“He’ll never forgive J K Rowling!” A friend told me her son will never forgive the Harry Potter author for allowing her books to be made into films. He loved her stories so much and had created his own visual images of the Harry Potter characters from Rowling’s descriptive words. They were all spoiled when she allowed her novels to be turned into movies.
It reminded me of the year I read aloud Island of the Blue Dolphins to a class of fifth graders when I was teaching at an international school in Hong Kong. After I’d finished the book I showed my students the movie. We were only about ten minutes into the film when one of the boys was waving his hand in the air with a puzzled look on his face. “What’s the matter?” I asked. ” The people”, he said. “They’re not Chinese!”. The whole time I was reading the book he was imagining the characters looked like him- that they were Chinese. His identification with the characters in the novel was spoiled by the film version.
Recently a former teaching colleague and I were trying to think of some first-rate children’s books that we used to read to our students that have never been turned in to movies. It was hard. We came up with Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lloyd Alexander and The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood. I also don’t think the Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George or Number the Stars by Lois Lowry have been made into movies although I’ve heard rumors they are under development as films.
Can you think of any great novels for kids that have no movie version? I think we need more of them. If you liked this post you might also like………