Traveling to Fantastical Worlds With Books and Their Adaptations

Fantasy fiction is transformative, and not just the lessons learned. Let’s take a look at some of most popular book adaptations that transport up to new worlds.

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A seemingly magical forest at night with moonlight peaking through the trees and fireflies out and about

Let’s face it — when we read books, we tend to find ourselves immersed in the pages, often forgetting about the reality around us. How we wish we could visit our book’s world in real life and have a break from modern society. Characters who were able to travel to a new world are famously from The Chronicles of Narnia, which is also a favorite movie franchise for us who were kids in the earlier 2000s. To give otherworldly-driven book-to-movie adaptations some recognition, let’s take a look at other stand-alones and series that you may be interested in checking out.

The Spiderwick Chronicles

The movie cover of The Spiderwick Chronicles featuring the three main characters and some mythical beings

Also adapted into a fantasy movie, The Spiderwick Chronicles is known for having a little twist in the portal genre. The thing about this book is that the creatures actually visit the real world, as there is some sort of parallel dimension that links the two. Siblings Jared, Simon, and Mallory come face to face in conflict with some of these mythical beings. Will the two be able to live in harmony; or will they have to be shunned to their own realms?

Bridge to Terabithia

The cover of Bridge to Terabithia, there is a watercolor background with the black pictures of children playing, with one swinging by a rope on a tree with their dog

Another novel that also has a movie adaptation, Bridge to Terabithia, involves a made-up world that the main characters, Jess and Leslie, create. An unlikely friendship bonds the two together, and they often like to hang out in the woods. There, they create their fantasy land of Terabithia, where they can play and forget about their normal lives. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes and grief is left in the wake of loss, with only strength to keep them afloat.


The cover of Coraline; the tenth anniversary edition with Coraline looking into the distance with a candlestick in hand

Coraline is famous for its movie, and many people never realized it was originally a book or have just never read it. The book deserves so much love, and you may even agree that it’s better than the movie. Of course, the film is gorgeous, but why not try the paperback version of it this Fall? There’s no better season to do it, and once you finish the novel, you can indulge in the film afterward. It’s even better if you can have someone else read it and watch it with you, as it’s always fun to come up with different theories in the story.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, book cover

You may have read this book in school or watched Disney’s movie. A brother, sister, and their friend get taken one night. They are on an adventure to track down and rescue Mr. Murray. He was working for the government on a secret mission when he went missing. The trio has to find him on planet Camazotz and may need to save the universe in the process.

Ready Player One

Read Player One by Ernest Cline, book cover.

This is a book that was high on many student’s reading lists, especially after the movie came out. The story takes place in the future (supposedly in 2045), where people are actually able to spend time in a virtual world away from reality. When the creator of this virtual world passes away, he decides to host a game to see who will win his fortune. Wade Watts, the main character, cracks the first clue; but not without others following him from behind.

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum, book cover.

I’m sure most of us are familiar with this classic. From a small home in Kansas to a magical land, Dorothy is sent to the land of Oz, where she meets unlikely friends. The unique group of Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Woodsman are on an adventure to find Glinda the Good Witch in the land of Oz. Who knows who they might meet on the way!

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol, book cover.

Alice in Wonderland is most known for its Disney adaptation in this day and age. Alice falls down a hole while chasing a white rabbit and is welcomed in Wonderland. Alice meets plenty of interesting characters on her journey to see the Queen, where she has an adventure of a lifetime. After wishing for a more exciting life, she sure had her wish come true.

You may have seen the movies, but have you read the original books? I’m sure you will still feel like you’re being transported through the pages. Who knows, you may even come to view it as an even better experience! Feel free to look for even more books/movies that involve portals, teleportation, dimensions, and the like. There are quite a few out there in this genre, and you might even find a new personal favorite to recommend to others.

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