There is a new fad these days that is combining the world of graphic novel with the world of classic literature. Some seem to be more successful than others. My kids have been all about graphic novels this summer and I joined them in the genre with two graphic novel classics. I’m sharing my thoughts on those as well as one that my son read below.
I recently saw this cute edition of Anne of Green Gables: a graphic novel by Mariah Marsden and Brienna Thurmier on NetGalley and couldn’t resist requesting a copy. I am a sucker for Anne Shirley so I was pretty sure it was right up my alley.
I’m of mixed minds on this one so I’ll give you a pro and con list:
- The landscape illustrations are gorgeous and feel very Anne inspired.
- The book goes further than a lot of other adaptations do, all through Anne’s year at teaching school which I’ve noticed other adaptations don’t always cover.
- It gets a lot of things right. The emotion is there and the overall essence of Anne.
- I didn’t care for the illustrations of the people in the story at all, especially the noses which seemed weird to me.
- The pacing of the book felt very fast. I understand that a graphic novel cannot convey as much inner dialogue as a regular book but I felt like Anne’s life flew by in a blur and a lot of the heart of the story and some of the smaller plots were left behind.
- I’m not convinced that a reader new to Anne Shirley would fall in love in quite the same way as experiencing Anne of Green Gables in its original format. But if reading this graphic novel or another adaption can lure them into the original then I suppose that would be worth it!
Overall: Some Anne is better than No Anne (3/5)
I found this copy of Jane Eyre in the graphic novel section the library and decided to give it a try. I’ve tried reading the novel a few times but stalled through the rather dreary beginning.
I cannot attest to how well this compares to the original. I would not be shocked to hear others give similar feedback to my impressions of Anne of Green Gables above. But I actually finished this, which is more than I can say for the original.
I liked the artwork a lot – the characters are well drawn and feel authentic to their personalities. The scenes are rather lush and dreamy or gloomy when gloomy is called for (which is often tbh). I still found the story rather dreary but the graphic novel version allowed me to plow through a bit faster and get to the good stuff. I think you could consider this a decent Cliff’s Notes version of the real thing.
Overall: Beautiful artwork, decent Cliff’s Notes (4/5)
I didn’t actually read this one but I’m anxious to. My son devoured this graphic novel version of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle and then would not stop talking about it. He’s now working on book two of the series in actual book form. SO, here’s what we know through subtle observation:
- The artwork is pretty darn cool. This I know from peering over his shoulder.
- It’s also longer than a lot of the other graphic novel classics I’ve seen so it might do a better job telling the full story. Just a guess.
- It sucked in the attention of my 11 year old and he didn’t want to do anything but read it once he picked it up.
- Even better – it successfully lured him into reading the next book despite it being a boring old paperback. I call that a successful mission.
Overall: A rousing success in this momma’s opinion but I still haven’t read it myself so I can’t grade the book only my momma bear satisfaction which is a definite 5/5!
Have you read any of these? What did you think?
What graphic novel should I try next?
What classic would you like to see turned into a graphic novel?