Review Detail

Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0

A Reimagined Classic

This graphic retelling remains true to the story of the classic 1958 British time slip story. Tom is sent to an aunt and uncle's house because his brother is ill. There is absolutely nothing to do, especially since the city has been built up around his relatives house and there is nowhere to go and explore. One night, he gets up when the clock strikes and goes outside... to find the world completely changed. There is a beautiful garden, and he meets a young girl, Hatty. Over the length of his stay, he travels back several times, but Hatty is always a different age. Is she a ghost? What exactly is happening? Eventually, he puts the clues together and makes a sad but bittersweet discovery about Hatty, and his visit is certainly made much less dreary by his visits with her.

Good Points
The graphic novel adds a visual element that really helps modern readers understand the setting. Even though there are descriptions of the house and the garden in Tom's time, as a child I certainly was not familiar with post war properties in England, and never could quite visualize the difference between Tom's time and Hatty's. The pictures point this out beautifully. Since tweens are interested in graphic novels, this is a great way to introduce a classic that they might not pick up in its original form, which suffers a bit from a slow moving plot and somewhat dated language, even though it was one of my very favorite books in the 1970s.

There are many graphic novel versions of classics old and new, from Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables and Jacques' Redwall to Horowitz's Stormbreaker and Riordan's The Lightning Thief. Some are better than others, but Edith's illustrations are some of the better ones, capturing the 1950s feel of the original but given the settings and characters enough to spark the interest of a new generation.
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