Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Books to Movies Week: I Didn't Know They Made THAT Into A Movie!

Those of us that grew up in the 70s and 80s remember the ABC After School Specials. From my file of useless knowledge, I've come up with a list of books that were made into movies that people either forgot about or didn't know they existed.

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Yes, it's a bestselling book by Maya Angelou, but did you know it was made into a movie back in 1979? Starring Diahann Carroll, Paul Winfield, Esther Rolle, Madge Sinclair and Ruby Dee, this little known film is available on VHS at Amazon.com.

2. A Hero Ain't Nothin But A Sandwich by Alice Childress
Dope. Smack. Junk. Heroin. No matter what you call it, you can't change the fact that 13-year-old Benjie is on it. Oh no ... he's not hooked, though. He could stop anytime ... really. But why is a young kid like Benjie using at all? Originally published in 1973, Alice Childress's novel remains one of the most profound explorations of an addict's world ever written. What makes this novel different is that Childress points no fingers and offers no easy answers. Her characters' moods and motivations are complex, fresh, unexpected, and courageously real. Woven into Benjie's own ramblings about his situation are the thoughts of those involved by association--his mother, stepfather, friends, the pusher, and teachers at his school.

3. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines
I know people who swear up and down that Jane Pittman was a real person. She was not. It's a testament to the author that so many people believe she was. Set in the early 1860s through the civil rights movement in the 1960s, this book and movie cover the life of Miss Jane Pittman, a witness to history in the making.

4. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor
From the Young Adult genre, Roll of Thunder... is the story of nine year old Cassie Logan and her family. Cassie has never understood why her family's land has always been so important to her father until the Night Riders threaten to take it away.

5. The Feast of All Saints by Anne Rice
Chronicling the lives of Free People of Color in Louisiana before the Civil War, Anne Rice introduces readers to a world that is often overlooked when telling the story of people of African descent. I found the book absolutely fascinating and was delighted when it was made into a movie in 2005.

What books have you read that have been made into movies that the rest of us don't know about?

Coming up tomorrow: A guest post from author Sharon Ball.

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