The Most Popular Kids' Book Series Never Made Into Movies

Think about the modern advantages that music, sports and movie stars of past generations missed out on. Billie Holiday never got to make a music video, Hank Aaron never got to see himself star in an Xbox game, and Shirley Temple never got her own TV show, a recording contract or her own fragrance line.

Like these early-peaking stars, many beloved book series from decades ago -- some among the most popular book series in history -- missed out on the crossover success of modern monster franchises like Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson, A Series of Unfortunate Events and even Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Sure, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew got their own groovy TV show back in late 70's, and Nancy even got a movie shot in 2007. Both star in new video games as well, with Jesse McCartney and Cody Linley voicing those hearty Hardys. And there are current plans to re-imagine Tom Swift, a book series that spanned from 1954-1971, as a film, video game, and television series set in the present day.

But what about my personal childhood favorite The Three Investigators (1964-1987)? Or, for that matter, (deep breath) Beverly Gray (1934–1955), Cherry Ames (1943–1968), Connie Blair (1948–1956), The Dana Girls (1934–1979), Ginny Gordon (1948–1956), Judy Bolton (1932–1967), Kay Tracey (1934–1942), Penny Parker (1939–1947), Sue Barton (1936–1952), Trixie Belden (1948–1986), Vicki Barr (1947–1967), Biff Brewster (1960–1965), Brains Benton (1959–1961), Bronc Burnett (1948–1967), Christopher Cool (1967–1969), Danny Dunn (1956–1977), Chip Hilton (1948–1965), Ken Holt (1949–1963), Rick Brant (1947–1968), or Tom Quest (1947–1955)?

Unlike real people, these books can wait forever on library shelves and Amazon warehouses for their turns on the big screen, but why should they? I'm sure many would even endure inelegant updates to get there. "Danny Dunn and the Weather Machine" could be remade as "Double-D and the Climate Changer." "Trixie Belden and the Red Trailer Mystery" could become "Trixie B. and the Red Hybrid Dilemma." Imagine what Julia Roberts' fraternal kids Hazel and Phinnaeus could eventually do for "The Bobbsey Twins."

All I'm saying to Hollywood is this: Before you make movies from books that haven't even been published yet, give some of these classics a chance (or have your interns comb through Wikipedia like I did). You've got plenty of young actors; there's gotta be a few vehicles in there worth taking out for a fresh spin.


Which of these series would you most like to see on the big screen? Chime in now!

PLUS:
Favorite Children's Books Made Into Movies
Do These Classic Books Need a Contemporary Twist?

Classic Books Every Kid Should Read

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