The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

adapted by Crystal S. Chan. illus. by Kuma Chan. 320p. (Manga Classics). Udon. Oct. 2017. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781772940169; pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781772940176.
Gr 7 Up—This installment of the series takes on Twain's subversive adventure of a boy named Huckleberry Finn and a runaway slave named Jim. After faking his own murder to escape his drunken father's cruelty, Huck flees on a raft with Jim along the Mississippi River. What begins as a reasonably harmonious life for the two is soon disrupted by the Duke and the King, two crooks who commandeer the raft. As the group struggle in their attempted cons, Huck faces moral dilemmas. He decides he must do the right thing and use his wits to find the way to freedom with Jim. Character designs are clean, attractive, and distinguishable. While the art tones down graphic scenes (the King and Duke's punishment is depicted in silhouette; the fallout of a shooting is bloodless), the dialogue is mostly faithful to the original text. There are some helpful resources throughout, such as an explanation of the dialects, a guide to the differences between this adaptation and the source material, and a chart on how to read manga.
VERDICT This strong adaptation stays true to Twain's satirical storytelling while also turning it into a digestible introduction for readers. Use it to help students think critically about race and class.

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