As we eagerly await the release of the critically acclaimed film of the novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas we thought it only right to give you our favourite books that were made into hit films.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Published in 2017, this young adult novel by Angie Thomas is as powerful as they come – don’t be put off by the genre of YA that it’s in. It tells the story of Starr Carter, a teenage who is straddling two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighbourhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between the two is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. The film stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.
Yardie by Victor Headley
Now a major film directed by Idris Elba, Yardie by Victor Headley shines a light on the brutal underworld of 90s London gang culture. At Heathrow Airport’s busy immigration desk, a newly arrived Jamaican strolls through with a kilo of top-grade cocaine strapped to his body. And keeps on walking… By the time the syndicate get to hear about the missing consignment, D is in business – for himself – as the Front Line’s newest don. But D’s treachery will never be forgotten – or forgiven. The message filters down from the Yardie crime lords to their soldiers on the streets: Find D. Find the merchandise. And make him pay for his sins… Aml Ameen and Naomi Ackie star.
Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This novel by Adichie was an immediate hit but movie lovers had to wait a while for the story of sisters Olanna and Kainene who return home to 1960s Nigeria, where they soon diverge on different paths. As civil war breaks out, political events loom larger than their differences as they join the fight to establish an independent republic. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose and Genevieve Nnaji star in the Biyi Bandele directed hit. Look out for another adaptation of one of Adichie’s novels Americanah starring Lupita N’Yongo and Danai Gurira out next year.
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold story of Katherine Jonson played by Taraji P. Henson, Dorothy Vaughan played by Octavia Spencer and Mary Jackson played by Janelle Monae – brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn, a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race. The visionary trio crossed all gender and racial line and inspired generations.
Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iewala
The 2005 novel by Nigerian-American author Iweala takes it’s title from Fela Kuti’s album of the same name and was made into a hit film starring Idris Elba, Abraham Atta and Ama K. Abebrese. It was one of Netflix’s first orginal productions and tells the story of a young West African boy is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters and transform into a child soldier when civil war tears his family apart.