Young David Copperfield is sent away by his cruel stepfather, Mr
Murdstone, to a boarding school in London, but when his
circumstances suddenly change David is forced to work from morning
to night in Murdstone's factory.
Charles Dickens was born in 1812. When he was twelve, his father was sent to a debtor's prison and he was sent to work; the experiences from this time always haunted him. After a brief career as a reporter Dickens began writing novels. Published in serial form, his work grew rapidly in popularity, beginning with The Pickwick Papers. Today, Charles Dickens is one of the most recognized celebrities of English literature. His many books include Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol.
Gr 8 Up-Great Expectations is the better told of these two classics, but breaking down a 500-page work of literary fiction into 48 pages of graphic text is a much simpler task than retelling the nearly 1000 pages of David Copperfield in the same amount of space, and Morley relies heavily on captions, rather than dialogue, to summarize Copperfield's complicated life story. She does, however, do an able job of summarizing the major plot points, and this could make a big difference for struggling readers. In both books, Gelev's artwork fits the time period, with detailed costumes, houses, and other background scenery. The neutral tones suit Dickens's dank world, and Miss Havisham's ramshackle home and crumbling wedding feast are drawn as readers might picture them. It is doubtful, though, that they would return to these books as particular favorites. They are more useful as classroom resources for readers struggling with Dickens's prose than for a general graphic-novel readership.-Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"The most perfect of all the Dickens novels."