Community-Wide Reads: Young Adult Adaptations of Bestselling Books

By Tim Cheng | December 22 2016 | Community & School Reads KidsCommunity & School Reads Adults

Many times, when communities consider books for a common reading experience, they are taking into account the entire makeup of their group or groups of people. This undoubtedly includes families with young children and/or teenagers, and what better way to bring this collective group together than to appeal to all age groups?

When a book becomes bestselling, it pervades a variety of subsets of community members – and it becomes a great choice for a community-wide reading selection as a result. Books like Boys in a Boat, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Mountains Beyond Mountains are all perfect examples of these selections. In recent years, book publishers have begun to release editions of best-selling books for different age groups. Here, for example, a community-wide program might spotlight an adult title and concurrently offer younger readers and young adults an adapted version of the same book. The public library would provide copies of all editions, as well as multiple circulating copies for those who do not wish to own them.

Programming could be both overlapping and differentiated, with the concept of community broadening to residents at large, and narrowing to discussions around the family dinner table.

This extent of programming would require a lot of planning and publicity, but isn’t necessary – simply choosing a book with multiple editions appealing to different reading levels is a wonderful way to truly make it a common reading experience. Here are some suggested book titles to try: good luck and most importantly, have fun!

 

 

The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation)
The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics
978-0-14-751685-5
The New York Times bestselling young readers adaptation of The Boys in the Boat, now in paperback with bonus content!
Paperback
Age 10 and up
Grade 5 & Up

The Boys in the Boat
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
978-0-14-312547-1
Brown's "breathtaking" (The Seattle Times) book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.
Paperback

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation)
An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive
978-0-385-74251-1
The #1 New York Times bestseller--soon to be a major motion picture--has now been adapted by the author for young adults. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this riveting biography includes more than 100 black-and-white photos.
Hardcover
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

Unbroken
A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
978-0-8129-7449-2
In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
Paperback

Quiet Power
The Secret Strengths of Introverted Kids
978-0-14-750992-5
Ideal for parents and teachers of quiet kids, the monumental bestseller Quiet has been recast in a new edition that focuses on introverted kids and teens.
Paperback
Age 10 and up
Grade 5 & Up

Quiet
The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
978-0-307-35215-6
A paradigm-shifting book that shows how dramatically our culture has come to misunderstand and undervalue introverts and gives introverts the tools to take full advantage of their strengths
Paperback

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Picture Book Edition
978-0-8037-3511-8
When fourteen-year-old William Kamkwamba's Malawi village was hit by a drought, everyone's crops began to fail. Without enough money for food, let alone school, William spent his days in the library . . . and figured out how to bring electricity to his village. Persevering against the odds, William built a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps, and thus became the local hero who harnessed the wind. Lyrically told and gloriously illustrated, this story will inspire many as it shows how - even in the worst of times - a great idea and a lot of hard work can still rock the world.
Hardcover
Age 6-8 years
Grades 1-3

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Young Readers Edition
978-0-14-751042-6
The New York Times bestselling memoir of the heroic young inventor who brought electricity to his Malawian village adapted for young readers.
Paperback
Age 10 and up
Grade 5 & Up

Enrique's Journey (The Young Adult Adaptation)
The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother
978-0-385-74328-0
Based on and rewritten from the Random House adult work Enrique's Journey by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sonia Nazario.
Paperback
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

Enrique's Journey
The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother
978-0-8129-7178-1
In this astonishing true story, award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounts the unforgettable odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.
Paperback

The Omnivore's Dilemma
Young Readers Edition
978-1-101-99383-5
The New York Times bestseller that’s changing America’s diet is now perfect for younger readers 
Paperback
Age 10 and up
Grade 5 & Up

The Omnivore's Dilemma
A Natural History of Four Meals
978-0-14-303858-0
Repackaged for its tenth anniversary, The Omnivore's Dilemma continues to revolutionize the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating
Paperback

Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)
The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
978-0-385-74319-8
The inspirational true story of Dr. Paul Farmer, whose humanity and dedication to a global cause led him to make a difference in the world of healthcare and disease, especially in Haiti.
Paperback
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

Mountains Beyond Mountains
The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
978-0-8129-8055-4
A beautiful new Deluxe Edition of this brilliant New York Times bestseller by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder, includes new material
Paperback

Discovering Wes Moore
978-0-385-74168-2
For fans of The Wire and Unbroken comes a story of two fatherless boys from Baltimore, both named Wes Moore. One is in prison, serving a life sentence for murder. The other is a Rhodes Scholar, an army veteran, and the author of this book.
Paperback
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

The Other Wes Moore
One Name, Two Fates
978-0-385-52820-7
Paperback

Outcasts United
The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town
978-0-385-74195-8
The true story of a refugee youth soccer team that changed a town.
Paperback
Age 12 and up
Grade 7 & Up

Outcasts United
An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference
978-0-385-52204-5
Outcasts United is the story of a refugee soccer team, a remarkable woman coach and a small southern town turned upside down by the process of refugee resettlement.
Paperback