This book follows the intricacies of a female friend group as the girls go through puberty and grapple with all the stresses of being a teenager. Nuanced takes on female friendship are relatively underexplored on screen, and this beloved novel would be a welcome addition.
Set in post-WWII Florida, the novel follows Sally, a 10-year-old aspiring actress with an active imagination. The book deftly explores the ways in which the war affected children at the time, making it a great fit for a film adaptation.
The title of the novel comes from the nickname given to a shy fifth-grader named Linda after she delivers a class presentation on whales. The compassionate look at bullying inspired many young readers who would surely welcome an onscreen adaptation.
The 12-year-old title character's life is upended when she's diagnosed with scoliosis and forced to wear a back brace, which complicates her overbearing mother's expectations that she'll be a model. Deenie offers a nuanced look into the pressures teenage girls face.