It’s been several years since I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, but I was immediately taken back to Maycomb when I opened the first pages of Fred Fordham’s new graphic novel. The depictions of the small town in 1933 Georgia and iconic lines of Harper Lee’s classic novel combine to spark a distinct nostalgia. And quickly, I remember all the things I loved about the novel: the strong sibling bonds, the microcosm of Depression-era American life in Maycomb, and the distinctive parenting style of Atticus.
A graphic novel adds some great opportunities to enhance the narrative. Several scenes jump off the page: the killing of the mad dog, the late night dare to peek into Boo’s window, the trip with Cal to the First Purchase Church, the balcony of the courtroom, and the night of the pageant. Fordham’s detail in expressions and body language are vivid and revealing. Obviously, the reader loses much of Lee’s unforgettable prose but gains angles and perspective from Fordham’s many points of view.
This graphic novel is a perfect complement and homage to the novel, and much closer to the original manuscript than the classic film. It is in no way a replacement, but an adaptation that should make both English teachers and students very happy.
5 out of 5 stars
Thank you to HarperCollins, Edelweiss, Fred Fordham, and especially, Harper Lee for the opportunity to read and review this graphic novel.