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A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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*Starred Review* Commemorating its fiftieth anniversary, L’Engle’s classic couldn’t have scored a better talent to adapt its story into comics form. Larson produces high-quality coming-of-age stories featuring female protagonists, with the most recent (Mercury, 2010) even including a fantasy element to highlight the tale’s emotional stakes. She dives wholeheartedly into L’Engle’s seminal epic, chronicling the journey of Meg Murry, her preternaturally intelligent younger brother, Charles, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe, crossing distant worlds to save the Murry’s, lost patriarch. Guided by three grandmotherly guardian angels, they navigate the dangers of a mind-controlled world fallen under the influence of a cosmic force of pure evil. Larson has miraculously preserved the power of the original’s social and religious themes, as well as its compelling emotional core, while staying true to her distinctive voice and aesthetic. Her soft-lined, large-eyed characters are a modern exemplar of classical American cartooning, and the metallic blue coating of the pages evokes both the timelessness of the story and the remoteness of alien worlds. This adaptation is fabulous for presenting a fresh vision to those familiar with the original, but it’s so true to the story’s soul that even those who’ve never read it will come away with a genuine understanding of L’Engle’s ideas and heart. Grades 6-12. --Jesse Karp
“Know somebody who hasn't met Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who or Mrs Which? Larson's colorful panels bring Madeline L'Engle's brilliant time-travel favorite to life in an exciting new way. This is page-turning eye candy of the highest order.” ―James Patterson
“This adaptation is fabulous for presenting a fresh vision to those familiar with the original, but it's so true to the story's soul that even those who've never read it will come away with a genuine understanding of L'Engle's ideas and heart.” ―Booklist, starred review
“The memorable story of Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry, and Calvin O'Keefe's adventure across space and time is conveyed with all the intellectual and emotional impact of the original novel.” ―BCCB
“Larson has remained true to the story, preserving the original chapter format and retaining L'Engle's voice. Black-and-white artwork is accented with blue, echoing the original cover color.” ―School Library Journal
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike some graphic novel adaptations, Larson had to abridge this story to some extent. The other issue I had with this book was that the characters did not appear as I had envisioned them. But the former was a necessity and the latter was a matter of personal interpretation, and neither detracted from the quality of this book.
The adaptation follows the story of Meg and company closely. Larson chose a difficult book to illustrate. Characters such as Aunt Beast and IT might be better left to the imagination. While the art is good, I would have liked it to have used as much color as the cover.
My original intention was to reread L'Engle's version before I read this adaptation, but graphic novels draw me into them and don't let go until I have made it to the last page. It has been at least 10 years since I last read "Wrinkle," and it may be best that I didn't read it right before this book; I didn't make direct comparisons of descriptions and dialog, and that probably made this graphic novel more enjoyable.
Looking at Hope Larson's work, I see that she collaborates on original stories and has others illustrate them. Even though I don't see myself reading Larson again, I would recommend her work to children or young adults. Like "Wrinkle" her other works seem to include the important questions that good juvenile and young adult literature should ask.
A note about reading this on Kindle: This is the third graphic novel I have read in an electronic format. One book was a Kindle enhanced version of "Trillium," which had an option that allowed for swiping from frame to frame instead of page to page. There was not enough opportunity to zooming in on the frames to make the reading easier. In addition, the material was presented one page at a time instead of in a full-spread format to see opposing pages at one time. This prohibiting seeing splash art as it was created by the artists.
There was an improvement in "Will 'o the Wisp," published in Adobe Digital Editions format. There was an opportunity to zoom in as much as desired, but I found bouncing back and forth between full-page mode to see the art and zoom mode to be able to read the words was somewhat cumbersome.
However, I would have loved to have had either zoom option with "Wrinkle." This Kindle book version did not let me zoom in on any of the individual frames, and so I actually had difficulty reading the text at all. If I hadn't already had much of the story and dialog memorized from frequent reading of the L'Engle's book, I would not have been able to read it, and would have asked for my money back.
I will hesitate reading other comic books and graphic novels in electronic format in the future, unless I know that I will have the ability to read the text in addition to seeing the art in double-page format as intended by the authors and artists.
As for the story itself, it’s weird. That’s it.
I remember trying to read the story when I was a kid but never finishing it. At the time, I was frustrated by how much I did not like the characters. The world seemed to rave about this story and the memorable characters, but I just couldn’t relate to them. At least that’s what I thought at the time. After reading this graphic novel, I realize this is probably something I should have tried to read again when I was a teenager or just starting college…Odd I know.
The challenges of being different don’t seem to really be acknowledged well. It’s not the same thing to be different because you are really smart as opposed to because of your skin color, bank account, religious preferences, etc… Also, the family dynamics are so odd. I get some families aren’t close, while others are tight knit, but this family is divided. Again, I didn’t feel like that was fully developed. Perhaps that’s where reading the original story would have benefited me.
For me, this story seems to go a long way around to teach a message of self-appreciation and love, but I did enjoy the sci-fi elements that open our minds to think of other worlds and other people as a reflection of the differences we have right here on earth. I also feel like there may be a religious element to the story that is diminished in the graphic novel, but I can’t be sure. I may simply be projecting my own religious views and concerns onto the vague text. I think if I had embraced the novel at a younger age, this graphic novel would have been so much more impactful for me. Likewise, if I’d had this graphic novel to read as a kid, this would probably be my favorite book to date.
Overall, it’s a unique story you won’t soon forget. It sticks with you, whether you loved it, hated it, or just found it a bit weird. I’d definitely recommend it to any sci-fi, fantasy, or comic book fan, and would probably share it with preteen readers.