Tuesday, January 11, 2011

YA Take on the Classics

So I was sitting reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens for my Adult Fiction Book Club and I got to wondering if there was a young adult novel based on this classic.  I couldn't find one but I did find some other YA novels based on the classics. 
Enter Three Witches by Caroline B. Cooney a retelling of Macbeth
Wuthering High by Cara Lockwood a retelling of Wuthering Heights

Jane by April Lindner a retelling of Jane Eyre

Ophelia by Lisa Klein a retelling of Hamlet

The Scarlet Letterman by Cara Lockwood a retelling of The Scarlet Letter

Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman a retelling of Romeo and Juliet

 What do you think about YA versions of the classics?  Do they get people to want to read the classics more or make them more understandable? Or is it wrong to change a classic that way?


  1. There's also a retelling of Hamlet by John Marsden that's pretty good. Darren Shan's The Thin Executioner is supposed to be a different take on Huck Finn (but I haven't read it yet.) There are also many graphic novels of the classics. I think that any retelling that puts a classic within reach of a younger, less sophisticated audience is great! I really think that it can make them interested in the original.

  2. I like the idea. I think sometimes classics are really great stories, but the way they're written makes them unapproachable to a lot of teens.

    What's also nice is when authors take the themes and framework of a classic, but also create their own story like Adele Griffin did in Tighter (a retelling of The Turn of the Screw coming out in May 2011).

  3. I've only read retellings of fairy tales, Beastly and A Kiss In Time by Alex Flinn, and I enjoyed them. May try out some of these though, they look great!

    Just letting you know that an award is waiting for you here! http://cheezyfeetbooks.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

    Happy Reading!

  4. I think it's a good idea, I have read some classics and to be honest some of the classics are really hard to get through.

    I've also read Ophelia and I loved the story. So I think it's a good thing to make classics more fun to read for teens

  5. Oo that's really interesting! I hadn't thought about that. I'm surprised there isn't one of Great Expectations. It has YA written all over it. Lisa Klein does a lot of Shakespeare I think -- I know she did Lady MacBeth's Daughter too.


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