MMGM (12/16/2019): Six Movie Adaptations of MG Books to Watch Out For (plus giveaway winners!)

I have an unconventional post today, but, before I get to that, I have the winners of the 2019 Holiday Book Giveaway to announce! The winner of The Raymie Nightingale Three-Book Collection by Kate DiCamillo is...


The winner of the signed copy of The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz, with illustrations by Hatem Aly, is...


Finally, I also decided to give away a Barnes & Noble e-gift card! The winner of the gift card is...


Congratulations to all of the winners, and thanks so much to everyone else who entered!

Now, on to my post. I don't know how many of you like to watch the movie adaptations of MG books, but I figured that at least some of you must, so I decided to post about some of these upcoming movie adaptations. (And before anyone asks, I swear that this post isn't paid for by Disney—Disney just seems to be doing a lot of MG book adaptations.)

The One and Only Ivan
Based on the novel by Katherine Applegate
Release date: August 14, 2020
To be released theatrically

Katherine Applegate is a fabulous writer: I loved her novel Crenshaw and am currently loving Wishtree (which I hope to review next week). Although I've never reviewed it, I love The One and Only Ivan as well (as did many people, considering it has a Newbery Medal). If you're unfamiliar, The One and Only Ivan revolves around a gorilla named Ivan who lives in captivity and on display inside of a mall, alongside an elephant named Stella and a dog named Bob. Ivan is content with his life until a young elephant named Ruby is added to the display, Ivan begins to reconsider his stance on life. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures is adapting the novel into a movie that will use a combination of live-action and CGI (which sounds pretty cool, considering how realistic CGI has become recently). The movie is being directed by Thea Sharrock and written by Mike White. Live-action stars include Bryan Cranston as Mack, RamΓ³n Rodriguez as George, and Ariana Greenblatt as Julia; voices include Sam Rockwell as Ivan, Angelina Jolie as Stella, Brooklynn Prince as Ruby, Danny DeVito as Bob, and Helen Mirren as an unspecified voice. Learn more on official Disney blog Oh My Disney and on Wikipedia.

Artemis Fowl
Based on the first novel by Eoin Colfer
Release date: May 29, 2020
To be released theatrically

Bizarrely, I haven't read Artemis Fowl, even though I've had plenty of time: it was released 18 years ago! Since I haven't read the novel, I'm going to copy-and-paste Disney's synopsis of the film instead of trying to write something myself:

"Disney’s Artemis Fowl, based on the beloved book by Eoin Colfer, is a fantastical, spellbinding adventure that follows the journey of 12-year-old genius Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he seeks to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared. With the help of his loyal protector Butler, Artemis sets out to find him, and in doing so uncovers an ancient, underground civilization—the amazingly advanced world of fairies. Deducing that his father’s disappearance is somehow connected to the secretive, reclusive fairy world, cunning Artemis concocts a dangerous plan—so dangerous that he ultimately finds himself in a perilous war of wits with the all-powerful fairies." 

The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Conor McPherson. It stars Ferdia Shaw as Artemis Fowl, Lara McDonnell as Holly Short, Judi Dench as Commander Root, Josh Gad as Mulch Diggums, and Nonso Anozie as Butler. Watch the teaser trailer on YouTube, read about the cast and crew on Screen Rant, and read about the changes of the film adaptation on Bustle.

Flora & Ulysses
Based on Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
Release date unannounced
To be released exclusively on Disney+

I adore many of Kate DiCamillo's novels (see my review from just last week), and Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is a great one! Readers loved it as well, considering it is a winner of the Newbery Medal. I have noticed that so much of DiCamillo's style leaks into her book synopses that they are a better image of the book than my own synopses, so here's the one from her website:

It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences.

The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry—and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format—a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by artist K. G. Campbell.  

Disney has decided to adapt this book into a movie as well, although the movie will not get a theatrical release: it will instead launch solely on Disney's one-month-old streaming service, Disney+. The movie is being directed by Lena Khan and written by Brad Copeland, with a cast including Matilda Lawler as Flora, Alyson Hannigan as her mother Phyllis, Ben Schwartz as her father George, Danny Pudi as Miller (an animal-control officer who did not appear in the book—it looks like the movie may have some plot changes), and Benjamin Evans Ainsworth as William, a friend of Flora's. Learn more on Oh My Disney and D23 (another official Disney website).

