Middle school books are the best! Finding appropriate middle school books that get students reading can be challenging sometimes, depending on their mindset. When I have students who want to “check out” from reading, I try to match them with one of these eleven middle school books which have been made into movies.
Sometimes the reward of knowing there is a movie to watch at the end encourages students to finish their novel.
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11 Great Middle School Books Made Into Movies
Comparing the book versus the movie is also a great engaging educational activity to work on with your students during times in your year when they need an extra incentive to stay focused (those days before major holiday breaks). Here are eleven great middle school books made into movies that your students are sure to love.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Historical/Realistic Fiction)
Set in the early 1960s, this book has delighted middle school students for over 50 years. This is a must-read for any middle school student. Ponyboy and his brothers live on the “wrong” side of town. In this town, there are two gangs, The Greasers and The Socs, who do not get along and frequently get into fights with each other. After a fight between the two gangs goes horribly wrong, Ponyboy and his best friend run away.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Historical/Realistic Fiction)
During World War Two, eight-year-old Bruno recently moved away from his home in Berlin due to his father’s job promotion. Feeling isolated, he begins to explore his new environment. During his explorations, he meets another boy behind a fence whose life circumstances are very different from Bruno’s reality. The boys begin a forbidden friendship, unaware of the true reality of their circumstances. For a recent point of view on this book, please read this article.
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (Historical/Realistic Fiction)
In this classic romantic comedy between a boy and a girl, Bryce and Juli met in the Second Grade. She falls madly in love with her new neighbour Bryce. Unfortunately, he does not reciprocate her feelings. During the various events of the novel, Bryce is not as nice to Juli as he should be. Something happens that makes Juli lose her feelings for Bryce just as he finally starts to see her differently.
The Giver by Lois Lowry (Science Fiction)
“The Giver” is written from the point of view of a 12-year-old living in a dystopian world. Where there is no pain, fear, war and as well as hatred. At the age of 12, every community member is assigned a job based on their abilities and interests. Read how Jonas faces his new role in society with all of the responsibilities and challenges that come with his role.
Divergent by Veronica Roth (Science Fiction)
Beatrice lives in a society where it is divided into five main factions. As each citizen becomes an adult, they must choose between staying with their family’s faction or switching factions. Read this book to discover how her initiations lead her to a discovery that will shock Tris and her community. She is warned that she must conceal her status or risk being removed from her home.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green (Realistic Fiction)
Hazel is a 16-year-old girl who has had Cancer for 3 years. She attends a Cancer support group for teens affected by this condition. On another average day, she meets Gus while attending her support group. Together they take on being a teenager with Cancer.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (Realistic Fiction)
Lena, Carmen, Bridget and Tibby have been friends since before they were born. Their mothers met at a prenatal exercise class. One day, Carmen purchases a pair of jeans at a local thrift store. These jeans fit all four girls fabulously. As each girl leaves for their summer holiday plans, they share the jeans amongst themselves and share their summer stories through letters.
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau (Science Fiction)
“The City of Ember” is set 200 years in the future in an underground city. For generations, there has been an electrical system that sustained the needs of the underground city. It was only created to last for just over two hundred years. Lina and Doon must find clues to save their city before time runs out.
Holes by Louis Sachar (Realistic/Humour Fiction)
Stanley Yelnats believes he lives under a curse that has doomed his family for decades. He is sent to a juvenile detention camp for a crime he did not commit. Every day he and the other boys are forced to dig holes for the camp warden, searching for what was lost many years ago. What exactly is buried in this dried-up lake? Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review and Movie Review.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Dystopian Fiction)
Once a year, two people from each district in the Nation of Panem are selected by a lottery system to participate in the Hunger Games. These fight-to-the-death games are hosted in the Capitol and televised live nationwide. One day in District 13, Katniss Everdeen’s younger sister is selected to participate in these games. Katniss steps up to volunteer in her place. She, along with Peeta Mellark, must fight for their lives.
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (Fantasy Fiction)
John Smith may seem like any other teenager living in Paradise, Ohio. His friends and guardians do not know that he is an alien from a planet called Lorien. John is on the run from people trying to kill his kind. He must stay in hiding until his legacy has developed.
Looking for an educational activity to complete while watching a movie in class? The Book Versus Movie Comparison Analysis Project helps students gain higher-order thinking skills as they compare their favourite middle school books to their movies.
- Reading Assignment
- Writing Assignment
- Oral Assignment
- Media Assignment
- 5 Reading-Focused Graphic Organizers
- Book vs. Movie Suggestion List
- 4 Success Criteria-Based Rubrics (Reading, Writing, Oral and Media)
- 1 Points-Based Assessment
- Individual PDFs for Google Classroom or other LMS providers
- Google Slides format for 1:1 technology classrooms
- Curriculum Alignment – Grades 6 – 8 Ontario & Common Core
Students will select a book to read that has been made into a movie. They will have a series of assignments to complete that demonstrate their understanding of both the book and the movie. Students will compare and contrast the novel and movie’s plot, characters, setting, and theme.
I hope you found something great to read on this list of middle school books. For more great middle school books, check out this blog post – Best Middle School Book Recommendations. Also, check out some fantastic YA books in this blog post – High School Book Recommendations.
More Book Assignments for Your Classroom:
- 12 Genre Book Reports – find on TPT USD or Shopify CAD
- Reading Journal Assignment – find on TPT USD or Shopify CAD
- Book Talk Assignment – find on TPT USD or Shopify CAD
- Book Flatlay Project – find on TPT USD or Shopify CAD
- Book Unboxing Assignment – find on TPT USD or Shopify CAD