Books Graphic Novels Summer Reading

Need some help on your required reading?

eyes After finishing the fabulous Theatre Illuminata Trilogy, I realized I was a little rusty on my plays.  A lot of the books I’ve read lately give references to the classics, but with this series set in a theater with characters practically living and breathing Shakespeare, I noticed plenty of references to things I read in school.  And plenty of things I’d only heard about but never read.  It was time to fix that.

While browsing the library’s collection of classic literature, I noticed the ever-present cliff-notes and other study guides printed in order to help people “translate” Shakespearean and other forms of Ye Olde English listed along with the originals; then I discovered an entire collection of Shakespeare plays had been made into manga!

Since the main character of the series that sparked my newfound interest in Shakespeare is named Beatrice, I went first for the play with the character she is named after:  Much Ado About Nothing.  This manga version uses direct quotes from the play, and while there is a short summary in the back, rather than relying on paragraphs of footnotes to parse through the text, you use the pictures to get the gist of the story.  With this light introduction to the story, I’m looking forward to reading the original text and knowing a little bit of what’s in store.  Not to mention the art was just plain fun to look at!

During my search I found comic book versions of other classics, like The Iliad and Pride and Prejudice, biographies of historical figures like Amelia Earhart and Anne Frank, and even an action-packed comics version of the Bible!  Mixed in with the superhero comics and manga, just waiting to help you with your required reading for school.  Instead of taking shortcuts with cliff-notes and Wikipedia, why not try some comics?

…But seriously, read the originals too.  You might end up liking them, especially with a visual already in your head!  And then the next time you read a book with a character talking about Cathy and Heathcliff, or see a chapter beginning with a quote from The Odyssey, you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about!

You might also enjoy our manga adaptations of modern series, including Vampire Kisses, Maximum Ride and Twilight.  Have a look through more of our graphic novels here.


  • Abby
    14 June, 2013 - 5:15 pm | Permalink

    That looks cool!

  • 14 June, 2013 - 7:25 pm | Permalink

    It is so coll and really fun.

  • 14 June, 2013 - 7:26 pm | Permalink

    People are so cool because they enjoy reading all the time and people just think that it is one of the best things i do.

  • Abby
    15 June, 2013 - 12:59 pm | Permalink


  • roneisha
    15 June, 2013 - 6:09 pm | Permalink

    i like that book thats called nobody secret

  • deionna
    15 June, 2013 - 6:10 pm | Permalink

    this book looks really interesting

  • katelyn
    16 June, 2013 - 12:20 am | Permalink

    I love going to the library! It’s so much fun!!!

  • Abby
    17 June, 2013 - 10:58 pm | Permalink

    I love this contest!

  • Abby
    17 June, 2013 - 10:59 pm | Permalink


  • Autumn Barney
    21 June, 2013 - 12:10 am | Permalink

    I think its wonderful that present day authors are alluding to classic and older literature. Like it did for you, I’m really hoping that these references are getting teens to get interested in the classics. Ive only just started reader classics myself (on my own time, not even required for school). I find it great because they are referenced in the media EVERYWHERE, and also they were outstanding, better than anything I have ever read before. I guess thats why they’re the classics. In recently reading John Green’s The Fault in our Stars, I found two references to The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye. Having read those books, it found it really exciting to understand and it made me better get what the author was trying to say. There’s even a Great Gatsby reference in The Catcher in the Rye!! I hope modern day writers continue to allude to the classics and hopefully more and more teens will read them!

  • Abby
    22 June, 2013 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    that books look really interesting!!

  • Abby
    22 June, 2013 - 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Cant wait to check it out!!

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