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You might have a bookworm in your household. You might also have a reluctant reader or two. When trying to encourage reluctant readers to pick up a book, sometimes it helps to add books that have been made into movies to your reading list. That way, you can hold out the prospect of watching the movie after reading the book. Doing a movie from book analysis adds even more of an educational spin!
My daughter is an avid reader. Not just a bookworm; she’s a book dragon. It has always been a challenge to keep up with her voracious literary appetite. My boys, on the other hand, took a little while to dive into reading. My older son is an audio learner; he loves to listen and absorb information that way. My younger son loves reading … but nonfiction, science books.
Getting them to read good fiction was sometimes a challenge. So, we would make a deal: let’s read the book, and then you get to watch the movie. But as homeschoolers, everything (even watching a movie with a giant bowl of popcorn to share) can be an opportunity to learn.
The Book versus Movie Analysis study guide at the end of this post will help you and your kids assess whatever movie from book adaptation you are watching. Some of the things you’ll be analyzing with this printable include story vs movie elements, book vs movie theme, author vs director’s purpose, the main idea of the story/film, and more.
We hope the Movie Versus Book Analysis will be a huge help as you watch film adaptations and discern them critically with your kids. Whether it’s a movie made from a classic book like Les Miserables or Pride and Prejudice, or a modern film from recent books such as the Harry Potter series or the Hunger Games trilogy, critiquing the casting, soundtrack, and themes will help your kids learn to do more than just absorb what they’re watching as entertainment.
They’ll grow more adept at asking questions, looking at the reasons why certain choices are made, and these questions will serve them well even in areas other than movie from book analyses.
Note: this post has been written to accompany 100+ Awesome Books Made to Movies You Can Watch on Amazon Prime. That post has the movie list, while this one has the booklist!
It’s often a good idea to read the book before watching the movie. This allows you to form your own mental images of the characters and settings, which can be compared to the filmmaker’s interpretation. And we have a huge booklist below of 100+ books that have been made into movies.
In our household, we have a saying: “The book was better.” We joke about this even when the movie hasn’t been made yet. It’s easy, though, to just claim the book was better and leave it at that. It takes thought and consideration to land on why the book was better. This is where doing a movie from book analysis comes in handy. After all, as homeschooling parents, one of our goals is to raise kids who can think for themselves.
While the free printable can be found below, here are a few other suggestions and points to ponder when critically evaluating the movie from book adaptation.
Research the director’s background and previous works to understand their filmmaking style and tendencies. How does the director’s vision align with or diverge from the tone and themes of the book? Assess whether the director successfully brought their unique perspective to the adaptation.
Evaluate the movie’s cinematography, special effects, and visual aesthetics. How do these elements enhance or detract from the storytelling? Consider whether they add a new dimension to the movie from book narrative.
Assess the performances of the cast. Do the actors capture the essence of the characters as described in the book? Consider whether the casting choices align with your mental image of the characters.
Analyze the pacing of the movie and the editing choices. Did the filmmakers condense or omit significant portions of the book? How does this affect the storytelling flow?
Pay attention to the film’s music and soundtrack. Evaluate how the music enhances the emotional impact of key scenes and whether it complements the story.
Read reviews and critical analyses of both the book and the movie. This can provide you with a broader perspective and insights from other readers and film enthusiasts.
If possible, consider the author’s perspective on the movie from book adaptation. Did the author have any involvement in the filmmaking process, and if so, how did they view the final product?
Finally, compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of the book and the movie. Discuss which medium did certain aspects better and why. Consider whether the adaptation successfully captured the essence and core themes of the original work.
Remember that personal preferences play a significant role in how you perceive movie from book adaptations. Maybe you would have preferred a faithful adaptation while your kids appreciate a more creative reinterpretation, or vice versa.
Now for the fun part! Here’s a list of over 100 books that have been made into movies.
For the full movie from book list, make sure you also check out 100+ Awesome Books Made to Movies You Can Watch on Amazon Prime.
You might have read some of these classic stories in high school. Perhaps you reread one or more of them with your kids in your homeschool. If not, you might want to add these classics to your homeschool library.
You’ll probably recognize a lot of these books and might already have a number of them on your shelves. I loved reading the Anne of Green Gables books and A Wrinkle in Time quintet with my daughter, and she raced through books like The Secret Garden and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on her own. Seeing her turning page after page of a familiar book always brings a smile to my face. I love it when my kids discover a good story.
If you have an older child/preteen who speeds through books, this series might keep them busy for a week or so. And there are plenty of ways to spice up your homeschooling with some magical Harry Potter fun.
J.R.R. Tolkien and his Inklings fellow, C. S. Lewis, have written some of the best-loved and most enduring fantasy books enjoyed by young and old alike.
When my daughter (my oldest) was six, we began reading the Chronicles of Narnia. It took a while for us to get from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe all the way to The Last Battle. By then, it was about time to restart the series, this time with my older son. It took a little longer to start reading the books with my younger son, and before long, I was reading The Lord of the Rings with my daughter.
Actually, she was doing most of the reading. I would be preparing dinner and she’d come around. “Mom, can I read you a chapter?” Now my daughter is away at college, and I have such warm memories of the days my little bookworm and I would read aloud together.
While there are some books for young readers that I’d consider more substantial, such as the 100 Cupboard series by N. D. Wilson, The Weaver Trilogy by Lindsay Franklin, and The Fiddler’s Gun/Fiddler’s Green by A. S. Peterson, they unfortunately don’t make this book list because they haven’t been made into movies, yet.
My daughter has read and reread The Hunger Games trilogy so often, they are on her list of top favorites. The only books that stand over these would be N. D. Wilson’s Ashtown Burials books and Andrew Peterson’s Wingfeather Saga.
These are all great books to read aloud, and then enjoy the movie from book adaptation with your kids. And let your kids read some of the chapters to you as well! This is a great practice for hesitant readers, and some kids absolutely love it!
Fictional accounts of history can open children’s eyes to certain time periods in a way nothing else can. Some of these books show dark times in history, but also shine with the brightness of the human spirit and the theme of hope. When you read any of these books and watch the corresponding movie from book, take time to discuss some of these historical times with your homeschoolers. You can make this a part of your kids’ history coursework.
Older teens will enjoy some of these books, classic and modern alike.
Enjoy your family reading times!
Finally, download the Book Versus Movie Analysis printable here.
Bonita Jewel visited India when she was 16 and stayed for 12 years. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has worked as a freelance writer and editor for 13 years. Now settled in California with her husband and three children, Bonita's writing explores faith, family, belonging, and of course, the joys of writing, reading, and finding oneself part of a Greater Story. Find her at bonitajewel.com and bonitajewel.substack.com
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