Les Misérables

Les MisérablesRetold and Illustrated by Marcia Williams, Based on the Novel by Victor Hugo

This book is something between a picture book and a graphic novel. Marcia Williams does a fairly decent job covering all of the main points of Victor Hugo’s original novel of poverty, despair, love and redemption. The pictures are nice and do a good job of portraying the mood of each main story event. The only problem I had with the book is that it reads a bit like a student’s book report: “The months went by. Fantine was close to starvation and developed a cough and fever,” and “Yet he still had no money, and she had gone away. He tore a page out of his notebook and scribbled a message.” The writing is very: this happened, then this happened, then this. It would be difficult to condense a 1200+ page book into 57 pages, so Williams did a fine job with that. But it would have been nice to have more emotion and feeling in the tale. This book is great for younger readers and those who want to know Hugo’s story but don’t have a lot of time.

Review by Teresa Edmunds, Westbrook Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 4-12

Les Misérables
Retold and Illustrated by Marcia Williams, Based on the Novel by Victor Hugo
TOON Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press
57 pages
Release Date: February 24, 2015
ISBN: 9780763674762 (hardcover)

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