A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

Madeleine L’Engle’s novel A Wrinkle in Time was originally published in 1962. Hope Larsen adapted and illustrated this novel and published in 2012. I’ve not yet read the original, but I believe the text is comparable and the illustrations add another layer to the story.

This is a novel that I requested for my 8 year-old son to read. I recommend this to him and he read it in less than a day. Instead of waiting to get the original novel, I read the graphic novel in order to talk to him about it.

This novel follows a group of children who have to travel through time and space to save their father. Meg Murry is an ordinary child with an extraordinary brother Charlie. Their father has been missing for awhile and no one knows if he’ll return. Charlie befriends their strange neighbors and another schoolmate of Megs, all of which have strange abilities that help them communicate with other people. Its some sort of telepathy and ability to see the future combined with extreme empathy and the ability to hop through the wrinkles in space and time. The other world that they find themselves is a negative utopia with mind control and order being the goal.

Having been written in the 1960’s, there’s probably a glimpse into communism and the Cold War that I didn’t put much thought into while reading it. Its also a little similar to religions with one being knowing whats best for everyone, but I really read it with my 8 year-old in mind.

This was a fun, interesting read with a strong moral lesson that we need to stand up for what’s right and we all have the power to do that. I plan on reading the non-graphic novel after it comes, and I may put more effort into the symbolism at that point. Or maybe, I’ll just enjoy the read…

Read August 2017

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The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes The Shining Girls is weird and absolutely horrifying. A serial killer that travels through time and has his victims picked by a house. There are many time loops where the killer, Harper Curtis, visits his victims years before their death and leaves a memento from a different victim from another time.

Beukes manages the characters and the time line really well and leaves hints and victims as she goes through the story. This was a fantastic read! I really enjoyed the weirdness mixed with the grotesque.

Read February 2016.

Kindred

Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred is a tale of a black woman living in 1976 who is transported back to 1815 on a plantation in Maryland where her ancestors are living. Dana is somehow called whenever Rufus, a white child of slave owners, finds himself in a dangerous situation. Dana’s quest becomes ensuring that her ancestors survive the devastation of the plantation and in order to do that she must protect Rufus whenever he calls her back.

Along the way, Dana has to deal with typical time travel dilemmas while dealing with the horrific fate of slavery and the conventions of the time. In order to fit in to the time period while she’s stuck in the past, Dana has to pass for a slave and learn to behave like a slave. All while teaching and learning from her “owner” Rufus and trying to teach him about racial equality and human relationships.

This book is ultimately about slavery and slaves. There are some gruesome scenes which I think are necessary in order to tell the story. Dana has to go through a learning experience with the reader. She, like the reader, knew about slavery, but to witness and be an unwilling participant forces both to face the truth of slavery in a personal way. Butler captured not just what it might have been like to be a slave, but what it would be like to be a mother, a father, a friend under the most horrifying circumstances.

Butler writes very simply, almost as if written as young adult fiction. Her characters and scenes are written simply, but Butler is able to weave a deep undercurrent of emotion that makes the reader hurt with the characters.

This book should be taught in high schools to teach history as well as compassion for each other. It was a horrible story told with the right touch of emotion and history.

Read April 2013