From the Publisher
Shakespeare’s tragic lovers receive star treatment in this spellbinding graphic-novel production. ... As thrilling and riveting as any staging.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[A] striking rendition of the play. ... With its sumptuous colors and fealty to the original text, this sophisticated "comic" would suit any strong reader over the age of 12.
—The Wall Street Journal
Cleaving to Shakespeare’s words and his dramatic arc, Hinds creates another splendid graphic novel, tracing each scene in taut, coherent, and expertly deployed dialogue. Hinds’s characters, in period array modified by a few more contemporary touches, are poignantly specific yet as universal as this tragic tale of young love demands. ... . Expertly pacing the drama with varied frames, often with sharp, action-propelling angles, Hinds explicates and amplifies Shakespeare’s story on every page, including wordless fight scenes that highlight pivotal details. ... From swirling action to subtly delineated emotion, he delivers the play’s essence and beauty, its glorious language, furious conflict, yearning love, and wrenching tragedy. This is not only a wonderfully accessible introduction to a full text or (better yet) theatrical production; it’s a visual delight for anyone.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
The text is skillfully edited, and the panels easy to follow, especially as the warring families' costumes are color-coded. The effect is that of a good stage production: Shakespeare's language speaks clearly to modern ears.
Children's Literature - Leona Illig
The story of the tragic lovers, Romeo and Juliet, is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. There have been countless adaptations on stage and screen, and the number of books loosely based on the play would fill many shelves. In this version, the adaptor has used most of the original text and surrounded it with illustrations in graphic novel format. Some of these illustrations are lovely; others are of average quality. The adaptor has also limited himself to making only a few changes in the story. Some of the more uncommon words are footnoted and explained; some adjustments to the geography and setting of the play have been made; and, of course, given the length of this book (129 pages) some of the play was cut. The most significant innovation is that the adaptor has made some of the characters multiracial, complete with tattoos and modern costume styles, in an attempt to make the story relevant to modern times. The adapter is to be commended for his efforts, but this Shakespearean romance is not a good fit for a graphic novel adaption. Reviewer: Leona Illig
VOYA - Laura Perenic
Romeo And Juliet is a graphic novel adaptation of the original play by William Shakespeare. Notes at the beginning and end of the story provide historical context and prepare the reader to understand the original language presented in iambic pentameter. Though not modernized with dialogue and setting, the story does attempt to show the universality of the story with raceHouse Capulet is an Indian family, and House Montague is an African American family. The artwork is not special and does not add to the magic of the ill-fated romance. Romeo is not handsome enough, nor is Juliet beautiful enough to captivate teen audiences. Graphic novels should use their illustrations to lend greater understanding to the story. Romeo And Juliet does not enhance appreciation for the original play or encourage a reader to seek out other plays by Shakespeare. Overall, the book lacks drama, and expectations for passion and tragedy are never met. For the price, libraries seeking to expand their graphic novel collection should not buy a book with such limited appeal. This book is incredibly accurate in its representations of period architecture and could be used in an art history class. This specialized usage would still relegate Romeo And Juliet to an optional purchase. Reviewer: Laura Perenic
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—With his latest graphic novel, Hinds once again shows his considerable talent for adapting classic stories for modern audiences. The most notable change between this story and Shakespeare's original is the creative license that Hinds takes with ethnicity–he makes the characters of African, Indian, and Caucasian descent in order to promote the universality of the story. The Shakespearean language is abridged but not adapted into contemporary English; footnotes explain words that could be confusing to young audiences. The use of lines and colorful watercolors is striking, especially when illustrating action such as dancing and sword fights. The cover provides one of the best advertisements for the book, showing readers a multiracial spin on this classic play. And one of the most memorable panels illustrates how, when Romeo first sees Juliet, the image he had in his mind of Rosalind literally shatters. Hinds also offers visual cues to the dialogue through his artwork; for example, as a character refers to maidenheads, he pops a cherry off its stem. The author's note explains which aspects of the story were strictly Shakespearean and which were adapted for modern audiences.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Shakespeare's tragic lovers receive star treatment in this spellbinding graphic-novel production. Hinds as director, set designer and writer has expertly abridged the original text while embellishing it with modern sensibilities. His edition retains the flavor and poetry of the 1597 play and its memorable and oft-quoted dialogue. It is in the watercolor and digitally illustrated panels that he truly presents a stunning visual reading. Juliet and the Capulets are from India. Romeo and the Montagues are from Africa. Thus, the political rivalries of Verona become contemporary and more meaningful to 21st-century readers. The Capulets are dressed in reds and the Montagues in blue--all against the finely rendered lines of Verona's buildings and Friar Laurence's monastery. Beautiful shades of blue infuse the night sky as the two lovers swear their eternal devotion. The panels vary in size to control the pace of the plot. Sword fights pulse with energy and occasional karate thrusts for added drama. The most moving image--a double-page spread without words--is depicted from above in shades of gold and brown stained red with blood as Romeo and Juliet lie dead and immortalized in each other's arms. As thrilling and riveting as any staging. (author's note) (Graphic drama. 12 & up)