culture The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels  

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List Rules Movies must be adaptations from YA books.

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.

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The Hunger Games Franchise The Hunger Games film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based on The Hunger Games trilogy of novels, by the American author Suzanne Collins. Distributed by ...more

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katrien-de-clercq added Harry Potter Franchise 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, beginning ...more

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 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

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The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
The Perks of Being a Wallflower 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

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The Wizard of Oz 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

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357 201
Jumanji is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Jumanji 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

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341 160
The Maze Runner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
courtneythevamps added The Maze Runner 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

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325 217
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Mary Poppins 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

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287 168
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Alice in Wonderland 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

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334 236
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Bridge to Terabithia 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

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Mrs. Doubtfire 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

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380 184
Divergent is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Divergent 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

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The Fault in Our Stars is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
WillowHalverson added The Fault in Our Stars 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

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272 179
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
The Outsiders 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

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The NeverEnding Story 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

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Hugo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Hugo 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

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events 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

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The Hunger Games is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
The Hunger Games Stanley Tucci, Wes Bentley, Jennifer Lawrence

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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 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

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197 144
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
ElizabethR.Hill added The Book Thief Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Heike Makatsch The Book Thief is a 2013 American-German war drama film directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, and Sophie Nélisse. The film is based on the 2005 novel The ...more

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206 136
Peter Pan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Peter Pan 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

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233 149
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
The Parent Trap 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

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239 201
Coraline is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Coraline 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

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Little Women 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

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Matilda is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
punksnotdead added Matilda 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

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If I Stay is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
courtneythevamps added If I Stay 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

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Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Charlotte's Web Debbie Reynolds, Danny Bonaduce, Henry Gibson Charlotte's Web is a 1973 American animated musical film produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions and Sagittarius Productions and based upon the 1952 children's book of the same name by E. B. ...more

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Nanny McPhee is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Nanny McPhee Emma Thompson, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth Nanny McPhee is a 2005 British fantasy film directed by Kirk Jones. The film stars Emma Thompson and Colin Firth. Thompson also scripted the film, which is adapted from Christianna Brand's Nurse ...more

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a 2010 fantasy adventure film directed by Chris Columbus.

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The Mortal Instruments: City o... is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
but chickens double d added The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Lena Headey, Lily Collins, Jonathan Rhys Meyers The Mortal Instruments is a 2013 action adventure drama film written by Jessica Postigo and directed by Harald Zwart.

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Howl's Moving Castle Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura Howl's Moving Castle is a 2004 Japanese animated fantasy film scripted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is based on the novel of the same name by British writer Diana Wynne Jones. The ...more

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155 136
The Secret Garden is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
The Secret Garden Dean Stockwell, Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall The Secret Garden is a 1949 US drama film. It is the second screen adaptation of the classic 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The screenplay by Robert Ardrey was directed by Fred M. ...more

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The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Nancy Travis The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is a 2005 American drama film, based on the novel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares released by Warner Bros. Pictures. It was directed ...more

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The Spiderwick Chronicles Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker The Spiderwick Chronicles is a 2008 American fantasy adventure film. It is the film adaptation of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi's bestselling series of the same name. Set in the Spiderwick ...more

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The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is a 2015 American dystopian science fiction action thriller film directed by Wes Ball, based on the novel by James Dashner. Thomas (Dylan O'Brien) and his fellow ...more

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The Duff is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
inkisannoyed added The Duff Bella Thorne, Allison Janney, Ken Jeong

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To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
michael-updike added To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, William Windom To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee. ...more

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Twilight Saga Franchise The Twilight Saga is a series of five romance fantasy films from Summit Entertainment based on the four novels by American author Stephenie Meyer. The films star Kristen Stewart, Robert ...more

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121 93
The Host is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
WillowHalverson added The Host Diane Kruger, Saoirse Ronan, Emily Browning The Host is a 2013 science fiction thriller film written by Stephenie Meyer and Andrew Niccol and directed by Andrew Niccol.

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A Walk to Remember is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
NaimurRahmanKhan added A Walk to Remember Mandy Moore, Marisa Miller, Daryl Hannah A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age teen romantic drama based on the 1999 romance novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks. The film stars Shane West and Mandy Moore, was ...more

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A Little Princess Camilla Belle, Liam Cunningham, Vincent Schiavelli A Little Princess is a 1995 drama film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, starring Liesel Matthews, Eleanor Bron, Liam Cunningham, and Vanessa Lee Chester. Set during World War I, it focuses on ...more

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126 112
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Phil Collins, Dick Van Dyke, Benny Hill Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is a 1968 British musical film loosely based on Ian Fleming's novel Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car. The film's script is by Roald Dahl and Ken Hughes and its ...more

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Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Big Fish Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard Big Fish is a 2003 American fantasy drama film based on the 1998 novel of the same name by Daniel Wallace. The film was directed by Tim Burton and stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy ...more

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Escape to Witch Mountain is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Escape to Witch Mountain Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Ray Milland Escape to Witch Mountain is a 1975 film based on the novel Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key. It was produced by Walt Disney Productions, released by Buena Vista Distribution Company and ...more

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War Horse is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
War Horse Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson War Horse is a 2011 American war drama film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is an adaptation of British author Michael Morpurgo's 1982 children's novel of the same name set before and during ...more

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Race to Witch Mountain Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, AnnaSophia Robb Race to Witch Mountain is a 2009 science fiction/thriller film and a continuation to the 1975 Disney film Escape to Witch Mountain.. All three versions of the film are based on the 1968 novel ...more

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Eclipse Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, commonly referred to as Eclipse, is a 2010 American romantic fantasy film based on Stephenie Meyer's 2007 novel Eclipse. It is the third installment of The Twilight ...more

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The Golden Compass Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Ian McKellen The Golden Compass is a 2007 2007 fantasy-adventure film written by Chris Weitz and directed by Chris Weitz.

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Old Yeller is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Old Yeller Chuck Connors, Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire Old Yeller is a 1957 American family tragedy film produced by Walt Disney. It stars Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire and Beverly Washburn. It is about a boy and a stray dog in post-Civil War Texas. ...more

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Freaky Friday is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Freaky Friday Jodie Foster, Dick Van Patten, John Astin Freaky Friday is a 1976 American fantasy comedy film directed by Gary Nelson and starring Barbara Harris as Ellen Andrews, Jodie Foster as her daughter Annabel, and John Astin as her husband, ...more