From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up—This classic has tremendous modern appeal. A complex detective story for the most part, this adaptation depicts the gaslight era of London in all its gloomy grandeur. Topcoats, top hats, funereal suits, walking canes, and roaring fires all play prominently in the artwork. Most of the characters are depicted as grimacing, displaying an apparent distaste for their surroundings. The literary quality of the text makes for a heady read, but it will appeal to teens who could otherwise overlook the eternal power of a simple, fantastic story. Public libraries with an eye to keeping a varied teen fiction shelf should consider this title.—John Leighton, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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Grant and Kennedy, with more than 70 years of comic experience between them, produced a superlative adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped last year, and they maintain the same high quality for this take on his classic tale of transformation and duality. Condensed with style and simplicity into a quick read that is not rushed but rather carried forward on its own momentum, Grant distills the original text with clarity and preserves the feeling of its era. Kennedy, meanwhile, makes each picture count, loading the panels with fog-dense Victorian atmosphere, presenting a Jekyll whose spiral into despair is subtly painful and a Hyde who is, as Stevenson called him, “pure evil.” The original story was structured to heighten suspense toward the terrible revelation of the relationship between the two eponymous characters. Because no reader is likely to be unaware of this already, Grant and Kennedy play things out with a cinematic pace and visual flair that will keep readers turning pages to the end. Grades 5-8. --Jesse Karp