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Review of Macbeth

by William Shakespeare; adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds
Middle School, High School   Candlewick   146 pp.
2/15   978-0-7636-6943-0   $21.99
Paper ed. 978-0-7636-7802-9   $12.99

Whereas Romeo and Juliet received a striking makeover with a new setting and an ethnically diverse cast in Hinds’s graphic-novel version (rev. 11/13), he has chosen to remain faithful to the original period and setting of Macbeth, owing to its basis in historical fact (one of the many interesting artistic choices that Hinds details in the back matter). A strange prophecy unleashes Macbeth’s dark ambitions, and he murders first to become king and then to stay on the throne. It’s a dark tale of power and greed, and Hinds effectively communicates in words and pictures the gist of the story. Using a muted palette of blacks, blues, browns, and grays, Hinds reserves his most vivid use of color for the supernatural elements and for the rivers of blood that flow in battle. This is the fourth Shakespeare play that Hinds has tackled and retold as a graphic novel, and while his faithfulness to the original language may prove a stumbling block for some young readers, in the end it provides an authentic and powerful entry point into the original play.

From the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Jonathan Hunt

Jonathan Hunt is the coordinator of library media services at the San Diego County Office of Education.

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