282. Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet: A Graphic Novel by Martin Powell

Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet:A Graphic Novel by Martin Powell. Illustrated by Eva Cabrera (US) - (Canada)
Shakespeare Graphics

Pages: 88
Ages: 10+
Finished: Dec. 12, 2011
First Published: Aug. 1, 2011
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Genre: children, YA, graphic novel, classic, play, romance
Rating: 3/5

First sentence:
The city of Verona, Italy, in the early 14th Century.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Capstone Press.

Reason for Reading:  I enjoy retellings of Shakespeare rather than reading the olde english (which I did plenty of at one time.)  But honestly, I do not like the story of Romeo & Juliet and simply read this as a review copy was sent my way.

I won't bother with the plot; everyone is familiar with this one and I have a low opinion of the tale myself.  However my review will be of this adaptation.  The play is divided into the original 5 acts and the langauage has been adapted for todays modern young readers.  That said, some famous lines are kept in the original such as "Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?" and while the language has been simplified and modernized it has carefully mainted a formal manner and a poetical value that the original has, with lines such as "I take you at your word.  Call me your love; from then onward, I will never be Romeo.".  I loved the art in this adaptation; it's bold and uses either muted or dark colours depending on the mood of the scene.  The close-ups of facial expressions are goreous, though the faces in crowd scenes are hard to make out.  A dark haired Juliet and blond Romeo look very good together and I'm actually pleased that they don't mention Juliet's age in this book, as she certainly looks older than 14 and that premise makes the story a little bit more palatable for my tastes.  Anyway, a good book for what it is.  Would make a good introduction to the story of the play.  Recommended for ages 10 to highschool.  Could also be used along with a study of the original play to help students "get" what is going on, act by act.


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