Anne of Green Gables with a twist: in this follow-up to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and The Secret Garden on 81st Street, this full-color graphic novel moves Anne Shirley to modern-day West Philadelphia, where she finds new friends, new rivals, and a new family.
When Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert decide to foster a teenage girl for the first time, their lives are changed forever. Their redheaded foster daughter, Anne Shirley, is in search of an exciting life and has decided that West Philly is where she’s going to find it. Armed with a big personality and unstoppable creativity, Anne takes her new home by storm as she joins the robotics club, makes new friends in Diana and Gilbert, experiences first love, and turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. But as Anne starts to get comfortable, she discovers one thing she wasn’t looking for: a family.
Title: Anne of West Philly: A Modern Graphic Retelling of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
Author: Ivy Noelle Weir
Illustrator: Myisha Haynes
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel, Contemporary
I super enjoyed this retelling! I’m a big fan of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ so I was intrigued by the premise and diversity this book offered.
There are lots of similarities to the original book series, but also so much that made this book stand out and completely its own. For example, the activism in this book is somewhat original to this retelling, but still a very Anne thing to do. The plot was engaging and moved at a great pace. ‘Anne of Green Gables’ can be a somewhat dark and tough story to tell, but I felt the author and illustrator did a great job of lightening things up for the younger audience for whom this novel is intended.
Also, I loved all the characters. Like, every single one. They were bold, refreshing, and still, somehow, felt original. Anne, of course, was my favorite with most of her friends being a close second.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing illustrations. They were colorful, captivating, and truly conveyed the characters’ feelings and emotions throughout the story. I loved seeing the characters come to life in this way. Also, as I mentioned above, the illustrator did a great job of making this book feel lighter and more “kid-friendly” than sometimes ‘Anne of Green Gables’ retellings can be.
Ultimately, my expectations were met and this book was thoroughly enjoyed. And I’m so glad this could be told in graphic novel form! I think it really elevated the story.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ivy Noelle Weir is a writer of comics and prose. She is the co-creator of the Dwayne McDuffie Award-winning graphic novel Archival Quality (Oni Press), the upcoming The Secret Garden on 81st Street (Little, Brown for Young Readers), and her writing has appeared in anthologies such as Princeless: Girls Rock (Action Lab Entertainment) and Dead Beats (A Wave Blue World). She lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and their two tiny, weird dogs.
Microsoft Word – Anne of West Philly Press Release.docx
When not crafting fictional worlds and surfing Pinterest, Myisha Haynes works full-time as a games artist in San Francisco. She earned an MFA in Visual Development at the Academy of Art University and a BA in English at UC Santa Barbara (but is still a pretty questionable speller). She loves fall and winter but is also from California, and therefore has no idea what a real winter looks like. Besides her modern fantasy webcomic, The Substitutes, her work can also be seen in the award-winning Elements Anthology: Fire, Rolled & Told, Power & Magic 2, and Marvel’s Gwenpool.