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Some of today’s most celebrated films were first words on a page. Books are the prequel to many outstanding movies, including those adapted from children’s classics and bestselling novels. This year, we’ve already witnessed several successful film adaptations come alive, including “The Jungle Book,” “The BFG,” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

But here’s the thing about books being made into movies: You’re doing yourself (and your children) a disservice if you neglect to read the book first. The experience of bringing a book to life in your mind – creating the world, hearing the dialogue, feeling the feels – is something that can never be replicated on screen. Plus, the chances of reading the book after seeing the movie version are pretty slim. Even for kids.

So encourage your child to read these amazing books before they hit theaters. Or make it family reading time and experience the journey with them. Some are due to come out soon, while others are currently being optioned. And a few – let’s hope they stay immortalized in print forever. There are just some things too good to be recreated.

Children’s & Middle Grade Books

“Milton’s Secret by Eckhart Tolle

Starring the incredible Donald Sutherland and Michelle Rodriguez, the movie hits theaters on September 30. I highly recommend picking up the book first. “Milton’s Secret” is a beautifully illustrated and artfully expressed story about eight-year-old Milton, who is bullied on the playground by a boy named Carter. You’ll want the opportunity to talk with your child about this social reality and help them understand what to do and who to talk to should they ever encounter bullying firsthand.

“Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson and Chris Tebbets

James Patterson and Chris Tebbets’ 2011 graphic novel will debut as a film on October 7, so your kids still have a little time to sneak this one in before it becomes a top-grossing film (oh, it will). The premise: Rafe Khatchadorian’s home life is already problematic, and now middle school has been thrown into the mix. With sixth grade destined to destroy his last glimmer of hope, Rafe’s imaginary friend, Leo, tells him to do something cool, something to make the year one to remember. So Rafe embarks on a mission to break every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct handbook. Will he successfully complete the challenge or will middle school crush his soul? Find out in the book version. First. Please.

“The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Also set for an October 7 release and first published in 1978, “The Great Gilly Hopkins” is a heartwarming story about foster kid Galadriel ‘Gilly’ Hopkins and her quest to find a real home. The book is intended for mature, older middle-grade children given Gilly’s foul-mouth (no f-bombs; this is a kid’s book) and bratty personality at the onset. There are heavy issues at play including emotional trauma, racism, and homelessness. This book will not disappoint, but be ready to dive into some serious conversations. 

“Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Can you imagine the world of “Captain Underpants” coming to life on the big screen? We nearly did cartwheels when we heard this one is being adapted into a film starring Kevin Hart and Ed Helms. If you’ve never had the pleasure of being outraged by the name of this bestselling series, grab the book now. Captain Underpants is every elementary school kid’s hero, and everything you’d never expect. The release date for this wildly anticipated film is listed as January 23, 2017. We’ve already reserved our spot in the ticket line!

“Pax by Sara Pennypacker

This endearing novel has been such a hit a bidding war for the movie rights was inevitable. Released in print earlier this year (February 2016), Pax is a story for the ages and one you’ll want your children to read well in advance of the movie – because they’ll have questions. And they’ll cry. And you’ll cry too.

This journey is told through the eyes of Pax, a pet fox, and his human, Peter. When Peter’s father enlists in the war, he forces Peter to release Pax back into the wild. Soon after, Peter realizes what a horrible mistake he has made and decides to set out and find his best buddy. Little does he know, Pax is trying to find him, too. This story tears at the heartstrings, and is one of the most remarkable books, let alone middle-grade books, I’ve read in a very long time.

“Magic Tree House (Series) by Mary Pope Osbourne

Lionsgate recently acquired the film rights to the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osbourne, celebrated the world over by parents, librarians, and teachers. This 54-book series follows Pennsylvania siblings Jack and Annie on their trips through history and literature. The first movie installment, which is already in development, is based on “Christmas in Camelot,” the 29th book in the series. Your kiddos have plenty of time to start with the first book, “Dinosaurs Before Dark.” An ideal bedtime read for middle-grade students.

“Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

For anyone who loved Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” comes “Anyone But Ivy Pocket” – zany, whimsical, wickedly funny tale of a 12-year-old maid with an inflated perspective of life, and herself. It’s a delightfully quirky, hilarious read that will leave your children smiling. Film rights have been acquired by Paramount Pictures. No release date has been set.

Teen & Young Adult

“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

The film version of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” adapted from Ransom Riggs’ hit 2011 novel, will be released on September 30 worldwide. The story takes place at an orphanage where children with strange powers are looked after by the magical Miss Peregrine. While I anticipate an extraordinary film, the hair-raising epic adventure, illustrated with haunting vintage photography, cannot be captured anywhere but on the pages of a book.

