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Childrens Books The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels  

Randolph Strauss
1.1k votes 104 voters 13.2k views

List of best movies based on young adult literature. 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 and beloved 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.) 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.

1
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2
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3
32 12
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Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan

4
18 4
The Outsiders is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Tom Cruise, Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane

5
29 14
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Jude Law, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Lee

6
24 11
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Gerald McRaney, Limahl, Moses Gunn

7
25 12
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Liam Neeson, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy

8
22 10
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Kirsten Dunst, Christian Bale, Claire Danes

9
16 5
Jumanji is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Kirsten Dunst, Robin Williams, Patricia Clarkson

10
20 9
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Zooey Deschanel, Josh Hutchersonm, AnnaSophia Robb

11
21 11
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Akihiro Miwa, Akio Ōtsuka, Takuya Kimura

12
15 7
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Robin Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Sally Field

13
15 7
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Mirai Shida, Tatsuya Fujiwara, Kirin Kiki

14
11 4
Big Fish is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Miley Cyrus, Ewan McGregor, Marion Cotillard

15
19 12
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Camilla Belle, Liam Cunningham, Vincent Schiavelli

16
18 13
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Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Nancy Travis

17
21 16
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Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Ian McKellen

18
13 8
The Secret Garden is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Dean Stockwell, Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall

19
19 15
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Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Jude Law

20
11 7
Coraline is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Teri Hatcher, Dakota Fanning, Ian McShane

21
10 6
Charlotte's Web is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Debbie Reynolds, Danny Bonaduce, Henry Gibson

22
9 5
The Parent Trap is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Maureen O'Hara, John Mills, Hayley Mills - One of 18 movies based on Lottie and Lisa (Das doppelte Lottchen) (1949), Erich Kästner and the first called The Parent Trap. There was a remake in 1998 with Lindsay Lohan.

23
9 5
War Horse is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hiddleston, Emily Watson

24
8 4
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Phil Collins, Dick Van Dyke, Benny Hill

25
5 1
The Perks of Being a Wallflowe... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
Barbara Gaston added Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd

26
17 14
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Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson

27
13 10
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Nick Nolte, Seth Rogen, Mary-Louise Parker

28
12 9
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Stefanie Scott, Rebecca De Mornay, Penelope Ann Miller

29
10 7
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester

30
8 5
National Velvet is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Elizabeth Taylor, Mickey Rooney, Angela Lansbury

31
12 10
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Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Tim Robbins

32
7 5
Escape to Witch Mountain is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Ray Milland - The direct adaptation of the 1968 novel by the same name.

33
7 5
Old Yeller is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Chuck Connors, Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire

34
13 12
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Alexis Bledel, Elisabeth Shue, Ben Kingsley

35
7 6
The Apple Dumpling Gang is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Don Knotts, Tim Conway, Bill Bixby

36
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Rachel Weisz, John Malkovich, Jeremy Irons

37
12 12
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Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, AnnaSophia Robb

38
10 10
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Emma Roberts, JoJo, Sara Paxton

39
6 6
Freaky Friday is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Jodie Foster, Dick Van Patten, John Astin

40
6 6
The Black Stallion is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Mickey Rooney, Teri Garr, Hoyt Axton

41
5 5
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Kirk Douglas, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas

42
5 5
White Fang is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Ethan Hawke, James Remar, Bill Moseley

43
5 6
Around the World in 80 Days is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Marlene Dietrich - Jules Verne's classic teen targeted novel to film

44
5 6
Rumble Fish is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Nicolas Cage, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane

45
4 5
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Patrick Troughton, Bobby Driscoll, Robert Newton

46
11 13
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Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Keith Richards

47
4 6
The Yearling is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Forrest Tucker

48
4 6
Tex is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Meg Tilly

49
3 5
Practical Magic is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novels
KirkSaw added Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Evan Rachel Wood

50
8 11
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Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick