One of my favorite classics is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I saw this cute young reader version on NetGalley and automatically wanted to read it. I was curious to see how the story could be told to a young reader audience, as the characters are all adults! I did read abridged classics as a child, but I hadn’t visited one in years. This was a very lovely adaptation.
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The summary, from Amazon:
About Sweet Cherry Easy Classics:From Shakespeare to Austen, Sweet Cherry Easy Classics adapts classic literature into stories for children, introducing these timeless tales to a new generation. All titles in the series are leveled for classroom use, including GRLs. The books target early readers ages 6-8, including early school-age children looking for exciting stories, as well as reluctant readers.Popular books in the series include Pride and Prejudice, A Christmas Carol and Othello.Mrs. Bennet is desperate to find rich husbands for her daughters, so the arrival of a charming new neighbor is welcome indeed. Sadly, the friend he brings with him is not. Mr. Darcy seems to have even more pride than money. Nobody likes him – least of all Elizabeth Bennet. But not everyone is who they seem.
Buy Pride and Prejudice (Sweet Cherry Easy Classics) here.
(It’s on preorder until September 29, but you can buy it now in a boxed set of Jane Austen Children’s Stories.)
In this review, I’m going to go full spoiler, because I assume someone reading this has read the original or at least seen a film adaptation. This is a much simpler version, including all of the main characters and plot points. The illustrations are absolutely adorable. I love the colorful cover, and throughout the book there are cute, cartoony illustrations of the characters during all of the major parts of the plot. We get at least one illustration per chapter. I really felt like they added a level of interest for kids as this is a story about adults! I know so-called “reluctant readers” are drawn to books with cartoon characters in them, at least at the moment.
I do think a few of the nuances from the original title could have remained in this adaptation. This one is pretty straight-forward, without too much discussion of the social aspects beyond Elizabeth’s family being beneath Darcy’s status-wise. I think a child in the intended audience age-range could understand a few things that weren’t brought up: 1) why Elizabeth made friends with Wickham and believed him – Darcy insulted her, so she doesn’t want to like him and will believe anything mean about him! 2) why Elizabeth didn’t tell anyone Georgiana’s secret – it would have ruined Georgiana’s life if the secret was out 3) and why it would have ruined Georgiana’s life/why Lydia has to marry Wickham. Children can understand that during that time and culture, men and unmarried women weren’t allowed to be alone together. I think it would have driven home more that Wickham is the bad guy.
Overall, this was a really lovely adaptation and I think this would be a good series to introduce to young children interested in reading the classics. This was a 4 star read for me. My thanks to NetGalley, the adapter and the publisher for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Find out more about how I rate books here.
Pride and Prejudice by Gemma Barder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a cute young reader edition of the original classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I liked the engaging, adorable illustrations. This tells the main plot of the story and includes all of the most important characters. However, I would have added in a few of the more nuanced points that I think young readers could understand. As this is a classic, I briefly will mention them: why Elizabeth believes Wickham, why Elizabeth can’t tell anyone about what he did, and why a woman had to marry a man she was alone with in those times/that culture. Thank you to the publisher, adapter, and NetGalley for giving me a free copy in exchange for my honest review. Look out for my full review on bitchbookshelf.com.
Book Club Questions
- For adult readers – was this a good adaptation? Why or why not?
- Why does Elizabeth believe Wickham?
- Why didn’t Elizabeth tell anyone Georgiana’s secret?
- Who is your favorite sister? Why?