Summer Movies Can Lead to AWESOME Summer Reading!

Originally posted over at the amazing Kick-Butt Kidlit Tumblr page! If you haven’t checked out the other awesome writers over there, you should definitely do that. 🙂 

So how am I supposed to follow all these awesome posts on summer reading? From crafts to audiobooks to favorites to re-read, and even super fun photo challenges, Kick-Butt KidLit has it covered! So, well, I decided to go rogue and talk about MOVIES instead.

Shhh! Don’t tell the others Kendra is breaking the rules…kinda.

The standing rule in my house has always been that if you want to see a movie that’s coming out—and that movie happens to have a book in print—guess what you have to do to get to go? That’s right, folks. You gotta read the book.

Kids groan when they hear this rule. Parents’ faces tend to light up. But just stick with it moms and dads, because something magical happens the first time your child reads the book before seeing the movie! They make the fantastical discovery that the book is almost always better than the movie!

That’s powerful magic, folks.

So I did a little searching on upcoming summer movies for 2015 to see which ones happen to have books available. And since we aim to please here at Kick-Butt Kidlit, I made it super easy for you to get your hands on these books-now-movies by providing the link to purchase each on Amazon—just one click of each title takes you directly to it. How nifty is that?

First up we have Max. Best Friend. Hero. Marine. by Boaz Yakin and Sheldon Lettich


When Justin’s older brother, Kyle, is killed in Afghanistan, Justin can’t believe that his brother is really gone. Except there’s one thing that Kyle left behind….

Max is a highly trained military canine who has always protected his fellow soldiers. But when he loses his handler and best friend, Kyle, Max is traumatized and unable to remain in the service.

He is sent home to America, where the only human he connects with is Justin, and he is soon adopted by Kyle’s family, essentially saving his life. At first Justin has no interest in taking care of his late brother’s troubled dog. However, the two learn to trust each other, which helps the four-legged veteran become his heroic self once more. As the pair start to unravel the mystery of what really happened to Kyle, they find more excitement—and danger—than they bargained for. But they might also find an unlikely new best friend—in each other.

Paper Towns by John Green


Based on superstar young adult author John Green’s novel, Paper Towns stars Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) as Quentin “Q” Jacobsen, who’s been in love with his beautiful but eccentric neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman (model-actress Cara Delevingne). for as long as he can remember. When Margo disappears just before graduation, no one has any idea where she could be, but Q finds a clue he believes will lead to her. He rounds up his close friends, and they go on an epic road trip trying to find Margo. Green fans should be thrilled that the same duo who adaptedTFIOS also wrote Paper Towns – which is slightly less romantic but also features precocious teens who are in over their heads.

Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews


The indie darling of 2015’s Sundance Film Festival (it won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award) has already been hailed as “a beautifully charming, captivating knockout” and a “touchstone for its generation.” Based on a 2012 young adult book about a movie-obsessed high schooler forced to rekindle his friendship with a beautiful family friend diagnosed with leukemia, this sounds like (but isn’t) The Fault in Our Stars. Instead it’s a touching dramedy about the healing power of film and friendship – and, yes, first love.

Jurassic World
(Novelization based on the current movie. The original movie Jurassic Park, was based on Michael Crichton’s books of the same name.)


Jurassic World is the long-awaited next installment of the groundbreakingJurassic Park series. T. rex’s, velociraptors, triceratops—as well as some all-new dinosaurs—will roar across the screen in this epic action-adventure directed by Colin Trevorrow starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson! Jurassic World Special Edition Junior Novelization retells the whole exciting adventure and features sixteen pages of full-color scenes from the movie.

Avengers: Age of Ultron 

(Like Jurassic World, this is a junior novel created to accompany the movie. However, the characters are based on Marvel’s The Avengers—volume one can be found here.)


Following the record-shattering successes of Marvel’s The Avengers in 2012, The Avengers must reassemble on the big screen to combat the robotic menace of Ultron! Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for US release on May 1, 2015. Acclaimed writer/director Joss Whedon and producer Kevin Feige return, along with the all-star cast of Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow) and Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye). They are joined by Emmy Award- winner James Spader as Ultron, as well as Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. © 2015 Marvel

Inside Out by DISNEY

And we can’t leave out this week’s most popular kids’ movie—Inside Out! Now, unlike the other book/movie combos in this post, Inside Out isn’t based on a previously written book (or series of comics featuring familiar characters, as is the case with Avengers). Instead, there are several books out by Disney that are based on the movie and targeted to children of different ages. With such an important topic at its heart, I just couldn’t bring myself to leave it out. So instead of the title linking to a specific book, this time it leads to Amazon’s search results so you can find the book that’s geared for your child.


Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) is a happy, hockey-loving 11-year-old Midwestern girl, but her world turns upside-down when she and her parents move to San Francisco. Riley’s emotions – led by Joy (Amy Poehler) – try to guide her through this difficult, life-changing event. However, the stress of the move brings Sadness (Phyllis Smith) to the forefront. When Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind, the only emotions left in Headquarters are Anger, Fear and Disgust.


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