Tuesday, September 6, 2022

A Modern Retelling

Little Cuter texted me this picture of her kid eating mac and cheese (and drinking a Coke!) at the Annual Labor Day Family Fish Fry.  FlapJilly needed her mom by her side (not socializing with the extended family) as she ate and read (a behavior of which both her mother and I heartily approve).
And what was she reading as her mother and I were texting (apparently an acceptable behavior, as was posing for a picture for Gramma ("I love being in the blog!")?

Prepare for your head to explode.

What's the latest graphic novel? 

Little Women

She is engrossed.  She loves it.  This is her 2nd time reading it.  Jo is obviously her fave.  

Jo is FlapJilly's middle name, a family name she shares with her mother and Auntie M.  It's also an homage to the woman I wanted to be when I grew up.  I read Little Women every few months for more than a few years.

A multi racial family during the Civil War?  Very woke. 

A quick on-line search revealed that this is a graphic retelling, where the girls are siblings in a blended family.  The blurb upset me; I don't like change.  I don't understand the need to remove the context (what's wrong with a little history?). 

But a smart publisher obviously bought the concept.  Although she was surrounded by cousins she adores, our voracious reader (every room she creates begins with a bed, a lamp, and bookshelves, of course!) moved around with the book by her side, ready to be opened to her fabulous bookmark as soon as she finished her big bite.

The overview at Barnes and Noble only revealed so much, and I had so many, many questions.  Recognizing the limits of texting, I cut to the chase: 

Does Beth contract AIDS?


I thought all modern kid lit was culturally relevant.

Apparently not... and we moved on to other things, leaving behind what else had been done to Miss Alcott's opus.  But I took my questions with me, and they've been niggling and nagging all day.  It wasn't just the stories (which were wonderful).  It was the relationships and the Should I/Should I Not decisions that resonated then and which inform much of what I do now.

I hope the themes of maximizing your potential while recognizing the costs; of self-less service to others; of life's fragility; of the importance honesty to yourself and with those you encounter along the way still exist in the modern retelling.

I really, really hope so.

I think I have to go to Bookmans tomorrow, trade in some store credit, and see for myself.



  1. It's a new world, my friend. You cannot stop changes, only go with the flow, give advice as warranted, provide super big packs of love, and stand back and watch what happens.

  2. Hmmm. OK, well. as long as the new version stands along side the original and doesn't replace it.


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