cover image Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women

Rey Terciero, illus. by Bre Indigo. Little, Brown, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-316-52288-5

This graphic novel retelling of Little Women reimagines the March sisters as a blended family—Meg and her father are black, Jo and her mother are white, and their younger siblings, Beth and Amy, are biracial—in a modern-day Brooklyn setting. With their father in the military, fighting in the Middle East (“making the world a safer place” for “my little women,” he writes), and their mother struggling with the emotional and financial stress of single parenthood, the girls vow to think beyond themselves to help their mother and “be strong,” like her. Readers familiar with the original will find the sisters’ personalities familiar, but Terciero and Indigo give the sisters timely concerns. Eldest sister Meg must make serious decisions about her future, youngest sister Amy faces racist bullying at school, and Jo is hiding her queer identity from her family and friends, including neighbor Laurie. And for shy budding musician Beth, recent tiredness hints at an illness that can’t be ignored. Journal entries and emails to their father give readers a deeper understanding of the siblings’ inner emotions and turmoil while adding dimension and realism to comfortable sibling banter. Smart and thoughtfully rendered, this modern retelling will resonate with today’s readers. Ages 9–12. [em](Feb.) [/em]