With the upcoming release of the latest live-action remake from my childhood, I can’t for the life of me get the songs out of my head. This list contains some of the best songs from the many lion king soundtracks—including movies 1 and 2, and the Broadway show! But how will any of these songs pair with books, you ask? Read on to find out!
Your Favorite Lion King Song Will Tell You What To Read Next
1. “The Circle of Life” – Start Here by Trish Doller
This read is full of adventure, emotion, and self-discovery. With two main characters who are dealing with the loss of their friend, the girls set sail on a long journey from Ohio to the Keys, upon which they discover the answers to many things, including how to move on after living through a tragedy. Just like the Circle of Life, this book addresses the path of life, with just as much beauty and inspiration as the song itself.
2. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” – CURSED by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller
In this exciting retelling of the Legend of Arthur and the Sword in the Stone, there are tales of Kings and Queens from past and future. Packed with action and magic, there is no better book to read if you love the ambitious and colorful ambiance of I Just Can’t Wait to be King.
3. “Be Prepared” – Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
Sharing the same ominous yet enticing aura with Be Prepared, Winterwood is sure to be the best read for your taste. A dark and witchy tale, this book takes you deep into the haunted woods that everyone in the nearby town fears. If you’re looking for Scar vibes, you just found them.
4. “Hakuna Matata” – She’s The Worst by Lauren Spieller
I know this doesn’t sound like the most carefree of books, but in reality, neither is Hakuna Matata. This book is all about the blissful adventures of two girls running around Los Angeles to avoid family drama, and, hey, isn’t that what Simba is doing during Hakuna Matata? If you want to run away from your own problems with a good book, say Hakuna Matata, and pick this one up!
5. “We Are One” – Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
We are one is all about the meaning of life. What better book to match with that theme than Ari and Dante? A classic tale filled with passion and discovery, this book beautifully parallels the message of the song in a way that is sure to give you the same and warm and fuzzy feeling inside as We are one.
6. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
If you’ve read this book and you didn’t see this coming, then it’s time for a re-read. Two estranged best friends fall in love during a camping trip through the woods. Sound familiar? Because it is! If you love the romance and the wilderness of Can you feel the love tonight, then this has to be your next read.
7. “Love Will Find a Way” – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Forbidden love. We all relish in it. In this Shadowhunters novel, we get one of the greatest forbidden loves the YA Fantasy community has ever seen. It’s so forbidden that it almost rips the world apart, literally. But Emma and Julian just can’t stay apart, just like Kiara and Kovu.
8. “Shadowland” – SLAY by Brittney Morris
This fierce read has all the heart and conflict of Shadowland. Fighting not only for the love of who she is, but also against a tyrant who wants to take away the safe space she created for so many, a home for those who slay, Kiera has to step out of her anonymity to save the world she loves, just as Nala must leave the Pridelands to save the Pridelands.
9. “Endless Night” – Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Dealing with loss, searching for answers, beautiful verse, intense emotion…this book is the perfect match for Endless night. In the brilliant and lyrical story of one child’s elevator ride, the book addresses as complex and poignant of topics as Endless night does over the course of one song.
10. “He Lives in You” – A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti
This profound story tackles the topic of survivor’s guilt so gracefully that you won’t know whether to cry or cheer or both. I’d go with both. During He lives in you, Simba finally faces his own survivor’s guilt, and the song has grown to become a fan favorite, met with awe and inspiring all. A Heart in a Body in the World achieves the same level of inspiration and hopefulness, and should definitely be your go-to next pick.
11. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I had to end on a crowd favorite. The lion sleeps tonight is a fun and bouncy tale that has been a classic tune for many years before it was featured in the Lion King. I’m pairing this song with another crowd favorite, To all the boys, also a fun-filled, light-hearted tale. It’s a match as compatible as Donald Glover and Beyoncé.