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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Cover Reveal: More to the Story by Hena Khan

I’m always so very interested in how the current era chooses to interpret and reinterpret classic works of children’s literature. There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about nostalgia and the role it plays in how adults introduce books to kids. You want your children to love the books that you loved as a child, even as, on some level, you realize that they will never see the books through the same lens that you did. Plus, loving a book, any book, is deeply personal. It cannot be forced.

Which brings us to Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott’s best known work is having a bit of a Renaissance. More specifically, it’s getting modernized. Constantly. In 2018 we saw the cinematic modern retelling starring Sarah Davenport. Now, in 2019, two books have come out, also set in the modern day, also based on the original book. The first of these is the graphic novel Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy: A Graphic Novel by Rey Terciero and Bre Indigo. You’re sure to hear more about that book in the coming months. The other? You wouldn’t necessarily know it was Little Women-based unless you were told. Say, by your friendly neighborhood children’s literature blogger.

More to the Story is the latest book by Hena Khan. Remember, Ms. Khan? If you read her middle grade novel Amina’s Voice then you may be familiar with her work. This year, on September 3rd, you’ll hear her own take on Alcott’s classic. One that you certainly haven’t seen before. Here’s the plot synopsis:

When Jameela Mirza is picked to be feature editor of her middle school newspaper, she’s one step closer to being an award-winning journalist like her late grandfather. The problem is her editor-in-chief keeps shooting down her article ideas. Jameela’s assigned to write about the new boy in school, who has a cool British accent but doesn’t share much, and wonders how she’ll make his story gripping enough to enter into a national media contest.

Jameela, along with her three sisters, is devastated when their father needs to take a job overseas, away from their cozy Georgia home for six months. Missing him makes Jameela determined to write an epic article—one to make her dad extra proud. But when her younger sister gets seriously ill, Jameela’s world turns upside down. And as her hunger for fame looks like it might cost her a blossoming friendship, Jameela questions what matters most, and whether she’s cut out to be a journalist at all…

For me, the lure of Little Women is the same today as it has ever been. It’s about family. It’s about women. It’s about finding what it is you want to do with your life. I look forward to Hena Khan’s version and I know you feel the same.

And now, the cover:

MoreTotheStory

Thanks to the folks at Simon & Schuster for the reveal.

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About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.

Comments

  1. No mention of the illustrator or designer.

  2. I do look forward to reading both these books. I have no questions about the legitimacy of reinterpreting a classic. Here is my one concern, or maybe it’s just an issue to ponder. Do young adults and kids still read Little Women? You mention a Renaissance, but I think that some of this celebration around the book’s anniversary has been more aimed at adult readers. (Anne Boyd Rioux’s Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters, for example).If kids and teens no longer read the novel, full of antiquated vocabulary and difficult cultural references by contemporary standards, that doesn’t take away the value of the new books. However, it does change the whole nature of their project.
    Nostalgia for books we read when we were young has lately gotten a bad name. It seems to me to be a perfectly good reason for introducing them to our children. Of course, they won’t read them exactly the same way in which we did, nor the way Alcott’s original readers did. Why would they? Books are meant to be reinterpreted again and again and these new works would be great to read along with the original classic novel.

    • I agree. And in many ways I do feel that reinterpretations of classics are gateway reads to the classics themselves. The kid that might not pick up that thick tome by Alcott, might try it after reading some of these different versions. I know that when I was a kid I was always more inclined to read a book after seeing a film. This is very much along the same lines.