5 Books, 1 Similarity: 12-Year-Old Heroes Film Version Edition

The Books:

The Giver Lois Lowry

The Lightening Thief Rick Riordan

Inkheart Cornelia Funke

The Neverending Story Michael Ende

City of Ember Jeanne DuPrau

If you haven’t saved the world before you turn thirteen there might be something wrong with you. Twelve seems to be the magic number when it comes to creating a protagonist that not only is a compelling film worthy character but also a world saving hero. Below are five younglings that have earned the title hero and have also crossed over from the page to the big screen.


The Giver Lois Lowry

the-giver-05The newest book to join the film adaptation club (August 14, 2014 US release), The Giver tells the story of a “utopian” society where society uses sameness to control the population. Sure people don’t have to worry about remembering war or pain, but rainbows and happiness are also eradicated from the public memory, so it’s kind of a tough sell as a form of government. On his twelfth birthday Jonas is assigned the job Receiver of Memories and decides that maybe the Community’s laws and sameness aren’t for the best. As Jonas takes on the Community with some help with the current Receiver the question becomes whether or not Jonas can escape beyond the boundaries of the community and experience happiness himself rather than through a memory.

Percy Jackson

The Lightening Thief Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is your normal twelve-year-old boy that battles dyslexia, ADHD, or and also monsters due to his demigod blood. As Percy begins to understand the world of myth and his godly father with the help of other demigod students at Camp Half-blood, he becomes the main and only suspect in the theft of Zeus’ mighty thunderbolt. Helpful hint for demigods: don’t piss off Zeus it usually doesn’t end well. With the help of his satyr friend Grover and daughter of Athena Annabeth, Percy sets off to clear his good name and manage to stay alive. Which isn’t always easy; there are a lot of monsters that find demigods delicious.



Inkheart Cornelia Funke

iiMeggie is a twelve year old who loves reading and just happens to have a father that possesses the ability to bring life to characters in books.  While that sounds like an amazing talent (I’d love to meet Harry Potter), the downside is villains can escape just as easily as the heroes. Mo reads to life Capricorn from the book Inkheart. Capricorn hopes to use Mo’s talent for evil and is not opposed to using Meggie as bait to get his way. So, with Dustfinger, another character from Inkheart with complicated loyalties, and Meggie’s aunt Elinor, Meggie hopes to fight the evil Capricorn and restore order to her family.

Bastian Balthazar Bux

The Neverending Story Michael Ende

baBastian Balthazar Bux (say that five times fast) reads from a book called The Neverending Story, while he hides inside his school’s attic. Even though Bastian doesn’t seem like much of a traditional hero, as he reads Atreyu quest to save the land Fantastica, he goes from reading a book to becoming a character in the book. Just like any other character, he has a role to play, rebuilding Fantastica. Through his quest of inventing realities and self-sacrifice, Bastian realizes more realities about his own life but that “is another story and shall be told another time.”

Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet

City of Ember Jeanne DuPrau

Ember is an underground city where citizens seem to think good is just good enough, ignoring small problems like food shortages and blackouts. However, the discovery of some instructions for Egress by twelve-year-old messenger Lina Mayfleet threatens to disrupt the very nature of the subterranean town. After recruiting her school friend Doon to help her decipher the instructions and uncovering some startling revelations on the way, the two embark on a mission that leads back to the very beginning of Ember and also might lead the way up to freedom.



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