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.


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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?

9 thoughts on “Classic Books That Should Get Graphic Novel Adaptations (Classic Remarks)

  1. Bibliosini says:

    I would love to see A Little Princess adapted into a graphic novel too! Reading it years ago I always envisioned the story to be quite magical in my mind, so it sounds perfect!

    Also, I would love to see The Secret Garden adapted into a graphic novel too! 🙂


  2. Michael J. Miller says:

    I admit this is an area of comics I have almost NO knowledge on so these may exist and I just don’t know. That being said, I could see Daphne du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ rendered in a very atmospheric sort of way, in the hands of the right author and artist. I’d also like to see Dashiell Hammett’s ‘The Maltese Falcon.’ I read it after reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s complete Sherlock Holmes and was APPALLED at how sloppy a detective Sam Spade was comparatively XD. But I’d like to see how that sort of noir could be captured.


    • Krysta says:

      My grasp of graphic novel adaptations is very limited, as well. But I love your suggestions! I think an adaptation would be a great way to entice new readers to the works!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lory says:

    Oh yes, I love these suggestions! Especially A Little Princess, I think that would be lovely.

    I’m not very aware of what books have already been adapted as graphic novels, so I’m not sure what to suggest. Rebecca is a good idea.


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