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A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by H. Larson

Larson, Hope. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel. New York: Margaret Ferguson Books, 2012. Print.

This adaptation of the science fiction classic stays true to Madeline L’Engles’ original novel, first published in 1962 and still timeless 50 years later. Hope Larson (Eisner award-winning artist for Mercury, 2010) tackles both the written adaptation of the text and the illustrations, providing readers with much to explore. This graphic novel is a hefty addition to your collection, clocking in at 392 pages.

The story begins with Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin meeting three unusual ladies - Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Who. They travel together on a magical journey via a tesseract (a wrinkle in space and time) to find their father, Mr. Murry, who has gone missing while working on a top secret government project. When they arrive on the planet Camazotz where Mr. Murry is being held captive, they discover that something dark and sinister is controlling life on the planet. The children must summon all their strength and courage to resist this dark force and find their father.

Larson’s strength is her ability to remain faithful to the original text while adding depth with her detailed illustrations. Readers of the original text will recognize key quotes and phrases, from the opening line “It was a dark and stormy night”, and will find much to love in Larson’s detailed illustrations. Meg’s storyline in particular was enhanced by Larson’s visual style, and I could see the messy complex emotions that Meg experienced throughout the story. Her illustrations also help to make clear some of the complex scientific ideas of the story, such as the nature of the fourth dimension and the tesseract – ideas I could not make sense of when I first read the book as a child.

A disappointment with Larson’s adaptation was the selection of a single colour palette for the entire book. The choice of black, white and blue lent itself well to establishing the sense of despair that Meg and Charles Wallace felt about finding their missing father. It also made sense in a story where characters travel through space and time. However, I felt that new readers would miss out on details such as the menace of the man with the red eyes, and furthermore, the sense of hope and victory at the end of the story felt deadened.

In the end, this graphic novel adaptation is beautifully done and will not only introduce a new generation of readers to this classic tale, but also satisfy purists and fans of the original.

Recommended: 3 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Shelly Jobagy

Shelly Jobagy is a teacher-librarian and administrator at a K-9 school in Edmonton, Alberta.