Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

More manga classics! Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility

austenSense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen (adapted by Stacy King)/illustrated by Po Tse, (Udon Entertainment/Morpheus Studios, Aug. 2016). $19.99 ISBN: 9781927925638

Recommended for ages 12+

Udon’s Manga Classics line continues to put out the most popular literary classics in manga format, no doubt to the relief to high school and college students everywhere. This time out, I read Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. When sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood’s father dies, their family is forced by family finances and turmoil to move to a cottage in Devonshire. Elinor has high hopes for her former romantic interest, Edward, while Marianne falls for John Willoughby – who seems to be hiding something. Colonel Brandon, an older man, also shows interest in Marianne, but she’s initially afraid that he’s too old for her. Similar to Pride and Prejudice, we have romantic entanglements and complicated relationships. Manga fans who also want some reinforcement of the Austen classic will appreciate this more visual layout of all the relationships in this story. Great for middle, high school, and college students.

 

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

Add Manga Classics Jane Eyre to your TBR

manga-jane-eyreJane Eyre (Manga Classics), by Charlotte Bronte/adapted by Stacy King, (Jul. 2016, Udon Entertainment/Morpheus Publishing), $19.99, ISBN: 9781927925652

Recommended for ages 12+

I am loving the Manga Classics line from Udon Entertainment. This is my third one; I’ve read The Scarlet Letter and Pride and Prejudice – both books I struggled with in high school – and came away with a better grasp on them. This time, I read Jane Eyre, a book I really enjoy (I’m a Bronte fan), but know that kids tend to struggle with, too.

Jane is an orphan, left in the care of her awful aunt and cousins. She finally gets away and makes her way in the world as a governess, sent to the mysterious Mr. Rochester’s estate, where they fall in love. A dark secret in Mr. Rochester’s past gets in the way. It’s a Gothic novel, which lends itself nicely to a manga adaptation; there’s drama, angst, and enduring love, all of which shine in this visual adaptation.

As with the other books in Udon’s series, this is a nice companion to Bronte’s work; a solid introduction to new and reluctant readers in middle and high school.

Posted in geek culture, Graphic Novels, Teen, Tween Reads, Young Adult/New Adult

YALSA releases their 2016 list of great graphic novels!

Great news! Last week, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) published their 2016 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list. There are some brilliant titles on the list, making gift purchases and library collection updates a lot easier, by the way. I was really excited to see so many great books on the list, from a diverse mix of major publishers and smaller independents.

Some highlights:

Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War. By Michel Chikwanine & Jessica Dee Humphreys/Illus. by Claudia Davila. Kids Can Press, $18.95, (9781771381260). A young man tells the story of his kidnapping by rebel militants and his time as a child soldier in the Congo.

Doomboy. By Tony Sandoval. Illustrated by the author. Magnetic Press, $24.99, (9780991332472). A teen with an active imagination and a love of heavy metal mourns his girlfriend the best way he can: through his music.

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952. By Mike Mignola and John Arcudi. Illustrated by Alex Maleev. Dark Horse Books, paper, $19.99 (9781616556600). Hellboy goes on his first mission.

Human Body Theatre. By Maris Wicks. Illustrated by the author. First Second, $14.99, (9781596439290). A skeleton teaches the reader about the human body and its functions.

Last of the Sandwalkers. By Jay Hosler. Illustrated by the author. First Second, $16.99, (9781626720244). A tribe of insects goes on a voyage of discovery to explore the land beyond their borders.

Princess Ugg, vol. 1. By Ted Naifeh. Illus by the author. Oni Press, paper, $15.99, (9781620101780). Warrior Princess Ulga attends the prestigious Princess Academy at her dead mother’s request.

Roller Girl. By Victoria Jamieson. Illustrated by the author. Dial Books for Young Readers, $12.99, (9780803740167). A tween signs up for roller derby camp and learns about herself, friendship, and sacrifice.

