1. Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin
Arguably one of the most famous and beloved fantasy series of the past 50 years, Ursula Le Guin’s Wizard of Earthsea is still as powerful as it was when it debuted in 1968. Why these books haven’t been made into movies is really the only mystery left in the world. And no, I do not count the 2004 TV mini-series at all.
2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Madeline L’Engle’s seminal classic is the story of a young girl and her overly precious baby brother traveling across worlds to rescue their father from a spreading darkness. The book contains beloved literary characters such as Mrs. Whatshit, Mrs. Who, and Miss Which, not to mention AUNT BEAST. Seriously though, A Wrinkle in Time is one of the best fantasy books ever written.
Note: Copies of the 2003 made for TV movie starring Gregory Smith (of Everwood fame), should be burned.
3. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain may be one of the most underrated fantasy series of all time. The story of Taran the Assistant Pig-keeper who meets a Princess and learns how to be a hero is eternal and deserves its time to shine on the big screen. Also, who doesn’t want to see what Gurgi would look like?
4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa, a young girl living in the Seven Kingdoms, is a “Graceling” - one of those rare people who were born with an extreme skill. The series (which includes a companion Bitterblue and sequel Fire), fit right in with the burgeoning young adult market - a fiercely strong female protagonist and tons of magic and swordplay. Make this a movie!
5. Fallen by Lauren Kate
Fallen tells the tale of Lucinda “Luce” Price, who is sent away to boarding school in Georgia after she is accused of murdering her boyfriend. There she meets Daniel Grigori and is immediately taken with him, although she is unsure why. Fallen Angels, Satan, God, eternal love spanning thousands of years, Fallen has it all. Except vampires.
6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Author J.D. Salinger refused to sell the rights to his world classic A Catcher In the Rye, and so it has never made it to the big screen. But we can hope, right?
7. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The story of introvert Gene and his outgoing and popular roommate Finny in the shadows of World War II is gripping and emotional, a real look into the darker side of adolescence. Seriously, how has this not been made into a movie by now?
8. Seven Realms Series - Cinda Williams Chima
Starting with The Demon King and ending with The Crimson Crown, Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms series is a breath of fresh-air in young adult fantasy. Rival wizard students, a powerful take-no-prisoners princess, and a young streetlord make up the magical land of Hanalea. If you loved Graceling and Harry Potter you will absolutely demolish these books.
9. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Pigman is one of those books required by schools to make students cry.Telling the story of John and Lorraine Jensen, who befriend their neighbor Mr. Pignati and their following journey from rebellious troublemakers to adulthood is as emotional as only great novels can be.
10. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where every person chooses to have extreme cosmetic surgery to make them attractive, or a “Pretty”. Tally Youngblood is an eighteen year-old girl whose eyes are forced open to the government regime she is living under, and soon she fights to protect her freedoms and the lives of the ones she loves. Great stuff here.
11. Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix
The three books in the trilogy, Sabriel, Lisrael, and Abhorsen, tell interconnecting tales about a family of necromancers whose job it is to lay the dead to rest and are among the most beloved fantasy novels of all time. Lisrael is an exceptionally fantastic female heroine, and the immerse world that Nix created has enraptured generations of fans.
12. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The story of a boy who follows clues from his dead grandfather’s old black and white photographs and discovers an incredible world of mystery and magic, Miss Peregrine’s has a dark American Gothic-type feel it; and its most distinctive feature is obviously the creepy photographs that make up part of the narrative.
13. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Dystopian future? Check.
Strong-willed female protagonist? Check.
What more do you need for a YA movie?
Situated in futuristic Maine, the Delirium Series describes a world where love is considered a disease, “the deliria”, and is only cured by a special surgery that each citizen receives at age 18. Main character Lena Haloway falls in love with an outsider and realizes that love isn’t a disease at all.
14. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
The story of Kvothe - a magically gifted child who grows up to be the most powerful (and notorious) wizard in the Four Corners of Civilzation is a gripping and outstanding fantasy debut from author Patrick Rothfuss. If you liked Lord of the Rings or A Song of Ice and Fire, then you should read The Kingkiller Chronicles.
15. Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
The adventures of child prodigy/criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl and his fairy companion Captain Holly Short are exciting and riveting, introducing many different types of magical creatures while also keeping readers hooked with hints of darkness.
Who wouldn’t want to see Fowl Manor, LEP headquarters, and Domovoi Butler played out on the big screen?