by Gareth Hinds
Recommended for ages 10+
It can be really hard to get teens to read Shakespeare. Yes, they have to read Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in school, but when a play is a required assignment it is rarely enjoyed by the reader. Luckily, artist Gareth Hinds has found a way make Shakespeare’s great works accessible to teenagers. His most recent work is a graphic novel version of King Lear, published by Candlewick. As Hinds says in his book, “Shakespeare’s plays were meant to be performed, and yet their greatness rests as much on their merits as literature – on the experience they give a reader – as on their theatrical power. I think the graphic novel form is a perfect bridge between the printed word and theatrical performance.” I agree with Hinds. The next best thing to taking your kids to a performance of King Lear is to hand them this graphic novel and let them watch the story unfold.