The Scarlet Letter. By Nathaniel Hawthorne, Crystal Chan, and Stacy King. Illus by SunNeko Lee. Udon Entertainment, hardcover, $24.99, (9781927925348). A manga retelling of the classic story of a Puritan woman caught in adultery and forced to publicly bear her shame.

The Suspended Castle: A Philemon Adventure. By Fred. Illus by the author. TOON Graphics, hardcover, $16.95, (9781935179863). Bartholomew has been rescued from an alternate dimension but now misses it and wants to go back, little suspecting the adventure in store for him and Philemon.

Now, go forth and read graphic novels, and check out the rest of YALSA’s list!

Posted in Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Teen

The Scarlet Letter (Manga Classics) makes another classic more accessible to readers

cover57424-mediumThe Scarlet Letter (Manga Classics), by Nathaniel Hawthorne/adapted by Crystal Chan/illustrated by SunNeko Lee (2014, Udon Entertainment/Morpheus Publishing), $19.99, ISBN: 9781927925331

Recommended for ages 13+

Reading the story of Hester Prynne and her scarlet letter is a rite of passage in high school, but that doesn’t always make it an accessible book. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale of adultery and a small New England Puritan town can be difficult for reluctant or struggling readers. Udon Entertainment’s Manga Classics line reaches out to those readers with beautiful art and drills the story down to the main points and action, drawing a reader in and, in essence, teaching them how to read the novel.

As with Udon’s manga adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, the main story is faithfully intact, merely abridged for easier storytelling. This is by no means a replacement for the novel, but it serves two tremendous purposes: 1) to bring new readers to the story who may never have picked the book up before, and 2) to serve as a companion read to readers who have trouble with the novel. Manga is a popular art medium that’s been reaching beyond purely Japanese titles and finding a firm audience in American adaptations, from popular YA series like Twilight and Beautiful Creatures to classics like Les Miserables, Pride and Prejudice, and now, The Scarlet Letter.

I will be adding this book to my burgeoning manga classics collection. It would a fun display idea to feature the original and its manga adaptation side by side – I’d love to see how it affects my circulation.

The Scarlet Letter will be out in March, but you can pick up copies of Udon’s manga adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Les Miserables right now.

Posted in Graphic Novels, Teen, Tween Reads, Uncategorized

Pride and Prejudice goes manga!

pride and prejudice mangaPride and Prejudice, Manga Classics, by Jane Austen (adapted by Stacy King)/illustrated by Po Tse. (Udon Entertainment/Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC, Aug. 2014). $19.99 ISBN: 9781927925188

Recommended for ages 12+

I’ll admit it – I’ve never been a huge Austen fan. My taste in classics runs more toward the Bronte sisters, filled with more angst, rage, crazy wives locked away, that whole gothic thing with the moors. Lately, I’ve been bound and determined to re-read Austen, though, and decided to start with Stacy King’s manga adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

I loved this retelling! Po Tse’s manga style art is lush and sophisticated, with sweeping panels and beautiful attention to detail. There are great little winks to the manga style I’m more familiar with (I have three sons, therefore I have watched much Pokémon), like the cartoony, wild expressions of absolute joy or despair, meant to encourage a reaction from the reader, that enhanced my enjoyment of this story.

The basic story is all here – the five Bennett daughters, the overbearing mother trying to marry them off, the headstrong Lizzie and the prideful Mr. Darcy – all here, with all the supporting players. The manga style allows for exaggerated facial expressions, adding a relatable dimension to the more restrained drawing room drama.

The book reads in manga style: that is, from right to left, and a note to readers at the end of the book explains this. There’s a letter to the reader from Stacy King, discussing the appeal of Pride and Prejudice to modern audiences, particularly teenagers.

This is a great introduction to the classics for tweens and teens, especially those who may find the classics “boring”. I’d love to get a few copies of these manga classics on my library shelves and get kids reading them in preparation for the real thing – it lays a great groundwork and adds faces to put to the names, so when they do pick up the book, they’ll be more familiar with the characters and the world where the story takes place.

And heck, I’m going to sit down and read Pride and Prejudice again, myself.