Bringing YA Books to Life

It is a fact of life that not everyone wants to read. Not everyone enjoys reading. Not everyone thinks of reading as a fun thing to do. So, how do you attract disaffected and indifferent teen and YA readers? There are plenty of ways to do this but this post concentrates on bringing books to life through visual stimulus – films and plays in particular. So what opportunities are there for this? Looking forward I have found the following opportunities in 2015:


The second Maze Runner film has just come out in cinemas. The books were published as a trilogy, with a prequel. The first Maze Runner film came out a year ago and received fair reviews – 68% of the audience were recorded as liking it on Rotten Tomatoes. The second film, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials came out in September and has a 65% audience approval with Rotten Tomatoes. Checkout the trailer here.


For Shakespeare lovers, or for Those studying Macbeth for GCSE, or for those who would benefit from seeing Shakespeare performed, the film of the play has just come out. The cast is impressive with Michael Fassbender as Macbeth and Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. Watch the trailer here. Reviews have been positive.


For those who enjoy a bit of a scare, Goosebumps, the series by R.L.Stine has been brought to the screens. It is out shortly with Jack Black playing the role of R.L.Stine. You can watch the trailer here.


Don’t forget the new James Bond – Spectre – due out in November. The Ian Flemming books may not be that suitable for younger teens, but the film is an ideal way to promote the Young James Bond books by Charlie Higson, or indeed any books in this genre. The trailer can be watched here.


The last film n the Hunger Games series is out in November – the last book in the trilogy was split into two films and this is the film of the second part of the third book. It is an ideal opportunity to promote the series and also other dystopian books from 1984 (George Orwell) to the more modern Noble Conflict by Malorie Blackman. You can watch the trailer here.


In December an interesting take on Frankenstein is hitting the screens. The film is called Victor Frankenstein and stars Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. The film is told from Igor’s perspective – an ideal opportunity to look at how the film portrays the story compared to how the book tells the story. The trailer can be viewed here.

On stage, the following plays are worth a look:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at The Gielgud Theatre – a great book and a fantastic playcurious

War Horse at the New London Theatre – not to be missed  war

An Inspector Calls – a popular GCSE text. This production is touring – is it near you?  inspector

Lord of the Flies – another touring production   1989-02 OAT A3 LOTF Poster.indd

it is worth looking at the National Youth Theatre website and seeing what productions they have on.

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