Books to read BEFORE the movie versions are released

We’ve all had the horrible experience of seeing a beloved novel or comic book absolutely destroyed by a filmmaker. On the other hand, most of us have also had the satisfying experience of seeing a beloved novel or comic book come to life beautifully on screen. Whichever scenario happens to you more often, the important thing is that you DO read the print version so you can fully participate in the discussion of whether or not the movie fairly represents the book.

A foot-high pile of my favorite young adult books written over the past several years are currently being made into movies. While I try to maintain optimism about this, my tendency towards cynicism is still nagging me: what if the movies are terrible? What if none of my students read the book once the movie comes out? How will their lives be different having never been exposed to the insights that, despite being pervasive in the book version, simply could not be translated accurately and completely in the movie version?

As we embark on our first installment of required independent reading for the year, please consider reading one (or all!) of the following books:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Part of a trilogy; book #2 is called Insurgent and book #3 will be released this fall)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (part of a saga that does not necessarily have to be read in order as long as this one is read first)

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (The first in a trilogy; the second book is called The Scorch Trials and the third is The Death Cure. There is also a prequel called The Kill Order that was released after the entire trilogy had been published.)

I have copies of each of them in my room that I am happy to share with you, and the public library has additional copies available. I assure you that I’m not the only one who loves these books — I’ve had many students read and love each of them!

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