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Editorial Content for Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women

Contributors

Reviewer (text)

Brianna Robinson

I have to admit, I’ve never read LITTLE WOMEN.

The book is in fact, sitting among stacks of other classic books that I’ve been meaning to read but just never got around to yet. And before you rage-quit this review, please know that I love the spirit of LITTLE WOMEN so much. I watched the 1994 movie and longed to read the actual book but never got around to it.

And then years later, here comes the graphic novel that my heart was waiting for. MEG, JO, BETH AND AMY, written by Rey Terciero with illustrations by Bre Indigo, is a stunning feat of a retelling. It manages to capture the tone and brilliance of the original while also breathing new life into the story that many have strong opinions about. I cried, laughed and hugged the book when I was finished. I actually pushed it into a friend’s hands immediately after, begging her to read it right then and there. It’s a quick read but one filled with so much heart. I’m so glad I read it.

"[MEG, JO, BETH AND AMY] manages to capture the tone and brilliance of the original while also breathing new life into the story."

For those of you who’re unaware of LITTLE WOMEN for whatever reason --- let me introduce you. Celebrating its 150th anniversary last year in 2018, the novel was written by Louisa May Alcott, a highly progressive and intelligent woman for her time. Partially autobiographical, the book has gone on to be adapted into film and retold in various forms. There’s even a new movie coming out in 2019 directed by Greta Gerwig starring Meryl Streep, Emma Watson and Saoirse Ronan that is bound to be fantastic.

Like the book, the graphic novel follows the stories of four sisters --- Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. But unlike the book, this series focuses on a blended mixed-race family in NYC. Like in the original, their father is at war. I won’t spoil anything but there are a few other spectacularly wonderful twists and turns that I know didn’t happen in the original and just made me love the book more. The March sisters struggle to stay positive while their mother works hard to support them and their father is across the world at war. Each girl has such an incredible personality that it was hard to pick a favorite, even though with the original, loyal fans contest their favorites daily and the arguments get pretty heated. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have favorites, but also I thought the girls shone brighter together as a whole. I really loved them.

Meg, the oldest, dreams of being rich so that she doesn’t have to struggle financially like her parents. She wants to work in fashion and marry a wealthy man as soon as she graduates. Jo is second daughter. More pragmatic and bookish, she can be a bit judgmental. She dreams of writing a novel and getting published. She’s also struggling with a deep secret throughout the course of the book that affects her relationship with her family.

Beth is the middle child and is quiet and kind. She has a natural ability for music and she doesn’t let her shyness get in the way. And then there’s Amy. Amy has the biggest personality of them all. She’s the youngest and the most outspoken, often getting into trouble because she thinks before she acts.

Each girl deals with a substantial amount throughout the book and in any other hands, the storylines might have felt forced and convoluted. But Terciero handles each situation with aplomb and the attention it deserves. And when the characters emerge for their conflicts, their strength as a whole is enough to make any reader of the original hopeful for a more uplifting ending for each.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I enjoyed the other characters as well. Their mother and father, grandmother, aunt and neighbors were just as entertaining to read about and didn’t feel flat or one-sided. I loved that each of them grew as well and that we got to see how the girls affected them.

The best thing about this book is how modern it is. The sisters go to a Women’s March and one of the sisters worries that if she defends herself against the bully that she’ll be blamed because she’s black. And the characters are poor. It all felt so real and openly represented in a way that didn’t feel like the author was splashing diversity around the page. It felt authentic and I’m so glad to have read it and that it’s out in the world.

The art was fantastic as well. Bre Indigo deserves all the awards. I was captivated by every image and panel, so much so that I raced through the text in order to spend extra time on every page.

I can’t wait for young readers and experienced readers of the original discover the magic of this new graphic novel. Now go and pick up at a copy at your local bookstore or library immediately!

Teaser

With their father away in the military and their mother working overtime to support the family, the March sisters have to rely on one another to make it from day to day. Whether they're arguing over the bathroom, struggling with homework, fighting off bullies, understanding their crushes, or battling leukemia, there's one thing the four sisters keep questioning --- will everything turn out okay? Follow modern young women, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they discover themselves and follow their dreams.

Promo

With their father away in the military and their mother working overtime to support the family, the March sisters have to rely on one another to make it from day to day. Whether they're arguing over the bathroom, struggling with homework, fighting off bullies, understanding their crushes, or battling leukemia, there's one thing the four sisters keep questioning --- will everything turn out okay? Follow modern young women, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they discover themselves and follow their dreams.

About the Book

2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the classic LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott. Join Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they are reenvisioned as a blended family living in modern day NYC in this beautiful, full-color graphic novel.

With their father away in the military and their mother working overtime to support the family, the March sisters have to rely on one another to make it from day to day. Whether they're arguing over the bathroom, struggling with homework, fighting off bullies, understanding their crushes, or battling leukemia, there's one thing the four sisters keep questioning --- will everything turn out okay? Follow modern young women, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy as they discover themselves and follow their dreams.

This lushly-illustrated story is a must-read for fans of Raina Telgemeier's SMILE and SISTERS, Mariko Tamaki's THIS ONE SUMMER, Svetlana Chmakova's AWKWARD, and Victoria Jamieson's ROLLER GIRL.