based on Tim Powers' novel. The film is directed by Rob Marshall

21
323 191
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Maureen O'Hara, John Mills, Hayley Mills The Parent Trap is a 1961 Walt Disney film. It stars Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara and Brian Keith in a story about teenage twins on a quest to reunite their divorced parents. The screenplay by ...more

22
296 188
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Jason Isaacs, Saffron Burrows, Rachel Hurd-Wood Peter Pan is a 2003 Australian-American-British fantasy film released by Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Revolution Studios. It was the first authorized and faithful film or TV ...more

23
257 262
Little Women is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes Little Women is a 1994 American drama film directed by Gillian Armstrong. The screenplay by Robin Swicord is based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. It is the fifth feature film ...more

24
331 259
Coraline is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane Coraline is a 2009 American stop-motion animated 3D dark fantasy film based on Neil Gaiman's 2002 novel of the same name. It was produced by Laika and distributed by Focus Features. Written and ...more

25
327 192
If I Stay is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
courtneythevamps added Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Stacy Keach If I Stay is an American romantic drama film directed by R. J. Cutler, based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman. The film stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, ...more