A delightfully spirited adventure.


A girl gets sucked into a doomed, gothic-themed universe.

Obsessed with gothic romances like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, bookworm Haley sees her moment to shine when, while on her way home from school, she spots a mysterious man drowning. Her heroic efforts to rescue him transport her to a gothic manor straight out of the novels she holds dear. She awakens in Willowweep Manor, where she meets foreboding housekeeper Wilhelmina, young lords Laurence and Cuthbert, and resident ghost Cecily. It emerges that middle brother Montague, whom she saved earlier, is missing. The brothers recruit Haley to help them save their gasket universe—a small universe that acts as a safeguard to protect the larger ones in the multiverse—from the Bile, manifested here as a sinister friar, that threatens to take over. She must repair the Infernal Device that keeps their universe safe. Though each individual has prescribed roles according to various literary conventions, they must decide to act differently if they wish to save their worlds from evil. The dark color palette fits perfectly with the mystery and many gothic tropes; Baldwin effectively uses varied perspectives to create dramatic visuals. This well-paced and humorous graphic novel will appeal to readers looking for a triumphant story about being in charge of your own narrative. Haley is Black; the inhabitants of Willowweep read as White.

A delightfully spirited adventure. (Graphic fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-6087-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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Pairing art from an earlier, self-published edition to a newly adapted text, Hinds retells the old tale as a series of dark, bloody, chaotic clashes. Here Grendel is a glaring, black monster with huge teeth, corded muscles and a tendency to smash or bite off adversaries’ heads; the dragon is all sinuous viciousness; and Beowulf, mighty of thew, towers over his fellow Geats. The narrative, boxed off from the illustrations rather than incorporated into them, runs to lines like, “Bid my brave warriors O Wiglaf, to build a lofty cairn for me upon the sea-cliffs . . . ” and tends to disappear when the fighting starts. Because the panels are jumbled together on the page, the action is sometimes hard to follow, but this makes a strongly atmospheric alternative to the semi-abstract Beowulf, the Legend, by Stephen L. Antczak and James C. Bassett, illus by Andy Lee (2006), or the more conventionally formatted version of Michael Morpurgo, with pictures by Michael Foreman (2006). (Graphic fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3022-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2007

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A charming adaptation.


From the Manga Classics series

A miscommunication leaves Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert responsible for a plucky, effusive orphan girl instead of the boy they’d expected to help maintain their farm.

Retold in traditional manga format, with right-to-left panel orientation and detailed black-and-white linework, this adaptation is delightfully faithful to the source text. Larger panels establish the idyllic country landscape while subtle text boxes identify the setting—Prince Edward Island, Canada, in the 1870s. The book follows redheaded Anne Shirley from her arrival at Green Gables at 11 to her achievement of a college scholarship. In the intervening years, Anne finds stability, friendship, personal growth, and ambition in Avonlea and in the strict but well-intentioned Cuthbert siblings’ household. The familiar story is enhanced by the exciting new format and lush illustrations. A variety of panel layouts provides visual freshness, maintaining reader interest. Backmatter includes the floor plan of the Green Gables house, as well as interior and exterior views, and notes about research on the actual location. A description of the process of adapting the novel to this visual format indicates the care that was taken to highlight particular elements of the story as well as to remain faithful to the smallest details. Readers who find the original text challenging will welcome this as an aid to comprehension and Anne’s existing fans will savor a fresh perspective on their beloved story. All characters appear to be White.

A charming adaptation. (Graphic fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947808-18-8

Page Count: 308

Publisher: Manga Classics

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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