Read-Alikes for 'Scoob!', 'The One and Only Ivan,' and Other New Film & TV Releases

Hand these books to kids who are excited about these films and shows out this spring and summer.

This summer will likely look different than any we’ve seen before, but that doesn’t mean you need to struggle to find good companion books for homebound young movie watchers. Here are read-alike suggestions for movies and shows scheduled to hit big and small screens this season.


The Summer of Jordi Perez and the Best Burger in Los Angeles by Amy Spalding. Sky Pony. 2018.
Gr 7 Up–Abby Ives scores an internship at the quirky boutique clothing store of her dreams and develops a crush on her fellow intern Jordi. Viewers who love the sweet friendship between Ellie and Paul in the movie will enjoy this LGBT romance.

We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan. Knopf. 2019.
Gr 7 Up–Best friends Aphra and Bethany work together to help Bethany win the boy of her dreams. The Half of It is a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, and this teen rom-com presents another take in a similarly witty fashion.



The Buried Bones Mystery (Clubhouse Mysteries #1) by Sharon M. Draper. Aladdin. 2011.
Gr 3-5 –Four friends start a club called the Black Dinosaurs and dive into solving their first mystery when they discover bones buried in the backyard. Viewers drawn to stories of friends playing detective together will enjoy the many mysteries tackled in this chapter book series.

Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant. Simon Spotlight. 1987.
Gr 1-3–Lonely youngster Henry forms a fast friendship with Mudge, a large dog, and many adventures ensue in this beloved easy reader series. Viewers who enjoy Scooby and Shaggy’s budding friendship in their origin story should check out this series.


The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate. HarperCollins/Harper. 2020.
Gr 3-6 –Just in time for the movie ­release, Applegate has ­written a sequel that stars Ivan’s canine friend Bob. Devoted fans of the first book who are clamoring for the film will be equally excited for this companion title.

A Tale Magnolious by Suzanne Nelson. Knopf. 2019.
Gr 4-6–An orphan rescues a captive elephant, and together they help a town on the verge of collapse in this whimsical historical novel. Viewers captivated by Ivan and Ruby’s relationship will love getting to know Nitty and Magnolious.

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. Atheneum. 2008.
Gr 4-8 –Readers who love animal stories will root for the hound dog and kittens who must escape a hateful owner in this tearjerker. Readers affected by Ivan and Ruby’s plight in the film will be similarly moved by this emotionally intense animal fantasy.


Hero Elementary. PBS Kids. 
A group of elementary students with superpowers use science to solve problems and help people in this new animated series, which started in June.


Captain Awesome to the Rescue! (Captain Awesome #1) by Stan Kirby. S. & S./Little Simon. 2012.
Gr 2-4–Second-grader Eugene moonlights as Captain Awesome and must use his powers when the class hamster goes missing in this early chapter book series starter. Hero Elementary combines humor and superhero adventures, and viewers will find the same in this chapter book series.

Secret Coders (Secret Coders #1) by Gene Luen Yang. First Second. 2015.
Gr 3-6–New girl at school Hopper discovers mysteries that can only be solved with coding knowledge in this graphic novel series starter. The Hero Elementary gang use STEM concepts to solve problems; STEM enthusiasts will enjoy this series, which introduces coding basics throughout.

Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet (Frankie Sparks #1 ) by Megan Frazer Blakemore. S. & S./Aladdin. 2019.
Gr 1-4–In this series starter, third grader Frankie Sparks knows that a rat will make the best pet for her classroom, but she has to convince fellow students. Another great chapter book series that sees characters putting STEM concepts to use to solve problems.

The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run. PG.
This latest Spongebob movie, out in August, finds Spongebob and Patrick going on a journey to find pet snail Gary, who’s been “snail-napped.”



Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (Narwhal and Jelly #1) by Ben Clanton. Tundra. 2016.
Gr 1-5–Carefree Narwhal and no-nonsense Jellyfish are best friends and have small adventures in this humorous graphic novel series opener. Fans of undersea hijinks will get a dose of friendly maritime humor here, and kids who love happy-go-lucky Spongebob will find another friend in Narwhal.

Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger. Random/Graphic. 2020.
Gr 3-6–Two bug friends, Stag-B and Rhino-B, share adventures and friendship in this whimsically humorous full-color graphic novel. This fast-paced, lighthearted friendship story features nine standalone, adventure-filled chapters.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. Scholastic. 1997.
Gr 2-5–I don’t have to sell Captain Underpants too hard, and neither will you. Viewers who love the silly humor in Spongebob will dig this highly illustrated series about an underpants-clad superhero facing evil villains such as Wedgie Woman and Professor Poopypants.

Abby Johnson is the collection development leader at the New Albany-Floyd County (IN) Public Library.

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