Scholastic
Source
Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids Press Corps is a team of about 50 Kid Reporters around the nation.  The interactive site brings daily news to life with reporting for kids, by kids.

Beowulf: The Graphic Novel

Bringing a thousand-year-old story to a wider audience

By Maya Finkelstein | February 27 , 2007
Gareth Hinds has transformed <i>Beowulf</i>, the oldest poem in the English language, into a graphic novel. (Photo: Courtesy Candlewick Press)
Gareth Hinds has transformed Beowulf, the oldest poem in the English language, into a graphic novel. (Photo: Courtesy Candlewick Press)

A new graphic novel transforms Beowulf, the thousand-year-old Viking epic, into a book that is fun to read. Candlewick Press will soon release this work, adapted and illustrated by Gareth Hinds, with the hope of bringing the story to a much wider audience. It will be the first graphic novel published by Candlewick.

Beowulf is the oldest surviving poem in the English language. It is believed to have been composed around 1000 A.D. The epic story has been retold and interpreted many times.

It tells the story of a heroic warrior-prince named Beowulf (Bey-uh-wolf), who battles the gruesome monster Grendel (Gren-dell), his hideous mother, and a terrifying dragon.

According to Hinds, telling the story of Beowulf was “a mixture of paying homage to the hero’s strengths, but also his weaknesses and limitations.”

Hinds was inspired to turn Beowulf into a graphic novel partly due to his longstanding interest in drawing stories.

“I’ve tried writing my own graphic pieces before, but do much better adapting classic stories,” said Hinds.

The graphic novel medium, which is about 30 years old, has its roots in comic books. Hinds explained one of the reasons Beowulf's story seemed like an ideal fit for a graphic novel.

“In a way this is a superhero story that just happens to take place in the time of the Vikings,” he said.

Gareth Hinds
Gareth Hinds. (Photo: Courtesy Candlewick Press)

Hinds described some of the appeal of reading a graphic novel like Beowulf. Many classics are difficult to read, and people can have trouble imagining what the scenes would look like. Graphic novels give the reader the illustrator’s conception of the scene.

This can also be a disadvantage, though. Readers only gets the author’s interpretation of the story; they might have completely different interpretations if they were able to visualize it themselves.

Deborah Wayshak, the editor of Beowulf, offered her perspective on graphic novels. There is a freedom to the medium, she pointed out.

“You don’t have to tell a story in a straight line with a beginning, middle, and end," said Wayshak. "It can be sequential yet out of order at the same time."

Everything about this graphic novel is captivating. The pictures are gripping and full of detail, and the text is easy to follow. If this is your first time reading Beowulf, this graphic interpretation by Gareth Hinds is an excellent way to experience it.

READY, SET, READ!

Do you need help picking out what book to read next? Let Scholastic News Online be your guide! Find out what Kid Reporters are saying about all the latest books by reading their book reviews in this special report.

 

About the Author

Maya Finkelstein is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    123's Collection Grades PreK-K

    123's Collection Grades PreK-K

    This collection of quality Scholastic titles was hand selected to provide you with the best books at the best prices. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Set Includes:
    • 1-2-3 Peas
    • Billy Bully, A School-Yard Counting Tale
    • Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3
    • Feast for 10
    • Five Creatures
    • Little Critter: Numbers
    • Mouse Count
    • Nat Geo Kids: Count!
    • Nat Geo Kids: Ocean Counting
    • One Two That's My Shoe!
    • Over in the Meadow
    • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
    • Ten Black Dots
    • Ten Red Apples
    • What Comes in 2's, 3's, & 4's?

    $61.00 You save: 33%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades PreK-K
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    123's Collection Grades PreK-K
    Grades PreK-K $61.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Andy Warhol

    Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Andy Warhol

    by Mike Venezia and Mike Venezia

    Clever illustrations and story lines, together with full-color reproductions of actual paintings, give children a light yet realist overview of each artist’s life and style in these fun and educational biographies.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grade 3
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists: Andy Warhol
    Grade 3 $5.21
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com