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A retelling of the tale in which a kind and well-respected doctor is transformed into a murderous madman by taking a secret drug of his own creation. Illustrated notes throughout the text explain the historical background of the story.
Gr 7 Up
This simplified retelling of the classic novella is clearly meant for students. There are quotes from the original throughout, but the majority of the text consists of paraphrased summaries of Stevenson's story. Vocabulary words and potentially confusing plot points are footnoted and explained. Sometimes this addition is well executed, but there are several instances in which words that are fairly self-explanatory are defined anyway, giving the book an overly educational feel. The story itself fills just 33 pages of a 48-page book. The rest of the space is filled with biographical information on Stevenson, a science/medicine/crime time line from 1765 to 1850, and a history of performances based on the novel. Gelev's artwork is skilled and realistic, and he does wonderful things with glowing lights from candles and lanterns. Unfortunately the art does not get a chance to shine because the layout isolates each (too-small) image from the others on the page. The only place where readers can really appreciate Gelev's talents is on the front cover, which shows Jekyll mixing the potion, drinking it, and turning into Hyde. Which, if you think about it, will spoil the biggest surprise in the story for anyone unfamiliar with it. This is a serviceable book for larger collections where classics in graphic novel form are needed.-Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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