Mulan, Timmy Failure, and Peter Rabbit 2 | Read-Alikes for New Film & TV Releases, Winter & Spring 2020

Hand these witty, romantic, and action-packed titles to students excited about these new movies and shows. 

Hand these witty, romantic, and action-packed titles to students excited about new TV/film releases and live-action remakes.


Clueless McGee. Jeff Mack. Philomel. 2012.
Grades 2-6–P.J. McGee, son of a private eye, writes letters to his dad as he tries to solve the mystery of the missing mac and cheese in this humorous, highly illustrated mystery story. Readers who enjoy Timmy Failure’s offbeat humor will appreciate P.J.’s story, too.

How to Be a Supervillain. Michael Fry. Little, Brown. 2017.
Grades 4-6–A hero as unlikely as Timmy Failure, Victor Spoil and his quest are a bit different: Victor wants to become a supervillain, just as his evil parents want him to. This comical, illustrated chapter book will tickle kids’ funny bones.

The Frog Who Croaked. Jarrett Kosoczka. Walden. 2013.
Grades 3-6–Fans of funny mystery stories should check out this series starter starring Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley, newly partnered platypus detectives who are working on a case involving a missing teacher. Readers who enjoy solving a mystery while laughing along should take a look.


I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Maurene Goo. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2017.
Grades 7-12–Readers who enjoy a mix of romance and humor and strong, relatable characters will enjoy this one. High school senior Desi Lee comes up with a plan based on Korean soap operas to snag her crush in this #OwnVoices teen romance.

The Boyfriend List. E. Lockhart. Delacorte. 2005.
Grades 7-12–Fifteen-year-old Ruby Oliver makes a list of all her past boyfriends, almost-boyfriends, and boys-she-wishes-were-boyfriends as she tries to deal with her panic attacks and the mess her life has become. While it deals with some serious issues, the chick lit tone is light and fast-paced. A great choice for reluctant readers.

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret. Misa Sugiura. HarperTeen. 2017.
Grades 9-12–Hand this to readers looking for a realistic story that mixes romance with family drama. Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara discovers first love after her family moves to California in this romance that focuses on Sana’s family issues as much as it does on her relationships.


Time Dogs: Balto and the Race Against Time. Helen Moss. Henry Holt. 2019.
Grades 2-5–Transported back in time and back into puppies, a group of senior dogs help Balto deliver medicine to the people of Nome, Alaska. Hand to readers who appreciate the doggy antics and adventure in Call of the Wild.

Ice Dogs. Terry Lynn Johnson. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2013.
Grades 5-9–When 14-year-old musher Vicky Secord rescues an injured snowmobiler, they get lost together in a blizzard and must use their wilderness skills to survive. Written by a musher, this story contains gripping details of dog sledding and survival and will appeal to readers interested in the sport of dog sledding and action-packed stories.

Call of the Klondike: A True Gold Rush Adventure. David Meissner. Boyds Mills. 2013.
Grades 7-12–This riveting narrative nonfiction book follows prospectors Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond into the Alaskan wilderness in search of gold. Using primary source documents, the engrossing narrative puts readers into the center of the action as danger abounds on the journey. Readers who like the Alaskan wilderness survival aspects of the movie will think they’ve struck gold.


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Grace Lin. Little, Brown. 2009.
Grades 3-6–Minli, a Chinese girl from a poor village, sets off on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon and save her village. While this Newbery Honor title includes some fantasy elements, it’s a story of a strong, adventurous girl based in Chinese folklore.

Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy. L.A. Meyer. Harcourt. 2002.
Grades 6-8–For viewers who want more action-packed stories about girls having adventures disguised as boys, the Jacky Faber series is a must read. Orphaned and penniless at the age of eight, Mary Faber takes to the streets, learning survival skills from fellow orphans and eventually calling herself “Jacky” and taking a place on the HMS Dolphin. This series-starter is packed with humor and heart and the audiobooks of this series, narrated by the late Katherine Kellgren, are particularly strong.



Munch! Muncha! Muncha! Candace Fleming, illus. by G. Brian Karas. Atheneum. 2002.
Grades PreK-3–Mr. McGreely’s garden smells too good to resist. A band of clever, mischievous bunnies hop in and help themselves, no matter what Mr. McGreely does to keep them out. Readers who love Peter Rabbit’s antics will find themselves rooting for the veggie thieves and giggling along.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick. 2005.
Grades K-3–Readers who enjoy cartoony stories about animals causing silly mishaps will find much to enjoy here. Mercy Watson, spirited pig and beloved pet of the Watson family, wreaks havoc and saves the day in this series opener.

The Bad Guys. Aaron Blabey. Scholastic. 2016.
Grades 2-5–Just as Peter Rabbit is embracing his “bad bunny” side in the film, these bad guys (Mr. Wolf, Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Piranha) are attempting to redeem themselves—but their misplaced efforts end with them being even more notorious than before. Readers who love to laugh will giggle along with this series.


Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing