Classic Books That Should Get Graphic Novel Adaptations (Classic Remarks)

Classic Remarks


Classic Remarks is a meme hosted here at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.


Leave your link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. And feel free to comment with your thoughts even if you are not officially participating with a full post!

You can find more information and the list of weekly prompts here.

(Readers who like past prompts but missed them have also answered them on their blog later and linked back to us at Pages Unbound, so feel free to do that, too!)


What classic book(s) should get a graphic novel adaptation?

Star Divider

Middle grade graphic novels have seen an amazing renaissance in the past decade or so. Thus, when I think of books that I would love to see adapted, a number of beloved children’s classics come to mind. Many are coming-of-age stories that fit in perfectly with the current market, which has published many stories about navigating middle school friendships and finding one’s place in the community–books that seem to follow the success of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile. But, of course, coming-of-age stories and books about navigating the perils of growing up are nothing new. So why not adapt some of these gems for new audiences?

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Seven-year-old Sara Crewe arrives at Miss Minchin’s London boarding school for girls as if she is a little princess. Her doting father denies her nothing and she enjoys a lavish wardrobe, an expensive doll, and a room all to herself. Then disaster strikes and Sara finds herself alone and penniless. This classic tale follows Sara as she determines to be kind to all, despite the poor treatment she receives at the hands of others. Years later, it continues to inspire with its lesson that cruelty can never be defeated by more cruelty.

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

With her father dead, Emily Byrd Starr has been taken in by her mother’s people, Aunts Elizabeth and Laura, and Cousin Jimmy, whom she’s never met before. Aunt Elizabeth, however, seems very harsh. But as the days go by, Emily learns to love her home at New Moon and to make friends from the artistic Teddy Kent to the wild Ilse Burnley. And all the while she’s perfecting her craft of poetry as she prepares to be a writer. L. M. Montgomery is best known for writing Anne Shirley, but in Emily she gives readers another lost orphan to take into their hearts.

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Pauline, Petrova, and Posy Fossil were sent home as babies by their guardian’s Great-Uncle Matthew, but they have not heard from him since and now money is getting tight. The girls make a pact to help earn money for the household by training at the Children’s Academy of Dancing and Stage Training, but though Pauline has a talent for acting and Posy is a dancing genius, poor Petrova would rather fly an aeroplane than appear on the stage. Still, all three have vowed to make their name appear in the history books and, with hard work, they just might. A feel-good tale, one of those stories you want to read to remind yourself that the world is bright and beautiful and full of hope and good people.

What classic books would you like to see adapted into graphic novels?