Review: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Madeleine L’Engle, Hope Larson
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel
By Madeleine L’Engle
Adapted and Illustrated by Hope Larson
Farrar, Straus & Giroux (Macmillan)
In Stores October 2, 2012
Reviewing a graphic novel adaptation of another book can be a bit tricky. Should I focus on the success of the adaptation? The quality of the book as a stand-alone? A combination of the two? Thankfully, A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel makes it easy – it’s successful through and through. In skillfully adapting a Newbery-winning classic (albeit, a fairly divisive one), Hope Larson takes well-known, well-respected material and treats it with care and creativity.
Chances are, you know the story. One dark and stormy night, Meg Murray’s family is visited by three strangers, taking Meg, her little brother Charles Wallace, and new friend Calvin O’Keefe on a trip through time and space to save Meg’s father, Mr. Murray, from an evil force that is threatening to take over the universe.
Since I was rusty on the original A Wrinkle in Time when I picked up the graphic novel, I decided to read both books in unison for the sake of comparison. It looked like this:
Because of this, I can say with confidence the Larson’s adaptation is as faithful as they come. To call the differences nominal would almost be an understatement. It’s pretty simple – L’Engle’s descriptions have become illustrations, and the dialog is presented with only the tiniest of adjustments. This graphic novel is no synopsis, folks – it’s A Wrinkle in Time.
The illustrations are black and white with blue accents. Staying this faithful to the story means that the text often leaves little room for backgrounds, giving more focus to the characters. Larson has a talent for expression, bringing the emotion of the text to life. When the artwork does break free of small panels, it’s a beautiful sight.
Some might call it heresy to add visuals to a book that so successfully creates them in readers minds. I think you know what my opinion on that is: give me a break. This book will bring new readers into the fold and make them curious about the other books in L’Engles Time Quintet.
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel will generate interest. Kids who have read the original story will likely be interested in how the graphic novel looks, and those who have never read L’Engle’s classic may see this as a good opportunity to give it a shot. Win-win, I say.
Review copy from the publisher.
Watch the A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel book trailer:
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About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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