Les Miserables

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
1246 0
les miserables.jpg
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 24, 2015
ISBN
978-0763674762
Buy This Book
      
Travel back to nineteenth-century France with ex-convict Jean Valjean as he tries to put his criminal past behind him and his fate intertwines with the ruthless Inspector Javert, determined to put Valjean back behind bars; the poor factory worker Fantine, whose struggle to provide for her child leads to her death; her orphaned daughter, Cosette, whom Valjean saves from poverty and neglect; and Cosette’s besotted suitor, Marius. As a revolution sweeps through Paris, can Valjean elude Javert and secure a happy life for Cosette before all is lost? Follow their story in Marcia Williams’s entertaining and easily digestible retelling for young readers.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Vivid retelling of a classic tale
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Let me begin by saying that Marcia Williams is a phenomenal artist. Her unique graphic novel style format is fun and engaging to read. The color choices in her pallet are equally stunning and morose. The story of Les Miserables is a tough one to read, but Ms. Williams does a wonderful job in retelling such a compelling tale suitable for younger readers.

I’m a huge fan of Les Mis, originally penned by Victor Hugo. It was my first experience with Broadway-style live performance, I poured over every scene in the movie, and I even own the original Broadway score. When YABC gave me the opportunity to review this book, I had to do it. If you’re not familiar with the story behind Les Miserable, it takes place around the time of the French Revolution. People were starving, selling everything they could for mere francs, and it’s just a horrible time for everyone. But Les Miserables carries hope close to its chest through the muck and grime of poverty, and you can feel this hope within the images Ms. Williams created.

The main protagonist, Jean Valjean, was imprisoned nineteen years for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his starving sister. Nineteen years! For bread! Once his time of slave labor is served, he’s released into the world hard and cold with no love or compassion for anything. In short, he’s not very likable, but one can’t help feeling something for this man who only wanted to feed his family. Ms. Williams does a fantastic job of portraying Valjean’s journey, and his uphill battle to find heart.

Along Valjean’s journey, we meet Fontine, the single mother with a doomed fate. Keeping in taste for younger readers, some of Fontine’s struggles are glossed over, or removed, but her strife is still felt through the words and images. The innkeeper and his wife are wonderfully loathsome and gross. Marius and Eponine are valiant and lovely. And Cozette, sweet Cozettte, is beautiful and blossoms throughout the pages.

To be perfectly honest, my thoughts on this book have two sides. My mommy side is at war with my bookish love side.

My bookish lover adores this book. Marcia Williams does a brilliant job of harnessing the vital story behind Victor Hugo’s masterpiece. The characters are engaging and their stories are told in a very direct and enjoyable manner. Her color choices within the illustrations are effectively warm, cold, lovely, and morbid. The illustrations themselves bring to life the incredible cast of characters of Les Miserables. If you’re a fan of Les Miserables, you will adore this book as I do.

But, as a mother of a young soon-to-be reader, this is not a book for a small child. Perhaps I’m overly censored, but I just don’t want to expose my child to something he will not yet understand. This is not a book for an eight year-old to read by themselves who’s not familiar with the story of Les Miserables. The story behind Valjean’s journey is a dark one, riddled with hardship and loss. And although Marcia Williams doesn’t slather the pages with graphic violence, there are still scenes depicting the climactic moments of the Les Miserales tale: death and war.

The context and pace of Les Miserables is also something that would appeal to mature young readers. The vocabulary is challenging enough for the 8-10 year-old readers, but written in a simplistic, straight forward fashion common with picture books. The graphic novel style adds a unique touch while keeping the story active and flowing.

If read with an active parental participant, this book is a great addition to your library. It is also a great book to engage discussion with your child about the characters’ motivations to do certain things for survival or out of love. Les Miserables is an important story to know. Yes, there is strife, there is death, and there is heartbreak. In the end, Les Miserables teaches us to never give up and to always embrace love, even when times are at their darkest. Marcia Williams’ retelling of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables brings these paramount messages of love and compassion to younger readers with relatable text and vivid illustrations.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA series...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
Talent
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sandee Mason is convinced her life will change if she...
WITHIN THE FOLDS OF A SWAN'S WINGS
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if the one element that has always defined you...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this twisty,...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface, she...
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Cassie needs a horse. She’s determined to move up...
A Higher Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 9)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just when everything seems to be perfect, it all falls...
A Happier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 8)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two guys. One girl. A big confusing mess. ...
A Healthier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 7)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She broke his heart. Will he ever forgive her? ...
A Steadier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 6)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He wants her back, but she’s already taken. ...
A Stronger Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 5)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can new love heal old wounds? I want...
A Smarter Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 4)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Can she keep him, or will his ex steal him...
A Bolder Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 3)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When the truth is uncovered, the bullies come out to...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL continues Guinevere's story as she seeks to find her footing in a world that keeps throwing her..."
Loveboat, Taipei
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Ever’s pushy parents have already gotten their way by making her apply to medical school, but..."
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA is a lush, beautiful, and romantic fantasy that follows Flora, now living as..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.3
"SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG is a YA contemporary romance about siblings, feeling like an outcast, and friendship. Sunny definitely feels..."
The Companion
 
5.0
"Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken..."
How It All Blew Up
 
4.3
"Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"I really enjoyed Skyhunter, another winner from Marie Lu. Talin is a refugee and is mute. She is a Striker,..."
Now That I've Found You
 
4.0
"Evie is a young actress living in L.A. and has a legacy to live up to. Her parents are famous..."
Clown in a Cornfield
 
3.3
"When Quinn and her father move to a tiny town, she's hoping to fit in and finish high school. Kettle..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
4.7
"'Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,' edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma,..."
 
4.0
"Maisie is a young teenage girl growing up in the Bronx. The story takes place during the early 1960s. Maisie..."
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
"SING LIKE NO ONE'S LISTENING is a YA fiction about grief and anxiety. Nettie lost her mother unexpectedly after a..."
We Are Lost and Found
 
4.3
"WE ARE LOST AND FOUND is a profound historical fiction read that takes place in the early 1980s NYC. Michael..."