Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Les Misérables (Candlewick Press)

Marcia Williams is an author/illustrator known for her comic book style. Using this recognizable style and an approachable storytelling method, Ms. Williams has brought both classics and mythology to a young audience. One of her latest books is Les Misérables, the most famous work by Victor Hugo. I was first exposed to Les Misérables by my wife in the monumental movie that starred Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and Russell Crowe. Having seeing that very lengthy movie, I questioned how Ms. Williams was going to make some of the stickier points in the story kid-friendly (primarily Fantine turning into a lady of the night and Javert's suicide). Thankfully, she chose to gloss over these details.

I have to admit that I am not a huge Les Misérables fan, and I only requested this book because I know my wife is a fan. However, this book made the story very approachable, and I enjoyed Ms. Williams illustration style. The text felt a little dry at times and felt more like summary than actual story. My wife also somewhat enjoyed the book, which is saying something, because she usually doesn't enjoy classics in the graphic novel format. She too has never read the original book, so she told me that reading through this version, she realized how much the musical/movie whitewashed some characters, particularly Marius. If you are a fan of Les Misérables and want to share that love with your 8 to 12 year old, then you might want to pick up a copy of this book.

This book was provided to me for free by Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!