Friday, March 9, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time - The Graphic Novel Adapted and Illustrated by Hope Larson

Let me just preface this review by saying A Wrinkle in Time was the quintessential book of my childhood. My mom would take me to the library on a regular basis in elementary school and I would only check out one of two, or both, books, and this was one of them. I have no idea how many times I've read it, but it opened the door into sci-fi and fantasy books for me and taught me that smart stories could be the most entertaining.

It was very appealing to me to see this story adapted into a graphic novel because I felt that it would bring the story to a whole other world of readers, namely my almost eight-year-old daughter, who prefers graphic novels to traditional novels at this stage. Of course, I had to read it first. I hope that one day she picks it up herself and falls as much in love with Meg and this story as I did (and then maybe wants to read the other three books related to the family.)

I found the art to be perfectly complimentary to the story. Pitting a simple, two-color design, against a story riddled with complex emotions, advanced physics, and the idea of time travel brought an added level of accessibility into the story that would have probably been beneficial to my childhood self the very first time I read the book. There is a lot of abstract thinking required to get through L'Engle books, so illustrations definitely help. I really enjoyed seeing the characters and experiencing their emotions through the pictures as well as through the text.

For anyone unfamiliar with the story, I'm just going to tell you to read the book. It doesn't matter how old you are, this is an exciting and powerful story, rooted in family and devotion and the power of the personal connection. It honors people who are a little different, feel a little out of place in a unique and significant way, and it makes science and math accessible.

The only thing would drive me to suggest the full novel over the graphic version is how the ending plays out. Possibly due to the format of a graphic novel, the ending of the story felt less powerful reading it in this version. That could easily just be a result of my familiarity with the story overall, but, in my opinion, everything builds up a little higher in the novel. That isn't to say you get any less story in this version though, and the quickness of a graphic novel read is always nice, so really the choice of where to go to get into this story is up to you, but don't miss out and do more than just watch the movie.