As a loyal Jane-ite, I’ve experienced the ups and downs of Austen retellings and reimaginings. This particular retelling of Pride and Prejudice, one w...moreAs a loyal Jane-ite, I’ve experienced the ups and downs of Austen retellings and reimaginings. This particular retelling of Pride and Prejudice, one with a manga twist, is a surprising delight!
The plot of Pride and Prejudice lends itself well to this format. Understanding the plot depends a great deal on understanding the setting and time period and, while the manga can do little to help readers understand British social customs, it does display the settings and dress to full advantage.
Character designs are charming if a bit over-the-top. For example, at times Lizzie Bennet is dramatically depicted among a shower of flowers for no obvious reason other than it is prettily drawn. Facial expressions and hidden thoughts are easily observed with the blushing of the cheeks or small thought bubbles.
This manga will make a solid introduction for young readers to Jane Austen. As a librarian, I always direct students to first watch the Pride and Prejudice movie and then read the book because the actual text and dialogue can be daunting. In the future, I think I will send students to this manga instead.
NetGalley and the publisher provided a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion. (less)
One of the most popular books in my middle school library, Smile, now has a sequel. Sisters by Raina Telgemeler is an autobiographical graphic novel a...moreOne of the most popular books in my middle school library, Smile, now has a sequel. Sisters by Raina Telgemeler is an autobiographical graphic novel about the rocky relationship between two sisters.
The plot, which takes place in the late 1980s and early 1990s, relies heavily on flashbacks. The flashbacks give needed insight into the author’s family life but may confuse younger readers. I am also expecting the questions, “What’s a Walkman?” and “Why didn’t her mom use an iPhone to call for help?” I enjoyed this story especially since I am a 80s child myself.
Numerous topics are covered in this story: annoying siblings, disappointments, pet drama, money problems, and possible divorce. Young readers will easily identify with the main character.
This graphic novel is a great addition to the upper elementary and middle school library. I’m glad I per-ordered it! (less)
A boardinghouse becomes the center of strange goings-on in a small American town, circa 1900. Cora and Minnie, two girls l...moreEerie. Gripping. Secretive.
A boardinghouse becomes the center of strange goings-on in a small American town, circa 1900. Cora and Minnie, two girls living at the boarding house, encounter a rash of new guests and each guest has secrets. Three handsome boys befriend the girls and before long all five teens are pulled into a supernatural intrigue.
Conspiracies abound in this story and nothing is too bizarre. The telling of two different stories, simultaneously, is well done. Normally, I would dread switching between the two viewpoints and time periods, let alone mediums (novel & graphic novel), but both the stories were equally captivating. The pictures were creepy and fast-paced and the plot was conveyed easily minus the dialogue.
I loved the characters! I so desperately wanted happy endings for each of the teens. The characters were rounded out with unique perspectives, no easy feat with five main characters.
If you are looking for a unique read—this is it. The novel may be reminiscent of The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Wonderstuck in format, but this tale blazes its own path. A science-fiction novel with a healthy dash of romance, I highly recommended it.