Little Women, Frozen 2, and Clifford | Read-Alikes for Big Films Coming to Theaters and Netflix

While your students gear up for the latest TV and movie releases, suggest they curl up with these books, too.

The holiday season’s coming—along with new blockbuster films and streaming shows hitting screens. While your students gear up for those releases, suggest these books, which pair nicely with what’s new at the movies and on TV.


Let It Snow (Netflix, November 8)

This adaptation of the bestselling 2008 teen romance novel Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances, featuring interconnected holiday stories by superstars John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle, will be released by Netflix in time to warm up for the holidays.


READ-ALIKES

My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories. Ed. by Stephanie Perkins. St. Martin’s Griffin. 2014.
Gr 7 Up–Like Let It Snow, this volume is comprised of holiday romance stories. A dozen powerhouse YA authors including Rainbow Rowell, Gayle Forman, and Laini Taylor, spin tales related to Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. Knopf. 2010.
Gr 7 Up–Opposites attract as Dash, a jaded hipster, and Lily, and unabashed Christmas enthusiast, are caught up in a scavenger hunt throughout New York City. Told from alternating perspectives, this fun adventure will appeal to teens looking for holiday hijinks. Dash and Lily return in the sequel, taking place the next year, in The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (IKnopf, 2016).


Frozen 2 (Walt Disney Animation Studios, November 22)
Anna and Elsa are back, heading out on a journey to find the source of Elsa’s magical powers, and the trailers suggest that this film may be darker than the first. This franchise has a strong following with a wide age range of viewers.


 

READ-ALIKES

Journey.  Aaron Becker. Candlewick. 2013.
Gr 1-4–This wordless picture book employs breathtaking art to portray a girl’s journey into a land of her imagination, with a red crayon in hand, as she creates a fantastical, steampunk world. Young moviegoers looking for a gorgeous fantasy world and a heroine with plenty of self-determination will appreciate this one.

The Lost Girl. Anne Ursu. Walden Pond. 2019.
Gr 3-6–Identical twins Iris and Lark are inseparable, until they’re put into different fifth grade classrooms. Frozen fans who are interested in slightly magical, adventurous stories about sisters with a strong bond will be drawn to this story.

Not One Damsel in Distress: Heroic Girls from World Folklore. Jane Yolen. HMH. 2018.
Gr 4-6–Resourceful female protagonists are the stars in this collection of 15 tales from around the world. Fans of folk and fairy tales looking for stories of feisty women need look no further.


Clifford the Big Red Dog (Scholastic Entertainment, December 6)

This new TV series about the oversize canine, based on the beloved books by Norman Bridwell, premieres on Amazon Prime and PBS Kids this December.


 

READ-ALIKES

Harry the Dirty Dog. Gene Zion, illus. by Margaret Bloy Graham. Harper. 1956.
PreK-Gr 2–Fans of Bridwell’s Clifford will enjoy getting to know another classic creature. Harry is a white dog with black spots, but when he runs away from home, his adventures turn him into a black dog with white spots. Can he find his way home, and will his family recognize him if he gets there?

“Biscuit” series. Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Harper.
PreK-Gr 1–Animal lovers looking for titles that celebrate the bond between a canine and his girl might want to hunt down the Biscuit books. This series, about a lovable yellow puppy, and featuring a few large print words per page, is perfect for emergent readers.

Where’s My Teddy? Jez Alborough. Candlewick. 2017.
PreK-2–Young readers entertained by the humor inherent in characters contending with the huge creature in the “Clifford” titles will appreciate the story of Eddy and his discovery of a giant teddy in the woods.


Little Women (Columbia Pictures, December 25)
Alcott’s story of the four March sisters growing up in Connecticut during and after the Civil War is a perennial favorite, and it’s getting another remake this holiday season.

READ-ALIKES

More to the Story. Hena Khan. S & S/Salaam Reads. 2019.
Gr 4-6–In this contemporary story about a Muslim American family in Georgia, Jameela must contend with her father’s overseas assignment and the worries accompanying a younger sister’s illness. Inspired by Alcott’s novel, the story pays homage to the classic, updating many of the themes and situations of the original. Those who enjoy Little Women’s sisterly relationships and characters will want to pick up this recently published novel.

The Penderwicks. Jeanne Birdsall. Knopf. 2005.
Gr 4-6–During a summer spent at a cottage in the Berkshires, Rosalind, Sky, Jane, and Batty have small adventures, such as dealing with a first crush, befriending a local boy, and contending with an icy neighbor. Readers who appreciate warm family stories will savor the charming adventures of the Penderwick sisters.

All of a Kind Family. Sydney Taylor. Dell. 1951.
Gr 4-6–The tale of five Jewish sisters growing up on New York City’s Lower East Side in 1912 is another gentle family story that’s perfect for readers who enjoy historical fiction.


All the Bright Places (Echo Lake Entertainment, January 2020)
This Netflix movie, based on the hugely popular 2015 novel by Jennifer Niven, is set to release this winter. When Theodore and Violet meet by the ledge of their school’s rooftop, they are there for different reasons, but the encounter soon evolves into an unlikely relationship. Each is determined to heal and save the other.

READ-ALIKES

When We Collided. Emery Lord. Bloomsbury. 2016.
Gr 8 Up–Like All the Bright Places, this heartbreaking love story is told in alternating voices. It finds Jonah struggling to hold his family together and navigate his relationship with Vivi, a girl with bipolar disorder. Readers who loved the passion and heartbreak of Theodore and Violet’s relationship will find themselves getting lost in this one, too.

The Sun Is Also a Star. Nicola Yoon. Delacorte. 2016.
Gr 8 Up–Natasha and Daniel meet by chance, each at a crossroads in life. As they spend one glorious day together, they realize that that they may have found a love neither of them was looking for. It’s a bittersweet story, sure to please the fans of All the Bright Places.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Ned Vizzini. Hyperion. 2006.
Gr 8 Up–When Craig is accepted into a prestigious school, he struggles to keep up and soon finds himself hospitalized for depression. Although moments of humor make this book lighter in tone than All the Bright Places, it’s a good choice for teens interested in stories that address mental illness.

Brave Face: A Memoir. Shaun David Hutchinson. S & S. 2019.
Gr 9 Up–Hutchinson’s unflinching memoir of grappling with his sexuality, facing depression, and a suicide attempt, before finding the help he needed will be appreciated by fans of the author and readers who are interested in the treatment of mental health and depression.

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