Les Misérables the epic masterpiece by Victor Hugo retold and illustrated by Marcia Williams
first U.S. edition published in 2015 by Candlewick Press
Marcia Williams is an exceptional, favorite UK author/illustrator who has retold many classic stories including Shakespeare, Dickens, and Chaucer, in jubilant graphic/comic style for elementary age children.
Her retelling of Les Mis is just out in the U.S. this year, and it’s as beautiful as everything she touches.
Williams tells the story straight through, while appropriately gliding past Fantine’s prostitution and softening Javert’s suicide. Of course, Les Mis has plenty of heartache, death, and miscellaneousviolence, so you’ll have to decide whether your kids are ready for it.
Because Williams presents this and other stories in almost a film-sequence style, they are readily adapted as plays or transformed into readers’ theater presentations. They can also inspire children to illustrate well-loved stories on their own, illustrate journals, make puppet shows, and much more. Check out her website for loads of juicy, creative inspiration.
If your middle-school and older kids are going to the Broadway show, this would also be a great prelude in order to better follow the story.
And while you’re at it, dip into another volume of hers. There are so many!