YA Books to Movies: Coming to a Screen Near You!

Think of the most popular movies from the last few years.  Which would you say are the top five?  Do the Hunger Games, the Twilight series, and/or the Harry Potter series feature on your list?  If so, you have discovered the same emerging trend as the movie-makers: that some of the highest-grossing, biggest draws are based on popular YA (young adult) novels!  With such huge box office successes, movie-makers have started mining the YA lit field, sometimes buying movie rights before the books have even been published.  Not all these titles actually make it to the big screen, but the ones listed below are definitely set to be released.  Stop by the library to check out the books so you will be ready!


1.  The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson series, Book 2)  by Rick Riordan

Plot summary: In order to save their dying safe haven, demi-god Percy Jackson and his friends must journey into the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece and stop an ancient evil.  But first Percy will discover a secret that makes him wonder whether being claimed as Poseidon's son is an honor or a cruel joke. A must-read if you like action/adventure novels spiced with Greek mythology.
Movie release date: August 7, 2013 (titled Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters)
Starring: Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover Underwood), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth Chase), Douglas Smith (Tyson), and Leven Rambin (Clarisse La Rue), Sean Bean (Zeus), Nathan Fillion (Hermes), and Stanley Tucci (Dionysus).

2.  City of Bones (Mortal Instruments series, Book 1) by Cassandra Clare

Plot summary: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Soon Clary is introduced to the world of the Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world ... and Clary is introduced with a vengeance when her mother disappears and she herself is attacked. How could a mere human survive and kill a demon? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Movie release date: August 21 (titled The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones)
Starring: Lily Collins (Clary Fray), Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace Wayland), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Valentine Morgenstern), Robert Sheehan (Simon Lewis), Jemima West (Isabelle Lightwood), Kevin Zegers (Alec Lightwood), Godfrey Gao (Magnus Bane), and Lena Headey (Jocelyn Fray).
Library contest: Stop by the Lawrence Branch to enter a contest to win a copy of the book and some movie-related paraphernalia!

3.  Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Plot summary: Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer-simulated war games at the Battle School; in fact, he is engaged in something far more desperate. Ender is the result of decades of genetic experimentation, Earth's attempt to make the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy. Is Ender the general Earth needs?  Can his skills save mankind from the Buggers’ invasion?
Movie release date: November 1
Starring: Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggin), Harrison Ford (Col. Hyrum Graff), Ben Kingsley (Mazer Rackham), Viola Davis (Maj. Gwen Anderson), Hailee Steinfeld (Petra Arkanian), Jimmy Pinchak (Peter Wiggin), and Abigail Breslin (Valentine Wiggin)

*To Look For Next Year:*

1.  The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Plot summary: Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel - a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
Projected movie release date:  January 17, 2014 (currently filming)
Starring: Sophie Nélisse (Liesel Meminger), Geoffrey Rush (Hans Hubermann), and Emily Watson (Rosa Hubermann)

2.  The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Plot summary: Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
Projected movie release date: February 14, 2014 (currently filming)
Starring:  Dylan O’Brien (Thomas), Kaya Scodelario (Teresa), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt), Will Poulter (Gally), and Ki Hong Lee (Minho).

3.  Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Plot summary: Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, and both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.
Projected movie release date: February 14, 2014  (titled Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters; currently filming)
Starring:, Zoey Deutch (Rose Hathaway), Lucy Fry (Lissa Dragomir), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimitri Belikov), Dominic Sherwood (Christian Ozera), Sami Gayle (Mia Rinaldi), and Olga Kurylenko (Kirova).

4.  Divergent by Veronica Roth  

Plot summary: Beatrice “Tris” Pryor lives in a dystopian Chicago, which is divided into five factions devoted to different virtues.  On a set day every year, sixteen-year-olds must select which faction they will devote the rest of their lives to.  Beatrice must choose between staying with her family and being who she really is.  Beatrice also has a secret, one she has been warned can mean death if exposed.  Now, Beatrice will be forced to make tough choices that can determine the course of her future.
Projected movie release date: March 21, 2014 (currently filming)
Starring: Shailene Woodley (Tris Prior), Miles Teller (Peter), Theo James (Four/Tobias), Jai Courtney (Eric), and Kate Winslet (Jeanine Matthews)

For more YA book-to-movie titles, keep an eye on these sites: Big Books Tiny Voices blog and Page to Premiere.

- Jennifer Post, Youth Services Librarian