“A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Set for release on October 21 and based on Patrick Ness’ 2011 book, “A Monster Calls” tells the story of Conor O’Malley, a young boy whose mother is dying from a terminal illness. One night as Conor looks out his bedroom window, he sees a tree monster who promises him three tales. All that’s required of Conor? A tale in return, and one that contains “the truth.” Packed with symbolism that will be lost on screen, this is a must-read before the movie is released. Just have the Kleenex nearby.

“The Giant Under the Snow by John Gordon

Before there was Harry Potter, there was “The Giant Under the Snow.” John Gordon’s tale of three children who awaken a giant after discovering an ancient belt buckle is due to be released on the big screen in October 2017. Since it’s considered one of the very first urban fantasy books ever written, long before the term had been coined, it rightly holds “classic” status and is absolutely one to add to your children’s suggested reading list.

“The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander

If your child loves “The Lord of the Rings” series, it’s time to get them hooked on Lloyd Alexander’s fantasy series “The Chronicles of Prydain.” This epic five-novel adventure, published between 1964 and 1968 and based on Welsh mythology, follows the protagonist Taran from youth into adulthood. His big dreams beyond being an assistant pig keeper land him in the magical land of Prydain, where this unlikely hero has a chance to save the day. And the world.

“A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

It’s been a long time coming, but Mrs. Which, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Whatsit will soon be making their big screen debut. Published in 1962, Madeleine L’Engle’s novel, “A Wrinkle in Time,” tells the iconic story of a dark and stormy night and the midnight arrival of a stranger at Meg Murry’s house. The book is filled with intricate physics terms and deep musings on good versus evil; concepts that are better suited for words than images. Yet, despite its complexity, “A Wrinkle in Time” is a hallucinatory read and one your children will never forget.

“The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“The Sky is Everywhere” details the story of 17-year-old Lennie Walker, a bookworm and band geek, who is confronted with the sudden loss of her sister. While dealing with her unimaginable grief, Lennie finds herself strangely drawn to two men: her sister’s boyfriend and a new student. One shares her loss, the other offers hope – both are destined to change her. The novel was optioned by Warner Bros. and is currently being filmed.

“All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

One of the best young-adult romances of our time, “All the Bright Places” will soon be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning (>>fist pump<<). When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of a bell tower, it’s unclear who will save whom. Theodore is obsessed with death, while Violet is just trying to survive. We highly recommend having a frank talk with your teen before they pick up this book, as it tackles a variety of intense topics including depression and suicide.

Now that you know what’s coming, here are a few books you’ll be surprised to learn have never been made into movies: The “Artemis Fowl” series by Eoin Colfer, “Corduroy” by Don Freeman, “Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish, “Sideways Stories From Wayside School” by Louis Sachar, and “The Giving Tree” AND “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. How has Hollywood gone this long without turning any of these incredible books into feature films? Let’s hope this question is never answered.

Your turn! Which books are you reading with your children or encouraging them to read before seeing the movie? Let us know in the comments section below.

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We spend a lot of time prepping for the arrival of a baby. But when it comes to the arrival of our breast milk (and all the massive adjustments that come with it), it's easy to be caught off guard. Stocking up on a few breastfeeding essentials can make the transition to breastfeeding a lot less stressful, which means more time and energy focusing on what's most important: Your recovery and your brand new baby.

Here are the essential breastfeeding tools you'll need, mama:

1. For covering up: A cute nursing cover

First and foremost, please know that all 50 states in the United States have laws that allow women to breastfeed in public. You do not have to cover yourself if you don't want to—and many mamas choose not to—and we are all for it.

That said, if you do anticipate wanting to take a more modest approach to breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must. You will find an array of styles to choose from, but we love an infinity scarf, like the LK Baby Infinity Nursing Scarf Nursing Cover. You'll be able to wear the nursing cover instead of stuffing it in your already brimming diaper bag—and it's nice to have it right there when the baby is ready to eat.

Also, in the inevitable event that your baby spits-up on you or you leak some milk through your shirt, having a quick and stylish way to cover up is a total #momwin.

2. For getting comfortable: A cozy glider

Having a comfy spot to nurse can make a huge difference. Bonus points if that comfy place totally brings a room together, like the Delta Children Paris Upholstered Glider!

Get your cozy space ready to go, and when your baby is here, you can retreat from the world and just nurse, bond, and love.

