40 Books & Films for KS2

This is an idea stolen entirely from my better half – @TemplarWilson. For the past few years I have eschewed the carousel method of Guided Reading in favour of whole-class teaching, based on the ideas she set out in her post: Our Solutions to the Problems with Guided stormbreakerReading.

One of the approaches her team tried, and that I’ve tried on occasion, is to read a novel as a whole-class text over a half-term or so, and then compare the book to the film at the end of the unit. I found it worked fantastically well with Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker, where my Y5 and Y5/6 classes have been gripped by the book, and were also quickly able to highlight the flaws of the film.

Consequently, I put out a request a few days ago via Twitter for recommendations of other books that have also been brought to the screen. I was greeted with many responses which I’ll share now. I should point out that I originally asked for suggestions for upper KS2, but I’d welcome further suggestions, including for other age groups, in the comments.

The List (so far…)

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) (Lemony Snicket)

The BFG (Roald Dahl) – a choice of films, now

The Borrowers (Mary Norton) – I’d say the TV series was better than the film

The Boy in the Dress (David Walliams)

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne)

Carrie’s War (Nina Bawden)

Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)

Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)

A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)

The City of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau)

Coraline (Neil Gaiman) – although it might be too scary for some

Danny the Champion of the World (Roald Dahl)

Fantastic Mr Fox (Roald Dahl)

The Giver (Lois Lowry) – definitely check out the issues in this before reading!

Goodnight Mister Tom (Michelle Magorian)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (JK Rowling)

Heidi (Johanna Spyri)

Holes (Louis Sachar)

How to Train your Dragon (Cressida Cowell)

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brian Selznick) – not widely available in the UK

The Iron Man (Ted Hughes)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)

Matilda (Roald Dahl) – well worth seeing the musical version, in my opinion.

Millions (Frank Cottrell Boyce)

A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness) – film not due out until late 2016

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Robert C. O’Brien)

Northern Lights (Philip Pullman) – soon to be made into a BBC series, I believe.

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)

The Princess Bride (William Goldman)

The Railway Children (E. Nesbit)

Secret Garden (Francis Hodgson Burnett)

Skellig (David Almond)

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Holly Black & Terry DiTerlizzi)

Stardust (Neil Gaiman)

Stormbreaker (Anthony Horowitz)

Swallows & Amazons (Arthur Ransom)

Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)

War Game (Michael Foreman)

War Horse (Michael Morpurgo)

Why the Whales Came (Michael Morpurgo)

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4 thoughts on “40 Books & Films for KS2

  1. robertc28 4 November 2015 at 7:48 pm Reply

    Thank you, I’ll definitely be using this list. I’d also recommend Bridge to Terabithia for upper KS2. Instead of The Borrowers you could use Arrietty as the film – an anime version.

  2. annahalford (@anhalf) 4 November 2015 at 9:46 pm Reply

    Fabulous list! I would add ‘The Indian in the cupboard’ by Lynn Reid Banks . Book way better than film. Planning to read Simon Mayo’s Itch next term. Film coming soon I think . Read ‘Stig of the dump’ by Clive King with accompanying BBC series on DVD with year 4.

  3. Gaz Needle 6 November 2015 at 6:47 pm Reply

    Great idea. I do this with Horrid Henry in Year 2. Also looked at the exodus story and the Prince of Egypt and compared in RE. It is also a great comparison of you can find a stage production. I did this with George’s Marvellous Medicine.

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