Growing up, I was never an avid reader of the so-called "classics," only picking them up (grudgingly) when I was assigned to do so by a well-meaning English teacher. I'm still not a classics fan. So it goes without saying I never read Little Women. I knew the story, though, because my cousin had an uber-condensed, kid-friendly audio version that we once listened to in the car on the way to the water park: There's these four sisters who live with their mom and one of them dies at the end (or doesn't, I suppose, if you're reading the alternate ending). In the middle, there's a bunch of girl drama and a boring romance.
But while not being a fan of Classics, I DO love me a good reboot of such stories, be it in book or movie form (for example, the movie Clueless is a retelling of Emma). In fact, I could even make a case that one of my favorite books of all time is a modern remix of Don Quixote. So I wasn't so adverse when I picked up Meg, Jo, Beth & Amy, by Rey Terciero, a modern-day graphic novel re-imagining of Little Women.
Here, the author took several liberties to make the story more accessible to the intended teen audience. Firstly, the characters are in their teens and tweens, rather than already (or mostly) grown. And they had contemporary struggles, such as wanting to fit in by having things like the latest iPhone and struggling with questions about their sexuality. Also, because the story is set today, modern medicine is able to save Beth. Finally, the sisters are very diverse. There's still plenty of drama, though. Maybe even more so than the original.
While I didn't absolutely LOVE the book, I did enjoy it. And I think the intended audience will enjoy it too. I'd give it to fans of Smile and Sisters and Positively Izzy. --AJB