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The Ultimate Guide to YA Movie Adaptations

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Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Though many reports have claimed that the YA movie adaptation bonanza has died, the growth of YA as a place for movie inspiration continues. In 2018, we’ve seen a number of well-reviewed and critically acclaimed YA adaptations hit the big screen—including Love, Simon and the Sundance winner The Miseducation of Cameron Post. We’re also about to see blockbuster adaptations of The Darkest Minds and The Hate U Give. It seems worthwhile in an age where teen books continue to inspire readers of all ages to build one ultimate guide to YA movie adaptations.

The Ultimate Guide to YA Movie Adaptations

This isn’t a list meant to serve as a roundup of the best YA books made into movies. Rather, this is an attempt—key word—at rounding up as many of the movies based on YA books as possible as of 2018. It would be impossible to be comprehensive, but this gets pretty close.

This is also not a ranking nor an exploration of returns on these films. This is indeed a straight list, meant to be a resource for readers and those who work with readers to return to again and again for inspiration.

I’ve limited this list to movies. There is, of course, space for YA books adapted into television or into made-for-TV miniseries; this may be worth pursuing in the future. Included are one-off TV movies accessible to viewers today either via streaming services or purchase.

Titles are alphabetically by the name of the movie, with the original book and author listed in parentheses; a few names differ film-to-book. To make this more simple, I’ve indicated movies as part of a series (think: Harry Potter or Twilight or The Hunger Games) with a * beside the title of the first film in said series; note that not every book series resulted in an entire film series. Not included on this list are middle grade adaptations, including Percy Jackson, City of Ember, Wonder, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and other similar titles; adult titles like To Kill a Mockingbird, A Walk to Remember, and The Lovely Bones are also not included. Those all have teen appeal, but they were not published nor marketed for YA.

This is a very white list, but like we’ve seen over the last few years with YA more broadly, we can only hope that with the success of diverse YA films that we’ll see more of them.

YA Movie Adaptations

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging (Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison)

Ashes In The Snow (Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys)

Avalon High (Avalon High by Meg Cabot)

Beastly (Beastly by Alex Flinn)

Beautiful Boy (combines Beautiful Boy by David Sheff and Tweak by Nic Sheff)

Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohn and Kami Garcia)

Before I Fall movie poster

Before I Fall (Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver)

Blood and Chocolate (Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause)

The Book Thief (The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak)

The Breadwinner (The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis)

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (The Bumblebee Flies Anyway by Robert Cormier)

The Chocolate War (The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (The Vampire’s Assistant by Darren Shan)

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen by Dyan Sheldon)

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken)

*Divergent (Divergent by Veronica Roth)

Drink, Slay, Love (Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst)

The DUFF (The DUFF by Kody Keplinger)

Eragon (Eragon by Christopher Paolini)

Every Day (Every Day by David Levithan)

Everything, Everything (Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon)

Fallen (Fallen by Lauren Kate)

Fat Kid Rules The World (Fat Kid Rules the World by KL Going)

The Fault In Our Stars (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green)

The Fifth Wave (The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey)

Flipped (Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen)

The Golden Compass (The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman)

*Harry Potter (Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling)

The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas)

How I Live Now (How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff)

How To Deal (combines Someone Like You and That Summer by Sarah Dessen)

*The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)

I Am Number Four (I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore)

I Know What You Did Last Summer (I Know What You Did Last Summer by Lois Duncan)

I Love You, Beth Cooper (I Love You Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle)

I Still See You (Break My Heart 1000 Times by Daniel Waters)

If I Stay (If I Stay by Gayle Forman)

It’s Kind of a Funny Story (It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini)

Jasper Jones (Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey)

Lemonade Mouth (Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes)

Looking for Alibrandi (Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta)

Love, Simon (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli)

Maximum Ride (Maximum Ride by James Patterson)

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl (Me and Earl and The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews)

The Mighty (Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick)

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs)

Monster (Monster by Walter Dean Myers)

A Monster Calls (A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness)

The Mortal Engines (The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve)

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (City of Bones by Cassandra Clare)

Mrs. Doubtfire (Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine)

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List (Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan)

Nerve (Nerve by Jeanne Ryan)

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan)

Now Is Good (Before I Die by Jenny Downham)

The Outsiders (The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton)

Paper Towns (Paper Towns by John Green)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky)

Precious (Push by Sapphire)

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot)

Radio Rebel (Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph)

Rumblefish (Rumblefish by S.E. Hinton)

That Was Then, This Is Now (That Was Then, This Is Now by S.E. Hinton)

Sea Change (Sea Change by Aimee Friedman)

The Seeker (The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper)

*The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares)

Someday, This Pain Will Be Useful To You (Someday, This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron)

Speak Movie Poster

Speak (Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson)

The Spectacular Now (The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp)

Stormbreaker (Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz)

The Story of a Girl (The Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr)

Ten: Murder Island (Ten by Gretchen McNeil)

Tex (Tex by S.E. Hinton)

Tiger Eyes (Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume)

Tomorrow, When The War Began (Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden)

*Twilight (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead)

Whip It (Derby Girl by Shauna Cross)

Know of any YA movie adaptations I missed? Drop ’em in the comments!