3 Movies Based on Books for Tweens to Watch This Summer

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Written by Tara Mitchell of Homeschool Preschool.

The less-structured days of summer make life challenging for parents who try to limit screen time.  What’s a mom to do when the temperatures soar, or the rain pours, and the kids are begging to watch TV or play video games all afternoon?

Make the most of it with these three movies based on books for tweens!

3 Movies Based on Books for Tweens to Watch This Summer

I don’t mind putting a movie on for the kids when it’s raining or too hot to go outside – or when I just need to get stuff done. I love to watch movies based on some of our favorite read-alouds. These three book-based movies are perfect for tweens, and you can find all of them on Netflix or Amazon.

Movies Based on Books for Tweens

Netflix labels each of these film adaptations as “Movies for ages 11-12.” If your tween has already read the book, take a few minutes after the movie to compare the two versions. My daughter loves to compare (complain about) the differences between the book and the movie.

If he or she hasn’t read the book, grab a copy for them to read before or after watching the movie. (My vote is before because the book almost always ensures that the film makes more sense.)

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia is one of my favorite books, and my daughter loves it, too. I first read it in my college Children’s Literature class. We had to read 25 Newbery Medal winners, and this was one that I chose.

3 Movies Based on Books for Tweens to Watch This Summer

Readers follow along as Jess and Leslie form a friendship, and invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, a horrible tragedy occurs (be sure to have some Kleenex on hand), and one of the children must learn to lean on family while dealing with grief.

We felt the movie stuck pretty close to the book and enjoyed the characters’ portrayal of the story. Be warned – it is a tear-jerker. This story deals with some pretty heavy, real-life themes and may not be suitable for young or sensitive children.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I haven’t read any of the books in the Series of Unfortunate Events set (my son did, though) or watched the movie. There are a total of 13 books in the series, and Jim Carrey stars in the movie version.

3 Movies Based on Books for Tweens to Watch This Summer

The book series and the movie have good ratings on Amazon. The reviews say that the film doesn’t follow the books very closely, and it only goes through book three. Don’t let this deter you, though. This deviation provides an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast the books and the movie.

Netflix has also released a series based on the books. There are two seasons with eight episodes each. Each episode covers two books from the series.


A few years ago, my daughter and I listened to the audiobook version of Coraline. We had already seen the movie and didn’t realize it was based on a book. After we learned about the book, we listened to it in the car as we drove to and from Nutcracker rehearsals one October.

3 Movies Based on Books for Tweens to Watch This Summer

I honestly don’t remember how closely the movie follows the book since we saw the film at least a year or so before we listened to the book. My daughter and I loved them both, though. Be aware that the story has many dark moments. Sensitive kids could find this movie frightening.

Do you have some favorite movies based on books for tweens? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Tara is wife to Matt and homeschool momma of three. Her children are 21, 16, and 11 – two boys and one girl. She is currently homeschooling her daughter – 6th grade. When she’s not blogging, Tara enjoys crocheting and snuggling up with a good book. She and her family recently moved from Texas to Ohio, and they’re having fun exploring their new surroundings. She blogs about homeschooling, motherhood, and family life on both of her blogs – Homeschool Preschool and Teaching with Children's Books.

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