February 22, 2018

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Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery | SLJ Review

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redstarMONTGOMERY, L.M. Anne of Green Gables. adapted by Mariah Marsden. illus. by Brenna Thummler. 232p. Andrews McMeel. Oct. 2017. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781449479602.

Gr 3-7 –A jewel-toned graphic novel adaptation of the beloved classic. This abridged version of Anne of Green Gables appropriately condenses the longtime favorite into a more accessible volume, but it doesn’t cut out the spirit of Montgomery’s effervescent heroine. As chatty, imaginative, and scatter-brained as ever, the redheaded protagonist and her new family and town are brought to vivid life by the humorous dialogue and the vignettes that Marsden selected for this treatment. Anne’s adventures with the raspberry cordial, dyed hair, Haunted Wood, puffed sleeves, and Lady of Shallot are portrayed with aplomb. Readers are also treated to the endearing characters of busybody Rachel Lynde, dreamy but practical Diana, teasing Gilbert Blythe, shy Matthew, and the hard-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside Marilla. Other favorite characters get short shrift: Miss Stacy is barely mentioned. What makes all of these characters and episodes stand out are the almost-Technicolor illustrations by Thummler, whose interpretation of Avonlea and Green Gables will make anyone understand why the verbose orphan would want to stay in this candy-colored paradise. The landscapes, characterizations, joys and triumphs, and moments of despair are brilliantly depicted in a variety of panel sizes, which serve to heighten the narrative plot points and convey the pacing of each scene. Full pages and spreads are used intermittently to dramatic effect. The winning combination will please both fans and newcomers. VERDICT A gem of a graphic novel adaptation that should be shelved right alongside the original for those who don’t want to wade through the wordy prose. A must-purchase. –Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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