Film To Book: Going The Other Direction…
When one of my younger brothers was in grade school, he wasn’t an avid reader by any stretch of the imagination. He just couldn’t “buy in” to the notion of patience and sitting still long enough to read a book. That is, until my Dad found him some reading inspiration from the most unlikely of sources. You see, my brother was a huge fan of the “Rocky” movies, watching them so many times that the videotapes they were recorded on started to fall apart. So, with a little help from Ebay, one day my Dad introduced my brother to “Rocky: The Novelization”. He read the whole thing in little more than a single sitting, transfixed at the notion that his favorite film characters could also spring to life just as well from the page. In short order, he was on to the rest of the “Rocky” series. Today, that brother is currently interning in Hollywood, where he routinely reads (and writes!) scripts and analyzes them for film studios.
The point of that anecdote? It truly does prove Frank Serafini’s quote pictured above. Whenever I hear someone say “read something more serious” or “you shouldn’t be reading that”, I always think of my brother, whose career aspirations may have been put on track in no small part because of a tattered novelization of a popular film. I am a firm believer that it really doesn’t matter what kids are reading, so long as they are engaging in the activity and contouring their minds because of the experience.
In that vein, I would like to feature some film-to-book adaptations for all ages that I think might be able to similarly inspire other struggling or disinterested readers:
Peanuts: Movie Novelization by Charles M. Schulz. 9781481460446. 2015. Grade 4-6.
Frozen: Junior Novelization by Sarah Nathan. 9780736431187. 2013. Grade 4-6.
Inside Out: Junior Novelization by Suzanne Francis. 9780736433129. 2015. Grade 4-7.
Kung Fu Panda 3: Movie Novelization by Tracey West. 9781481441162. 2015. Grade 4-6.
Zootopia: Junior Novelization by Suzanne Francis. 9780736433945. 2016. Grade 4-7.
Finding Dory: Deluxe Junior Novelization. 9780736435734. 05/03/2016. Grade 2-5.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Junior Novelization by David Lewman. 9780399556944. 06/07/2016. Grade 4-6.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Junior Novel by Michael Kogge. 9781484775844. 2016. Grade 4-6.
Goosebumps: Movie Novel by R L Stine. 9780545821247. 2015. Grade 4-7.
Ghostbusters: Movie Novelization. 9781481475129. 06/14/2016. Grade 4-6.
Jurassic World: Junior Novelization by David Lewman. 9780553536904. 2015. Grade 4-6.
Man of Steel: Official Movie Novelization by Greg Cox. 9781781165997. 2013.
Godzilla: Official Novelization by Greg Cox. 9781783290949. 2014.
Independence Day Resurgence: Movie Novelization by Tracey West. 9781481478588. 05/24/2016. Grade 4-6.
Interstellar: Official Movie Novelization by Greg Keyes. 9781783293698. 2014.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster. 9781101965498. 2015. Grade 9-Adult.
A final twist to this concept is that I’ve also run into a few videogame-to-novel adaptations recently. There are few of these around at this point, but as games grow more lifelike and take on cinematic quality, one can bet this will be another niche market…
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 1 by Akira Himekawa. 9781421523279. 2008. Grade 4-6.
Batman Arkham Knight: Official Novelization by Marv Wolfman. 9781783292523. 2015.