A Tuesday Ten: Books Dreaming of Movies

So, I think we all have a wish list of books that we hope and dream of being made into movies–good movies.  I know I do.  Not every book I love is one I’ll wish to be adapted to the screen but there are always plenty I think would make a great movie if done right.  This is my personal, subjective list and I’d love to hear from others in the comments.  As far as I know, while some of these authors may have been in discussions with movie folks, nothing so far has come of it in regards to these titles–if I’m wrong please happily correct me!


So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane (HMH, c1983)

One of my favorite urban fantasies–while there’s been some talk on movie deals, nothing seems to have emerged from the talk as of yet.  I’d love to see this on the big screen, especially as NYC is the setting.   I kind of wonder too how this one would look as an anime . . .  It’s got a lot of appealing elements for the big screen, young wizards,  alternate worlds of monsters and sentient cars,  magical books and a big show down at the end of the story.


The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye (Doubleday, c1984)

I’ve mentioned this one before, but I’d love to see this charming story turned into a movie–it’s one I think Disney might make a really good movie out of, and has plenty of room for music and cute sidekick critters that wouldn’t ruin the plot in the slightest.  This fractured fairy tale with a princess who is “gifted” by her fairy godmother with being ordinary is a favorite.


The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley (Ace, c1982)

For the tween/teen group, I’d love to see this desert fantasy turned into a live action movie!  Adventure, prophecy, swords, romance . . . it’s got a great deal going for it .  I’d love to see this on the big screen.  Angharad is stolen away by a desert prince who has had visions that she is the key to saving his kingdom from a fearsome enemy.  Our young woman is hardly a damsel in distress, trained as a warrior and given the legendary blue sword to wield, she becomes the hero a country needs her to be.


The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Disney-Hyperion, c2007)

Yup, another urban fantasy set in New York.  This ones based on ghosts and myths of the underworld, but has a lovely time exploring the landmarks of the city and secret bits of the city’s history.  I think this would make a solid fantasy that could showcase Manhattan while dealing with the paranormal.


The Half-a-Moon Inn by Paul Fleischman (HarperCollins, c1980)

This little adventure/thriller from Fleischman just seems like it’s a perfect stand alone for a creepy movie.  A mute boy who goes in search of his mother gets trapped at an inn by an unscrupulous innkeeper who keeps the boy a virtual slave, helpless to plead for help from the patrons passing through the inn.  Creepy, dark and exciting, with just a touch of magic.


The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (Knopf Books, c2004)

This particular story is a favorite of mine.  It’s an odd addition to the list in some ways because I love the Dillons’ illustrations and I don’t think anyone could top them.  But I’d love to see someone tackle this African-American folktale as a movie or short.  Probably not one of the major studios.  I’d love to see someone with different vision take on this story and transform it for movie audiences.


Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, c2003)

Before she was known for the Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins wrote this series.  I sort of hope once they finish that trilogy in the movies, they might try to produce this one for younger audiences.


Larklight by Philip Reeve, illustrated by David Wyatt (Bloomsbury, 2006)

This is another one I kind of think might work as an anime . . . but these steampunk space adventures would just be wild to see realized well in a movie.  I don’t know that it could be done decently, but I’d sure love for someone to try!


The Eye, The Ear and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (Puffin, c1994)

This Newbery honor book from 1995 is set in  the year 2194 in Zimbabwe.  I’d love to see it brought to a wider viewing audience (though the idea of a futuristic tween adventure movie set in Africa is certainly something outside the usual!).


Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede (HMH, c1990)

Cimorene is not your ordinary princess!  This turned-on-its-head, irreverent take on fantasy tropes takes one headstrong princess and a canny dragon and brings them into a very unusual partnership . . . I’d love to see what could be done with the characters . . . not sure if this would be better as a live action or animation but would happily look forward to either.

Those who know me may have noticed that Tamora Pierce’s work didn’t make the list. Mostly that’s because I love the stories so well that I think any attempt to make a movie wouldn’t feel authentic to the text to me.

Please share your own books you’d like to see as movies!  Comments welcome!


About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on April 30, 2014, in General Posts, Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. One of mine would’ve been “Coraline,” except that they did make a movie out of it already, so it’s no longer just a wish. Although, I was miffed that they had to Americanize the story for the movie.

  2. Love the list. I would especially like to see “The Blue Sword”

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