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10 Amazing Movies Based On YA Novels

Photo courtesy of LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy

10 Amazing Movies Based On YA Novels

By Movieguide® Staff

If you’re seeking YA movies based on novels that don’t include wizards or vampires, this list is for you. Whether you’re hosting a tween movie night or want to watch a fun flick with your teen, there’s no shortage of entertaining YA family films. From fantasy to dystopian, these movies cover several genres that will please even the most picky teenager.

 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

Quality:
****
Content:
-1 Caution advised for older children, including teenagers, and sensitive adults.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is the film adaption of the novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien. It tells the story of Frodo Baggins, a small hobbit who possesses the all-powerful One Ring to rule them all. He sets off with eight companions to destroy the Ring by throwing it into the fires of Mount Doom in Mordor, the place of its creation. The film contains a very strong moral worldview extolling perseverance, loyalty and sacrifice. Parents should know there is heavy violence and several scenes that might frighten children.

WONDER

Quality:
****
Content:
-1 Caution advised for older children, including teenagers, and sensitive adults.
WONDER is a moving family drama based on the New York Times bestseller written by R.J. Palacio. It tells the story of August Pullman, a 5th-grade boy who has a facial deformity, and the trials he faces as he transfers to public school for the first time. It touches on themes like bullying, the complexities of friendship and gaining perspective. The film contains a very strong moral worldview, espousing kindness and compassion. Best of all, older children can learn from August’s determination in the face of adversity. There is light language and some peril, so use caution for young children. WONDER is an emotional movie for kids 10 and up.

BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE

Quality:
***
Content:
+2 Moderately questionable elements.
BECAUSE OF WINN DIXIE is a charming movie based on the novel by Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo. It follows a girl named Opal, whose father is a new preacher in an unfamiliar town. Her prayers are answered when a mischievous dog she befriends at the grocery store helps her make new friends. While the film has Christian themes of love and forgiveness, there are romantic “follow your heart” messages. There’s also light violence and language. Despite a few biblical missteps, it’s a sweet story about the difference one girl can make in her community with the help of God’s love.

BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is a family drama based on the children’s novel. It tells the story of a neglected middle school boy whose life takes a turn when he meets a new girl in school. Together, they dream up an imaginary world to escape their reality. It’s a poignant movie with a strong Christian worldview but does contain heavy themes that may be confusing for young children. Otherwise, it’s a moving film about compassion, grief and forgiveness. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is best suited for kids 9 and up.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is the film adaptation of the beloved book by C.S. Lewis. The plot centers around four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, sent to live with Professor Kirke in the English countryside for safety during World War II. The children travel through a wardrobe that leads to the magical land of Narnia. The movie features a very strong Christian worldview with many biblical allegories. There is violence and scenes containing jeopardy, so use caution for younger kids.

CITY OF EMBER

Quality:
****
Content:
+2 Moderately questionable elements.
CITY OF EMBER is a science fiction adventure movie for teens and tweens. The plot centers around an underground city ruled by a liberal dictator. A generator that lasts 200 years will soon run out of energy, and the secrets to escaping society are hidden in a box. Two teenagers race against time to save the future. The film is an action-packed adventure with a strong moral worldview, celebrating freedom and justice. There is moderate violence but nothing overtly scary. CITY OF EMBER is a fun flick for the 8+ crowd.

THE GIVER

Quality:
****
Content:
-1 Caution advised for older children, including teenagers, and sensitive adults.
THE GIVER is a dystopian film based on the book written by Lois Lowry. It tells the story of a society with no color or emotions. A young man is assigned the job of learning the suppressed memories of others from an elderly man. What he discovers challenges him to defy societal norms. The film contains a very strong Christian worldview with a pro-life message. It’s a thought-provoking story, but there is violence and some peril. THE GIVER is edge-of-your-seat entertainment for viewers 11 and up.

INKHEART

Quality:
****
Content:
+1 Moderately questionable elements. (Discernment required for young children.)
INKHEART is an action-packed fantasy movie about a teenage girl who discovers that her father can bring characters to life by reading stories aloud. They must work together when he accidentally unleashes an evil villain and his wife transports into the story. It’s an imaginative and thrilling movie with a strong moral worldview. There is light language and moderate violence that may disturb young viewers. INKHEART celebrates the importance of family and is appropriate for kids 9+.

THE PRINCESS DIARIES

Quality:
****
Content:
+3 Some minor questionable elements. (Media-wisdom is suggested to discuss.)
THE PRINCESS DIARIES is a delightful movie based on a YA book series. The plot follows a teenage girl who discovers she’s the Princess of Genovia and must take up the position after her father dies. She only has two weeks to prepare for her royal position. The film contains a Christian worldview, although there are romantic elements, so parents may want to have a follow-up conversation. Otherwise, there’s no questionable content. THE PRINCESS DIARIES is a wholesome movie for teens and tweens.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY

Quality:
****
Content:
+2 Moderately questionable elements.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is the film adaptation of the beloved book written by Roald Dahl. It tells the story of a young boy and four other children who win a tour of a famous chocolate factory led by a quirky candy maker, Mr. Wonka. One child could win a special surprise, but greed and selfishness get in the way. It’s a silly and heartwarming film with a strong moral worldview. There is light violence and some jeopardy, so caution is suggested for young children. CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FAMILY is perfect for kids 8+.

Watch THE CASE FOR HEAVEN
Quality: - Content: +2
Watch ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT
Quality: - Content: +3