Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy by Rey Terciero fulfills the category “A Book with a Pink Cover” for the PopSugar 2020 Reading Challenge. It is a graphic novel adaptation of Little Women. I want to confess now that I have not read the original nor seen any version on-screen of Little Women. I know…But sometimes, classics get missed.
The graphic novel seemed a unique way to get younger people interested in the story of four girls, living with their mother while their father is away. This version modernizes the novel. The family lives in a New York City apartment. Their mother is a nurse and their father, an active army soldier, is on deployment. The five must live together with the restraints of a single parent, little money, and all the teenage angst.
Race is another enormous change in the book. Being in modern times, the author did not restrict herself to a white family living in town. Instead, she created a mixed-race family—one daughter is black, one white, and the last two are a product of a mixed marriage. I think the race element added greatly to the story. Not only did it make the tale more modern, but it gave extra depth to the book. Amy deals with some race issues in her part of the tale.
Not to spoil, but the novel also allows for modern medicine, conveniences, ideas about sexuality, not just race. The March family explores many current issues facing teens today. Given the climate of June 2020, it’s a good read for everyone.
I enjoyed the book and while aware it was an adaptation targeted to teen, I thought it was too short. It made me cry. Always a plus. But these girls go through so much, I wanted more. Perhaps the graphic version was a ploy to get all of us to read the original. (I will, someday.) The novel contained huge issues—health and sickness, death, sexuality, life choices, racism. But such tiny bits of each that it wasn’t satisfying enough for me. I wanted more. I tried to get my youngest (13) to read it, but she didn’t get around to by the time of this post. I was hoping she would give me a teen’s perspective on the story.
Don’t get me wrong. The book was outstanding—the illustrations fabulous, the modern twist done well, all the elements in their place. It felt abridged. I find this sometimes with a graphic version of books I’ve read. Something is missing. I’m a wordy girl—I like to read and listen. My youngest love graphic novels. She has aphantasia and cannot see images in her head. Comics and graphic novels are her lifeblood—she loves a good story. Perhaps once I get her to finally read this one, I can add her opinion to mine here.
I give Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy by Rey Terciero Five Comic Books.