3. For unmatched support: A wire-free nursing bra

It may take trying on several brands to find the perfect match, but finding a nursing bra that you love is 100% worth the effort. Your breasts will be changing and working in ways that are hard to imagine. An excellent supportive bra will make this so much more comfortable.

It is crucial to choose a wireless bra for the first weeks of nursing since underwire can increase the risk of clogged ducts (ouch).The Playtex Maternity Shaping Foam Wirefree Nursing Bra is an awesome pick for this reason, and because it is designed to flex and fit your breasts as they go through all those changes.

4. For maximum hydration: A large reusable water bottle

Nothing can prepare you for the intense thirst that hits when breastfeeding. Quench that thirst (and help keep your milk supply up in the process) by always having a water bottle with a straw nearby, like this Exquis Large Outdoor Water Bottle.

5. For feeding convenience: A supportive nursing tank

Experts recommend that during the first weeks of your baby's life, you breastfeed on-demand, meaning that any time your tiny boss demands milk, you feed them. This will help establish your milk supply and get everything off to a good start.

What does this mean for your life? You will be breastfeeding A LOT. Nursing tanks, like the Loving Moments by Leading Lady, make this so much easier. They have built-in support to keep you comfy, and you can totally wear them around the house, or even out and about. When your baby wants to eat, you'll be able to quickly "pop out" a breast and feed them.

6. For pain prevention: A quality nipple ointment

Breastfeeding shouldn't hurt, but the truth is those first days can be uncomfortable. Your nipples will likely feel raw as they adjust to their new job. This will get better! But until it does, nipple ointment is amazing.

My favorite is the Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter. We love that it's organic, and it is oh-so-soothing on your hard-at-work nipples.

Psst: If it actually hurts when your baby latches on, something may be up, so call your provider or a lactation consultant for help.

7. For uncomfortable moments: A dual breast therapy pack

As your breasts adjust to their new role, you may experience a few discomforts—applying warmth or cold can help make them feel so much better. The Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Pack is awesome because you can microwave the pads or put them in the freezer, giving you a lot of options when your breasts need some TLC.

Again, if you have any concerns about something being wrong (pain, a bump that may be red or hot, fever, or anything else), call a professional right away.

8. For inevitable leaks: An absorbing breast pad

In today's episode of, "Oh come on, really?" you are going to leak breastmilk. Now, this is entirely natural and you are certainly not required to do anything about this. Still, many moms choose to wear breast pads in their bras to avoid leaking through to their shirts.

You can go the convenient and disposable route with Lansinoh Disposable Stay Dry Nursing Pads, or for a more environmentally friendly option, you can choose washable pads, like these Organic Bamboo Nursing Breast Pads.

9. For flexibility: A breast pump

Many women find that a breast pump becomes one of their most essential mom-tools. The ability to provide breast milk when you are away from your baby (and relieve uncomfortable engorged breasts) will add so much flexibility into your new-mom life.

For quick trips out and super-easy in-your-bag transport, opt for a manual pump like the Lansinoh Manual Breast Pump .

If you will be away from your baby for longer periods of time (traveling or working outside the home, for example) an electric pump is your most efficient bet. The Medela Pump In Style Advanced Double Electric Breast Pump is a classic go-to that will absolutely get the job done, and then some.

10. For quality storage: Breast milk bags

Once you pump your liquid gold, aka breast milk, you'll need a place to store it. The Kiinde Twist Pouches allow you to pump directly into the bags which means one less step (and way less to clean).

11. For keeping cool: A freezer bag

Transport your pumped milk back home to your baby safely in a cooler like the Mommy Knows Best Breast Milk Baby Bottle Cooler Bag. Remember to put the milk in a fridge or freezer as soon as you can to optimize how long it stays usable for.

12. For continued nourishment: Bottles

Nothing beats the peace of mind you get when you know that your baby is being well-taken of care—and well fed—until you can be together again. The Philips Avent Natural Baby Bottle Newborn Starter Gift Set is a fan favorite (mama and baby fans alike).

This article is sponsored by Walmart. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.


A viral video about car seat safety has parents everywhere cracking up and humming Sir-Mix-A-Lot.

"I like safe kids and I cannot lie," raps Norman Regional Health System pediatric hospitalist Dr. Kate Cook (after prefacing her music video with an apology to her children."I'm a doctor tryin' warn you that recs have changed," she continues.

