Grab a Graphic Novel: A Fresh Take on the Classics

We’re highlighting our graphic novel collection by exploring tried-and-true cartoon classics, as well as fresh-off-the-press new releases. Pick up a graphic novel today!

Our Grab a Graphic Novel blog series presents our latest reads from the aforementioned collection. Available at all five libraries, the collection encompasses comics, manga and, of course, graphic novels — anything that uses pictures as an intrinsic part of the storytelling process.

This month, we’re focusing on adaptions of the classics! Graphic novelists breathe new life into timeless favorites, including everything from Shakespeare to Sense and Sensibility. Reading the classics doesn’t have to be a daunting affair; with clever illustrations to help interpret the text, it can be downright fun!

Did you know? Reading graphic novels can be especially beneficial for reluctant readers. They are an exciting way for readers who may otherwise struggle with large blocks of text to engage with a narrative! The illustrations can act as scaffolding to help readers understand the events and characters in a text.

Scholastic, “3 Ways Graphic Novels Benefit Reading Skills”

Many of the classics presented here fall into the Young Adult or Adult categories. The selection presented here is but a sampling of the many creative offerings contained within the graphic novel collections. Try searching our catalog for more options!


Graphic Novel Adaptions of Classic Texts

The Works of Shakespeare

The plays of Shakespeare, both comedy and tragedy, have lasted through the ages as timeless texts — and as popular school assignments. Explore this sampling of Shakespeare’s works, adapted into graphic format.

The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet, adapted by Gareth Hinds

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She’s a Capulet. He’s a Montague. But when Romeo and Juliet first meet, they don’t know they’re from rival families—and when they find out, they don’t care.


A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted by Nelson Yomtov

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A graphic novel adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play about meddling fairies who create unintended love triangles among a group of teenagers.


Hamlet, adapted by Crystal S. Chan

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Distressed by his father’s death and his mother’s over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a spectre from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge.


The Works of Alexandre Dumas

Famous for his novels of high adventure and social critique, Dumas was well-read in his time and his works remain popular today. Allow these adaptions to spark your imagination as the same themes and characters are explored in different settings.

The Man in the Iron Mask, adapted by Jim Pipe and Penko Geleu

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Retelling of the four Musketeers’ final adventure during which they plot to replace King Louis XIV of France with the mysterious, masked prisoner in the Bastille believed to be Louis’ falsely imprisoned twin brother and the true king.


Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo, adapted by Mahiro Maeda

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A futuristic science fiction retelling of the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas.


The Works of Jane Austen

Published in the early 1800s, Jane Austen’s works remain treasured texts for readers of all ages and varieties. Graphic novel adaptions, much like movie adaptions, have the advantage of displaying the dramas and emotions of Austen’s stories in a modern context.

Pride and Prejudice, adapted by Robert Deas and Ian Edginton

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Love isn’t always at first sight. When Elizabeth Bennet meets Mr Darcy, it’s fair to say he doesn’t make the best first impression.


Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Nancy Butler

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A tale of English country manners in which two sisters, one sensible and one impulsive, wrestle with their attractions to unsuitable men after they are forced to leave their family home following the death of their father.


Other Classic Adaptions to Explore

Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry by Julian Peters

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A fresh twist on 24 classics, these visual interpretations by comic artist Julian Peters will change the way you see the world.


A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, adapted by Hope Larson

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A graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale in which Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, adapted by Tim Hamilton

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Fifty-five years ago Ray Bradbury, one of America’s greatest writers, envisioned one of the world’s most unforgettable dystopian futures. Thinking is dangerous; trust only the state; turn in your neighbors; and, most important, burn all books.


Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaption by Anne Frank, adapted by Ari Folman

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The only graphic biography of Anne Frank’s diary that has been authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation and that uses text from the diary–it will introduce a new generation of young readers to this classic of Holocaust literature.


Frakenstein by Mary Shelley, adapted by Sergio A. Sierra

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A graphic novel adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic tale of a monster, assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies, who develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.


The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, adapted by Renée Nault

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In the Republic of Gilead, a Handmaid named Offred lives in the home of the Commander, to the purpose that she become pregnant with his child.


The Giver by Lois Lowry, adapted by Craig P. Russell

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onas’ life assignment is as the Receiver of Memory, where he will apprentice the Giver and become a storehouse of all the things humanity left behind when it entered utopia: color, emotion, and even more complicated secrets.


As we talk about different graphic novels, we can only feature a fraction of the awesome works within our collection. We’d love to hear from you as well! What is your favorite memoir graphic novel? Leave a comment with your own recommendation!

For more reading suggestions, check out the posts in our Plano Reads tag. We also have several virtual Book Clubs to appeal to any kind of reader.

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