New graphic novels: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘Anne Frank’s Diary,’ ‘The Beatles’

If you’re making your literary Christmas wish list, consider these new graphic novels when checking it twice.

“To Kill a Mockingbird”

By Harper Lee (author) and Fred Fordham (artist)

Harper, 288 pp.

★★★½ out of four

Between Harper Lee’s classic 1960 novel and the 1962 film starring Gregory Peck, who isn’t familiar with the Great Depression-era tale of feisty tomboy Scout Finch, her lawyer- father Atticus Finch and their reclusive neighbor Boo Radley? This gorgeously rendered graphic-novel version provides a new perspective for old fans but also acts as an immersive introduction for youngsters as well as any adult who somehow missed out on the iconic story set in Maycomb, Alabama. Illustrator Fred Fordham interprets Lee’s world via a detailed small-town Americana setting that belies the seething racism that pervades the community. Scout stands up for her dad – and gets in some scraps – when townspeople criticize Atticus for defending a black man accused of raping a white girl. Prejudice and hatred share pages with hope and understanding in a tale that seems as relevant in our divided times as it did nearly 60 years ago. 

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