A Wrinkle in Time: the graphic novel, still wonderful and fresh two years later
The graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time got a rave review here when it first came out in 2012. Two years later, Cory Doctorow re-reads it to his now-six-year-old and discovers fresh delights in a beautiful and fitting tribute to one of literature's best-loved young adult novels.
One of my favorite books of 2012 was Hope Larson's graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time (review), which was published on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Madeline L'Engle's Newberry winning novel.
We've just built some new shelves in our daughter's room, and in the reorganizing, I came across the book, which we'd last read together when she was four. She's six now, and barely remembered it (though she'd been captivated by it a couple years ago!), and so after she'd browsed the illustrations a bit, we decided this would be our next bedtime read. Last night, we finished it, and I'm here to report on how well the book held up for a second read, and a slightly older kid.
A lot of the most important stuff in the original novel of Wrinkle takes place in the head of its narrator, the sorrowing and angry teenaged Meg Murry. This presents a serious challenge to a visual adaptation -- prose novels are really the only artistic medium that give you direct, easy access to the thoughts of other people -- but on the second read, I was really struck by what an amazing job Larson did with this. Larson's brilliantly juxtapositions, timing, and visual effects put the book's nonverbal, emotional arc front and center.
I see that in my original review, I noted that my daughter was able to enjoy the story in large part thanks to this emotional accessibility, and that is still absolutely true today. But now that Poesy is six, there was a lot more in this story for her. The romance subplot was delightfully gross for her, and the ideas of sacrifice and facing up to your fears resonated so strongly with her that we ended up arguing nearly every night about whether there would be "just one more chapter."
Meg's story -- which turns on her acknowledging and making peace with her own personality flaws -- was fantastically well-timed for a six-year-old audience. As Poesy finishes up year one at school, she's experimenting more aggressively with naughtiness, pulling away from us and demanding space to do her thing, even when it's something we thoroughly object to. At the same time, she's now old enough to really help out at home, and take responsibility for a much wider range of independent activities and activities undertaken with other kids, without adult supervision. This little power-struggle that is so prominent in our days was the perfect complement to this story every night.
There's a lot more stuff to this story that Poesy still didn't quite get -- the nature of space in more than three dimensions, the nuances of Mrs Who's quotations, the questions of conformity and individualism -- but none of that slowed us down. It's just a reason to return to this book again at bedtime in a year or two.
In the meantime, it would be a great parent-kid read for the summer if the kids in your life are between, say, 4 and 7, and a great solo read for older kids, right up to teenagers. And it's an absolute treat for anyone who loved the original novel.
A Wrinkle in Time [Hardcover]
A Wrinkle in Time [Original review and excerpt]
Neil Gaiman will read the Cheesecake Factory menu if we raise $500K for the UN High Commission on Refugees
The campaign to raise $500K for the UN High Commission on Refugees started with author/comedian Sara Benincasa daring Neil Gaiman to do a dramatic reading of the Cheesecake Factory menu; Gaiman responded that if she raised the half-mil, he’d not only read the Cheesecake Factory’s (notoriously florid) menu, he’d follow up with a reading of […]
Liverpool, I'll see you tonight on the Walkaway tour! (then Birmingham, Hay-on-Wye, San Francisco...) (!)
Thanks to everyone who came out for last night’s final London event on the UK Walkaway tour, at Pages of Hackney with Olivia Sudjic; today I’m heading to Waterstones Liverpool One for an event with Dr Chris Pak, followed by a stop tomorrow at Waterstones in Birmingham and then wrapping up in the UK with […]
London! I'll be at Pages of Hackney tonight with Olivia Sudjic! (then Liverpool, Birmingham, Hay...) (!)
Last night’s sold-out Walkaway tour event with Laurie Penny at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road was spectacular (and not just because they had some really good whisky behind the bar), and the action continues today with a conversation with Olivia Sudjic tonight at Pages of Hackney, where we’ll be discussing her novel Sympathy as well as […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]