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Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare Graphic Novels) (No Fear Shakespeare Illustrated) Paperback – January 25, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–A visually engaging format includes clearly delineated acts and scenes as well as skilled use of dark and light to highlight mood and recurring themes. Many of the images are striking, particularly the white-on-black night scenes describing Queen Mab's dream appearance and Juliet's decision to drink poison. Well-drawn characters such as the brash young men, the Nurse, and Friar Lawrence come to life in these panels. This is especially true for Juliet, whose early images of youthful innocence contrast sharply with her distraught face as the story progresses. With the exception of Capulet and Montague, who look more like grandfathers than fathers to such young teens, visual characterizations are accurate. Text for this version comes from an abridgment of the modern English translation found in No Fear Shakespeare (Spark, 2007). Readers will not encounter any of Shakespeare's language or poetry in this adaptation. Even familiar speeches such as O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? are modernized to Oh Romeo, Romeo, why must you be Romeo? A limited number of footnotes explain references to unfamiliar phrases, particularly bawdy humor. Readers interested in graphic-novel versions with excerpts from Shakespeare's original play should try Romeo and Juliet (Barron's, 2005), edited by Philip Page and Marilyn Petit, or Richard Appignanesi's adaptation (Abrams, 2007).–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
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For one thing, the artwork is fabulous: beautiful, inventive, playful, modern. For another, the novel uses modified English that communicates Shakespeare's themes clearly but doesn't water them down. This version of the play will be an exciting tool in my classroom -- already I wish I had bought thirty copies instead of just one -- but more than that, it is a piece of art in itself. When I hit the last page, when the Capulets and the Montagues finally reconciled their age-old rivalry, I felt my eyeballs burn with tears, as though I were reading Romeo & Juliet for the first time. It's that good. Highly recommended, even if you're not an English teacher who, like me, is just looking for stuff to help him teach the play for the first time.
My 10 years old told me he wanted to know the story of Romeo and Juliet. Still a bit long for him to read, but he really enjoys it. The graphics are pretty good, and the format of presenting such a classic is fantastic. He is still interested to give it a try (later) in "older English).