To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novelby Published 30 Oct 2018
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A beautifully crafted graphic novel adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved, Pulitzer prize–winning American classic.
"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird."
A haunting portrait of race and class, innocence and injustice, hypocrisy and heroism, tradition and transformation in the Deep South of the 1930s, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird remains as important today as it was upon its initial publication in 1960, during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights movement.
Now, this most beloved and acclaimed novel is reborn for a new age as a gorgeous graphic novel. Scout, Gem, Boo Radley, Atticus Finch, and the small town of Maycomb, Alabama, are all captured in vivid and moving illustrations by artist Fred Fordham.
Enduring in vision, Harper Lee’s timeless novel illuminates the complexities of human nature and the depths of the human heart with humor, unwavering honesty, and a tender, nostalgic beauty. Lifetime admirers and new readers alike will be touched by this special visual edition that joins the ranks of the graphic novel adaptations of A Wrinkle in Time and The Alchemist.
To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel Reviews
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite stories. I first read the novel in high school, and then acted in a stage production of it one summer, have watched the move once or twice, and have revisited the book every so often. I'm very familiar with it, and I think it's a masterpiece of American storytelling.
I wouldn't have been especially interested in a graphic novel adaptation (I've read a number of bland adaptations of literary classics), except that I kept hearing really good things about Fred Fordham's recent edition. So I checked it out from the library to see what it's like.
First, I was impressed by the heft of the volume. At 273 pages, this wasn't going to be an unabridged version of the original, but it was certainly going to be more substantial than I'd expected. I was next relieved to open to the first page and see the very familiar opening lines, verbatim from the novel. Those words are set against a striking image that brings something from the end of the story right up to the beginning, for those who know the book already. So far as I can tell, all of the words in the graphic novel are directly from Lee's original (though the graphic novel does not have all the words of the novel; it is an abridgement). Fordham's note at the end of the book says that he only changed words from the book when absolutely necessary. I know the book really well, and nothing in this adaptation stood out to me as new or out of place, so he's done a great job.
The artwork is beautiful all throughout. Fordham uses somewhat limited color palettes and washed-out tones to convey a sense of place and history. I really loved it. He even ages the kids just slightly as the story progresses. I've never felt that the original book needed anything other than the words, but this edition is quite pleasant, and the imagery enhances the words nicely.
The last line of the graphic novel is, of course, that famous last line of the book, so all is well. This adaptation surprised me with its care and beauty. It's no substitute for reading Lee's original, but for those of us who cherish that book, this one is a wonderful new way to go back to that story.
To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel is a 2018 Harper publication.
I’m not going to review the plot of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, but will instead offer you a review of the graphic novel version of the beloved classic.
I am new to the graphic novel category and am still getting my sea legs, so to speak, but I have discovered one of the best ways to acclimate myself is by reading familiar stories in the graphic novel format. So far, I am having a blast re-reading a few classics and having that experience enhanced by graphic art or drawings, depicting the scenes in the book.
One of my initial concerns was for the respect of the material, especially when we are talking about one of the most cherished books ever written. I was equal parts skeptical and excited. I initially thought it was a cool idea, but, I worried that it might somehow reduce the impact of the story.
However, the artwork is simply wonderful! Lovely and detailed, colorized illustrations capture the essence of the novel, and will appeal to anyone who loves the story, but will certainly entice younger readers to read this important story, without thinking of it as homework.
I soon forgot my skepticism and reacquainted myself with this story all over again, enjoying it anew in a fresh and revitalized way.
There are many ways to enjoy stories and every one of them are valid and useful. Graphic novels are one more way to enjoy books and I’m very pleased to have discovered, and approached it with an open mind, this format, which gives me an even deeper appreciation for classic or familiar stories, but also brings new and imaginative ones to my attention, broadening my scope of learning and entertainment.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: A GRAPHIC NOVEL
Written by Harper Lee
Adapted and Illustrated by Fred Fordham
2018; Harper/Harper Collins (288 pages)
Genre: retelling, classics, racism, race, politics, law, fiction, historical fiction, graphic novels, illustrations, southern
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is one of my favourite books. As cliche as it sounds, this book changed my life. It made me aware that the colour of one's skin can be enough for someone to hate you, that truth and justice wasn't always going to be fair and the good guys don't always win. Lee's writing also inspired me as a writer. When I saw that Lee's book was getting adapted into a graphic novel, I had mixed feelings as I didn't know how faithful it would be to the original story. Were they going to add or take big things out. Phew, Fordham did an amazing job! Not only were the illustrations great, but the story is faithful to the book and hits all the great scenes. This is one I hope to buy as it a must for any collection, especially fans of the writer and the book.
***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***
My Novelesque Blog
Drawing upon some of richest source material in American literature, Fred Fordham delivers a reverential adaptation. While the art can be a bit stiff and conservative, the story remains as powerful as ever in this new form. I gulped it down in one sitting.
The first graphic adaptation of this American classic that I taught several times a day every semester I taught high school, also showing the Gregory Peck film version, which if you haven't ever seen, is a must. Fordham, a Brit, who also illustrated an adaptation of Philip Pullman's Golden Compass, is faithful to the story, and says so in his afterword. This is not a creative interpretation of/reflection on To Kill, but as in the first Harry Potter film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosopher's Stone, it is very very true to the text, and to those who have seen the film, feels familiar.
Of course you would not only read this version, but use it as a chance to reflect on the story. Or compare versions. Or use to help struggling readers "see" the text. The illustration/comics work here is lovely. I won't retell the plot, but I can say you get to fall in love with the story all over again. I will say I see it as somewhat different than I did decades ago when I taught it to exclusively white kids as an anti-racist text. Now, living in a large urban city, I can see how some non-white readers might view it as a book directed almost exclusively to white people with, as some people now say, a Great American White Savior speaking for the seemingly passive victims, the "mockingbird" blacks (and people with disabilities, the autistic Boo Radley), and I appreciate that point, but as a portrait of the American South in a particular time (Fordham defends his and Harper Lee's use of the "n"-word), it has very powerful moments, and Scout is one of the absolutely central girl characters in the history of American literature.