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Based on the novel by Jessica Townsend
Release date unannounced
Method of release unannounced

I was actually inspired to write this post because of my excitement for the upcoming movie adaptation of Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (see my review of the book here). The first book in a series (the third book comes out in August), I was captivated by Nevermoor's vivid setting, fast-paced plot, well-developed and likable main character, and balance of fun and action (just look at the cover—and yes, that is a giant cat in the window). There are very few details about the movie adaptation besides that it will be produced by Drew Goddard and developed by 20th Century Fox (not Disney, for once—except that, of course, Disney bought 20th Century Fox). Fascinatingly, 20th Century Fox purchased the movie rights to the book over a year before it even came out, showing how much they thought the book would succeed as a movie. Indeed, if there was just one MG book to make into a movie, this one is it. One last thing: I assume that this movie will be released theatrically, especially since 20th Century Fox did not have its own streaming service when the movie was announced; however, post-Disney-acquisition, there is a small chance that the movie might end up as a Disney+ exclusive (although I doubt it—this movie will likely have quite a bit of mainstream appeal). Read more about the movie on Variety.

The Witches
Based on the novel by Roald Dahl
Release date: October 9, 2020
To be released theatrically

I'm not entirely sure how, but I've only reviewed one Roald Dahl book before (Matilda), even though I've enjoyed many of his classics, such as James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (all of which have received movie adaptations—two for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I've never read The Witches, but it received its own adaptation in 1990 that was a box-office disaster, grossing just $15.3 million. Now, Warner Bros. Pictures is trying again with a new adaptation of the novel, which revolves around a boy (who apparently is not named) who tries to (along with his grandmother) defeat several child-murdering witches—a goal that is complicated when they turn him into a mouse. Although some of the following details are unofficial, it seems that the movie is being directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Kenya Barris; stars include Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch, Jahzir Bruno as the boy, Octavia Spencer as his grandmother, and Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock, and Codie-Lei Eastick in other roles. Read more in Town & Country, Variety, and Wikipedia.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
Based on the novel by Stephan Pastis
Release date: sometime in 2020
To be released exclusively on Disney+

Another Disney movie! This time, it's an adaptation of Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, the first book in a series of younger middle-grade novels by Stephan Pastis. Years ago, I read several of the books in this series, and I can see many younger readers (maybe more elementary school than middle school) enjoying the humorous writing and numerous illustrations. Here's the description from the website of the first book (which the movie is based on):


Take Timmy Failure—the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of a budding investigative empire. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Of course, his plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn't include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into “Stanfurd” that he can't carry out a no-brain spy mission. Or Molly Moskins, who smells like a tangerine and is crazy about Timmy, making her his obvious (and only) prime suspect.

The movie is being directed by Tom McCarthy and being written by McCarthy and Pastis (the book's author). The cast includes Winslow Fegley as Timmy Failure, Ophelia Lovibond as his mother Patty Failure, Kei as Rollo Tookus, Chloe Coleman as Molly Moskins, and Ai-Chan Carrier as Timmy's nemesis Corrina Corrina. Read more on Variety, IMDb, and Wikipedia.

And that's all! I hope you found some movies to look forward to! Let me know in the comments if there are other MG-book movie adaptations you're looking forward to that I missed or that you enjoyed in the past (the 2018 adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time is one of my favorites—see my review here). I hope to be back next week with a review of Wishtree by Katherine Applegate—I'll see you then!


  1. I went shopping today and brought home Crown of Oblivion (YA) and The World Ends in April (MG). Thank you so much for your generosity!!! Books make the best gifts!

  2. Thanks so much for picking me! I am very excited. It looks like a good year to go to the movies. Thanks for the heads up.

    1. Of course! And it does sound like a year of movies to look forward to. Thanks for reading my post!

  3. WOW, 2020 is going to be a banner year for kid's movies. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. I had no idea Nevermoor/Morrigan Crow was going to be made into a movie. I am so excited now. I love that series and is my current favorite as well as my go-to when someone is looking for an MG recommendation. Also, looking forward to the Artemis Fowl movie, such a fun series too.

    1. I love the Nevermoor series as well, and I'm glad you're looking forward to the two movies! Thanks so much for reading my post!

  5. Guess, I have some reading to do. I have meant to read many of the books you mentioned, but didn't get around to it. Now, if I want to see the movies, I will read the stories -- especially Ivan, Nevermoor, and Flora & Ulysses. Have you heard any buzz as to when the movie about Sharon Draper's book, "Out of My Mind" will be released? Maybe it has and I missed it.

    1. It doesn't sound like there's been any specific news about the Out of My Mind movie since 2015, but author Sharon Draper tweeted in July of this year that the book is “heading to Hollywood,” with details to follow. Fingers crossed that the movie happens—I loved that book too! Here's the Twitter link if you're curious:

  6. I'm anxiously following the Artemis Fowl adaptation, being a big fan of the series, but had no idea about the others. Now I'm excited! Perhaps they'll be terrible, but then again, perhaps they won't. :D

    1. I'm glad you're excited for the Artemia Fowl movie! Also, my feeling is that, with six movies, at least a few are bound to be good! ;)

  7. What a great list. I'm especially looking forward to Flora and Ulysses. I've bookmarked your post so I can refer to it again.


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