Dr. Cook's rap video is all about the importance of keeping babies facing backward. It's aptly called "Babies Face Back," and uses humor and parody to drive home car seat recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

"Switching from rear-facing to forward-facing is a milestone many parents can't wait to reach," Dr. Cook said in a news release about her hilarious video. "But this is one area where you want to delay the transition as long as possible because each one actually reduces the protection to the child."

Last summer the AAP updated its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents were already doing and recommended that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible. But with so many things to keep track of in life, it is understandable that some parents still don't know about the change. Dr. Cook wants to change that with some cringe-worthy rapping.

The AAP recommends:

  • Babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
  • Once they are facing forward, children should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible. Many seats are good up to 65 pounds.
  • When children outgrow their car seat they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, between 8 and 12 years old.

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[Editor's note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]

Suicide rates for girls and women in the United States have increased 50% since 2000, according to the CDC and new research indicates a growing number of pregnant and postpartum women are dying by suicide and overdose. Suicide rates for boys and men are up, too.

It's clear there is a mental health crisis in America and it is robbing children of their mothers and mothers of their children.

Medical professionals urge people to get help early, but sometimes getting help is not so simple. For many Americans, the life preserver that is mental health care is out of reach when they are drowning.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just released a plan he hopes could change that and says the neglect of mental health in the United States must end. "Our plan breaks down the barriers around mental health and builds up a sense of belonging that will help millions of suffering Americans heal," says Buttigieg.

He thinks he can "prevent 1 million deaths of despair by 2028" by giving Americans more access to mental health and addictions services.

In a country where giving birth can put a mother in debt, it's not surprising that while as many as 1 in 5 new moms suffers from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, more than half of new moms who need mental health treatment don't get it. Stigma, childcare and of course costs are factors in why women aren't seeking help when they are struggling.

Buttigieg's plan is interesting because it could remove some of these barriers. He wants to make mental health care more affordable by ensuring everyone has comprehensive coverage for mental health care and by ensuring that everyone can access a free yearly mental health check-up.

That could make getting help more affordable for some moms, and by increasing reimbursement rates for mental health care delivered through telehealth, this plan could help moms get face time with a medical professional without having to deal with finding childcare first.

Estimates from new research suggest that in some parts of America as many as 14% or 30% of maternal deaths are caused by addiction or suicide. Buttigieg's plan aims to reduce those estimates by fighting the addiction and opioid crisis and increasing access to mental health services in underserved communities and for people of color. He also wants to reduce the stigma and increase support for the next generation by requiring "every school across the country to teach Mental Health First Aid courses."

These are lofty goals with a lofty price tag. It would cost about $300 billion to do what Buttigieg sets out in his plan and the specifics of how the plan would be funded aren't yet known. Neither is how voters will react to this 18-page plan and whether it will help Buttigieg stand out in a crowded field of Democratic candidates.

What we do know is that right now, America is talking about mental health and whether or not that benefits Buttigieg's campaign it will certainly benefit America.

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[Editor's Note: Welcome to It's Science, a Motherly column focusing on evidence-based explanations for the important moments, milestones, and phenomena of motherhood. Because it's not just you—#itsscience.]

If you breastfeed, you know just how magical (and trying) it is, but it has numerous benefits for mama and baby. It is known to reduce the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and cuts the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by half.

If this wasn't powerful enough, scientists have discovered that babies who are fed breast milk have a stomach pH that promotes the formation of HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor cells). HAMLET was discovered by chance when researchers were studying the antibacterial properties of breast milk. This is a combination of proteins and lipids found in breast milk that can work together to kill cancer cells, causing them to pull away from healthy cells, shrink and die, leaving the healthy cells unaffected.

According to researchers at Lund University in Sweden, this mechanism may contribute to the protective effect breast milk has against pediatric tumors and leukemia, which accounts for about 30% of all childhood cancer. Other researchers analyzed 18 different studies, finding that "14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for six months or more."

And recently, doctors in Sweden collaborated with scientists in Prague to find yet another amazing benefit to breast milk. Their research demonstrated that a certain milk sugar called Alpha1H, found only in breast milk, helps in the production of lactose and can transform into a different form that helps break up tumors into microscopic fragments in the body.

Patients who were given a drug based on this milk sugar, rather than a placebo, passed whole tumor fragments in their urine. And there is more laboratory evidence to support that the drug can kill more than 40 different types of cancer cells in animal trials, including brain tumors and colon cancer. These results are inspiring scientists to continue to explore HAMLET as a novel approach to tumor therapy and make Alpha1H available to cancer patients.

Bottom line: If you choose to breastfeed, the breast milk your baby gets from your hard work can be worth every drop of effort.

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