Kirkus Reviews QR Code
HENRY V by Brigit Viney


The Graphic Novel

From the Classic Graphic Novel Collection series

adapted by Brigit Viney

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4205-0371-5
Publisher: Lucent

A disastrous mess of a graphic-novel adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s historical plays. While this adaptation follows scenes rather diligently, the language is changed to reflect a more contemporary syntax, with the evident hope of making this accessible to reluctant or struggling readers. Flat, heavily computer-assisted illustrations portray often-grimacing characters with horribly distorted features and chiseled facial lines. Words throughout the text are frequently presented in a bold, italicized type, signaling their appearance in the glossary. However, the words selected are extremely odd and arbitrary—do even struggling readers really need definitions of “bell,” “glove” and “elbow”? For the seventh-to-12th–grade audience this book is intended for, choices like these seem downright bizarre. Couple these features with the exorbitant price tag, and one is left to wonder exactly who this book is meant for. This particular graphic adaptation does nothing for the source work, except make for tedious reading. Another title in this series, Great Expectations (ISBN: 978-1-4205-0372-2), shares a release date and similar flaws. Utterly abysmal. (glossary, biographical sketches of Shakespeare and Henry V) (Graphic adaptation. 12 & up)