Last summer, there was a Post-It note art collage in the teen center at my library. I would estimate that fully one-quarter of the Post-Its referenced The Fault in Our Stars in some way (this was when TFIOS fever was at its zenith, with the movie out and the PR machine chugging away and me frantically ordering extra copies of the book). Most of the art was the now-iconic black and white speech bubbles with “Okay? Okay.” in them.
While young adult novels have served as inspiration for films in the past, there has been an explosion in the amount of novels being adapted as films, with more in pre- and post-production. Get ready for book versus movie smackdowns in your teen centers and check out some of these recent and upcoming adaptations:
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (2008, film released 2013)
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey (2013, film release in 2016)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (book 2009, film released 2014)
Paper Towns (book 2009, film releasing 2015)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (book 2001, film releasing 2016)
There are lots more books that have been optioned for production, but are currently in limbo, like:
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Legend by Marie Lu
The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
So why should we care? Lots of reasons! First of all, look at what a huge impact YA literature is having on pop culture! After the success of The Hunger Games‘ book-to-film transition, producers realized that these films will be popular and extremely buzzworthy. This is a great opportunity to discuss film adaptations with teens! Talk about the quality of the films and the rush to complete them. Argue hair color, eye color, and Prim’s cat Buttercup! Program around these releases, and book talk other titles by the same author or readalikes.