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 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.
I thought this was a really cute modern take of the classic Anne of Green Gables. I loved the artwork, and thought Matthew and Marilla were captured really well. I also liked some of the changes that were made to help put this story into a more modern setting, like the addition of STEM.
For me I felt that certain points of the story were a bit rushed, which didn’t really allow for Anne to feel like Anne…if that makes sense? It was those moment’s where she’s being incredibly full of energy, and imagination that I love about the original story. I felt some of this was lacking at times, and was pushed off to the side potentially in favour or being more STEM focused?
I’m also Canadian so having the setting change from PEI made my brain spin a little, but it was the difference in setting that drew me to the graphic novel. The White Way of Delight scene made me giggle, and I was intrigued by how the authors went about the puff sleeve dress bit to modernize it. That was really neat, and I thought that Marilla’s reaction during that scene was really sweet.
Honestly, Marilla was my favourite character. Usually in adaptations it’s Matthew or Anne, but for this one Marilla stole the show.
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